By: Dr. Eric Richards
If you’re like me, you love autumn but loathe the seasonal allergies that accompany it, generally stemming from ragweed. The congestion, the itchy eyes, the minor headaches, the “allergic shiners”. All these symptoms add up to a pretty miserable experience despite the glorious foliage and beautiful weather.
There are thousands of articles out there about seasonal allergies and home remedies to alleviate the symptoms. We aren’t going to rehash the same tired protocols here. Some of these treatments have anecdotal evidence of their efficacy, but at the end of the day, the best treatments for seasonal allergies are antihistamines, reducing inflammation, and self-care.
This is where chiropractic and massage can benefit you.
What Are Seasonal Allergies, Anyway?
Allergies occur when the body's immune system overreacts to generally harmless substances, such as pollen, bee venom, pet dander, or certain foods. In response, the immune system produces antibodies that mistakenly identify these substances as dangerous. When exposed to these allergens, the immune system's reaction can cause inflammation in various body systems, such as the skin, sinuses, airways, or digestive system.
The severity of allergic reactions varies greatly among individuals and can range from mild discomfort to a life-threatening emergency called anaphylaxis. In layman’s terms, allergies are caused by the body’s response to a foreign substance. If you are allergic to that substance, inflammation occurs.
This is where a good chiropractor can help.
Seasonal allergies, and more importantly environmental allergies, can cause significant inflammation and negatively affect your health. When allergens are combined with inflammation caused by other chronic conditions, it can affect your health and quality of life. This makes you more susceptible to other illnesses because it weakens your immune system.
Chiropractic Care and Allergies
Chiropractic care has the potential to alleviate symptoms associated with chronic inflammation and alleviate stress that contributes to the condition. A health study revealed that 9 chiropractic lower back manipulations resulted in the normalization of inflammation mediators.
Chiropractors can offer manual adjustments to the spine to release tension, relieve pinched or irritated spinal nerves, and potentially reduce the production of neuropeptides and cytokines. By influencing cytokines, which are proteins that regulate the immune system's cells and can trigger severe inflammation, spinal adjustments promote better nerve signaling and communication in the body. This, in turn, supports the overall health of the immune system, reducing the likelihood of chronic inflammation.
Chiropractic care offers benefits in terms of immune system functioning by ensuring proper communication throughout the body. Chiropractors can pinpoint elements that may disrupt bodily functions and correct misalignments, creating clearer communication pathways and restoring balance to the immune system.
In addition to enhancing immune system performance, chiropractic adjustments can also regulate the release of histamines, which tend to increase during allergy season. Cortisol, a hormone produced in the adrenal gland, is responsible for counteracting the effects of excessive histamine levels. However, misaligned or blocked nerves in the spine that connect the adrenal gland and the brain can disrupt the production of cortisol, throwing this hormonal balance askew.
How Healthsprout Can Help
Our role goes beyond mere alignment and communication restoration. We can offer lifestyle recommendations and provide nutrition advice, addressing all these aspects comprehensively. We’ll help you devise solutions that consider the interplay of these factors, offering a holistic approach to healthcare.
There is no cure for allergies, unfortunately. Nonetheless, some common sense and good housekeeping practices can alleviate some symptoms. Add chiropractic care to help relieve inflammation and you can get through this allergy season with minimal effects.
At Healthsprout, our commitment is your holistic wellness. Contact us today to discuss how we can help you.