Body, Mind & Spirit Connections: Seasonal allergies and home remedies 

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By Pat Larsen

For Capital Region Independent Media

Headshot of a female named Pat Larsen
Pat Larsen

It’s that time of year when allergens are in the air and around our home, causing those uncomfortable symptoms within us. 

Let’s start with what we’ve always known and done in the past. 

Return to a commonsense approach to access “how you’re feeling.” Rather than the mine field of thinking that’s been instilled in us over these past three years of thinking every symptom is the start of COVID. 

Here are three questions to ask yourself: 

  • How am I feeling?
  • What are my symptoms?
  • Have I had adequate hydration, rest and physical activity? 

Or:

  • Do I just want to take a pill to feel better? 

Personal accountability matters here. Sometimes this is what it comes down to: A resorting to a quick fix or taking care of your health on an everyday basis while we adjust to the assault of irritants that are swirling in and around us. 

I lovingly suggest we all stop relying on an old system of health care unless you love having tests and copays first and foremost. You’ll know when it’s necessary to get into see your doctor. Trust that. Until then, get back to self-care. 

OK. Back to home therapies. Here are some things to try: 

  • Facial massage of sinus areas above the eyebrows, at the temples and along the bridge of the nose. Tap lightly to help drain inflammation as soon as you begin to feel pressure.
  • Foot massage: Acupressure point is at the ball of the foot. Massage the area. It’ll be sensitive. Use a 30-second circular motion. 
  • Do a eucalyptus steam: Take a basin with very warm water. Not too hot. Drop approximately a teaspoon of Vick’s in to dissolve. (Do not use dried eucalyptus. That is an ornament sprayed with chemicals to preserve.) Breathe in the steam from the resulting concoction with a towel over the basin and your head. It’s a great tool that I use often. 
  • Nasal sprays: Homeopathic, non-medicinal. I use a Xylitol spray twice a day. Saline sprays are also safe to use. 
  • Some people are comfortable using neti pots, which are containers used to rinse debris or mucus from the nasal cavity. Pharmacists are great resources to ask. I use Kelly’s professionals. 
  • Keep your home adequately humidified. You can use a humidifier in conjunction with your heating system or a portable room humidifier. Making sure every few days you wash and dry it out. 
  • Clean or replace old furnace air filters. 
  • Or put water in your largest pasta pot on the stove and boil water. There’s always a way, isn’t there? 

Here are things to do around the house that may help:

  • Replace old pillows. Wash bedding often to release built-up dust from this cold, dry winter. 
  • Once the snow has melted and mold spores are released on a windy spring day, refrain from putting sheets on the line. Or dry sheets outside and finish in the dryer. 
  • Steam clean carpets on dry days. It was suggested to share the cost by renting a machine and planning on sharing over the 24-hour period of use. 
  • Dust everything. And wear that old mask to prevent breathing in the stray dust particles. Throw disposable dust clothes out, or if using cloth, wash it. 
  • Wipe out mold from cracks and crevices in showers and tubs, and invisible particles on your walls adjacent to the tub areas. 

If you get that heavy droopy feeling that your own common sense suggests could be allergy symptoms, then remember the following as aids:

  • Eye irritation from allergies? Use over-the-counter allergy drops available at the pharmacy. 
  • Ketotifen fumarate ophthalmic solution, which costs approximately $15. It is well worth it.
  • Homeopathic medicines. I always have Coldcalm, and Sinuscalm in the house. These cost approximately $11. 
  • I also always have a Boiron product for flu-like symptoms, such as body aches, fever, headache, etc. This was advised by my primary doctor.
  • Throat calm tablets or teas. Also a Boiron product. 
  • Riccola sugar-free throat lozenges. The operative word here is sugar-free.
  • Slippery Elm tablets made from the bark of elm trees are chewable and dissolve to resolve minor sore throats. 
  • Postnasal drip madness and nighttime coughs? Prepare yourself before you go to bed by taking a steamy shower to drain the nasal passages. Moisturize your nasal passages. I use Vick’s. Sleep on your side if that’s comfortable and elevate your head. 
  • Remember, acid reflux and excess stomach acid can cause a build-up of mucus as well. Take care at night when eating trigger foods. 
  • Sip nettle tea during the day. Green tea is a good everyday means of vitamin C nutrients and hydration. Decaffeinated green tea works as well. 
  • Some people use apple cider vinegar in water to help reduce developing mucus in the body as well. 

Most of all, use your commonsense. 

“In community we heal, in isolation we fall into disease.” 

PS: My next presentation is now planned for Thursday, April 7, at 10 a.m.: “Memory and Concentration as We Age.” There will be no regular classes on that day. The presentation will be approximately two hours, followed by a luncheon and raffle. Donation for this program will be $20. All are welcome. Sign up at the desk. You won’t want to miss this interactive program. Be sure to invite family and friends. 

Pat Larsen is a licensed Zumba Dance fitness instructor and a nationally certified HypnoTherapist offering private sessions in person and via telecommunications classes. Programs are held weekly at The Shamrock House in East Durham, on Mondays and Thursdays, from 9 a.m. and 10:15 a.m. Please contact Pat for details about class availability and to schedule speaking engagements for private clubs at Pelarsen5@aol.com or by calling 518-275-8686. 

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