Monday, June 11, 2012

Advice for Allergy "Season"

Allergy season is a horrible time of year.  Here in the Midwest, if you want to find someone who suffers with seasonal allergies all you have to do is throw a rock.  You’ll hit one.  Actually, it’s likely that the rock you threw will hit another allergy sufferer on the ricochet.  It’s sort of normal around here.  Well…not normal.  It’s prevalent.  I even remember as a kid taking allergy medicine.  I didn’t have my own.  My mom had a prescription allergy medication and I would take that.  After all, what harm could come from taking someone else’s prescription?

So clearly I haven’t always made the best health care choices.  But thankfully things are different for me as an adult.  I can’t remember the last time I took allergy medication.  It had to have been more than 10 years ago.  Actually, I can’t remember the last time I took any sort of anti-histamine.  And my new found lack of allergies has nothing to do with some sort of quest to find the missing pieces to the allergy puzzle.  It has everything to do with the fact that I started doing things that would help my immune system function at it’s peak.

You see, a runny nose or watery eyes aren’t necessarily bad things.  Even when the body creates all sorts of gross mucus you can’t just jump to the conclusion that something is wrong.  Histamine reactions (ie: runny nose, watery eyes, drainage) are just your body’s way of protecting itself.  If your body determines that something you are breathing in is dangerous to your body, then your immune system reacts to it.  That’s what it is supposed to do.  That’s the way we were created.  The problem isn’t what your body is doing.  The problem is WHEN your body is doing it.

If your body is over-reacting, that’s not a good thing.  If your body reacts to every speck of dust or sliver of fresh cut grass like it’s a health terrorist that is coming to destroy your wellbeing, you end up living your entire life with a stuffed up sinuses and watery eyes.  NO FUN.  But if your body realizes that most of the time dust and fresh cut grass are not anything to react to, then you are considered to be one of the “lucky ones” that don’t suffer with allergy problems.

So the key to going from suffering with allergies and not suffering with allergies (or at least suffering less) is to build up your immune system.  Your immune system is like a muscle.  It can be strong or it can be weak.  And there are a lot of ways to strengthen your immune system.  Most of them are going to involve dietary and lifestyle changes.  Most people don’t want to hear that, but it’s true.

The thing that helped me the most was an area where allergy improvement was most unexpected.  It was after I became an Upper Cervical patient.  I didn’t start care with the intent to improve my allergies.  It never even dawned on me that it was possible that Upper Cervical could help.  I have since learned that my experience is not that uncommon.  One of the most common “unexpected” benefits of Upper Cervical care is an improvement in allergy and sinus problems.  I refer to it as an “unexpected” benefit because we have a lot of patients that, like me, started care for some other reason and the allergy and sinus improvement was a bonus to care.

Technically, Upper Cervical Care isn’t a treatment for allergy and sinus problems.  Upper Cervical is designed to correct misalignments in the upper neck that are causing irritation to the nervous system.  Because the nervous system and the immune system are so closely related, when a patient takes the stress off their nervous system through Upper Cervical Care, they consequently will have less stress to their immune system.  Less stress on the immune system means it becomes stronger and functions properly.  One thing leads to another…yada, yada, yada…and you may just end up living an allergy free life.  That is of course if you are willing to try something different.

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