Leaves are unfurling, flowers are blooming, the grass needs cutting every other day and the skies are thick with pollen. Spring and Summer are a living hell for those who suffer with seasonal allergies.
A blocked itchy nose, red irritated eyes, constant sneezing and a blocked and runny nose can make the Summer months a misery. Sufferers resort to a variety of across-the-counter remedies to dampen down their body’s allergic reaction to pollen but improvements are temporary and many are left feeling drowsy as a side-effect of the medicines and sprays they use.
A combination of acupuncture and nutritional support offers natural relief and a lessening of symptoms without unpleasant side-effects. Kay, a care agency director usually suffers from hay fever symptoms from February to September.
” The inside of my nose which is always dry and cracked and my sense of smell is affected. For as long as I can remember and certainly for the past fifteen to twenty years I have tried all manner of sprays and tablets.
” I wasn’t sure acupuncture would make a difference but as it was February and I was already sneezing constantly I was prepared to try anything.
” From my first session I could smell better and my nose was no longer dry and cracked. It’s been six months now and I am almost symptom free and have not yet used any medication.”
Kay’s positive response to acupuncture over 4-6 sessions was dramatic and long-lasting. She had a very demanding job and relieving her stress was a key part of her recovery.
The more stressed you are leading up to the hay fever season the worse your symptoms might be. We all have what’s called a ‘histamine bucket’ – stress, lack of sleep, alcohol, refined and sugary foods, toxins, animal hair, and moulds all add to our ‘histamine load’. The higher the ‘load’ leading up to the hay fever season the stronger our symptoms will be when it hits.
Acupuncture works by relieving stress, reducing the local effects of the allergic reaction to pollen by helping the mucous membranes inside the nose and sinuses to down regulate inflammation and reduce the production of mucous. Acupuncture points which support the adrenals, help the liver to detox and support the immune system have the best long-term effect.
Rest, good sleep, reducing stress; cutting down on sugar, often dairy and especially chocolate, coffee and other ‘high histamine’ foods like fermented and cured foods all greatly improve and reduce symptoms.
Also prepare for the hay fever season, most sufferers know which months affect them more severely. Reduce stress in preparation, eat more cleanly, follow a ‘low histamine diet’ in the lead up and during ‘your’ hay fever season and take natural anti-histamines like nettle, quercitin, bromelain and Vitamin C as well as DAO – Diamine Oxidase – the enzyme which breaks down histamine in the gut as well as histamine-degrading probiotics like Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Lactobacillus planetarium and reuteri.