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Spring in Northern Virginia is gorgeous, but seasonal allergies can be a real pain in the sinuses. Itchy, watery eyes, sneezing and a runny nose can wreck havoc on your sinuses and leave you feeling like your head is in a vice. So here are some of my favorite self care tips to help avoid seasonal sinus troubles.

The Local Honey Trick

A friend suggested this after one of my worst bouts of pollen allergies ever, and it seems to work for me. I take one spoonful of local honey every day starting before the flowering trees and grasses bloom. The idea is that you are being exposed to the pollen in small amounts through the local honey. Your body develops a natural resistance to it before the pollen starts to fly. I don’t know if this has been proven scientifically, but unless you have to be very careful about your sugar intake, what’s the harm in a daily spoonful of honey?

Eucalyptus and Peppermint Essential Oil

Remember when you were a kid and you had a cold? Your mom would come after you with the blue jar. She’d rub the jelly-like stuff on your chest and within seconds you cold breath again. It was the magic of “mentho-lyptus”. I still turn to that magic to help keep my sinuses open so I can breath freely. Morning is the worst time for my sinuses. I put a drop or two of peppermint and eucalyptus oils on the shower floor just before I step in so I can enjoy breathing in the vapors. If you need a little sinus support during the day you can place a drop or two of the oils in a mug of warm water and breath in the steam. Just be sure to wash your mug thoroughly before drinking out of it to be sure you’ve gotten rid of any residual essential oil.

Sinus Point Massage

There’s nothing quite like a sinus point massage when you’re dealing with congestion and sinus pressure. If you can’t get in to the massage therapist, don’t worry. This is a simple massage you can do for yourself with two fingertips.

  • First find the “third eye”, the flat area above your nose and between your eyebrows. With the tip of one index finger apply direct pressure for 10-15 seconds.
  • Then with both index fingers on the third eye, apply pressure and slide (together or alternating left and right) up the forehead to the scalp line, repeating for 3-4 strokes
  • Next, press and stroke the length of your eyebrows from inner to outer corners, repeat 3-4 times
  • Next, find the point just below the outer edge of each nostril, in the crease that your nostrils make with your cheeks. Apply pressure for 10-15 seconds.
  • Finally, with one index finger apply direct pressure in the divot directly below your nose and above your upper lip and hold for 10-15 seconds

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate

Those tears running down your cheeks and the mucus in your tissues add up to significant fluid loss. Be sure to replenish those fluids by staying well hydrated.

These tips help keep me breathing freely during allergy season. I hope they help you too so that you can get out and enjoy Spring!

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