(NaturalNews) While the best thing about spring may be open to debate: the warmer weather, beautiful flowers, picnics; the worst thing is nearly always unanimous: seasonal allergies. Prescription and over-the-counter medications are widely available, but do nothing to help overall health and prevention of allergies, plus come with a host of side effects. Natural remedies such as acupuncture, however, not only clear symptoms of allergies, but they also help the body come into balance: clearing the underlying condition causing allergies and improving overall health.
Seasonal allergies occur when someone reacts to the pollen of flowers in trees, grasses and weeds, and causes symptoms such as itchy eyes, sneezing, runny nose, headaches, and fatigue.(1)
Although western medications are available, even over the counter, they come with their own host of side effects, one being temporary loss of smell and taste. Other side effects include headache, fatigue, wheezing and abdominal pain.(2) Plus, medications do nothing to improve health and prevent further allergies.
Allergies are a sign of an imbalance in the immune system. Balancing and strengthening the body can be the best thing to decrease or even rid oneself of seasonal allergies altogether.
Some natural tips include:
Eat local, seasonal foods. This keeps us in tune and in balance with the natural cycles around us.
Eat local honey, and - if you do not have a reaction to it, test by having only a tiny granule at first - local bee pollen. The local honey and bee pollen is made from pollen of local flowers, in a form that is utilized by the body. Thus, when the body is later exposed in the environment, the immune system does not see it as an invader and react against it.
Take a regular multivitamin/mineral supplement year round to ensure that your body is functioning at its best.
Eat more raw foods, especially in the warmer months. This puts us in tune with the seasons, and helps our body function at its best.
Take a homeopathic allergy remedy. Homeopathic medicine works by matching the vibration of your symptoms to a particular remedy. When the vibrations match, they cancel the symptoms out and improve overall health.
Acupuncture is a great way both to treat symptoms of seasonal allergies, and to bring the body into balance so one need not suffer seasonal allergies in the future.
Acupuncture helps the sufferer of allergies in two main ways:
Alleviates symptoms such as itchy eyes, stuffiness, headaches and fatigue, and
Brings the body into balance.
Acupuncture is excellent at treating symptoms of allergies. Many allergy symptoms are located above the neck, that is, in the head (stuffiness, headache, itchy eyes, etc.) This means the energy is not flowing smoothly from the head into the rest of the body, and vice versa. All the yang meridians flow from the hands up to the head, or from the head down to the feet. We need to open the channels in the neck and shoulders and allow the energy to flow.
Acupuncture can also treat the symptoms very locally: by placing small, sterile needles right on points of pain or symptoms like the head or side of nose, allowing the stuck energy to dissipate and move more smoothly throughout the body.
Secondly, though most importantly, acupuncture helps balance the body in general. This is done by taking a complete intake and doing a complete assessment of every client who comes for treatment. Acupuncturists treat very specifically and individually, making sure the underlying cause of allergies (and any other symptoms) are cleared. When the body is in balance, symptoms disappear and health is restored. This is the main benefit of acupuncture: bringing a person into balance so that the body may heal itself of any ailment physically, mentally or emotionally.
While allergies can put a damper on enjoying the best the season holds, there is natural relief for allergy sufferers. And the relief need not be temporary. In fact, when the body is brought to a higher level of health, we enjoy renewed energy, flexibility and joy of living.
Melissa Sokulski is an acupuncturist, herbalist, and founder of the website Food Under Foot, a website devoted entirely to wild edible plants. The website offers plant descriptions, photographs, videos, recipes and more. Her new workbook, Wild Plant Ally, offers an exciting, hands-on way to learn about wild edible plants. Melissa also runs The Birch Center for Health in Pittsburgh, PA, providing the best in complementary health care: acupuncture, therapeutic massage and herbal medicine.