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Getting relief from spring allergies.


Roberta Mittman

Getting relief from spring allergies begins with understanding how your own body works and making a conscious decision to take control. Yes, you can do something to help your situation. Suffering is optional when you apply the 3Rs technique: Recognize, Reframe, and Reclaim.
RECOGNIZE what's going on. Start by taking stock of your situation: What are you feeling at this time of year? Can you pinpoint what substances trigger allergy symptoms for you? Then ask yourself what you have done about it in the past that has actually worked: What lessens your symptoms, and what relieves them completely?

REFRAME your thoughts and actions. Look at the title of this article again. I promised you FIVE solutions. All of them come from the critical reframing step. Reframing means getting to the nuts and bolts of relief by changing how you think about the problem: Don't assume you have no control. Here are some patient-proven attitudes to adopt that will help you find allergy solutions.
  • I can make changes to my environment. No, I don't think you should become a hermit. But it can be very helpful to avoid outside air during the hours that pollens are most active, usually 5 am to 10 am. Installing a HEPA air filter in your home can remove 90 percent of the irritants in your indoor environment. Vacuuming regularly and keeping windows closed will further limit what gets into your home. And don't forget to wash your hair and change your clothes to remove pollen you've carried in yourself after exposure to the Great Outdoors.

  • I can make changes to the way I eat. Sugar increases the body's inflammatory response, which in turn can exacerbate the immune system's allergic reactions. But did you know that there are specific foods that can make your allergies worse? Apples, pears, peaches, cherries, and, for some people, milk, can aggravate symptoms. Best to eat other fruits and vegetables to get your vitamin C this time of year.

  • I can try new techniques to reduce discomfort. Acupuncture, natural sensitivity-reducing techniques, and electrodermal screening are just a few examples of old and new modalities that have helped others combat allergy challenges.

  • I can try natural, patient-tested supplements. Quercetin, stinging nettle (not to worry, it's in a capsule), and butterbur are among the natural remedies that have been shown to be successful in some patients. If you have a more serious condition, such as asthma, see your doctor first to clear the way for taking synergistic, natural remedies. The ultimate goal, is for you is to feel well enough to take less medication.

  • I can think differently about my allergies. Yes, allergies may be a "cross to bear" in the spring, but studies show that reducing stress and anxiety can help ease the discomfort of allergies. Guided meditation, exercise and yoga, and NET (neuro-emotional technique) can all help in your efforts to feel calmer and more balanced. RECLAIM the health you deserve. Find the activities that bring you a sense of fun, accomplishment, and comfort during the allergy season. Know that you are taking responsibility for the way you're feeling, and congratulate yourself for that. With consistent and diligent action, you may soon be on the way to a spring with far fewer symptoms. But it starts with a commitment on your part. Make that decision today!