Curvesday Thursday: Adjustments Can Relieve Seasonal Allergies

For a lot of people, this time of year means relishing in the cool nights, enjoying the bright and bold colors of the leaves, and getting outdoors for some fall fun. However, for some this time of year ultimately means itchy throats, sneezing, itchy and swollen eyes, a nagging cough, sinus headaches, drippy noses, and a general feeling of being unwell. Fall allergies can be more than just an annoyance. They can leave you feeling foggy and can make it difficult to simply enjoy the day, much less get out and enjoy the fall weather.

Somewhere along the line, we started believing that seasonal allergies were normal (perhaps it was the endless bombardment of allergy drug commercials), and that they are something that an individual is going to have to live with for the rest of their life, while medicating themselves. Seasonal allergies are far from normal, and the fact that they are so common means that many do not have an optimally functioning body.

Here are some tips for beating allergies this and every spring without relying on pill popping:

  • Avoid histamine containing foods, these are foods that have been aged and fermented – beer, alcohol, cheeses, pickles, sausage, etc.
  • Eat more anti-inflammatory foods –  fresh produce, fish and nuts (And less sugar, grains, and processed foods)
  • Drink more water! – Research shows that staying well hydrated helps relieve allergy symptoms
  • Drink green tea – The antioxidants in green tea block histamine production and reduce inflammation
  • If you must pop pills – Vitamin C and Quercetin are potent natural antihistamines
  • Get adjusted regularly – A proper functioning nervous system is essential to conquering allergies.

You may be thinking, how can chiropractic help allergies? Well, your body’s lack of ability to properly adapt to the changing environment is what we label as a seasonal allergy. After all, everyone breathes the same ragweed pollen, yet everyone does not have seasonal allergies. The difference is not the pollen, the difference is how our bodies react to the pollen. An allergic response happens when the body’s immune system overreacts to allergens such as dust, pollen, pet dander, etc.  The response is that the body overproduces neutralizing chemicals such as histamines to correct the problem.

Chiropractic care aims to have your nervous system functioning at an optimal level by removing irritation and misalignments of the spine- so that the body will not overreact to foreign substances (like pollen). Traditional allergy treatments only deal with the symptom without addressing the cause. Anyone who has taken allergy medication knows that it will work for a period of time and then its effect will gradually begin to decrease.

If you suffer from seasonal allergies and would like to begin a chiropractic treatment plan, please call our office at (304) 263-4927 today to schedule an appointment.

Sources: http://www.truehealthct.com/2011/how-to-beat-seasonal-allergies-naturally/

http://www.campanellahealthcenter.com/chiropractic-treatments/chiropractic-care-can-lead-to-seasonal-allergy-relief/

Stickin’ it Tue You: Acupuncture to Treat Seasonal Allergies

Acupuncture can help with seasonal allergies?  In a word, yes.  Acupuncture can effectively treat the full range of allergy symptoms including:  runny nose, itchy, watery eyes, sinus congestion, sinus pressure and sinus headaches, blocked ears, wheezing, and coughing.  Acupuncture is also effective at treating sinus infections that result from allergies.

Acupuncture can also treat secondary conditions that occur during allergy season such as eczema, hives and asthma.

The Asthma and Allergy foundation estimates that close to 40 million people are affected by allergies and that 30% of Americans suffer specifically from ragweed allergies, commonly known as hayfever.

Some of the most common allergy triggers are pollen, dust mites, pet dander, mold and ragweed.  The pollen comes out early in the spring while ragweed typically arrives later in the summer.

So what actually causes your allergy symptoms?

When you have allergies, your body considers the allergen a threat, and triggers the immune system to begin attacking the foreign invader.  This cascade of events leads to a release of histamine from mast cells.  The histamine is responsible for the allergy symptoms you experience.  To combat this, allergy medications contain anti-histamines to reduce the immune system response and lessen the severity of symptoms.

Antihistamines work well for short-term relief associated with allergy symptoms, however, they may have potential side effects such as drowsiness, headache, dry nose and mouth.  Before you begin using an anti-histamine medication, it’s important that you inform your doctor about other medications you may be taking to avoid interactions.  The downsides of antihistamines is they do not treat the cause of your allergies.

In addition to treating your symptoms, acupuncture has the ability to improve your immune system to make you less reactive to your allergy triggers over time.  In Chinese medicine, we call this treating the root (the cause) and the branch (symptoms).   In this case, the root is an over-sensitive immune system and the branch is the symptoms you experience every allergy season.

Acupuncture as a treatment is effective at opening the nasal passages, reducing inflammation in the sinus cavity and promoting drainage of the mucous congestion.  Acupuncture also helps to relieve itchy, watery eyes and headaches.  Acupuncture can help to open the lungs to improve breathing, wheezing and coughing.

In addition to acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine is effective in the treatment of allergies.  Many Chinese herbal medicinals have anti-inflammatory properties, can boost the immune system and drain the sinus cavities.

Adding acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine to your treatment regimen is a safe and effective way to treat your allergy symptoms.  The important thing to remember is that your treatment will help you not only this season, but also in future allergy seasons.

Here are some things you can try on your own to help your allergies:

  • If the pollen count is high, keep your windows closed
  • Change your clothes after being outdoors
  • Invest in an air purifier with a hepa filter
  • Keep your house free of dust as much as possible
  • Use hypo-allergenic sheets and pillow cases if necessary
  • Use a neti-pot to keep your sinuses open

If your current treatments are not working effectively enough, call (304) 263-4927 to  find out more about how acupuncture can help you.

Source: http://www.fivepointsacupuncture.com/allergies-and-acupuncture/

Acupuncture: Alternative Medicine Eases Sinuses

ManSinusHeadacheCSPwebAs cooler temperatures continue through the fall season, the rise of acute or chronic sinus cases increases. According to the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 30 million people have been diagnosed with chronic sinusitis.

When traditional treatment for sinus issues such as antibiotics, nasal sprays, and even surgery have not been successful in relieving the symptoms, many a have turned to Eastern Medicine such as acupuncture as a viable alternative and found relief.

Signs and Symptoms of Sinusitis

The symptoms of acute and chronic sinusitis are similar. Chronic sinusitis usually does not cause fever, and its symptoms last longer. Chronic sinusitis is most common in people who have allergies.

  • Pain or pressure in your forehead, temples, cheeks, nose, and behind your eyes
  • Nasal congestion
  • Nasal discharge (yellow or green)
  • Postnasal drip (a sensation of fluid dripping down the back of your throat, particularly at night or when lying down)
  • Toothache
  • Cough, often worse at night
  • Sore throat
  • Fever
  • Bad breath
  • Loss of sense of smell
  • Fatigue
  • General sense of not feeling well (malaise)

Causes

Sinusitis usually follows an upper respiratory infection (such as a cold) or an allergic reaction (such as hay fever or allergic rhinitis). These can cause inflammation and swelling that keeps the sinuses from draining properly. When sinuses become blocked, they provide a place for bacteria, viruses, and fungus to live and grow rapidly. Although a cold is most often the culprit, anything that prevents the sinuses from draining can cause sinusitis.

Other common causes for sinusitis include:

  • Allergies (such as hay fever, cigarette smoke, and dry air, pollutants)
  • Changes in air pressure (for example, from swimming or climbing high altitudes)

In Chinese acupuncture treatment, very thin needles are inserted into the skin at certain points to allow energy flow between the body’s meridian. This can relieve sinus pressure, open nasal passage and relieve aches and pain associated with sinusitis.

Acupuncture has been able to treat sinusitis in early stages and complement with other Western medicine treatments in latter stages of sinus infection.

Acute sinusitis is usually curable. If you have recurrent attacks, you should be evaluated for underlying causes (such as nasal polyps or another structural problem, i.e. deviated septum).

References:

http://health.usnews.com/health-news/news/articles/2012/03/21/alternative-medicine-may-help-ease-chronic-sinusitis

http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/condition/sinusitis

http://www.acupuncturetoday.com/archives2003/apr/04cohen.html