With the official start of Spring well behind us. I find it hard to believe that today is the first truly nice spring day we are getting in Baltimore. That being said I cannot help but think of the old children’s joke, “If April showers bring May Flowers, what do May flowers bring?” The punchline is of course … Pilgrims. Yes it’s not that funny, but neither are what May flowers actually bring for over 35 million Americans every spring; itchy eyes, runny stuffed up noses, sneezing and headaches.
Before reaching for your normal over the counter drugs and nasal sprays, might I suggest giving Oriental Medicine and some simple home treatments a try.
Acupuncture can greatly help relieve the symptoms of allergies as well as help your bodies immune system figure out how to better handle air pollutants such as pollen, animal dander, molds, mildew and the like.
Oriental Medicine has a concept of the immune system called Wei Qi (“way chee”) which is responsible for the body to have the correct response to allergens and pathogens which cause a person to become ill. When the Wei Qi is strong and working efficiently a person easily shakes off colds and can deal with pollutants in the air. When the Wei Qi is weak toxins and pathogens are considered to be invaders crossing over your bodies protective barriers and causing havoc.
From a western standpoint acupuncture has not only been shown to increase white blood cell counts (strengthening your immune system) but also help regulate your histamine response (keep in check how your body responds to allergens). Acupuncture has also been shown to decrease inflammation of the mucus membranes, the nose and airways making it easier to breathe. It can help reduce the effect of flare ups as well as act to prevent future allergy attacks.
If you or your acupuncturist feels that you need stronger treatment there are several Chinese herbal remedies which can be given all to help open the sinuses and treat hay fever, allergies as well as more severe breathing issues. All of which can be customized to meet your specific needs and health concerns.
I would also like to recommend some home therapies that are both very effective and cheap.
The first can be found your local farmers’ market. The one at the end of I-83 here in Baltimore has two apiaries that attend. Bee keepers often collect pollen from bees which can be used to inoculate yourself with. It is best to get pollen from a local source as it will be from the same plants that give you allergy symptoms. To use take 1 teaspoon daily. The theory is that by taking this pollen internally, you build up a resistance to allergens that are airborne. I’ve had some good results using this method myself. **** Please note that some people are very sensitive and may have an upset stomach or even have a severe allergic reaction.**** To combat this please try taking only a few small clusters of the pollen to test before you start to take a larger amount.
The second remedy is a Neti Pot. A Neti Pot looks like a small tea pot and is used to flush out the the nose and sinus cavities. It is commonly known as nasal irrigation. In recent years the Neti Pot has become more popular and may even be found in some grocery stores and pharmacies. There are several different recipes that can be used in the pot to help the irrigation, most of which are salt based to help dry the cavities and reduce the amount of mucous. If you have questions about recipes please contact me . The Neti Pot can be used once or twice a day and will greatly keep your breathing pathways open and sneezing to a minimum.
Please check out these at home methods to help keep your allergies in check and keep regular appointments to keep you nose open and you out enjoying the great spring weather!Leave a reply →