Spring is here, and with it (eventually) comes freshly blossomed flowers, leafy trees and new green grass. This is what we have waited all winter for; the moment we can open our windows, hang sheets out to dry and plan our gardens for the upcoming season. However, those of us with allergies perceive all of these activities not with excitement, but with dread. Sufferers of seasonal allergies experience itchy eyes, skin irritation, runny noses and general inflammation this time of year. Whether you experience mild allergies or have a severe case, you surely want to reduce your symptoms and explore your treatment or preventative options.
First of all, why do some of us have seasonal allergies in the first place? In general, an allergy is defined by our body’s reaction to something that would otherwise be perceived as harmless. The human immune system relies on our cells’ abilities to determine what is and what is not a threat in our environment. When cells perceive a substance to be harmful (even if they are typically not considered harmful — i.e. pollen, ragweed) they release histamines. Histamines tell our bodies to react and attempt to expel these external substances by sneezing, coughing and watery eyes.
Allergies can occur due to a hypersensitive body or from miscommunication within your nervous system. Bodily hypersensitivity is often the result of excessive mental/emotional stress, which is unsurprising considering the strong connection between body and mind. Stress effects your body’s susceptibility to allergic reactions in the way that it effects your immune system and your susceptibility to illness. Miscommunication in your nervous system prompts allergic reactions because as I explained earlier, allergies occur when our cells misinterpret what is harmful and what is not. Your nervous system is the communication between the cells of your body and brain. Your brain cells tell your body when to react and when to not react to environmental signals.
Treating excessive emotional/mental stress is done through mindfulness and lifestyle modifications such as increased exercise and proper nutrition. Nervous system miscommunication can be treated through chiropractic adjustments. When you have a vertebral subluxation, your spine becomes irritated, causing a disruption in the communication of your nervous system. Think about it: your brain communicates to your body through the nerves that stem from your spinal cord. If your spine is misaligned, so is the communication from your brain to the rest of your body. Through chiropractic adjustments, optimal alignment can be achieved and allergy symptoms can lessen drastically.
If you’re curious about your own allergies or your child’s new allergy symptoms, I recommend a consultation with me at Lifestyle Chiropractic. Life is too short to dread this time of year due to uncomfortable symptoms and everyone deserves to enjoy spring after surviving a Wisconsin winter! I look forward to discussing your options with you.
Best of health,
Dr. Chad M. Hoffman