Allergies can be so unpredictable. You don't always know when and where they will strike. Popping allergy medicine can help, but there's a more natural and immediate way to find relief.
With acupressure, you let your fingers be your instruments of healing when you need to alleviate irritated eyes, runny nose and cough. You need your touch even more when you suffer sinus issues that range from facial pain and difficulty breathing through the nose to headaches and painful teeth.
A single acupressure point called Yin Tang is located on the forehead between the eyebrows, and it is a powerful form of relief. To enjoy the point's benefits, simply use the pads of your fingertips and massage the area between your brows.
One effective technique is to use your middle finger and make small circles without lifting your finger. Make the circles only as large as your skin can comfortably stretch. Feel free to engage in gentle acupressure at this site for as little as 30 seconds or for as long as 15 minutes. A lot of people find closing their eyes and relaxing into the activity provides the most relief.
All too often symptoms of allergies can include complications such as emotional stress or fatigue. Pressing on Yin Tang can harmonize the emotions and lessen anxiety, which are two things that contribute to a healthy immune system.
To add a part two to this exercise, run your fingers through your hair. Start above your eyebrows and trail your fingertips up to the hairline, then apply more vigorous pressure and scratch your skull. Try going forehead to neck, then reverse the order.
The next step is to keep us this lovely, scratching motion as you apply it to your temples. Run your hands on the sides of your head to the neck, and then back up again. When you have done this for a couple of minutes, give your neck a little stretch to the left, the right, and then forward and backward.
The general idea is to galvanize all your good, healing energy (Qi) and encourage it to circulate around your head. In this way, many local symptoms of allergies located on the head can be addressed.
To help address symptoms that originate further down the body, there are other acupressure exercises. In the case of coughing, wheezing or other respiratory symptoms, addressing the lungs is appropriate. For this exercise, you will need to locate your breastbone (sternum) and find your ribs.
The breastbone is what your ribs emanate from. You will need to explore your upper ribcage and find the intercostal spaces. These are the soft spaces in between your ribs. Sometimes they can feel a bit sore if you are experiencing allergy symptoms, so start with a delicate touch.
Use all four fingers on both hands to find your sternum and place each finger over an intercostal space. Your pointer fingers should lie just under your clavicles. Press as hard, or as soft, as you need. Pull your fingers slightly upwards as you follow the intercostal spaces.
If there's a point where a spot is crying out for more attention, linger for a few seconds as you make tiny circular motions. By stimulating this area of the chest, Qi is delivered to the lungs. The energy generated from the acupressure can help break up phlegm and relieve coughing.
After you have massaged here, treat your lungs to at least three deep breaths. Try inhaling through your nose and exhaling through your mouth. You can experiment with this simple breathing exercise by not making any sounds as you do it. Finish by applying a minty chapstick on your lips. Mint has a dispersing quality that can help open up a stuffy nose.
Contact an acupuncturist today to schedule an appointment or to learn more about acupuncture and Oriental medicine.
Starkey J. (2015). Try This Easy 6-Minute Acupressure Exercise for Allergy Relief (Video). Cleveland Clinic. Retrieved from https://health.clevelandclinic.org/try-this-easy-6-minute-acupressure-exercise-for-allergy-relief-video/
About the Author: Vanessa Vogel Batt, L.Ac., MSTOM, studied at the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, and practiced acupuncture and Oriental medicine in New York for several years. Vanessa enjoys traveling the world, and has published articles on acupuncture and Oriental medicine and related health topics for websites and publications in both the U.S. and abroad.