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Fall and Spring are such happy times of the year. Lots of change in the weather, in how we dress, in the environment. Each year I welcome the change with open arms.

However, I could not stand the months of August and May. That’s when my seasonal allergies were the worst. For over 10 years, I would use over-the-counter medications to keep symptoms in check. After popping pills day after day, I noticed nothing was really changing.

Inevitably, at least twice a year, I would get a sinus infection. One year in law school, I had such a severe case that I had facial edema. Yikes! My classmates and professors barely recognized me. I barely recognized me.

After teeter-tottering back and forth between OTCs and antibiotics for over a decade, I had had enough. Here’s some serious advice that I follow in order to prevent allergies all year round:

1) Avoid Dairy. This is a tough one but well worth it. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, when you have mucus, congestion, and/or nasal discharge, you have phlegm or pathogenic dampness. Under eastern nutrition, dairy is a damp substance and can cause these symptoms. If you remove dairy from your diet, you will notice a difference. This was the most challenging dietary change of my life but also the most rewarding.

2) Cover Your Ears. If you have itchy ears, according to Traditional Chinese Medicine, that is due to wind getting in your ears. The best way to protect your ears is with ear muffs, cotton balls, or head scarf. Two weeks ago I was wearing ear muffs in 50 degree weather. Did I get made fun of? You bet. Twice. But my ears aren’t itchy.

3) Use a Neti Pot. I used to get the worst ear aches. As soon as I feel a twinge, I will grab a Neti Pot and do a sinus rinse 1-2 times a day until it’s fully resolved.

4) Supplement with Vitamin D3. All year round I supplement with a high dose of Vitamin D3 in order to keep my immune system boosted. This helps tremendously with allergies. Learn more about what dose of Vitamin D3 is right for you here.

5) Get Acupuncture & Take Chinese Herbs Regularly. I get treatments from my acupuncturist every week and take Chinese herbs nearly everyday. How it works is simple: Acupuncture can help increase your energy, boost your immunity and keep your allergies at bay. Chinese herbs work the same way.

Working with a well-trained and qualified licensed acupuncturist, together you can come up with a treatment plan that addresses your individual needs and go to the cause or root of the allergies.

These are only a few tips for relieving seasonal allergies. What tips do you suggest? We’d love to hear from you.

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