If you suffer from seasonal allergies you are all too familiar with the annoying symptoms of sneezing, coughing, red itchy eyes, post-nasal drip, sore throat and ears, poor quality sleep and fatigue.
The primary culprit is pollen from trees, grass and weeds. But what is really happening when seasonal allergies act up? The immune system treats pollen as an irritant, a harmful substance. Any contact, inhalation or ingestion of this allergen is experienced as an attack.
In response, the immune system produces antibodies to fight this foreign invader. The antibodies induce immune cells to release inflammatory compounds including histamine, to go to battle.
The release of histamine (a defensive action) is meant to flush out the pollen. But in the process, it winds up irritating the airways making them swell which triggers those cold-like symptoms we hate so much.
The tragedy is pollen isn’t really harmful. The immune system mistakes the pollen spores for harmful invaders. It’s like the immune system gets confused between something harmless and something toxic. Allergy symptoms are caused by this exaggerated immune response. The immune system goes into overdrive to protect itself. But pollen isn’t something it needs protection from. It’s like a bad case of mistaken identity. This fact makes having seasonal allergies all the more frustrating.
What can you do to prevent or minimize the suffering caused by seasonal allergies?
Although there are many anti-allergy medications such as antihistamines, they don’t change the allergic process nor do they block the release of histamine. They merely block its expression. This perpetuates a cycle of immune over-responsiveness, allergic reaction, and a need for more medicine to alleviate symptoms. And powerful allergy drugs can produce unpleasant side effects ranging from drowsiness to depression. For some people antihistamines can cause even more alarming and potentially dangerous symptoms such as nervousness and heart palpitations. The best medicine would be no medicine.
All histamine related allergies have the potential to disappear.
Allergies are a learned reaction of the immune system. The exciting part is allergic reactions can also be unlearned. The immune system bridges the mind-body connection. Hypnosis and imagery work are excellent tools for mind-body interventions. Hypnosis is so effective at breaking habits, unwanted beliefs and patterns. Changing the immune system’s histamine response to pollen is no different.
Hypnosis creates a state of focused concentration as the body and mind relax and listen closely to specific messages. Understanding that pollen is actually harmless – the body can stop its mistaken histamine response to it. Teach the immune system that it can coexist peacefully with pollen and any hostile feelings toward pollen and seasonal allergies can be neutralized. This is especially useful for those who have suffered with longstanding seasonal allergies. The body is an efficient and creative machine. It does not waste energy unnecessarily.
Allergies cause inflammation in the body so an anti-inflammatory diet can also have a profound impact. Eating foods rich in antioxidants such as quercetin can help lessen inflammation. Quercetin acts like an anti-inflammatory and an antihistamine in the body. Deep, dark red and purple fruits are high in quercetin as are onions and garlic.
A high nutrient diet can create an environment in the body that promotes proper immune function and regulation of the inflammatory response, which may help to blunt allergy symptoms naturally. Omega-3 fatty acids are considered natural anti-inflammatories. They can help the body better fight off allergies. Fish like tuna, salmon, herring and sardines are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids. Flax seeds and walnuts are good plant sources.
Many allergy sufferers use nasal irrigation to wash out allergens from each nostril with a saline solution. Inhaling essential oils like peppermint, lavender, Roman chamomile, lemon and eucalyptus can help relieve the symptoms of seasonal allergies too.
Every person suffering with seasonal allergies has the power to diminish or even stop their symptoms. Using mind-body techniques like hypnosis and imagery work, choosing good nutrition and inhaling essential oils for aromatherapy can really make a difference. Isn’t it time you said good bye and good riddance to your seasonal allergies?