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What are Allergies?
Allergies are used to describe a response, within the body, to almost any substance (allergen) that causes an immune reaction. Almost anything, including normally non-harmful substances, can cause an allergic reaction. In an allergic person, their oversensitive immune system believes allergens to be harmful and so it produces a special type of antibody (IgE) to attack the supposed intruder. This usually leads blood cells to release chemicals (including histamine) which together can cause the symptoms of an allergic reaction.
Allergies are one of the most common chronic health disorders in the industrialized world. They are the body's response to the environment, both physical and social. The abundance of toxic chemicals in our air, food and water are just some of the major factors that contribute to allergies. These factors can lead to both physical and emotional imbalances within the body and serve to weaken the defensive energy of the body. Allergic symptoms can include burning, tearing, itchy eyes, nose, throat or skin, breathing problems, headache, hives, conjunctivitis (red, swollen eyes), coughing, wheezing, cramps, runny nose, rashes and diarrhea.
What is Allergic Rhinitis?
This is a condition that occurs in the body as a reaction to irritating substances (allergens). Symptoms are brought on as the body triggers the release of histamines. Histamine causes inflammation and fluid production in the fragile linings of nasal passages, sinuses, and eyelids.
Allergic Rhinitis is most often caused by pollen, dust mites, animal dander and mold and can cause symptoms including sneezing, runny nose, constant drainage from the nose, congestion, itchy nose, throat, eyes, and ears and in some cases nosebleeds. Allergic rhinitis is broken down into two types: seasonal (occurring mostly during pollen seasons) and perennial (occurring throughout the year).
Preventive measures to avoid symptoms include using an air filtration medium such as a home air filter or air conditioner, avoiding pet interaction and avoiding being in areas high in pollen, mold and dust.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), practitioners believe the body can better deal with allergies when in balance. It is believed that in order to achieve optimum and healthy balance, one must promote harmony and vitality to the body through healing principles commonly used in eastern medicine philosophies. Some of these techniques include the addition of stress reducing activities (like yoga, tai chi or meditation), body detoxification, drinking adequate amounts of clean water, effective supplementation, healthy diet, exercise and various other healthy and natural techniques.*