Has spring greeted you with sniffling, sneezing, congestion and runny, itchy eyes, nose and throat? Experts say that this allergy season is more intense than usual, dubbing as a "pollen tsunami," especially in the Northeast.
After a long, wet winter, everything has seemingly bloomed all at once. Beautiful, yes, but if you have sensitivities to pollen like I do, you're probably suffering from allergies right now.
Allergies are your immune system’s overreaction to pollens and other substances.
While they're not necessarily dangerous, for those with asthma, allergies can trigger more serious reactions.
You may have also noticed that if you’re experiencing a lot of stress when allergy season arrives, the symptoms can worsen. Anything that relieves stress will therefore help reduce allergy symptoms.
So before you reach for those over-the-counter antihistamines that will often leave you feeling drowsy, plus other unpleasant side effects, there’s a powerful, natural way to find relief.
Reflexology calms the nervous system and transports you to a state of deep rest and relaxation by stimulating reflex points on your feet, hands, face and ears. There are thousands of nerves in these areas — 15,000 in your feet alone! This is why a reflexology session is so very soothing and nurturing, leaving you feeling clear and energized.
While releasing tension and stress, reflexology also affects your organs, glands and pretty much every other part of your body, because each part has its related pressure point/area on the feet, hands, face and ears.
The chart above indicates some reflex points/areas on the feet that when stimulated, will help you breathe easier. Using your thumb or index finger, simply press and hold for five seconds on each of these seven areas:
- The sinuses (balls of the toes) open up clogged sinus cavities.
- The pituitary or "master gland" (center of big toe) stimulates and balances hormone secretions of all other glands.
- The thymus gland (upper inner edge of ball of foot) strengthens your immune system.
- Your chest, lungs and bronchials (center of ball of foot) release congestion.
- The solar plexus/diaphragm (under ball of foot at center) reduces stress and relaxes breathing.
- Your adrenal glands (just above center of foot near inner edge) produce cortisone/cortisol to reduce inflammation. Adrenalin boosts your energy level, often depleted by allergy symptoms.
- The ileocecal valve (lower outer edge of foot) regulates mucus production.
Stimulating these points will help to strengthen your immune system, balance the flow of your energy, promote overall wellness and benefit both seasonal allergies and chronic asthma.
You can also use the power of your mind to help you feel better, both during and after a reflexology session. It's becoming more known that our thoughts and visualizations can have a direct affect on the world around us — and especially our bodies.
In the deep state of relaxation you experience during reflexology, you are very receptive to suggestions you give yourself — much like hypnosis. What a great opportunity to imagine yourself breathing easily and comfortably with clear sinuses!
For an even more powerful experience you can try an affirmation such as, "The Universe is providing me with ease, grace and an abundance of breath." Since allergies are our body’s response to our environment, you could also use, "I am at peace and in harmony with my surroundings."
Spring is such a beautiful time of renewal and new beginnings, so let’s spend these glorious days feeling great and breathing easier. Reflexology is a great tool to help you make the very best of the sweetest of seasons!
Graphic courtesy of the author