Keeping Seasonal Allergies At Bay

Keeping Seasonal Allergies at Bay

As we enjoy this incredible spring weather in Chicagoland, I am noticing that many of you are affected by seasonal allergies. Read below for a few tips to manage your allergies:

1)  When you’re symptomatic, avoid all sugar, dairy, and carbs (i.e. pasta, bread, etc). These products assist the body in forming mucous, so avoid them at all costs!

2)  Drink plenty of water. To find out how many ounces of water you need to consume each day, see my previous post on the “Hydration Calculation.” Water also helps our body flush away toxins and excess waste, including mucous.

3)  Acupuncture is a great way to decrease your symptoms and actually treat the cause of a problem. This type of Chinese Medicine focuses on the balance between our energy pathways. Sinus congestion or allergy symptoms would indicate a stagnation of the flow of energy in one or more of the major pathways. During the change of a season, it is considered a “weak point” for our body in Traditional Chinese Medicine which means it’s also the best time to get in for a treatment.

4)  Many people report improvement of their symptoms with the use of a Neti Pot. This is a nasal irrigating device that flushes mucus and debris from the nose and is readily available at any health food store.

5)  Herbal Steam Bath for Sinus Congestion –  boil 8 cups distilled (i.e. chemical free) water in a large pot. Then, transfer to a large glass bowl, and add 8 drops of Eucalyptus Oil (readily available at any health food store). Sit in front of the bowl, with a towel over your head and your face a safe distance from the water. The steam will become trapped, and you will be able to breathe in the eucalyptus vapors. Every few minutes, take a break to blow your nose. Stop when the water has cooled, and repeat daily until symptoms resolve.

6)  Place a dot of Eucalyptus Oil just under your nose and breathe deeply. This oil has powerful anti inflammatory and decongesting properties! Repeat several times throughout the day.

7)  Stimulate the Acu-point that controls our entire face and head. It’s called “Large Intestine 4” and it’s located in that lump of skin between our thumb and first finger. Rub this point with moderate pressure for 30 seconds, break for 30 seconds, and repeat several times.

Spring time for me means putting my running shoes back on…. I hope you are all enjoying the fresh air as much as I am. Dr. Kristen

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The “Hydration Calculation”

As summer quickly approaches, we are all excited to spend some time outdoors! With the additional heat and activity, I am reminded of how important water is to our bodies. If you divide your weight in half, that is equal to the ounces per day of water that you will need to consume…. And add a little more if you exercise.

All other beverages (i.e. coffee, soda, tea, energy drinks, carbonated waters, etc.) are dehydrating to the body because they contain varying levels of caffeine.  And, no, any beverage that require you to add a packet of flavor or are bright colored already (i.e. Gatorade) does NOT count – its pure sugar and harms the body!

To calculate your level of hydration: subtract the ounces of “other” beverages you drink per day from the amount of water you drink per day. If you find that these numbers don’t add up – cut out your “other” beverages or increase your water intake to allow for the dehydration that’s occurring!