Massage to Ease Spring Allergies

The gorgeous month of May bursts opens with color and life. Birds, bees, and blooms. The earth has reawakened, fecund and vibrant. Sunshine, warm breezes, and sneezes. Sneezes? Yes, allergy season has returned as well, and we’d like to share the benefits of integrating massage therapy and bodywork to relieve the symptoms of airborne spring sensitivities for you and your clients. From lymphatic to hot stone massage, reflexology, and aromatherapy, wellness therapies can provide respite from the season’s airborne triggers.

The effects of the polar vortex and other extreme weather patterns have experts predicting a severe allergy season. Allergies occur when the body overreacts to generally harmless elements and are a result of an overloaded immune system exposed to excessive stress and toxins. Some also believe that an emotional state of overwhelm is directly connected to an overwhelmed immune system. The body’s physical, emotional, and energetic systems are out of balance.

The hypersensitivity triggers the immune system to react by releasing histamines into the bloodstream which swells tissue in nasal passages and increases the production of mucous to keep the foreign pollen from entering the body.  This inflammatory response can range from mild to life threatening symptoms and results in the congestion, coughing, and itching associated with allergy season.  While antihistamines and other medications are generally prescribed for treatment, complementary massage and bodywork therapies can assist in alleviating and even eradicating discomfort for a longer period without negative side effects.

Massage therapy’s power to relax, relieve pain, and combat stress is an invaluable tool for relieving seasonal allergy symptoms. Professionals suggest using a massage chair; a more upright position can help alleviate sinus pressure and encourage drainage. Consider utilizing a Face Cradle Insert to add comfort, distribute pressure evenly around the face, and properly align the body. Gently massaging the face, temples, sinuses, and neck, not only relaxes and relieves pain, it helps break down and clear built-up mucous. Stress actually exacerbates allergic reactions by increasing histamine production. Reducing the stress and relaxing the muscles, minimizes the body’s fight response and strengthens the immune system, re-balancing the healthy body.

Massage and bodywork improves circulation, and healthy circulation maintains the body’s complex network of blood, oxygen, and waste management, at peak efficiency. Increased circulation reduces the swelling of tissue of the respiratory system, relieving congestion, distributing and ultimately flushing out histamines built up in the muscles. Massage encourages deep breathing which significantly increases oxygen intake and absorption, improving the efficiency of the respiratory system. Lymphatic massage strengthens the immune system and helps to eliminate toxins.

Exfoliation with a Salt Scrub removes dead cells from the surface of the skin, revealing healthy new cells for a stronger first defense against external allergens. Moisturizing oils and lotions nourish and fortify the skin. A diffuser promotes relaxation and relieves congestion. When used with immune strengthening and decongestant Essential Oils like peppermint, eucalyptus and tea tree, sinuses are cleared by reducing swelling and encouraging mucous breakdown for expulsion.

Massage therapy is encouraged as a complementary treatment to traditional approaches for combating allergies. Drowsiness, drainage, and coughing are common side effects after massage therapy. While some people may notice an immediate change, everyone is different and responds accordingly.

When practiced consistently and regularly, in balance with adequate sleep, a healthy diet, hydration, and avoiding pollutants and toxins, massage therapy can cleanse the body, rejuvenate the immune system, and placate the symptoms of allergy season. Be revitalized and fully enjoy the beauty of this time of year with the help of massage.

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