Tag Archives: Spring

6 Ways to Relieve Allergies Without Drugs, Shots or Needles

Summer finally arrives. The sun comes out. The flowers bloom. Most people grab their sunscreen and head outside. But what do you do? You close the windows, grab your antihistamines and hide in the house. Wouldn’t it be great if you could enjoy being outdoors?

Allergies are widespread. According to WebMD, 20% of the population suffers from allergies or asthma, and 55% of the population tests positive for one or more allergens. Allergies are the 5th leading chronic disease in the US and cost the US health care system $7.9 billion annually.

Allergies

If you can’t live with your runny nose, congestion or watery eyes, but you don’t want to take antihistamines or get allergy shots, what can you do to relieve your symptoms?

What are Allergies?

Allergies are the result of an overactive immune system. Over exposure to allergens, exposure to too many allergens at one time or a generally low immunity may cause watery eyes, runny nose or sneezing.

While allergens vary from foods to furs to pollens, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) considers when your allergies start more important than what you are allergic to. TCM looks at how all your organ systems work together. Knowing when your immune system first becomes overloaded gives clues about which organ system needs balance.

 

Acupuncture Allergy Relief at Home

TCM provides several options to relieve your allergy symptoms. Be sure to begin these routines early, before your symptoms start. It’s easier to keep your immune system balanced than to recover once it’s overwhelmed.

1.      Avoid dairy. According to TCM, dairy is an irritant to the immune system.  Even if you don’t notice sensitivity to dairy, reducing or eliminating it may relieve your symptoms.

     2.      Avoid allergens. Avoiding allergens may mean declining foods you are allergic to, not petting animals or purchasing allergy-free pillows or bedding.  To reduce pollens, shower after being outside.  Pollens can be trapped in your hair causing you to breathe them in while sleeping.

     3.      Avoid multiple allergens at once. One theory, called the “Total Load Theory,” states that while exposure to one allergen may not be enough to trigger your symptoms, exposure to several allergens at the same time may.  It’s as if your “allergy bucket” has to be overflowing before your symptoms start.  For example if you’re allergic to cats and grass pollen, stay away from cats while the grasses are blooming.  During other times of the year, you can play with kitty.

     4.      Use a neti pot. The neti pot is a great way to rinse your sinus cavities, clear mucous and reduce swelling so you can breathe easier.  Follow the directions with the pot.  Be sure to use distilled water instead of tap to avoid introducing bacteria into your sinuses.

     5.      Breathe peppermint.  Inhaling the scent of a drop of peppermint essential oil can reduce congestion and improve your breathing.  Put a drop of the oil in your palm and rub your hands together.  Cup your hands over your nose and inhale.

     6.      Practice acupressure.  There are several points that are easy to stimulate and may reduce your symptoms.

          a.         Use your thumbs to gently hold the inner corner of your eyes, just under of the inner end of the eyebrows.  Hold the pressure for 10 seconds.

          b.         Use your index fingers to press each side of your nostril, about 1/8” from the opening and just under the cheekbones.  Hold the pressure for 10 seconds.

          c.          Gently pinch the web of flesh between the index and thumb of your hand.  Feel for a tender spot just above the “V” of the bones.  Hold the pressure for 10 seconds and repeat on the other hand.

If these self-help treatments aren’t enough to relieve your symptoms, give me a call.  Acupuncture is stronger than acupressure and will give you more relief.  Plus I can recommend acupressure points and other self-help tips that are specific to your constitution.  With a personalized allergy self-help plan you’ll enjoy being outdoors again!

 

7 Healthy Tips for Coping with Financial Stress

If you feel stressed just living your life, you’re not alone. Americans lead stressful lives. Jobs, relationships, health, family obligations, community responsibilities—they all take their toll.

In “Stress in America 2012,” an annual survey by the American Psychology Association, 1 in 5 respondents reported an extreme stress level of 8, 9 or 10 on a 10-point scale. In that same group 69% of respondents reported physical or non-physical symptoms of stress, including irritability or anger, fatigue, feeling overwhelmed or changes in their sleep.

The top source of stress according to 69% of the respondents is–money.

Coping with money worries is difficult for many people. You may feel lost or out of control. You may argue with your spouse. And ironically, you may go on a shopping spree to try to relieve your stress.

April is National Stress Awareness month and as the April tax day approaches it’s a good time to think about ways to cope with financial stress.

7 healthy tips for coping with finacial stress


7 Healthy Tips for Coping with Financial Stress

1.Take breaks from the computer when doing bookkeeping and taxes. Computer work is hard on your neck and shoulders and for many people financial work is the most stressful computer work of all. All this stress can lead to a sore neck, shoulders and back. Get up every 45 minutes to walk around and stretch. Take deep breaths. Keep your body relaxed so your emotions stay level.

2.Take charge of your finances. Track your earnings and spending every day for a month. Be ruthless and write down every penny. When you have a clear picture of your income and expenses make a reasonable spending plan which keeps them balanced. Don’t budget on what you hope you’ll make or wish you’ll spend. Be realistic. Having a budget will give you control & reduce your financial stress.

3. Plan your splurges. It’s difficult to stick with a financial plan if you feel like it is overly restrictive and deprives you of what you love. Budget for reasonable treats. Plan to spend money on the things that give you the most pleasure.

4. Balance making more with spending less. Sometimes taking extra shifts at work is smart and sometimes spending less is the best plan. Make conscious choices about which strategy gives you the most pleasure and the least financial stress.

5. Balance making more with spending less. Sometimes taking extra shifts at work is smart and sometimes spending less is the best plan. Make conscious choices about which strategy gives you the most pleasure and the least financial stress.

6. Plan shopping trips to avoid impulse buys. Shopping can be stressful when you’re worried about money. Shop when you are fed, hydrated and relaxed. Shopping sales seems like a smart idea but if you buy because you’re afraid you will never see such great prices again, they cost you money. When you shop sales buy only what you planned. Don’t fall prey to “Sale Fever.”

7. Find support. Sharing financial triumphs and frustrations with a friend can be a big help in dealing with your financial stress.
A friendly ear gives you feedback when you’re tempted to blow your budget and accountability when you get lax.

8. Stay Calm. If you feel panic because you can’t pay your bills, remember to breath. Think about what your next step should be and resist negative thoughts or making your circumstances huge. Remember similar times when you managed your problems successfully.

When you worry about money it is especially important to take care of your health. Remember to do your healthy routines. Exercise, eat well and get enough sleep. Even though few people celebrate Tax Day, it doesn’t have to be stressful. Take steps to manage your financial stress. Call me if you need help relieving your stress symptoms.

Copyright © 2014 Acupuncture Media Works
Image provided by: Thinkstock

Ten Steps For Spring Cleaning

Spring Cleaning

Spring is a season of awakening and of new beginnings. Making healthy choices that will carry you through the seasons is important this time of year. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

1. Embrace yourself honestly.
Assess the various aspects of your life, taking note where the stressors and weaknesses exist. Are they in your diet, exercise program, work or relationships? Focus on the ones that need improvement, and begin moving away from the ones that detract from your life.

2. Examine personal relationships.
Include your significant other, friends, and relatives. Think about how you affect each other and what you can do to make each relationship more meaningful.

3. Choose to change habits.
Perhaps you want to be more positive, exercise more, or give up junk food. Do you need help or can you do this on your own? It may be easier to make changes with support from others.

4. Clean and organize.
Clear out the old and bring in the new. Take a look at your possessions and give away or recycle anything that doesn’t serve a good purpose. You may be surprised at how much lighter and happier you feel when you’ve cleaned and freshened up each area of your home.

5. Get active.
Schedule more exercise into your day to improve your health and reduce stress. Walk around your neighborhood, try a yoga class, go dancing, or ride your bike someplace new.

6. Make positive choices.
Think about what you take in every day with your eyes, ears, and heart. Consider the things that make you feel your best such as beautiful music, energetic friends, and inspirational art. Consider taking a break from TV, news, violent movies, and stressful people.

7. Feel your best.
Assess your emotional well-being. Take an honest look at your moods and emotions. Find the cause of the disharmony, and make a conscious choice to change. Many factors, from diet and digestive health to learned behavior, can have an influence on mood and energy level.

8. Try a Detox Program.
You may want to try a 1-3 week detox program during the spring. Choose a program that works for you whether it’s a juice cleansing, fasting, cutting out dairy or refined sugars, or a more in-depth detox diet. Talk to me, I may be able to give you helpful information about how to approach the detoxification process.

9. Consider nutritional supplements.
You might find supplements helpful for boosting your immunity and overall health. Consider taking an age and gender appropriate multivitamin and mineral daily, as well as additional antioxidants such as Vitamins C and E. Also remember to drink plenty of water and green tea.

10. Commit to a plan.
Consider what you want out of life, from your health, habits and relationships to your career and work. Create a plan to achieve these goals. Most importantly, remember to be nurturing and kind to yourself as you commit to making positive changes in your life.

Copyright ©2012 Acupuncture Media Works. All Rights Reserved.

Healthy Spring Acupuncture Tips

 

Spring tree smile

 

Spring is a happy time. Bunnies hop about. Flowers emerge in long forgotten corners of your garden. The birds return and sing so loudly they wake you in the morning. This is not a time to be angry. But according to Traditional Chinese Medicine, being angry is exactly what you can expect if you don’t balance your wood element. In TCM, spring is represented by the element wood. Wood represents birth and newness, the time for fresh ideas and new starts. Unsurprisingly, its color is green like the fresh growth of spring. Wood governs your spine, joints, muscles, ligaments and tendons. A wood imbalance can lead to spinal problems, poor flexibility or arthritis. Wood also governs your eyes.   But most important for your mood, wood governs your liver. Your liver is responsible for the smooth flow of Qi (energy) and smooth flowing Qi means health and vitality. The emotion associated with your liver is anger. If your liver is imbalanced your Qi will be disrupted and you’ll be angry. Healthy (and happy) spring acupuncture practices mean balancing your wood element and caring for your liver.

Healthy Spring Acupuncture Practices

Try these spring acupuncture recommendations, to keep your wood balanced and your liver healthy.

Eat light. Overeating taxes your liver.

Eat greens. Spouts, wheatgrass, spinach, kale and dandelions are particularly good foods in the spring.

Eat sour? Sour is the flavor associated with spring, however sour flavors are only recommended for certain constitutions.

Season your food. Pungent spices like basil, fennel, marjoram, rosemary, caraway, dill and bay leaf are excellent for spring cooking—and they taste good.

  • Get plenty of rest and drink water.  

By keeping your wood balanced you’re your liver healthy you will be happy. You’ll feel vital, flexible and clear. If you have questions about healthy spring acupuncture practices feel free to call me for recommendations.