Spring is here! Your eyes are itchy, your nose is dripping, you feel irritable – they must be allergies, right? Not necessarily! In most cases I have seen, in the early spring here in New England, the seasonal change from winter to spring tends to cause excess heat which dries the eyes and nasal sinuses internally resulting in allergic symptoms.
Let me explain.
Your body needs to get used to generating more heat during the winter than in the summer. This natural ability develops through autumn but when spring comes, a warming trend develops and your body now needs to reduce its heat production to maintain a balance in healthy body temperature. I have an analogy for you … think of the body as a wood stove. To keep the house warm on a cold winter day, let’s say it’s 20 degrees outside, you need to put a lot of wood in the wood stove to heat the house. The same thing happens with the body that needs to increase the heat in winter. Now, as spring arrives together on the hottest days, let’s say 40 or 50 degrees, if you continue to put the same amount of wood in the wood stove you are going to overheat the house. Again, the same with the body but the body is slow to change. As the body overheats in the spring, body heat rises to the head and dries out the tender, moist tissue found on the eyes and sinuses which leads to itching and irritation.
This excess heat also warms us up internally and makes us feel irritable, just like you are in an excessively hot room and you feel uncomfortable. Your body takes time to change – slow and steady wins the race but here in Rhode Island irregular weather conditions underline our health. As the saying goes, if you don’t like the weather, wait a minute.
Now I say that it is less about allergies and seasonal changes. Suddenly, in early spring, people come into my clinic exploding with allergy-like symptoms, but where’s the allergen explosion? For example, where is the pollen? There are no large blooms in early spring unlike late spring (June) when oaks release their greenish-yellow pollen that covers everything in sight – release the Kraken!
So what can we do? We need to get rid of the heat in the body to balance the seasonal changes as the days get warmer. This is difficult because temperatures go up and down all spring.
My suggestion is to focus on the fundamentals: sleep and diet and when things get acute, take some acupuncture and natural herbal medicine. Sleeping helps to cool the body and rejuvenate the body. Poor sleep needs to be addressed if you want to get to the root of the problem before running away to get an aggressive drug to dry the post nasal drip. Although, if you need a quick fix, there are natural herbal formulas like what I call “nose pills” in my clinic, which can be more delicate and very useful. Acupuncture can also be helpful in eliminating heat, relaxing the body and restoring balance naturally.
In addition, eating more heat-eliminating foods such as salads and assorting fruits and vegetables such as apples, pears, cucumbers, asparagus, lettuce and celery can eliminate heat. It also eliminates heat by avoiding cooked and hot winter foods such as stews and roasts that require a lot of heat to be prepared energetically. Long-cooking foods heat the body a lot and should be consumed less during spring and summer. Also reduce starches and sugar sources which can cause inflammation and weight gain. Eating less and losing a few pounds can also help.
It is interesting to note, in many cultures and traditions as in the time of Lent, that fasting is part of tradition – fasting not only weighs less on your spirit, but also has an uplifting effect on your energy which is very conducive to your health. There are several types of fasting and it’s not good for everyone, so be sure to seek professional help before trying important changes in your diet.
If you are interested in a completely natural solution for your health, consider contacting the clinic and ask for a free consultation to find out more. Knowing traditional nutrition can restore balance and bring greater happiness and a healthier life for you and your family.