April Showers Bring May Flowers + A Whole Bunch of Allergies
The weather is finally heating up with color returning to the grey environment through Winter. But now your wardrobe now consists of layers for the daily ups and downs in temperature, and plenty of pockets to keep Kleenex at the ready. I can’t think of a more fitting time to tell you my favorite ways to handle seasonal allergies and get back to enjoying spring.
Preventatively there are supplements that you can add to your routine to prime your body to handle allergens like a champ. Quercetin or my favorite supplement containing quercetin, D-Hist, is amazing to add to a supplement routine if you have allergies. Quercetin has antihistamine effects. Get nerdy with me for a moment. Histamines are the part of the immune system that rushes to our allergens and usher them out of the body. Think of them as your allergen bouncers. If those allergens get too rowdy and make too much of a mess they latch onto them and show them the exit. Allergies and the symptoms that go along with them come from an immune system that is overreacting to the allergens and producing way too many histamines (soldiers). If you lower the histamine response in the immune system, you lower the symptoms of allergies.
Local, Raw Honey
Local, raw honey is literal gold for handling allergies. Honey that is raised within 50 miles of your home contains the allergens that we are exposed to. So eating local honey is basically a natural allergy shot that exposes your body to a small amount of the allergen so your immune system can see it, learn it, and not overreact the next time it sees it. Plus honey naturally contains some quercetin so it’s a win-win.
Now once those allergies set in we need some tips to handle the nasty symptoms that go with it. The worse part of allergies for many is the whole head congestion that goes with allergies. You know that feeling that your head is about to explode. So once allergies hit, these are great ways to open up the sinuses and allowing them to drain. Sinus massage is amazing for doing just that, and easy to do at home. Place your index and middle fingers on your forehead just above the inside of your eyebrows and rub in gentle circles working outwards to your temples. Then move your fingers to the bridge of your nose and do the same circles moving up to the temples. This gentle massage allows you to get into the sinuses and break up congestion. If you want to improve the process use a hot compress on top of your sinuses before massaging.
Chiropractic adjustments are also amazing at releasing tension from the neck and head so once you get all the congestion moving it can drain properly out of your head. Plus as a chiropractor myself, I can tell you that I do sinus work every single day on practice members that are doing all the things but need a little extra oomph.
Lastly, nasal rinsing with a neti pot or something similar. Not only does this flush mucus out of the sinuses, but it also flushes any lingering allergens that you came in contact with during the day. As we breathe in pollen and allergens all day some of it gets trapped in the sinuses prolonging the reaction because you are literally carrying it around with you. A nasal rinse flushes all of that out.
Allergies are awful, there is no doubt about that. But by taking proactive and reactive steps to handle them going forward makes life a heck of a lot easier. Now go enjoy the weather and the beautiful May flowers, and maybe you can leave the wad of Kleenex behind.
About the Author
Dr. Miranda Overbergen is a family wellness advocate and chiropractor who works with families to guide them in a health journey that leads to healthy nervous systems and reaching their goals in health and life. She co-owns Cultivate Chiropractic with her sister Dr. Katelyn in Altoona where they empower the lives of people they touch in health and connection. She tackles life alongside her husband, Steven in Altoona.