Archive for the ‘Allergies’ Category

Can This Toothpaste Cure Allergies?

As you may have noticed, spring allergy season still isn’t over. In fact, June is the peak time for grass pollen in many areas of the country, so your sneezing, itchy eyes, and fatigue may actually be getting worse.

Until now, your only hopes for coping with allergy symptoms have been drugs like antihistamines or preventive “cures” like allergy shots. The former can help ease symptoms, but they often carry not-so-great side effects like dry mouth—and recent research has even shown that if you take them enough, they may hurt your brain. As for the latter, even if you don’t mind needles, shots are a three-plus year commitment, which ultimately is too much for many people.

But there may be an easier fix: a toothpaste.
Granted, we’re not talking about your regular tube of Crest. Called Allerdent, this is a toothpaste that actually contains your allergen—if you’re allergic to a specific type of tree pollen, for example, it’ll be mixed into the paste (either by a compounding pharmacy or your own general practitioner).

It sounds outrageous, but this works in a similar way to allergy shots (and another FDA-approved treatment called sublingual immunotherapy): As you brush, small doses of the allergen get absorbed through the mucus membranes under your tongue and travel to the local lymph nodes, which contain immune system cells. This helps build up your tolerance to the substance, so you (ideally) eventually stop reacting to it at all, explains Bob Pomrenke, the vice president of allergy at QmedRx Compound Pharmacy, which helped create Allerdent.

With shots, though, you have to visit your doctor as often as twice a month for three to five years, which is inconvenient (and, for people who are scared of needles, downright stressful). Even for sublingual immunotherapy, “there’s a high dropout rate, and we wanted to find a way to increase compliance,” explains Pomrenke. Everyone brushes their teeth daily, so building into that established routine made sense. Plus, you’re meant to hold the allergen in your mouth for at least two minutes in order for it to work effectively—the same amount of time you’re supposed to spend brushing your teeth (though few people do). So you might improve your gum health as you build up your tolerance to allergies.

If you’re interested, ask your primary physician or ENT about the treatment. They can send a prescription to Allovate, or learn how to mix it themselves in their own office.

~Courtesy of Shape Magazine

Yoga For The Winter Blues

As the weather shifts to chillier temps, many of us are finding ourselves with the sniffles or sore throats. Beat the symptoms of a common cold all year long with these yoga asanas, which help to balance the sympathetic (activity, or “fight or flight” response) and parasympathetic (rest and relaxation) systems. Anything that affects this balance, whether coming from the inside (like hunger, the need for oxygen, fear) or the outside (like temperature change, movement, watching a movie), requires a change from one state of balance, such as hunger, to another, such as digestion.

Because our immune systems consist of white blood cells that circulate in the blood and organs of the thymus located in the chest (above the heart and the spleen in right upper abdomen) you can help stop the common cold by a shoulder stand to draw blood to your head and throat, which brings more white blood cells to the areas where they are needed and helps relieve sinus congestion.

Shoulder Stand  (Sarvangasana)

Benefits: Brings blood to the head and throat, thereby relieving sinus congestion and stress, and strengthens the immune functions of the hormonal system.

How-to:

1.  Lie on your mat, press shoulders down and draw the shoulder blades toward the waist. 2.  Turn the upper arms out and extend them toward the legs, bring elbows close to trunk. 3.  Move the back ribs in and bend the legs with feet close to the buttocks. 4.  With palms up press elbows into the floor, exhale and lift the trunk, bending legs over the abdomen. 5.  Support the back with the hands and raise the trunk and legs higher, bringing the chest toward the chin; take the hands lower down and press the back ribs forward. Straighten the legs up until they are vertical and with the help of the hands raise the shoulder blades and extend the trunk up, lift the hips and stretch the legs.

Fish Pose (Matsyasana)

Benefits: Opens up the throat and lungs, increasing circulation while helping to break up congestion. Stimulates the thyroid gland in the base of the throat, helping to regulate metabolism. Stimulates the pineal gland in the center of the brain, releasing melatonin brings a relaxed response to the nervous system.  Increases blood flow to the thymus and the spleen helping white blood cells target infection.

How-to:

1.  Lie flat on the floor with your palms pressed against sides of your thighs. 2.  Shift your bodyweight to your elbows and raise your head and trunk. 3.  Arch your chest and lower the crown of your head to the floor, creating a “bridge” between your buttocks and head; expand your chest as much as possible. 4.  To come out of the pose, place your body weight on your elbows again and raise your head gently.

Yoga Nidra (Deep Relaxation)

Benefits: Relieves strain and tightness of the lower back.  This asana massages the abdominal organs and digestive tract, increasing circulation and pushing the contents of the bowel along, helping to relieve constipation. A powerful ancient meditation technique, it is also a scientific way to eliminate the root cause of all the negativities. This asana also allows heart to rest deeply and reduces stress, helping to strengthen the immune system. It is also helpful in balancing the hormonal system while stimulating the pineal, thymus and thyroid glands, which increases circulation into all major organs.

How-to:

1.  Lie on your back in a comfortable supine position with your arms and legs extended, about a foot-and-a-half apart, and your arms a few inches away from your body with your palms up. 2.  Close your eyes, breathing through your nose and begin relaxing. 3.  Bring your awareness to your right leg and foot. Tense the leg. Lift it off the floor a few inches. Tense a little tighter and let it drop. Roll it from side to side and just forget about it. Repeat with the left leg. 4.  Now, inhale and tense your pelvis and buttocks; squeeze the tension out. Most of us hold a lot of stress in this area, which can lead to disorders in the reproductive system as well as in the pelvis and hips. 5.  Inhale and fill your stomach with air. Hold it for a few moments, then release through your mouth – just let it gush out.

~ Spa Wellness

Immunity Herbal Tonics

Feeling run-down and stressed-out? Does it seem you always catch whatever is going around? You may want to consider taking a daily tonic. Also known as adaptogens, these nontoxic, plant-based substances help to bolster your body’s natural defenses and increase its ability to cope with normal daily stress. When taken long term, tonics may help support energy and maintain normal, healthy immunity. Popular tonics include:

1. Ashwagandha. This traditional herb (Withania somnifera) from India is much used in ayurvedic medicine, where it is valued as a general tonic and adaptogen.

2. Eleuthro. Formerly called Siberian ginseng, eleuthero (Eleutherococcus senticosus) is a distant relative of true ginseng. It can be useful for alleviating exhaustion, fatigue from heavy workloads and lack of energy. Look for products that are standardized for eleutheroside content.

3. Reishi. This distinctive, woody mushroom (Ganoderma lucidum) is too bitter to be eaten, but can be taken in supplement form. Reishi is recommended in traditional Chinese medicine for increasing resistance and extending life, and has been studied for its ability to support normal immune health.

4. Rhodiola. Also known as arctic root, rhodiola (Rhodiola rosea) contains a group of distinctive compounds that are at least partially responsible for the plant’s remarkable properties – including anti-fatigue, anti-stress, antioxidant and immune-supporting effects. It is useful for acute stress, to support optimal mood and for memory health.

You should be able to find all these herbal products in health food stores – choose the one that best meets your needs, follow package directions, and give it about six to eight weeks to see how it helps. You can take tonics indefinitely, but some herbalists suggest taking a two-week-long break every three months to help maintain the tonic’s effectiveness.

~Special Thanks to Dr. Weils

Part 1: Spring Cleaning Long Over Due – Choose a OMG WELLNESS PLAN that Fits You!

SPRING CLEANING LONG OVER DUE – CHOOSE A DETOX THAT FITS YOU!

Spring is here and we have already been through at least 2 awful allergy sessions, 1 stress breakdown and 3 crash diets.  BUT HAVE WE YET TO REALLY WORK ON OURSELVES? THIS IS AN OMG MOMENT READY TO HAPPEN!! Well look no further OhMyGosh has decided to give you a couple of pointers to step up your new body image for the summer inside and out. OMG wants its fans to not only look good but feel great by practicing wellness techniques throughout their everyday activities to avoid SPRING FEVER.

We at OMG want you to learn how to detoxify – to remove all those chemicals that have accumulated in your fluids and tissues – and let your body begin to regenerate itself through fitness, nutrition and health! OMG~did you know strong healthy cells are what makes your foundation grounded? The key  lies in the foods you put in your mouth, the thoughts you put in your head and the feeling you place in your heart.  As you begin to observe how you feel when you improve your diet, control your thoughts and foster peaceful feeling, you will know what to do and what not to do.

The following 3 part blog will take you through some of the most common SPRING FEVER OMG MOMENTS (Health, Weight, Stress) utilizing nothing but OMG strategies of how to Challenge, Conquer, Commit and Complete various elements each day to achieve the ultimate spring cleaning for a GREAT OMG SUMMER 2011 START!!! **Remember these are alternative suggestions provided by OMG and should not replace/conflict with medication. Please contact your doctor or and OMG specialist before starting if you have any concerns**

~ CHALLENGE: Ready for the outside and start enjoying this great spring weather- that is unless you suffer from springtime allergies and sinuses. Your immune system has decided that and everyday substances- maybe pollen from a tree, the dander from a cat or the dust on a book shelf- is your enemy, an allergen. When you inhale that substance into your body, an antibody is created. This specialized protein first detects the enemy, and then signals the immune system to disarm and destroy the scoundrel. If high pollen levels or other allergens are keeping you from enjoying the great outdoors, be prepared to make some OMG changes ASAP!

~CONQUER:   Two herbs that are great for aggravating allergies are Nettle and Ginkgo biloba. Nettle contains a substance that works as a natural anti-histamine and Ginkgo biloba contains substances called ginkgolides, which can stop allergy-triggering chemicals (platelet activating factor, PAF) in their tracks.

When addressing allergies, several important areas can be positively affected by utilizing essential oils, particularly lavender and bergamot, which can be used for their general notifying properties for allergy-related conditions. Most allergies involve inflammatory responses and will benefit from the anti-inflammatory essential oils such as chamomile and lavender. Lemon is one essential oil I often include with allergy remedies because it is purifying, anti-toxic and antibacterial. Essential oil use can strengthen your respiratory, immune, and nervous systems when used correctly, and in moderation.

Dietary recommendations include avoiding the foods which cause problems for you. Drink fresh lemon juice daily in water to purify and detoxify the body. Be sure to drink plenty of pure water too! Anti-oxidants may also help in prevention.

OMG TIP: To relieve itching, which is a common symptom in many allergies, use essential oils of lemon, chamomile and peppermint.

~COMMIT: Make sure your environment is allergy safe to avoid constant contact with the problem at hand. Here are a couple of house tips:  Non-carpeted flooring is best. If you can’t get rid of carpeting, vacuum often with a multi-layer, allergen-proof vacuum bag.  Buy plants such as Philodendrons, spider plants, cactus, English ivy and peace lilies to soak up air pollution and volatile toxins that may emitted throughout your home due to carpet, paint and even computers.

OMG TIP: For general use in many allergy situations, I recommend a blend of essential oils that can be diffused several times per day and can aid in controlling germs, purifying the air, promoting relaxation and are anti-inflammatory. This blend below is anti-toxic and anti-bacterial that should assist in soothing the nervous system.

For Diffuser use: 5 drops of Lavender essential oil, 2 drops of Bergamot essential oil, 1 drop of Lemon essential oil and 1 drop of Peppermint essential oil. Allow this essential blend to diffuse three to four times daily, for 10 to 15 minutes duration each time.          

~COMPLETE: Visualize your immune system as a rain barrel. Many factors, such as infections, environmental toxins, and stress, can fill your barrel. When the barrel is full, one more drop-an allergen-can overflow your immune system so that it can’t deal with the invader. You experience allergic symptoms. The best ways to lower the water level in your rain barrel so that your body can deal with allergens is with detoxification baths. The heat from the bath releases stored toxins from fat cells into the blood. They then travel to the skin and are released. To make sure you keep this OMG MOMENT under control try our Spring Fever Steam Bath product ~ Horseradish and Shiitake extracts to enhance detoxification and stimulating bodily processes to relieve common allergy symptoms such as nasal congestion and dry eyes. It can be used as a facial steam bath, soak or footbath.

OMG TIP: Lymphatic Drainage is very important and helpful when involving respiratory ailments. The four basic principles of this method are:

  • Maintain normal body temperature (to remove or add heat)
  • Create a vacuum (to encourage drainage from glands or organs)
  • Reposition substance (movement of soft tissue)
  • Reposition congestion (to disperse internal fullness)

Below is a short an image to help you be aware of where your most prominent lymph nodes are that contribute to allergy and sinus symptoms. 

OMG is so happy to jumpstart your 2011 Spring Cleaning process. Stay tuned for Part 2 next week: Detox Plans, Healthy Recipes and Fitness Tips to help you put your weight loss goal or overall health at the top of the OMG STATUS. Remember OhMyGosh is where OMG MOMENTS BECOME OMG HISTORY!

Ms.OMG

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