Today, let’s take a break from the inflammatory series to address an emergency in Portland —you need to start getting acupuncture to treat your allergies. Now. This week, KATU reports that your very own Eugene (and Portland is close behind) is the worst place in the country to live if you have seasonal allergies. The good news is that acupuncture will help you, and without the pesky negative side effects of all those medications you’re trying. If you live in Portland, wait no longer — go online today and schedule your acupuncture appointment and start finally getting a handle on your allergies.
It’s a jungle out there. I know how you feel — you love to look out your window and see the lush green landscape, but somewhere in the back of your mind the sight also brings up fear. Those beautiful sweet-smelling little white flowers outside my kitchen window — ugh! I hate those flowers.
I have dreams of cutting my neighbor’s tree down during the night because I am sooooo allergic to those flowers.
Can you relate?
I know that all those gorgeous pollen-filled plants can conspire to make my life miserable. Many of you reading this right now are in the same position. I know because almost all of my acupuncture patients (even those who never have allergy issues) are coming in and complaining of itchy, burning eyes, sneezing, sinus headaches, fatigue.
Allergy sufferers in Portland, Oregon, I have witnessed the misery your allergies bring you, and you no longer need to suffer.
You have terrible spring allergies, and a shelf-full of allergy medication that only moderately helps while leaving you exhausted. You wish you could find something effective without the negative side effects to help you through this season.
If you want to learn to love flowers and trees, if you want to be able to sit in the freshly mowed grass without the subsequent 2 days of misery, read on for my 3 tips to beating the allergy blues (greens!).
Heal your Gut
The most important thing you need to know is that much of the key to preventing your allergic responses lies in your gut.
If you are suffering from bloating, gas, loose stools, constipation or heartburn, there is something wrong in your digestive system. If you have too much mucous, a runny nose and itchy eyes, then you likely have something wrong with your gut. All of these things are signs of inflammation, and allergies are an inflammatory response.
You can’t live a life devoid of pollens (and why would you want to?), but you can lower the inflammatory burden in your body. How? By healing your gut so that your immune system can better handle the pollen around you.
Just as an example, one of my trigger foods is tomatoes. I am not allergic to tomatoes, but they do cause inflammation in my body. Let’s put inflammation on a point system, and we’ll pretend that when my inflammation reaches 100 points I have an allergy attack. Let’s say my baseline is 40. Suppose eating salsa adds another 30 points of inflammation, bringing me to 70. If that day corresponds with a day that has high grass allergens (let’s say another 50 points), then I am in attack phase. If I hadn’t eaten the salsa, my overall inflammatory load would still be below the level of allergy attack.
In essence that is what happens to your body when you eat foods that cause inflammation: your threshold is lowered.
One of the simplest ways to get these foods out of your diet is to eat an anti-inflammatory diet. What works for one person does not work for all people, so if you want help finding a customized diet, contact me. The anti-inflammatory diet cuts out the foods that cause the most sensitivities.
Follow this link to my website to find a basic outline of an anti-inflammatory diet. You can also check out my anti-inflammatory board on Pinterest for recipe ideas that are delicious and healthy.
There are mountains of research that prove that stress is inflammatory. Recall the above example of how tomatoes increase my inflammatory baseline? Replace “tomatoes” with “stress,” and you’ll get a good idea of how stress can impact your allergies. Recent studies show an increase in allergy attacks in people when their stress levels are high. Makes sense, right? Now what are you supposed to do about it?
Quit your job? Maybe. Less dramatically, try things like exercise, meditation, getting plenty of sleep, taking up a hobby that makes you happy. It sounds trite, but finding ways to get happy is one of the best ways to deal with your stress. The more you ignore stress, the worse it will affect your life and your health. If you want some specifics in how to get more exercise into your day, how to improve your sleep, and the basics of starting a meditation practice, go to my homepage and download my free ebook, 5 Simple Ways to Improve your Health Today (http://www.solsticeacupuncture.com).
The Academy of Otolaryngology (study of diseases of the nose and throat) now recommends acupuncture as a part of treating seasonal allergies. This, from their new guidelines: Acupuncture may help relieve symptoms and improve quality of life for people with perennial allergic rhinitis, and may help with seasonal allergies. too, according to several studies. Thus it could be an option for people looking for non-pharmaceutical treatments.
Dr. Sandra Lin, Johns Hopkins associate professor of otolaryngology and one of the guideline offers says,”I’m telling you there is some evidence base for it.”
You could change your diet and reducing your stress, but if you want to feel better fast go straight to acupuncture. If you come in for treatment, you’ll likely get some relief from just one session, and the results will compound as treatment goes on. During your sessions, we can talk about possible dietary changes and how you can incorporate some de-stressing routines into your life to further enhance your overall effects. Just stop suffering already and schedule an appointment! Learn to love the greenery, smell the roses, and put your toes in the grass.