Late summer is ragweed season and it is also the time of year that “hay fever ” sufferers tend to stay indoors until the first killing frost. If this is your “modus operandi”, please read on. There are healthy, lasting solutions to your allergies, thanks to Chinese medicine.
More than one in six Canadians suffer from hay fever, known as seasonal allergic rhinitis, which is associated with the release of pollen from trees, flowers and grasses each spring and summer. Common symptoms include itchy eyes, nose and throat, sneezing, runny nose, nasal congestion and breathing problems.
Allergic reactions are said to occur when the immune system launches an attack against otherwise harmless substances. What causes this over the top response from the immune system is still unclear but our genetic make-up is seen as the greatest contributing factor. Indeed, if either or both parents have allergies, their children inherit a 60-65% chance of developing them too.
Your Immune System
The immune system is often weakened with stress, fatigue, poor diet and lack of physical exercise. Combine these factors with the increased exposure to harsh chemicals in the environment and it is no wonder that allergies of all kinds are actually on the rise in the Canadian population.
Two of the more popular treatments available to allergy sufferers are over the counter medications or immunotherapy, (allergy shots). Thankfully, other options exist for those who no longer wish to endure the side effects from medications or those who have difficulty adhering to the 3-5 year allergy shot regimen.
Here are my top 4 ways to get the jump on allergies naturally.
1). Get Acupuncture.
A series of treatments just before or during allergy season will reduce your symptoms and strengthen your immune system. Need more convincing? The World Health Organization recommends acupuncture as an effective way to treat allergies.
2). Eliminate Dairy Products
An important reduction in symptoms can be had by simply cutting back on dairy products. I mean all dairy; milk, cheese yogurt and even Kefir, as the presence of dairy in the body exacerbates the overproduction of mucous and phlegm.
3). Vitamin C
Mega doses of ascorbic acid supplements (vitamin C) have been shown to strengthen the immune system. In fact, studies have proven its use can protect against colds and flu. (source : Pub Med) See your health care professional for dosage.
4). Manage your Stress
Stress management has also proven to be an important means of coping with allergies. In fact, research over the past 30 years has demonstrated a link between chronic stress and suppression of the immune system. The practice of restorative yoga, meditation or Qi Gong, an ancient self-healing system, can calm the nervous system and reduce the stress response, thus protecting and supporting the immune system.