This spring season, I have noticed that many people suffer from symptoms such as sneezing, runny nose, coughing or itchy and swollen eyes. Even clients that usually are not bothered with spring allergies are complaining this year. Often the symptoms are confused with those of a cold. Usually, the itchiness is a prime indicator that it might be an allergy. Here is a check list by how you can tell the difference between a cold and an allergy:
|Occurrence of Symptoms||Symptoms often appear one at a time, first sneezing, then a runny nose, then congestion.||Symptoms occur all at once.|
|Duration of Symptoms||Generally last form 7 – 10 days||Continue as long as a person is exposed to the allergens.|
|Mucus||Often yellowish nasal discharge, due to an infection.||Generally a clear, thin, watery discharge.|
|Sneezing||Less common than with allergies.||More common than with colds.|
|Time of year||More common during winter.||More common in spring through fall when plants are pollinating.|
|Fever||May be accompanied by fever.||Not usually associated with fever.|
An allergy is a hypersensitive response by the body’s immune system to a substance in the environment that is usually not harmful. Allergies can be caused from pollen, dust, mold, pet dander, food, medicine and more. Allergic rhinitis or commonly known as “hay fever” is an allergic reaction to pollen or allergens produced by weeds, trees, and grass that are often carried in the air during spring and summer seasons. Hay fever is one of the most common forms of allergies.
When pollen grains or other allergens get into the nose of an allergic person, they send the immune system into overdrive. The immune system, mistakenly seeing the pollen as foreign invaders, release antibodies (substances that normally identify and attack bacteria or viruses). The antibodies attack the allergens which lead to a release of chemicals, called histamines, into the blood. Histamines trigger symptoms such as runny nose, itchy eyes, eczema, hives, or even an asthma attack. Further discomforts may be lack of sleep, headaches, or irritability.
Treatments for allergies include avoiding allergens, use of medication such as antihistamines, steroids, decongestants and eye drops or immunotherapy (injected allergens to desensitize the body’s response). However, medications like that only address the symptoms. They provide short term relief of itching and swelling, but don’t get to the root of the problem and “heal” the allergy. In recent years, alternative therapies such as Herbal Medicine, Homeopathy, Acupuncture or Reflexology have increasingly been used in the treatments of allergies. Unless, you have a severe life-threatening allergy, it is worthwhile looking into alternative medicine and complimentary therapies.
How does Reflexology help with Seasonal Allergies?
In our environment, we are exposed to numerous chemicals on a regular basis. Usually our body can handle a certain amount of toxins. However, our immune system may get weakened by the exposure of toxins and get into overdrive. This is when we get an allergic reaction. Generally speaking, life energy and vitality is compromised.
Reflexology treatments promote self-healing powers of the body, strengthen the body’s immune system and support the functions of the liver, kidneys and bowel. In the assessments, dependent on the allergy, patients often show imbalances in the following systems: digestive system, endocrine system, respiratory system including lungs, sinus passages, ears, nose, throat and eyes, and parasympathetic nervous system. Treating these affected areas provide balance to the whole body and improve the natural functions such as breathing, digestion and circulation.
The lymphatic treatment of the foot is a specialty within Therapeutic Reflexology and plays an important role in the treatment of allergic clients. Those treatments help to promote the lymphatic flow necessary for toxin removal. This way, it helps the cleansing procedure of the body. Besides relieving the symptoms of the allergy, Reflexology also reduces the sensitivity to allergens such as pollen or weeds. Most patients report an increase in life energy and vitality!