Natural Allergy Relief
BodyWork out for 30 minutes daily
When your body is exposed to an allergen (mold, animal dander, pollen, dust mites), it releases histamine, a substance that causes inflammation and irritation in the airways, nasal passages and eyes. Moderate aerobic exercise strengthens your immune system, making it less sensitive to allergens. Exercise also helps organs affected by allergies-such as the nasal passages, lungs and sinuses-function optimally by improving blood flow. During allergy season, try to work out indoors so your lungs aren't exposed to pollens and pollution.Take yoga
Breathing exercises and simple yoga postures that relax the chest muscles and open airways such as the cobra, camel stretch (a backward bend) and fish pose can help the lungs take in more oxygen, explains Vasanthi Bhat, founder of the Vasantha Yoga in San Jose, California. To find out which breathing exercises and poses are best for relieving your symptoms, talk to a yoga instructor or consult a book like The Power of Conscious Breathing in Hatha Yoga, by Vasanthi Bhat, or check out her video Pranayama (Yogic Breathing), available at vasanthayoga.com.Get a massage
"Cranial massage can help open up nasal passages by promoting drainage," says Dr. Anderson. Several studies also show that massage therapy can decrease physical and mental stress. "Lower stress levels enable your immune system to function better and reduce the production of histamine," says Dr. Anderson.Steam your face
Boil several cups of water and pour it into a large, wide-mouthed bowl. Place the bowl on a flat surface and hold your head over it for about 15 minutes. Keep the steam concentrated by placing a towel over your head and the bowl. Or, you can buy a facial steamer at the drugstore that has a plastic funnel-shaped attachment to direct steam. Steamers usually cost around $25. Taking a long, hot shower or applying hot compresses to your face also helps relieve sinus pressure.Drain your sinuses
To facilitate drainage once you've steamed, try the following postures: For the frontal sinuses (above the eyes), sit upright for several minutes. For the ethmoid sinuses (between the eyes and nose), lie down on your back for several minutes. To clear the maxillary sinuses (below the eyes), lie on the side opposite the sinus you want to drain: For the right one, lie on your left side for several minutes.Try acupressure
It can help reduce sinus pressure, says Dr. Dean. Press the following points with your forefinger and thumb several times a day for 10 seconds each: the bridge of your nose (on either or both sides); the spots where your eyebrows start; the points on your face next to where your nostrils flare out.
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