It’s not all allergies, it’s also a seasonal change!

Spring is here! Your eyes itch, your nose runs, you feel irritable, it must be allergies, right? Not necessarily! In most of the cases that I have seen, during early spring here in New England, the seasonal change from winter to spring tends to cause an overheated condition that internally dries out the eyes and sinuses, resulting in in allergy-like symptoms.

Let me explain.

Your body needs to get used to generating more heat during winter compared to summer. This natural ability develops during the fall, but as spring rolls in, a warming tendency develops and your body now has to reduce its heat production to maintain a healthy body temperature balance. I have an analogy for you … think of the body as a wood stove. To keep the house warm on a cold winter day, let’s say it’s 20 degrees outside, you have to put a lot of wood in the wood stove to heat the house. The same happens with the body that needs to generate more heat in the winter. Now when spring comes along with the warmer days, say like 40 or 50 degrees, if you continue to put the same amount of wood in the wood stove, you are going to overheat the house. Again, the same is true of the body, but the body takes time to change. As the body overheats in spring, body heat rises towards the head and dries up the tender, moist tissue in the eyes and sinuses, causing itching and irritation.

This excess heat also warms us internally and irritates us, as if you were in an excessively warm room and you felt uncomfortable. Your body needs time to change: slow and steady wins the race, but here in Rhode Island, erratic weather patterns stress our health. As the saying goes, if you don’t like the weather, wait a minute.

Now I say, this is less about allergies and more about seasonal change. Suddenly, in early spring, people come to my clinic with allergy-like symptoms, but where is the allergen blast? For example, where is the pollen? There are no large flowers in early spring as opposed to late spring (June) when oak trees release their greenish-yellow pollen that covers everything in sight – drop the Kraken!

So what can we do? We need to remove heat from the body to balance the seasonal change as the days get warmer. This is tricky because the weather goes up and down during the spring.

My suggestion is to focus on the fundamentals: sleep and diet, and when the going gets tough, get acupuncture and natural herbal medicines. Sleep helps cool the body and rejuvenate it. Lack of sleep needs to be addressed if you want to get to the root of the problem before rushing off for a strong medication to dry up your post nasal drip. Although, if you need a quick fix, there are all-natural herbal formulas, like the ones I call “nasal pills” in my clinic, that can be gentler and very helpful. Acupuncture can also help remove heat, relax the body, and restore balance naturally.

Also, eating more foods that eliminate heat, such as salads, and a variety of fruits and vegetables such as apples, pears, cucumbers, asparagus, lettuce, and celery, can eliminate heat. Also cut the heat by avoiding long-cooked and hot winter foods, such as casseroles and roasts, which require a lot of heat to prepare vigorously. Foods cooked for a long time are very warm to the body and should be eaten less during spring and summer. Also cut down on starches and sugar sources that can lead to inflammation and weight gain. Eating less and losing a few pounds can also help.

It is interesting to note, in many cultures and traditions, such as during the Lenten season, that fasting is part of the tradition: fasting not only weighs less on your spirit, but also has a stimulating effect on your energy that is highly support for your health. There are different types of fasting and it is not good for everyone, so be sure to seek professional help before attempting any major changes to your diet.

If you are interested in an all-natural solution for your health, consider contacting the clinic and requesting a free consultation to learn more. Learning about traditional nutrition can restore balance and lead to greater happiness and a healthier life for you and your family.

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