Allergies in Austin, Texas are renowned. No matter where you live, allergies can make you feel like your head is huge, your nose is concrete filled and the pressure is on. Here are a few natural survival tools I’ve used for myself that I’ve shared with my family and clients that help relieve my symptoms and get me back to a happy head:)
These are holistic tools that I use for myself and you should consult your doctor to clarify your individual parameters.
Natural Allergy Relief Chest Salve – 1/4 cup cocoanut oil, 1 TBLS local bees wax, 1/8 cup Shea butter, 4 TBLS Olive oil, 10 drops each Rosemary, Eucalyptus, Purify blend and Breathe blend essential oils. Place 1/2 teaspoon of salve on your chest (think Healthy Vick’s) and cover with a towel-wrapped hot water bottle. Do this once or twice a day for about 10 minutes and especially before bed. Optional Yoga to open the chest: Bend elbows and knees, with elbows pressing on the bed, squeeze shoulder blades slowly together and then release them. Repeat 5-10 times to “trick” your upper back muscles into relaxing. It’s extra soothing to have someone rub salve on your upper back as well before you lie down – just make sure you lie on an old towel or T-shirt so the salve doesn’t make a mess. This salve (and the Yoga “trick”) work great during colds and flu as well👍🏽
Reset the Core Belly Breaths – This can be done lying down (ideal) or sitting or standing. Inhale deeply through your nose, lifting just the navel away from the spine (not lifting the shoulders up), then at the end of your inhale, sniff 3/4 times while lifting JUST the navel….. then exhale out of your mouth gently through rounded lips, and at the end of the exhale blow out 3/4 times using JUST the navel area (try to keep your back relaxed). Do 5-10 rounds. Try to isolate the breathing so that you involve only the area between your ribs and hips. BE PATIENT AS THIS TAKES A FEW ROUNDS TO GET YOUR BELLY TO ISOLATE AND YOUR NECK AND BACK TO STOP “HELPING”. This breathing exercise helps to reset a stuck diaphragm (your main breathing muscle), which is often tight and shut down due to stress, stuffy breathing and tight chest muscles. Diaphragm Breathing cleanse the sinuses and tames chest stuffiness. Note: the RESET THE CORE BELLY BREATH is awesome for reducing anxiety as well, and can be done discreetly anytime.
I take 1-2 Digestive Enzymes (fave brand = “Digest Gold”) during allergy spikes. I use these in between meals to help eliminate undigested protein in the form of mucous (I know; YUCK!) I like to wait 15 minutes after taking these and then do a Yoga pose called Apanasana: Lie on your back and gently pull the knees into your chest (on an exhale) and then rock them back out (on an inhale). Repeat 10 times. This pose provides me great Allergy “gunk” relief and moves my belly along when it is sluggish. If your head feels like it will explode if you try to lay down do this pose seated; one leg at a time.
Acu Yoga for the Head and Heart – 1) Tap the center of your sternum with your pinkie finger side of your hand; thump the sternum gently while breathing slowly. 2) rub your fingers up and down on the very center of your breastbone. This point (CV 17 – “Sea of Tranquility”) may be tender; so go easy. Allow your neck, shoulders and face to relax. 3) Press the pointer fingers on either side of your nose as you lean your head gently into the pressure and breathe slowly in and out while rolling your neck and head very slowly up and down. Those allergies can do a number on the upper body and cause a lot of tension so use this Acu Yoga to open your sinuses and relax your body. Bonus when done in a hot steamy shower!!
Onion Syrup – Cut 1 Red onion into slices and soak in 3 TBLS Raw Local Honey overnight. In the morning and before bed, mix 1 teaspoon of the “onion syrup” with 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar and you’ll have a tasty alkalinizing allergy away drink. While you are drinking this “syrup” tense and relax your feet – especially your toes to stimulate the sinus reflexology points on your feet. I try to do 10-20 tense and relax rounds – sometimes with my foot on a tennis or small ball. Additional Acu Yoga for your feet: pick up one foot at a time (standing would look like a hands on Tree pose – if you’re seated cross your ankle over the opposite knee). Squeeze and massage each toe tip, then do the other foot. This feels good all over, helps open the sinuses, and your head may feel a little less huge!
Hope these tools help you to be well and breathe deep. We can only take care of ourselves as we try to make friends with all those wicked pollens and spores!