The trees are budding, the temperature is rising (at least in the East), and--
Seasonal allergies have arrived. But I'm here today to tell you it is entirely possible to tackle spring's irritants head-on--and feel much more comfortable this season.
You really can put severe congestion, fatigue, sneezing, and itchy, watery eyes in the past if you take it one baby step at a time. The key to managing a significant change is to adopt just one new idea each day. Ready to pick one? Here are my top 5 quick fixes for navigating allergies.
Fix 1: Your Indoor Air
How much time do you spend in your bedroom? Hopefully, you are sleeping at least 7 hours a night. That's a lot of hours to be breathing in dust, mold, and pollens. Invest in a HEPA air filter for your room. With clean air, your sleep will improve, and the allergy load you are placing on your body will substantially decrease. Can't afford it today? Then vacuum your room well and often. Mission accomplished.
Fix 2: Your Pillows
Keeping dust mites away will quickly minimize aggravation of your symptoms. If you can't remember the last time you replaced your pillows, you're probably way overdue. Also, what are you covering them with? Allergy prevention pillowcases, I hope.
Fix 3: Alternative Medicine
Naturally! As a board-certified, licensed acupuncturist, I am understandably prejudiced toward acupuncture. This ancient practice helps reduce inflammation and boost the body's immunity, fighting off those offending airborne invaders. Recent studies have pointed to the effectiveness of regular acupuncture treatments for allergy relief.
Other natural options for relief include herbal and nutritional supplements (think stinging nettle, quercetin, vitamin C, and bromelain, among others) and natural desensitization techniques, such as NAET (Nambudripad's Allergy Elimination Technique ).
Fix 4: Your Eating
I always encourage mindful, healthful eating choices, but I am especially adamant about it during allergy season. Here's why: Sugar increases the risk of inflammation and infection while colorful fruits and vegetables supply antioxidants that strengthen your body's defenses. Sounds like an easy switch to me! Eat across the rainbow, and you'll be naturally providing your body with ammunition for its battle against irritants.
Fix 5: Irrigation
A neti pot and a gentle saline solution is the classic way to literally rinse away irritants from your nasal passages. Are you one of the many who just can't warm up to the idea? No worries...there are options besides the neti pot. Check your local drugstore for a plastic squeeze irrigator (they even come with ready-to-use saline packets) or natural saline nasal sprays. These methods are all safe and effective to use throughout the allergy season. That was easy.
Did you choose a technique yet? Please do--not tomorrow, not later today, but right now. There! Your one allergy-busting measure may not seem like much at first, but it's so significant. Not only are you making a step toward relief of symptoms; you're doing something wonderful for your wellbeing, too. Simply making that decision--taking control--generates a tremendous positive difference in your energy and overall health.