For some people, spring and summer is the worst time of the year. Instead of enjoying the best things of being outside, you may suffer from any of these symptoms:
itchy nose and throat
irritation of the eyes and crying
headache and runny nose
Understanding Hay Fever: Two Different Perspectives
Let’s look at 2 stories behind this:
Story 1 - The Common Understanding of Hay Fever
These are the symptoms of hay fever caused when a person has an allergic reaction to pollen, and if you have these symptoms, you are not alone, it's one of the most common allergic conditions. It's thought that pollen contains proteins that can cause the nose, eyes and throat to become inflamed and cause irritation.
It usually begins in childhood or adolescence and is more common in boys than girls. But adults, men and women are equally affected. It is more likely if there is a family history of allergies, especially asthma or eczema.
There is currently no cure for this type of allergy, but most people are able to relieve symptoms with treatment, at least to some extent.
Story 2 - A Unique Perspective: The Ancient Chinese Understanding of Allergies
There is a very simple idea about how nature interacts with our bodies that has been passed on to us by the ancient Chinese.
There is an idea of how natural elements like cold, wind and damp can enter your body and the further they penetrate, the more they disrupt how your body functions. We were designed to fight off these elements with a complex network of protective layers ensuring that what comes in is just as quickly removed.
Your skin is the first barrier and under it is a full ecosystem of tiny blood vessels and tissue beds which are designed to remove any foreign invader through the circulation of blood.
If this foreign element however moves deeper and if the larger vessels which connect these small branches are unable to remove it, it may remain.
If that’s the case, your body will sometimes block in the invading pathogen from causing any potential deeper damage and the blood flow around that tissue area subsequently changes. This locks in the external pathogen and unless you can get to that place with some kind of chemical or physical intervention to remove it, it remains there indefinitely.
This might sound alarming but it happens all the time! If your body didn’t do this, you’d be sick more than you’d be well.
So what this means for allergies is that natural phenomena like wind, cold and phlegm, can get lodged in the respiratory system, in particular in the sinus area. And your body, for whatever reason, can’t get rid of it. Perhaps the blood circulation around the sinus area is not what it should be, perhaps your body is or was exhausted when the pathogen came in.
This is the situation that many people have, suffering from allergic rhinitis or hay fever. There is something trapped either superficially or steadily deeper in your body. And you have to get rid of it.
How do you do that? Change the imbalance which caused this to happen in the first place.
You need to see the problem not as an external problem of weather conditions or pollen, but as an internal imbalance that has to change.
This is a very important concept. It is an internal problem, not an external problem. Unlike Story 1, pollen is not the problem. It’s the body's reaction to pollen or other allergens.
And if we see it from this perspective, it isn’t something which can’t be changed and you don’t have to live with it all your life!
Natural Remedies for Hay Fever: Changing the Body's Reaction
So what do we have to do to change the body's reaction to allergens?
Well the best thing is to make the changes before the season of your allergy. If I treat anyone, I start treatment in the winter to help prepare for spring.
Often you need to change your diet. The quality of many people's diet is very bad and this is reflected in the fact that allergies are getting worse.
Poor eating habits will weaken the digestive process in the stomach and will lead to an accumulation in the respiratory system and, in particular, in the nose.
1. Dietary Changes: The First Step in Hay Fever Remedies
In general, you need to follow certain dietary guidelines:
Do not overeat
Do not eat too many dairy products or fatty and processed foods or sugary foods.
Eat simple foods that are lightly cooked as in the traditional Mediterranean diet.
Eat more radishes, onions, watercress, garlic and ginger. These can help clear your sinus.
2. Exercise: A Natural Hay Fever Remedy
Do regular exercise, especially exercise that opens the chest area. Ideally this would be where the trunk swings sideways.
3. Quit Smoking: A Must for Hay Fever Relief
Stop smoking. If you smoke and have allergies. You must stop. There is no other way.
4. Emotional Expression: An Overlooked Aspect of Hay Fever Remedies
Express your emotions. Remember I said that external pathogens come in and get blocked into the tissue bed, well the same can happen to unexpressed emotion. Just think about it. When you experience an emotion what happens? Your body does something. This means that there is a physiological change which produces that emotion e.g. if you worry, your stomach feels tight. It is that physiological change that can become distorted and trapped.
5. Facial Gua Sha: A Natural Technique for Hay Fever Relief
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