Normally, I manage my three weeks of allergic misery with excessive medication and multiple failed attempts at properly using a Neti Pot. It's a rough few weeks — I feel rough, I look rough and my anger towards trees is excessive.
That's why I was so intrigued when my acupuncturist, Diane Hartenstein, suggested we try acupuncture points to ease my symptoms. "During spikes of mold or pollen densities in the air, our bodies react by releasing histamines," she explained. "Histamines are important to our immune systems, but they can also trigger lots of annoying inflammatory symptoms." She further explained that allergy symptoms run the gamut, from a runny nose and itchy eyes to sneezing and sinus pressure, but they're all caused by inflammation in the body. "Acupuncture is an effective way to reduce inflammation, so patients often notice relief from allergies during their first treatment."
My allergy treatment consisted of several acupuncture points in my ear, and Hartenstein also used a scraping technique on my upper back to ease my allergy pain and general fatigue. Guys, it worked. My symptoms eased and haven't returned since treatment.
Interestingly, Hartenstein further explained that allergy sufferers may not need to visit an acupuncturist to achieve similar results. "Massaging the ears at home can really help with allergies," she said. "There are several potent points that correspond to all areas of the body, including the eyes, nose and face."
If you're interested in Hartenstein's at-home acupressure regimen, she suggested the following techniques to minimize inflammation and loosen mucus:
She also suggested that allergy sufferers drink Traditional Medicinals Breathe Easy tea to further open the nasal passages, and to dilute three drops of eucalyptus essential oil in a dime-sized blob of lotion before applying under the nose, and on the chest, fronts of shoulders and inner wrists.
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