Natural Allergy Relief

Posted on April 7, 2015. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

bigstock-Mature-couple-having-fun-in-co-13905050~by Dr. Greg Steiner
CA Acupuncture & Chiropractic Clinic

There are many ways to treat allergies.  Many of the over the counter allergy medicines go by the name of anti-histamines thus eliminating histamine response.  These meds serve as temporary fire extinguishers that can give some relief albeit short-lived and must be used repeatedly to keep the symptoms at bay.  Other allergic reactions may be to dust or mold which can be effectively removed in most households thus eliminating or reducing the severity of the problem.  But air-borne irritants like pollen are almost impossible to avoid; they even stick to our clothing when we go outside and thus we “wear” them wherever we go!

It’s important to note that there are allergies and there are hyper-sensitivities which chemically are slightly different.  An allergy can show up on a scratch test, yet a hyper-sensitivity may not although the symptoms such as scratchy or itchy eyes or throat, runny nose, and sneezing are still present in both types.

A completely drug free, natural alternative for allergy or hyper-sensitivity symptom relief can be found in a treatment called NAET (stands for Nambudribad’s Allergy Elimination Technique) which works wonders when combined with acupuncture.  Even though acupuncture is well established and has been utilized for centuries, it still remains controversial with western medicine.  That said, I’ve had remarkable success with patients implementing these techniques in helping not only determine the root cause of the allergy but also overcoming its effects.

The testing is somewhat provocative (to provoke a response) in that you try to provide a sample of the possible allergen and introduce it to the patient.  If they have a weakness or some other symptom in the body after exposure to it, a determination can be made.  It’s important to have an experienced practitioner who can identify even the subtlest of reactions in the patient.  The real usefulness of this is that there is a more precise and targeted application of the acupuncture.  With these treatments, the allergen is identified and then the body is taught how to reduce the allergic response to it.  A recipe is created on how to help the individual deal more effectively with their allergies.

What some people don’t realize is that there is often an interaction between food and atmospheric allergens as well.  For example, if a person has low grade inflammation all the time because of the type of food they are eating (i.e. gluten or dairy intolerance) and you add pollen into the mix, their allergic reaction may be even more intense.  These sensitivities to some degree are cumulative to each other.  If we can get a handle on the food or dietary allergies/sensitivities plus the environmental sensitivities, the patient not only learns what their triggers may be but can get good results naturally without having to rely on medications for relief.

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Spring Cleaning & Reducing Allergens in the Home

Posted on April 2, 2014. Filed under: Acupuncture Information, Allergies, Health | Tags: , , , , , , |

~By Dr. Greg Steiner

Happy with a Clean House!

Happy with a Clean House!

Once a year, people prepare themselves for the annual ritual of “Spring Cleaning”. It’s a time to shake off the cold in which we’ve hibernated for so long and get ready for beautiful warm & sunny days. It’s also a time when allergies, for many, come into season. Runny noses, itchy eyes, and constant sneezing signify the body’s response to immune system malfunctions. When a particular substance is recognized in the body, say pollen or ragweed, the immune system sees it as an “invader” hence reacting by causing a runny nose or perhaps watery eyes in order to eliminate that substance. But once the process has set in, the body becomes unusually sensitive to other perceived “invaders”. This could mean that a small reaction from pollen in the air could be intensified if dust or pet dander were also inhaled. If you remove some of the possible allergens, the allergic response can be lessened.
This is the perfect opportunity to take your Spring Cleaning of your home to the next level.

Try:
• Changing your air filters – pleated types are best in catching the most allergens in the air
• Vacuum like crazy – mattress, furniture, curtains, carpet (wearing a surgical mask while doing so can cut down on dust inhalation)
• Bathing your pets – dander & hair can worsen allergy symptoms
• Wash sheets weekly –use hot water over 140 degrees, it kills off dust mites
• Dust the house – try to use a cloth that will pick up dust and not just move it into the air
• Check for mild & mildew – make sure to look in damp dark areas like cabinets or beneath sinks because mold can release spores into the air exacerbating allergy symptoms

Once you’ve cleaned your home, try not to leave the windows open for airborne allergens can easily enter. All these things help clear up your surrounding “external” environment. It’s a good start in the right direction for sure, but often-times you need to examine your “internal” environment as well. The food you eat can make a big difference in how your body deals with allergens. Improving nutrition can really help. It also helps to know if your body is allergic to a specific food substance, like wheat or milk. Sugar is a big culprit in weakening the immune system and setting the body up for allergic responses.

Medications can help reduce allergy symptoms, but they won’t cure them. It’s not what they’re for. They’re like a small fire extinguisher in a huge forest fire, they can put out a little bit of the fire temporarily, but the big fire keeps burning. Acupuncture is a natural way to alleviate the symptoms from allergies (without the side effects like drowsiness or immune system suppression) quickly as well but finding a long term result takes a bit more time and patience. Once the body can be “reprogrammed”, the immune system can become stronger and better fight the battle.

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Can Eating Local Honey Reduce Seasonal Allergies?

Posted on March 7, 2013. Filed under: Allergies, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Health Experts have long touted the wonders of using honey for ailments.  It’s been slathered on wounds to prevent infection and hasten healing and even been used as a natural cure for diarrhea and upset stomachs.  It’s even recommended today as a way to help the body overcome seasonal allergies and hay fever.

Allopathic Medicine utilizes a process called “Immunotherapy”  wherein an allergen is injected into the body to help an individual become desensitized to it by building up an immunity toward it. This is the premise for the “Allergy Shot”. The same process can be done in a natural, painless, and healthy way by eating local honey.

Local honey is produced by bees usually within several miles of where the person eating the honey lives. There’s no rule of thumb on what the exact proximity needs to be, but proponents suggest the closer, the better. The reason you want “local honey” is that this increases the chances that the varieties of plants and flowering grasses that give the allergy sufferer trouble are the same kinds the bees are including in the honey they produce. By consuming this honey, you are creating a natural form of “immunotherapy”. Because the honey includes the pollen spores which so many allergy sufferers are affected by, introducing them into the body in small amounts by eating honey can help make the body accustomed to their presence and decrease the chance of an immune system response like the release of histamine. Since the concentration of pollen spores is low, ideally, the production of anti-bodies shouldn’t trigger symptoms similar to an allergic reaction.

In addition to finding “local honey”, be sure to purchase “raw” honey. This means that it has not been pasteurized, or heated to more than 120 degrees. While pasteurization can help keep the honey from fermenting, it kills the active pollen spores that your body needs to help build up its immunity.

Recommended amounts are about 1-2 teaspoons per day. Try to start taking it at least a month before allergy season, or take it throughout the year. Adding the honey to a cup of green tea is a great way to incorporate it into the diet.

Scientific research has not determined honey to be the cure for seasonal allergies, namely hay fever, but many people claim that their intake of local honey has had a direct correlation to the reduction in their allergy symptoms.

Note: Be sure not to serve honey to infants under 2 years of age.

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What Makes a Child Hyper?

Posted on October 27, 2011. Filed under: Allergies, Healing, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

What Makes a Child Hyper?

If you were to speak frankly with your neighbors you would find that it seems every other kid is on some type of medication for an attention disorder. Sometimes it almost seems as though the odd child is the one not on medication! Let’s look at fact, fantasy and alternatives.

Teachers, parents and doctors argue over just what constitutes an attention disorder. The very first issue concerns a conflict over what is natural behavior for a child versus what is expected of a child in various circumstances. The obvious first answer is children move, and are made to move a lot! Children have an urge to communicate, but with a limited vocabulary they will often “show” what’s on their minds. In addition, movement is what strengthens their bodies, creates manual dexterity, and actually “programs” their developing nervous systems. By the way, it also keeps them lean.

The big “However….” is that movement and the desire to move at an inappropriate time can be a real pain in the backside, in school, church and restaurants. While it’s a matter of parental principle on how much squirming to permit, it’s important to realize that squirming is the way of children, and trying to stop it is like fighting the tide itself. It can be done, but usually at an energetic cost to the parent!

They also talk a lot, and usually out of turn as they learn the rules of social convention. The energy most kids possess is astounding – including the energy of healing – but until they learn directed behavior and frustration tolerance most of that energy shoots out in every direction. Don’t we parents know this all too well!

One Time in India…

The point I’m trying to make is that there are fundamental contradictions between the conflicting demands of nature and social expectation. Once while travelling in a village in southern India I strongly recall watching a group of children playing and exploring. They would run to one end of the village and look at animals and plants, then run to the other edge and play a game, then sit for a time and talk, then run and explore something else. It wasn’t as chaotic as it looked, as the mothers throughout the village each loosely looked after the group of children as they went about their daily tasks.

Though informal, there was more than just pointless play going on. The children were learning to move, to interact as a group, and about their surroundings. There were very few cars, by the way…..

I note that much of parental stress is based on urban life and “don’t.” Don’t shout, or you’ll annoy the neighbors. Don’t cross the street or you’ll get squished. Don’t walk home alone. Don’t go outside in the rain. Etc.! While such prohibitions are what make our kids mature in our culture, it’s a great struggle that goes against their natural grain, I think.

Often the result is a kinetic but bored child glued to the television, computer or video game. Of course there are downsides to this as well, as we all know! There is evidence that too much fast-change television actually “hardwires” the growing brain to accept this hyper stimulation as the normal state of affairs. It’s therefore not much of a jump to understand that the sedate and focused life of school becomes difficult for a brain so-wired to endure.

Attention disorders are a big topic, and we’ll look more at them in future articles. To set the stage though, let’s say for now that the mind and body are joined at the hip – what affects the one invariably affects the other, for better or worse.

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