Spring Into Action Against Allergies

It’s no doubt after the last leg of this winter we are all ready for spring. Sunshine… Warmer temperatures… Green grass… Blossoming trees… Wait… Green grass and blossoming trees?! That means allergies. Oh, great! Here are some valuable tips on how Massage Therapy can help alleviate some of those pesky allergy symptoms.

What is one of the biggest things people relate to Massage Therapy? Stress relief, which can benefit you in so many ways, but let’s look at how it relates to allergy relief.

allergies

Research shows that stress can exacerbate allergy symptoms by increasing production of histamines. Histamines are the chemical our body pours out in response to allergens like pollen, dust, and mold. When histamines are at elevated levels our body shows the tell-tale allergy symptoms such as congestion, headaches, and muscle tension, just to name a few. Massage can relieve these symptoms by improving circulation, lessening anxiety and releasing muscle tension. A study done by Ohio State University found that allergy sufferers had more severe, and lengthy, allergy attacks when under stress. Case in point here being: LESS STRESS = LESS SEVERE ALLERGIES!

Massage Therapists can do several techniques to help with allergy symptoms.

  • Facial Massage can relieve sinus pressure and swelling
  • Tapotment on the lung area on the back while the client is lying face down can assist in breaking up and loosening mucus and phlegm in the lungs,
  • Working on the scalene and SCM muscles in the neck as well as the occipitals can relieve tense muscles and headaches.

All while you are relieving your stress and inflammation. Massage Therapists, can also use different essential oils to help with the relief of symptoms. Oils like Eucalyptus are great for helping open up nasal passages and increasing breathing.

As much help as a professional massage can provide, there’s no need to book a massage every single time you’re stuffed up. By gently pressing on your acupressure points, you can safely ease allergy symptoms and return to your usual sunny-day activities within minutes. In other words, in about the same amount of time as it takes to blow your nose. Just follow these six expert moves to give yourself some relief:

Massage to Ease Allergy Congestion:

1.    Place the tips of your index fingers where the inside corners of your eyebrows meet the bridge of your nose. Use gentle pressure, and either hold until you feel a release or massage in slow, small outward circles.

2.    Place the tips of your middle fingers just to the side of your nostrils, at the edge of the cheekbone. Hold with gentle pressure or massage in easy outward circles.

Massage to Ease Allergy Headaches:

1.    With your middle and index fingers, lightly massage your temples (outside corners of your brows, above your cheeks) in a circular motion toward your ears. It’s actually an instinctual reaction to rub this point, and for good reason: It melts away pain.

2.    Locate the points where your neck muscles meet the base of the back of your skull, and hold with moderate pressure. Press in an upward direction until the muscles release.

Massage to Ease Stress:

1.    Squeeze the fleshy part of the hand between the thumb and index finger. The thumb of the squeezing hand should be on the top side of the hand being squeezed. Hold with moderate pressure and then stroke for a few repetitions, gently pulling out (in the direction away from the wrist).

2.    Place your index, middle and ring fingers at the tops of your shoulders and hold. If massaging your child or another adult, you can also gently squeeze the muscle or rub it along the fibers toward the outside of the shoulder (versus upward, toward the neck).

*For all points, hold or massage for 20 seconds to two minutes or until there is a release. The pressure should feel good — not acutely painful.

14 thoughts on “Spring Into Action Against Allergies”

  1. I cant wait to try these cool allergy tricks on my clients and myself this spring. I also know I can use that stress relief exercise at work.

  2. I gave my daughter a massage last night and tried this. She loved it and wants to share it with her coworkers. Great blog!

  3. I had no idea about the relation of stress and allergy symptom severity. It makes sense, considering stress has been known to weaken immune systems. Stress impacts so many aspects of our health. I make receiving a professional massage every other week part of my stress reduction self-care routine.

    When we were learning about the muscles of respiration in school, our instructor taught us the back tapotment routine. Several students had an upper respiratory infection, and the tapotment brought near instant relief and drainage. Of course, make sure you have tissues handy for your client. The drainage can be excessive once the tapotment is used.

    I will definitely try the techniques to relieve allergy headaches. That is where my allergies manifest the most. It will also help tension headaches. I used to concentrate on the occipital and suboccipitals. I had no idea the sternocleidomastoid muscle was involved, so I will start working that muscle when someone complains of tension or allergy headaches.

  4. This last spring I had terrible allergies. I will be sure and try these techniques the next time I am suffering from them!

  5. Great Information! I love to use essential oils and a diffuser when I start to feel allergies knocking at the door. Thanks! Great read!