What causes allergies?
Do you feel it already? Spring is here; often associated with happiness and freshness. However, for some this might be not their favorite season; swollen eyes, itching, blocked nose, fever… People with allergies will experience it differently.
Allergies stem from a long period of hyperactivity in the immune system. It’s the body’s way of expressing unease, usually in the form of inflammation, discomfort, and more severely, anaphylaxis. There are various types of allergic responses due to the different immune proteins that would cause a reaction from a particular substance. In naturopathy, we classify them as insensitivity, intolerance, and anaphylaxis.
The purpose is to help the patient to heal both the root cause and the symptoms of the disease.
The spleen is the lung’s mother.
From the perspective of Chinese medicine, allergic problems such as nasal allergy, asthma, eczema and other related allergies are interconnected with the balance of your inner organs. For example, the three mentioned allergies have a lot to with the human body’s lung, spleen and liver system.
Firstly, the lung is understood best by taking into account the nose. When your lungs are lacking Yang energy, its functions will be imbalanced which can cause allergy symptoms. Also, from a Chinese medicine perspective, the spleen is the lung’s mother. If your spleen is imbalanced and weakened, you will have problems with your immune and respiratory systems that can lead to a worsening of nasal allergies or even asthma.
Additionally, the body’s lung and its skin are interconnected with each other. That’s why imbalanced lungs, will cause unstable emotions especially if the spleen (the lung’s mother) does not have enough energy. In turn, the liver will imbalance the spleen, and consequently, worsening imbalance of the digestive system. As a result, it can cause asthma, delay the healing of asthma and worsen its symptoms. It can also lead to the ejection of blood clots, thus making the patient’s condition even more difficult to improve.
What can you do?
Here are a few tips to start your road to minimizing allergies:
1. Try the elimination diet
This diet can be done from 2-3 weeks to several months. Then a reintroduction period of the potential allergic foods and observe if there is an allergic response or no response.
2. Try supplements
- Quercetin – it’s a type of bioflavonoid from red, orange, and yellow vegetables and fruit and the pith of citrus fruits. It can help in the symptomatic relief of allergies, both dietary and environmental.
- Curcumin – tumeric has been shown to be a powerful anti-inflammatory and can help in the symptomatic relief and treatment of allergies
- L-Glutamine – it’s an amino acid used by intestinal cells as food. This will help with the integrity of gut and increase the efficiency of absorption of food.
- Probiotics – as mentioned by Anne, has been shown to be beneficial in the breakdown of food.
- Omega 3s – Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) – specifically Omega 3s have been shown to have anti-inflammatory benefits and can minimize swelling and flare-ups on skin conditions. Furthermore, it can balance the Omega 3 to Omega 6 ratio. This has been linked to balance T Helper cell ratios for minimizing potential PRO-inflammatory responses when one is subjected to an allergen.
3. Tap into ancient Chinese medicine knowledge
4. Learn what you can do with Shiatsu
Shiatsu, a manipulative therapy developed in Japan, incorporates techniques of Japanese traditional massage, acupressure, stretching, and Western massage. It can be translated as finger pressure and has been described as needle-free acupuncture. Regular shiatsu treatments are helpful with allergies in relieving the symptoms of allergies and dramatically reducing allergic reactions. Shiatsu stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, which in turn promotes immune functions changes. In a broader sense, Shiatsu is believed to enhance physical vitality and emotional well-being. Find out easy self-help Shiatsu tips to reduce your allergic reactions here.