It’s Not All Allergies, It’s Seasonal Change Too!
Spring is here! Your eyes are itchy, your nose is running, you feel irritable – must be allergies, right? Not necessarily! In most cases I’ve seen in early spring here in New England, the seasonal change from winter to spring tends to cause an excessive heat condition that dries out the eyes and sinuses internally, resulting in allergy-like symptoms.
let me explain.
Your body has to get used to generating more heat in winter than in summer. This natural ability develops in the fall, but as spring arrives a warming trend develops and your body must now reduce its heat production to maintain a balance in a healthy body temperature. I have an analogy for you…think of the body as a wood stove. To keep the house warm on a cold winter day, say it’s 20 degrees outside, you need to put a lot of wood in the wood stove to warm the house. The same happens when the body has to generate more heat in winter. Now that spring is coming and warmer days are coming, say 40 or 50 degrees, if you keep putting the same amount of wood in the wood stove you are going to overheat the house. Same thing again with the body, but the body changes slowly. When the body overheats in spring, body heat rises up to the head and dries out the delicate and moist tissues around the eyes and sinuses, causing itching and irritation.
This excess heat also heats us up internally and makes us irritable, as if you are in a room that is too warm and uncomfortable. Your body takes time to change – slow and steady wins the race, but here in Rhode Island, the erratic weather patterns take a toll on our health. As the saying goes, if you don’t like the weather, just wait a minute.
Now I’m saying this is less about allergies and more about the change of seasons. Suddenly, at the beginning of spring, people come to my clinic bursting with allergy-like symptoms, but where is the allergen explosion? For example, where is the pollen? There are no large blooms in spring, unlike late spring (June) when the oak trees release their greenish-yellow pollen that covers everything in sight – release the octopus!
So what can we do? We need to eliminate the heat in the body to compensate for the seasonal change as the days get warmer. This is difficult because the temperatures go up and down in the spring.
My suggestion is to focus on the basics – sleep and nutrition, and if things get acute, get some acupuncture and natural herbal medicine. Sleeping helps cool the body and rejuvenates the body. Poor sleep needs to be addressed if you want to get to the root of the problem before running off to get some harsh drug to dry up your nasal drip. However, if you need a quick fix, there are all-natural herbal formulas, what I call “nasal pills” at my clinic, that can be gentler and very helpful. Acupuncture can also be helpful in eliminating heat, relaxing the body and restoring balance naturally.
Additionally, eating more heat-dissipating foods like salads and various fruits and vegetables like apples, pears, cucumbers, asparagus, lettuce, and celery can dissipate heat. Also, eliminate heat by avoiding long-simmered and warming winter dishes like stews and roasts, which energetically require a lot of heat to prepare. Food that has been cooked for a long time warms up the body a lot and should be eaten less in spring and summer. Also, reduce starch and sugar sources, which can lead to inflammation and weight gain. Eating less and losing a few pounds can also help.
It is interesting to note that in many cultures and traditions, fasting is part of the tradition, such as during Lent – fasting not only strains your spirit, but also has an uplifting effect on your energy that is very beneficial to your health. There are different types of fasting and it’s not good for everyone, so be sure to seek professional help before making any major changes to your diet.
If you are interested in an all-natural solution to your health, contact the clinic and ask for a free consultation to learn more. Learning about traditional nutrition can restore balance and bring happier and healthier lives to you and your family.
Thanks to Christopher Carlow