DR. MAO SHING NI, SPECIAL TO THE MIRROR
Your immune system is designed to identify and combat foreign entities in your body. Most of the time, it performs this duty very well, protecting you from bacteria, viruses, and other potentially harmful substances. But during the last century, our immune systems have become overwhelmed with chemicals and pesticides, not to mention the stress of modern life. The result is that our immune systems have become oversensitive.
When the immune system overreacts to allergens — pollen, dirt, pollution, animal hair, and mold, to name a few — it mobilizes with full force, producing severe allergic symptoms which include sinus congestion, itchy, watery eyes, running nose, and an aching head. Sound familiar? The next time you are have an allergy attack, try these natural self-healing tips to get sinus relief.
1. Keep an allergy-free home
One of the key factors in treating allergies is getting rid of the substances that over-stimulate the immune system. Dehumidify and air out your home regularly. Use the air conditioner and central heater sparingly as they tend to permeate the home with dust and particles collected in air ducts, unless you have the filters and ducts cleaned regularly. Fungal colonies, dust mites, and pollen collect in the house. Clean floors regularly, and opt for solid wood or stone floors instead of carpets, which collect tremendous amounts of dust and bacteria. Prevent mold by using vinegar to disinfect the surfaces that often get wet and humid.
2. Sleep on a chemical-free bed
A typical mattress contains plastics, formaldehyde, flame retardant, and many other chemicals that emit gas for up to ten years. That means an average person sleeping 7 to 8 hours a night is breathing in chemical fumes that can easily overwhelm their system and add to immunity problems. No wonder many people wake up tired, groggy, and allergic. Owning an organic mattress is an important factor in your overall health. The best mattress is made from organic cotton and wool and/or with natural latex core. I sleep on a mattress made by Vivetique and is made of organic cotton and wool, which is a natural flame-retardant. You can try out the mattresses at The Wellness Store in Santa Monica.
3. Bee free from allergies with herbs and supplements
Eating 1 teaspoon of local, unfiltered, and unprocessed honey daily can do wonders for allergies. Also, bee pollen supplement may help alleviate allergies. Bee pollen contains a rich supply of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and amino acids. It protects the liver from toxins, benefits men with enlarged prostates, and boosts energy and vitality.
In traditional medicine, magnolia flowers, xanthium, mint, dandelion, Chinese basil, siler root, and schizandra all have been used for their allergy-relieving properties. Take in tea form or try in a traditional Chinese herbal formulation called “Allergy Tamer,” which balances the immune system and relieves allergy symptoms. You can find it online at www.taostar.com or at the Wellness Store.
4. Self-massage for sinus support
For immediate relief of sinus allergies, use your own fingers to stimulate the acupressure point “Welcome Fragrance” on both sides of your nose, where your nose and cheek meet. Apply moderate pressure with both index fingers, one on each side of the nose. Hold for 3 minutes. Or just simply take the back of your thumb knuckles and rub gently up and down along the sides of your nose, stimulating the acupoint. Take deep and slow breaths while doing it.
5. Allergy eats: do’s and don’ts
Remember, the name of the game is getting rid of the substances that over-stimulate the immune system, and this includes food. You want to avoid eating any foods that produce mucous and dampness: dairy products, cold and raw foods, corn (including corn syrup), and simple sugars. That means cut out bleached flour, white pasta, white rice, sweets made with refined sugar, and soft drinks. Typically high-allergy grains include wheat, rye, and barley, so these are best avoided during an allergy flare-up. Chocolate, shellfish, potatoes, tomatoes, and eggplants may also over-stimulate the immune response and should be cut back.
Opt for papaya, cranberries, pear, pineapple, cherries, mangos, and citrus fruits. Green, leafy vegetables like spinach and kale contain essential nutrients for healthy immunity, as does broccoli. Switch to whole wheat bread, brown rice, whole grain pasta, quinoa, and millet. Cook with spices that can unblock your sinus passageways in no time: ginger, scallion, basil, garlic, oregano, cayenne peppers, white pepper, horseradish, and turmeric.
Vegetables always need to be thoroughly washed in running water to remove residues of pesticides and chemicals. Even better, only eat locally grown, organic produce. And finally, drink 80 oz of filtered, room temperature water per day, as water intake is essential for proper lymphatic drainage.
May you Live Long, Live Strong, and Live Happy!
Dr. Mao Shing Ni, best known as Dr. Mao, is a bestselling author, doctor of Oriental Medicine and board certified anti-aging expert. He practices acupuncture, nutrition and Chinese medicine with his associates at the Tao of Wellness in Santa Monica, a Wellness Medicine group that won the “L.A.’s Best” Award. Dr. Mao and his brother, Dr. Daoshing Ni founded Tao of Wellness in Santa Monica over 25 years ago. In addition, he is the cofounder and Chancellor of Yo San University in Venice/Marina del Rey. To subscribe to a free newsletter please visit www.taoofwellness.com To make an appointment for evaluation and treatment please call 310-917-2200 or you can email Dr. Mao at firstname.lastname@example.org