Allergy season varies across the country, with pollen starting in early spring and lasting through summer. This is a tough time for a lot of people who struggle with seasonal allergies. Often, allergy symptoms are confused with cold symptoms. The most common symptoms include sneezing, itching, watery eyes, runny nose, fatigue, headache, and nasal congestion. These symptoms are cold symptoms, however, muscle aches and pains, even nausea, typically accompany colds. Trees, grass, pollen, and ragweed are the most common culprits of outdoor seasonal allergies.
Allergens can enter the body in numerous ways. They can be inhaled, ingested, or enter through the skin. Common allergic reactions, such as hay fever, trigger the antibody production called immunoglobulin E (IgE). IgE antibodies react against specific pollens and other allergens. That is why someone may be allergic to one type of pollen but not another. Seasonal Allergies, NIP them in the bud (Mayo Clinic) When a person is exposed to an allergen, the body overreacts and starts producing many IgE antibodies specific to the allergen. The excess IgE antibodies release chemicals causing symptoms in the nose, lungs, throat, or the skin.
Contributors to Allergy Symptoms
- Pollen from trees, plants, and grass
- Dust, including the type found around your home
- Foods, especially those known to cause the most food allergies, including gluten, dairy, tree nuts (especially peanuts), eggs, soy, and shellfish
- Insect bites and stings
- Animal fur and dander
- Medications such as antibiotics
Common Allergens by Month
January: Pollen is typically low; however, cranking up the heat indoors can kick up house dust.
February: Depending on where you live, trees can cause allergy flare-ups this time of the year. Common offenders include catalpa, elm, hickory, olive, pecan, sycamore, and walnut.
March: This marks the beginning of spring; tree pollen remains high on the list. Be sure to check pollen count regularly!
April: The flowers are blooming, and so are allergies.
May: Tree pollen should be winding down. However, grass pollen is emerging in certain parts of the country.
June: Grass pollen will be in full bloom. Factors such as temperature, rainfall amount, and even the time of day will impact grass pollen levels.
July and August: If you are allergic to molds and spores, you’re out of luck as July marks the start of fungus spores and seeds as August sees their peak.
September through November: Ragweed is the most common cause of fall allergies during these months.
December: Pollen count is tame; however, it may be from the microscopic mold spores that can harbor in Christmas tree branches if you suffer from allergies during this month.
Allergies and the Immune System (Johns Hopkins Medicine)
Acupuncture is one of the most effective remedies for both preventing and treating seasonal allergies. Using acupuncture to treat allergies is often a quick response. Many find relief during the first visit. Receiving acupuncture treatments significantly reduces or eliminates dependency on allergy medications altogether.
Numerous studies have demonstrated that acupuncture alleviates allergic rhinitis and regulates antibodies. Scientific evidence confirms that acupuncture successfully downregulates the IgE response, lessening symptoms. Studies from Stanford, RMIT, Griffith, and Western Sydney Universities concluded acupuncture effectively alleviates persistent allergic rhinitis.
A total of 71 meridians serves all organs, muscles, nerves, and surfaces of the body. Through the insertion of tiny needles into specific acupoints, energy is restored, and symptoms are alleviated. Acupuncture works to remove blockages, eliminate excesses, remove deficiencies, and correct imbalances that can occur in each of the meridians. Besides treating allergies, acupuncture also prevents allergy symptoms.
The points used for allergy relief include six symmetrical points stimulated simultaneously – two just outside the nostril, the bone indentations just below each eye, and points located in the inner end of each eyebrow. In addition to the six points on the face, acupuncturists often incorporate a seventh point to address the root cause of seasonal allergy symptoms. This point is located on the left foot, which is used to release energy obstructions believed to cause excess phlegm. Acupuncture Alleviates Allergic Rhinitis (Health CMI)
Treating allergy symptoms naturally
Herbal supplements (capsule or tea)
Green tea is a natural antihistamine. Sip two cups a day for about 2 weeks before the development of allergy symptoms to avoid congestion.
Butterbur extract has helped treat coughs, asthma, hay fever, and headaches.
Licorice root helps boost natural steroid production in the body to help loosen mucus.
Stinging nettles can be taken in capsule form or as tea. And great news, this natural antihistamine does not make you drowsy!
Quercetin is an anti-inflammatory that helps boost immune function.
PEPPERMINT OIL – Inhaling diffused peppermint oil can immediately unclog the sinuses.
BASIL OIL – helps reduce the inflammatory response of allergens and detoxify the body of bacteria and viruses, all while fighting pain and fatigue.
LAVENDER OIL– Works as a natural antihistamine and will help to reduce inflammatory allergic reactions in your body.
CHAMOMILE OIL – This is a soothing herb that is known for its relaxing properties. If you have itchy, red skin rashes or hives caused by allergies, use chamomile oil for fast relief.
EUCALYPTUS OIL – opens the lungs and sinuses, reducing symptoms of allergies.
TEA TREE OIL – Reduces inflammation and prevents infections. The antibacterial properties of tea tree oil can also be useful in destroying mold, fungi, and bacteria particles in the air, thus reducing symptoms of allergies at home.
LEMON OIL – Treats respiratory problems associated with allergic reactions. Lemon is a natural antioxidant agent that can help cleanse toxins and reduce the body’s response to allergens. Shop our Essential Oils
Avoid (during allergy season) Alcohol, Caffeine, Conventional dairy, Chocolate, Peanuts, Banana Sugar, Artificial sweeteners, Processed foods, Corn, Soy, Bottled Citrus juice, and Wheat.
Enjoy Raw local honey, Hot and spicy foods, Bone broth, Probiotic-rich foods, Pineapple, Apple cider vinegar, Fresh organic vegetables, Grass-fed meats, Free-range poultry, Wild-caught fish.
Exercise Does Help
Regular physical activity helps decrease allergy symptoms by improving blood flow in your body, which promotes the removal of allergens. Although you can’t exercise away your allergies, working out regularly can certainly minimize your symptoms because the improved blood flow resulting from exercise helps prevent the delicate tissues surrounding your nose, mouth, and lungs from being inflamed. The best part is that the activity does not have to be intense or challenging; all you need to do is get your blood pumping.
Our goal in working with you is to relieve or prevent symptoms and, at the same time, strengthening your immune system! Treating your allergies naturally and in partnership with acupuncture is a great plan. Contact our office or schedule online to discuss testing, your allergy symptoms, and acupuncture treatment.