Tis the season of allergies that is. You can’t take it anymore! All this pollen flying around is very frustrating and has got you wondering why all this inflammation is occurring inside you. Secretly you pull out old pathology text books to get a clearer understanding of immunoglobulins and find that IgE hypersensitivity is the reason your body is releasing a vasoactive substance called histamine. You hate histamine because it is making you sneeze, cough, itch your eyes incessantly (you kind of enjoy this because it feels good to itch), and worst of all your nose just runs and runs like a leaky faucet.
The in-thing to do is to take some antihistamine medication like Claritin or Allegra and maybe snort some steroids up your nose, but its a good thing you don’t like to follow the crowds. So you start to observe your lifestyle and diet to see how they might be influencing your allergy symptoms. Most people won’t acknowledge the relationship between food sensitivities and seasonal allergies but there are people out there, acupuncturists and doctors practicing functional medicine, that are now talking about the harmful effects of foods like gluten and sugar and other processed foods. They say that these foods can cause systemic low grade chronic inflammation in the body, and this puts a burden on the immune system and therefore weakening it. You think for a minute how could my immune system be weak and hypersensitive to pollen at the same time? By surfing around the internet you find more about this very subject and realize you are not crazy, there are health practitioners screaming about this. They shout out saying that, “your body does not need to go into a hypersensitive state every time you inhale pollen! Your immune system, as long it is not overloaded by handling inflammation elsewhere in the body such as the gut, will be able to handle pollen without releasing histamine from a mast cell!”
Okay, so then you do it. You begin eliminating processed food and sugars and wheat and all the other crap from your diet. You also start right away with acupuncture with your local acupuncturist to help you along with this process:-) He suggests a detox to go along with the diet and to help improve gut barrier function. The diet basically consists of raw or slow cooked veggies to keep the enzymes and nutrients intact as well as organic grass fed meats, some healthy wild caught fish like salmon or halibut, a little bit of fruit for a sweet treat, and water, definitely water. Actually you take your acupuncturists recommendation of drinking 2 glasses 1st thing in the morning, 1 glass 1/2 hour before meals, and 1 glass 1/2 hour before bed. This works and keeps you hydrated. You also take a few supplements to help with strengthening the immune system and some natural antihistamines also recommended by your acupuncturist.
It’s working! You realize as you are walking around town and watching the pollen float by and think, “looks like snow,” with a confused look on your face because you were daydreaming. And then, “Wow, that stuff is everywhere! I need to figure out how to get this out of my nasal passages.” You remember back to when you went to a yoga retreat at the Himalayan Institute and you came home with a kneeling stool to meditate with and something called a Neti Pot. At home you find it in the cabinet above the sink, mix the appropriate salt and water combo and stick the nozzle up one nostril. The water/salt solution goes up and in the right nostril and down and out the left nostril. The acupuncturist suggested not tilting your head too much to avoid getting water into your eustachian tube. Then you breath, deeply through your clean nostrils and it feels like new life.
Chanting, Breathing, Meditation
With the kneeling stool you purchased you kneel at your alter and chant and meditate. Nothing too crazy, just some Om’s and some breathing practices to begin. The chanting you notice stimulates your nasal bones and helps with decongestion and the breathing practices make you more aware of your breath and you lose all track of time as you slip into mediation. “That was nice” you think because of the relaxed feeling your are feeling in your heart and body. “I think I will do that on a regular basis, once in the morning to start things off right, and once at night to clear my mind of the day and sleep better.” All this meditation is also helping with decreasing stress and emotional burdens, which you remember reading somewhere can play a role in decreasing immune function and therefore making you more reactive to seasonal allergies.
Naturally, since you are doing so well with all these recommendations, you want to share your story with others, so you write up a little blog post and….. The whole reading audience improves their diet by eliminating processed foods and sugars, wheat, and all the other crap, begins cleaning their nostrils with a neti pot, starts getting some acupuncture, begins a 2-3 week detox program, starts chanting Om to naturally decongest, begins meditating daily to lessen the impact stress and emotional burden can have on weakening the immune system. And everyone lives happier and healthier without seasonal allergy symptoms and they begin to think collectively, “I wonder if I should rip up the carpets in my home, throw out all the cleaners with harsh chemicals and start cleaning with vinegar and water?”
Thanks for sharing your experience!
Truth in Health,
JS Wellness LLC