It seems like spring is starting off a bit early here in the North East. We will pass 60 degress 3 days this week! So much for March coming in like a lion!! More like a kitty ;)
While I'll never count out a late winter snow storm, it does seem that these crazy mild temperatures are going to head us into an early Spring (Sorry Groundhog, you were wrong!)
I am SO ready for some sunshine and more outdoor time. (getting 2 tiny kids into snowgear just to hear "I need a snack" 5 minutes later.... this is a phase I wont miss!) But with the pretty blossoms that will be soon arriving comes the not-so-pretty sneezes and sniffles. If you suffer from seasonal allergies it can be enough to want to hide under the covers until summer.
The good news is there are lots of things you can do to help prevent or lessen your allergies and now is the perfect time to get started!
Seasonal allergies are caused by an immune response to the grass and flower pollens that circulate in the air during the onset of spring. This causes all those fun symptoms like itchy eyes, runny nose, sneezing, skin reactions, headaches, fatigue, and coughing.
In Chinese Medicine, we consider season allergies to be a deficiency in the body's lung qi and wei qi, our protective energy. Think of it as the body's first line of defense. When the soldiers are weak, the allergens are able to attack. Acupuncture has long been known to improve immune function, so starting a regular acupuncture regimen in the weeks leading up to the change of seasons can be incredibly helpful. PREVENTION IS KEY!
Chinese herbal formulas can help reduce inflammation in the nasal passages, stop a runny nose, and boost immunity. When used together, acupuncture and herbs can really work wonders.
Over the counter allergy remedies contain anti-histamines, which will definitely help reduce the reaction to allerges, but can come with a host of side effects like dry mouth, dizziness and drowsiness, which is probably not what you're looking for when you're already feeling crummy.
It's also a good idea to boost your intake of Vitamin C by eating more broccoli, red peppers, citrus and kale. Digestion can play a big role in immunity, so invest in a good probiotic to help keep things running smoothly.
If you spend time outdoors, try to rinse off as soon as you get in the house to avoid transferring pollen to your furniture. Using a neti-pot to keep your sinuses clear will help too.
For more info on acupuncture for allergy relief, check out this article on the Cleveland Clinic's website.
If you are in Westchester or Fairfield County and want to set up an appointment, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org