Spring time, when the flowers start to blossom, trees start to get their leaves back, and a variety of other plants come back to life. Life is in full bloom, you go to take a big inhale to embrace the fresh air and …Ah-Choooo!!!! You find yourself sneezing, blowing your nose, and itching your watery eyes. Yep, it’s that time of year again. It is allergy season. If you suffer from seasonal allergies you know the pain. You want to enjoy the beauty of Mother Nature, but you feel miserable instead. You can take some over the counter allergy pills or a prescription from you doctor. Sometimes they help and sometimes they just make you feel drowsy and off balance. Personally I am not a fan of putting some man-made created chemical in my body to counter the allergies caused by everyday natural life.
Like many people, I, too, deal with mild seasonal allergies, but I also deal with year-round allergies due to dust mites. My allergies became so overwhelming that I started to get frequent and sometimes severe nose bleeds. I went to an allergist to discover that I am highly allergic to dust mites and a few seasonal allergies from grass, trees, and other forms of pollen found in the Portland-Metro area that I live in. He gave me some tips on how to reduce my exposure to dust mites, but that was about as far as his advice went to help combat my allergies. Granted, frequently dusting and vacuuming my carpeted apartment and making sure to throw my pillows in the dryer every other week, has helped, but it still was not enough, especially in the Spring and Fall when outdoor pollens are at their highest.
About a year after I saw the allergist, I went to an Acupuncturist for a pain related issue. In talking with her, we discussed my allergy issues and nose bleeds. Like many acupuncturists, their goal is not only to treat your current symptoms, but to help provide immediate relief by addressing the underlying immune system imbalances that may be the real cause of the allergy. Treatments may include acupuncture, revising your diet, and including the addition of herbal formulas and supplements. She suggested trying a xylitol-based saline nasal spray and some herbal supplements (Quercetin with Bromelain capsules) to help combat my allergies. So I gave them a try. Now, they are not 100% cures, but I have found them to be helpful with my allergies and in reducing my symptoms, in combination with my cleaning/dusting routines. At least, I do not have the side effects of the over-the-counter allergy medications that I have tried in the past.
So, what are some other helpful and more holistic approaches to battling allergy season? I did some research for you:
I hope some of these tips you will find helpful in your battles with allergy season. Let’s push away the tissue box, take a big breath in, and enjoy the beauty of spring time! Now go outside and play!
Courtney Truax, LMT is a graduate of East West College of the Healing Arts in Portland, Oregon. She is licensed through the Oregon Board of Massage Therapy and a member of the American Massage Therapy Association. She has her own studio massage practice in the heart of downtown Lake Oswego, Oregon.