How Massage Can Help Relieve your Allergies This Spring

  allergiesAre you sneezy, congested, and sniffly with allergies this April? You aren't alone. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America has predicted a longer and more severe allergy season this spring due to extreme weather patterns (1).

While many call New York a "concrete jungle," city-dwellers aren't spared from seasonal allergy triggers. The AAFA reports that the increased presence of mold in areas damaged by floods can trigger allergic reactions (another potentially lasting effect of Hurricane Sandy). Additionally, that construction project in your neighborhood may be making things worse; pollen from weeds proliferates in places with development projects (1). Yuck.

Last spring, we blogged about how self massage can help alleviate allergies. Massage therapy is a fantastic way to help alleviate the pain and pressure associated with sinus problems, and gently massaging your face in areas like your temples and the sides of your nose can alleviate sinus pressure.

But another way massage can help with allergy symptom management is through stress relief. Massage can reduce stress, increase circulation, and release muscle tension, contributing to relief of some allergy symptoms. Even the act of laying face down for a massage can relieve sinus pressure, while sinus trigger points located on the upper back and shoulders can also be worked on (2).
Studies have shown that massage can be an effective treatment for reducing stress (3). And stress and allergy symptoms are linked: a 2008 Harvard Medical School study showed that mothers-to-be who expose their unborn children to stress may increase their vulnerability to allergies and asthma (2, 4).
So not only can the physical act of massage help alleviate sinus pain and pressure, but the stress relief and relaxation provided by massage may also help reduce allergy symptoms.
Here's to enjoying the warmer weather, and to reaping the benefits of a great massage!
Article By: Kelly Shetron for Massage Williamsburg
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