My Holistic Approach to Allergies and (Free) Acupuncture Obsession
Seasonal allergies are something I've dealt with my entire life. As a kid, they were way worse. I took Claritin or Zyrtec to help alleviate the symptoms. I now look for more holistic approaches to deal with my problems rather than just reaching for the meds. Let's be real, I absolutely love essential oils but they can't cure everything. For some health issues, such as strep throat which I tend to get here and there, I have to resort to medication. For allergies, the holistic approach has been working for me so I'm excited to share my two techniques.
- LOCAL BEE POLLEN - my dad SWEARS by this stuff (see his passion expressed at the bottom of the post). He started using bee pollen years ago. I would take it here and there but never fully committed. He takes 2 capsules a day prior to spring allergy season to build immunity and then switches to 1 capsule a day once allergy season has started. I prefer to take the granules instead of capsules because I actually love the sweet taste so I don't want to miss out on it! Where to get it: After googling local bee pollen companies, I came across Local Roots NYC which is a CSA that gives New Yorkers access to sustainable and organic food from local farmers. Too busy to pick it up? No prob - they deliver. V COOL. Why it works: The benefits of local pollen are that you are building immunity to the plants in your area which for seasonal allergies, makes the most sense because you want to reduce histamine towards the allergens surrounding you. I make sure to incorporate 1 tablespoon into my diet each day. This year I got a late start and started using it once my allergies already hit but as usual, parents are always right and next year I will start pre-season when dad starts :) How I use it: I love adding it as a topping to my smoothie bowls, yogurts, oatmeal etc. (Pictured above = Kite Hill Almond Mylk Yogurt + frozen blueberries + bee pollen + unsweetened coconut flakes + chia + flax).
- ACUPUNCTURE - I feel like I won the lottery with this deal I found. My coworker introduced me to Maximum Health & Wellness, a wellness center in the Retro Gym in Hoboken. They have acupuncture, sports massage, chiropractor and cupping. Insurance is VERY confusing to me but somehow the combination of them being out of network + me having already met my out of network deductible meant that I had no copay due and could use their services as many times as I wanted for the next year. If I hadn't met my out of network deductible then I would have had to pay a one time $50 fee (this is what my coworker did) to use the services for a WHOLE YEAR. This seems too good to be true right?!? Well I've been going around once a week for the last month or so. You can choose what you want done depending on your needs. I get acupuncture which I absolutely LOVE and a 15 minute back/shoulder massage every time I go. Yes, somehow I'm getting a free massage and it's AMAZING. I've been using the acu for a bunch of different things (stress, knee pain from running, wrist pain from my wrist injury, neck/shoulder tension which I always get when I'm stressed at work, and allergies). For the neck/shoulder tension, accu works wonders. I've gone in there not being able to turn my head one direction and it completely alleviated the tension so much that I was able to turn my head after I left. For allergies, she's been using the needles near my nose and head to help direct the blood flow and clear the sinus pressure. Same here - I've gone in not being able to breathe through my nose and actually felt a breath release during the session.
Acu isn't for everyone. Some people feel no difference but for me personally, I feel a difference. I think it also depends what you go in for. If you go in for 500 problems like me, you can't expect magic on all of them. I find that the more serious physical problems I go in for (muscle tension etc.) tend to have more dramatic results. That said, while acu is working for my neck, knees and allergies, it did not work for my wrist issue (which I'm currently waiting on MRI results for).
- Research local wellness centers and/or acupuncture offices. Insurance scares the ish out of me (it's SO confusing!!) but you might find a lucky deal like this and if so, hop on it! #freemassage
- NOTE - I'm petrified of needles and faint every time I get a shot or give blood but for some reason the acu doesn't scare me...I think because the needles are SO small, there's no blood and nothing is being injected into my body.
- Try local bee pollen for allergies or just as a superfood. I texted my dad to make sure I had the info. above correct and below is his passionate response and feedback on bee pollen. ALSO - even if you don't have allergies, bee pollen has a tonnnn of benefits (vitamins, minerals, protein and digestion relief to name a few). If you haven't already noticed it as a superfood add-on at your fave smoothie bowl shop in addition to chia, flax, goji, maca, etc., you will now. I would still be using it for both the taste and the other benefits even if my lifelong allergies magically disappeared!