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Everything is in Bloom and so are Allergies

Everything is in Bloom and so are Allergies, Prairie Spring Acupuncture Clinic in Palatine, Illinois

Spring is in full force, and those of you with allergies are really feeling it. The past few years have also been more challenging for those with allergies. Longer springs with longer growing periods, and milder winters with less freezing weather, have led to many people's allergies worsening, and even some who never had allergies have recently developed them.

In Eastern medicine, the immune system is mainly treated using the lung and spleen meridians. The theory is that the lungs manage the body's defenses and nourish your skin, and this is what protects you from pathogens. If the lungs are not nourished and your energy is weakened, then your immune system is also weakened. Nourishing the spleen meridian leads to nourishment of the lung meridian; this makes sense if you consider that in recent years western medicine has realized that your immune system actually starts in your digestive tract. In Eastern medicine, the spleen meridian is part of how you access the digestive tract.

When I treat people dealing with seasonal allergies I always work on the lung and spleen meridians, nourishing them, as well as working in the area of the sinus cavities to open and clear them of any mucous, and to manage mucous production. And if you tend to get watery or dry eyes, I use the gallbladder meridian to reduce those symptoms. I often recommend people come in a little before the time of year when their symptoms really kick in to help get their body prepared for what's to come, and then treat them regularly until the symptoms are decreased and they are more comfortable.

Here are a few things you can do to help reduce your allergies:

1. Drinking green tea or chamomile tea can help balance the immune system since they both contain natural antihistamines.

2. Steep 2 slices of fresh ginger in a cup of boiling water for 5 minutes; drink this tea twice a day.

3. Eating 1 teaspoon of local, unfiltered, and unprocessed honey daily can also help reduce allergy symptoms.

4. "Sinus Bomb" essential oil mix can be great if your sinuses are really congested, or if you feel like you may be developing a sinus infection. Put 2 drops each of oregano, melaleuca (Tea Tree), peppermint and lemon essential oils in 1 cup of hot water. Close your eyes, and breath in the steam gently but deeply. This will help open your sinuses, and has natural anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties.

5. The combination of lemon, peppermint and lavender essential oils can be a good anti-histamine. You can use 1 drop of each in a diffuser, or 10 drops of each in a roller bottle topped with fractionated coconut oil and apply this topically daily.

6. Be aware of how you're feeling. Stress and physical exhaustion  weaken the immune system, so do what you can to reduce stress and get plenty of rest. And if you feel stress is a big factor in worsening allergy symptoms, let me know and we can work on that as well.

6. There are several acupressure points you can use daily to help alleviate your allergy symptoms. When you come in for acupuncture treatment, be sure to ask me for tips on acupressure and I can show you which points may help you with your specific symptoms.

Reference: Ni, Dr. Maoshing, "Secrets of Self-Healing", 2008, Penguin Group.