Washington DC is beautiful in the spring. Flowers, trees, bushes, sunshine, green grass bursting out everywhere. If only we could breathe among all this beauty!
Seasonal allergies provide the soundtrack to springtime in Washington. Sniff. Sniff. Snort. Pant. Schnuffle. Pant. Wheeze. Honk. Honk.
Fortunately, here at Freed Bodyworks we are blessed with an abundance of tricks to help you survive the glory that is spring.
Renata Maniaci (energy work, bodywork)
There are a few great Healing Touch (energy clearing technique) techniques that are effective in breaking up congestion and clearing the sinuses. Particularly the Ultrasound and Mind Clearing techniques.
Spiritual Response Therapy (energetic clearing of the spiritual body) has been quite effective for me personally in clearing the roots of certain allergies, which has prevented these reactions from reoccurring!
Laura Wurst (bodywork)
Therapeutic Hot Stone massage activates the circulatory system and relaxes tissue which allows lymph and other elements to move away from problem areas. Your sinuses can then drain freely.
Aromatherapy (the use of essential oils via scent/combined with massage) is also a gentle tool to help manage allergy side effects. Not only does it help relieve sinus pain and pressure, but essential oils help strengthen our immune system!
Trigger point release is super helpful! The point above the canine teeth helps to drain sinuses and relieve pain. A point in the mid-forehead helps your cranial bones move and helps sinuses to drain. For pain that wraps over the head or behind the eyes, the points on the sternocleidomastoid (neck) are also worth checking out!
Kelly Bowers (bodywork)
Ear candling can relieve some of the ear pressure associated with sinus congestion but, no, it won’t “clear out” your ear wax. (If you want to try ear candling, email Kelly ahead and she will make sure to have supplies available.) Gentle compression on the occiput (base of the skull) can open up the sinuses temporarily. There’s also some places near the inside corners of the eyes and on the edges of the nose that help.
If being face-down is too much for your over-worked sinuses, ask your therapist to work with you face-up or lying on your side.
Aviva Pittle (reflexology)
There are several reflexology points that can potentially help with seasonal allergies, including points for the immune system, lungs, and sinuses. Several times I've been doing reflexology sessions where the client exclaimed that their sinuses had just cleared, without even knowing those were the points I was working on. You can also treat your own sinus reflexes to see if it helps--just press in the center of each fingertip, and try the same on the tips of your toes.
Ingrid Benecke (holistic nutrition)
Increase leafy greens as an immune booster. Drink green tea as a natural antihistamine. Consuming cayenne, fenugreek, and ginger can all help during the allergy season as well.
If allergies are a chronic interruption in your Spring season, try an elimination diet that removes sugar, dairy, and grain which can often help relieve allergy symptoms. Keeping a food diary is a helpful tool to determine if certain foods are worsening allergy symptoms.
If you want to make your home less friendly to allergens, remove carpeting or use a carpet cleaner to remove deeply embedded allergens.
Karen Culpepper (herbalism)
Do some spring cleaning. Get rid of things that no longer serve to make room for new abundance and clean your space from top to bottom. Dust be gone AND open those windows and let the fresh air in.
Hands down, my favorite herb for allergy seasons is stinging nettles. I suggest starting it during the winter season, but it is never too late.
Use a neti pot throughout the season, not just during an acute infection. Rinse with clean water with a pinch of sea salt or himalayan salt. Or, with the help of an herbal medicine practitioner, use a custom herbal tea, formulated for your particular needs, as the wash.
Incorporating raw, local honey into the diet can also help but make sure it’s local because the relationship to the local pollens is what makes this strategy helpful.
Frances Reed (bodywork, owner)
When seasonal allergies lead to sinus pressure and headaches, massage on the face and head can relieve pressure giving relief and, for some, helping the body to better clear sinus cavities.
An allergy headache can cause pain at your temples and fatigue in your brow. Massage can relax these muscles and allow them to be in a rest position which will downgrade headache pain. It's temporary as you will begin rebuilding the tension as the allergies continue to agitate you but during allergy season getting temporary relief can make the difference between utter irritability and maintaining decent treatment of family and coworkers as you sniffle and blow your way through the season.