With more time spent outside this summer participating in socially distant activities like hiking, biking and camping in Bend, you may find yourself more affected by seasonal allergies than years prior. But before you keep reaching for the antihistamines and over-the-counter solutions, try a holistic approach for easing seasonal allergies by visiting a chiropractor in Bend, Oregon.

What causes allergies?

Simply put, allergies are your immune system’s response to foreign substances in the body. Whether from particular foods, certain materials or spring blooms, your body may react adversely to any number of seemingly ordinary items.

In the case of seasonal allergies, allergens like pollen enter your body through inhalation and trigger the immune response. While, these substances may be harmless, your body does not perceive them as such and begins working to remove them from your system – an allergic reaction.

How does your body react to allergens?

At the surface, your body reacts to seasonal allergens through sneezing, coughing, watery eyes and a runny nose, as well as hives in some instances. These actions are meant to expel the foreign substances through any means necessary.

Although, the reaction happening within is much more complex. When the allergen enters your body, the immune system activates specialized mast cells. These cells then determine whether the substance is helpful or harmful. If deemed as harmful, the cells release histamines, which trigger an inflammatory response to signal the rest of the immune system to resolve the issue.

Chiropractic Care for Seasonal Allergies

Chiropractic care focuses on realigning your spine to encourage proper functioning of the systems that radiate from this area in several ways.

Boosts communication between the brain and immune system

Precise communication between the brain and the rest of the body keeps all your systems running and responding. Unfortunately, subluxations, or misalignments of the spine, can affect your brain’s ability to send messages to the appropriate areas. By restoring your alignment, chiropractic care can help your immune system quickly execute and resolve allergic reactions through appropriate signaling.

Helps balance and regulate allergy-fighting hormones

Too many histamines can cause high levels of inflammation and an intense allergic reaction, but this can be balanced by the anti-inflammatory hormone, cortisol. The T9 area of the spine feeds the adrenal gland that produces cortisol, so misalignments and blockages magnify the severity of allergic reactions by reducing cortisol production. Chiropractic adjustments free up this area, allowing it to release appropriate levels of cortisol and promote balance.

Reduces irritation that hinders functioning

When your spine is out of alignment, affected nerves can cause irritation and inflammation. These areas then experience a decrease in function and negatively impact connected body systems. With seasonal allergies, irritation in certain sections of the spine can actually worsen or flat out cause symptoms unnecessarily. Your chiropractor will identify these areas and manipulate them to ease the irritation and improve function.

While chiropractic care does not treat allergies, it may keep your body functioning properly, so it can fight off infection and irritation before it becomes a problem. However, getting one adjustment may not be then be-all and end-all solution, as once you become misaligned, you are again susceptible to the same reactions.

Regular adjustments help keep you in alignment and feeling good year-round. Talk to a chiropractor in Bend at Total Body Chiropractic & Massage about the best treatment regimen as well as diet and lifestyle changes that may make your allergy season more manageable.