‘Tis the season for sunshine, picnics, and—for some people—sneezing and congestion. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, more than 40 million people in the United States suffer from environmental allergies. The most common trigger is pet dander, followed by pollen from trees, grass, and weeds (in other words, spring and fall!)
The sneezing, sinus congestion, and (in some cases) asthma caused by these kinds of indoor/outdoor allergies can be irritating at best, and may interfere with quality of life.
There are a number of treatments for allergies on the market, including over-the-counter antihistamine drugs and nasal sprays, that can help manage symptoms. But if you’ve found that these just aren’t enough during pollen season, or if you’re looking for something more natural that doesn’t involve drugs, you may want to consider turning to your chiropractor.
How can chiropractic help allergies?
Improved nervous system
Well, the first thing to note is that pollen, dust, and pet dander don’t cause allergies. After all, most people are exposed to these substances, but only some react.
Allergies are caused by our own nervous systems interpreting these harmless substances as threats, and then “defending” the body with inappropriate chemical responses. So it’s a nervous system communication issue.
Chiropractic can help allergies by doing what it does best: improving the function of the nervous system. Chiropractic adjustments remove interferences due to subluxations in the spine and neck, resulting in better communication between body systems and improving how we deal with external stimuli.
So while chiropractic isn’t an “allergy treatment” specifically, it does improve the body’s functions in general, and reduced allergy symptoms can be part of the benefit.
Nutritional support for the immune system
A chiropractor who is knowledgeable about nutrition can also help by recommending supplements that will better support the immune system. Certainly eating right is an important component to this, but supplements can give you the right amount of probiotics, proteins, omega 3s and more to help your immune system function at its best.
This is especially important for people with compromised immune systems that contribute to allergies. Quality is important for supplements (the cheap versions at Wal-Mart are unlikely to do you much good in the long run). Dr. Fiss is knowledgeable in this area and would be glad to give you recommendations for which supplements your immune system needs and where best to find them.
Other allergy helps
While tackling the allergy problem at its root—the immune system—is most important, there are also some things we can do to manage symptoms in the short-term.
In our office, we can use a special extension of the ProAdjuster tool over the sinuses to gently relieve sinus congestion and pressure.
In addition, we can help you find ways to manage your environment, such as avoiding certain places or times of day with especially high allergen levels, or discussing whether air filters or other home improvements could help reduce your daily exposure.
Helping the body heal itself
Rarely are there quick fixes for systemic problems like allergies. Many people are looking for a “magic bullet,” but rarely do those actually exist!
Our approach at Chambersburg Chiropractic is to support health through chiropractic and nutrition. It’s not a quick symptom fix, but it goes deeper: enhancing the body’s natural abilities to keep itself healthy!
Butterfly photo credit: photo credit: Don McCullough via photopin