Spring Forward towards Health!





No matter how long the winter, spring is sure to follow.  ~Proverb
Can you believe spring is almost here? After an especially brutal winter, we can finally put away our snow boots and wake up with the sun! Spring is one of the most joyous seasons. As we welcome longer and brighter days and the fresh spring air, we must prepare our minds and bodies for this new cycle. Be a step ahead and don’t let allergies or insomnia ruin your spring fling. So, before you shed off all your winter layers,  Remedy NYC has some tips on how to tackle some of springs trickiest symptoms.
Contact us for more information or to set up your appointment!

More sunshine, longer days, warmer weather, flowers beginning to bloom, and more chances to play outdoors!  All signs that spring is finally on its way in.  While this may be welcome after a long winter, they also signal the onset of allergy season for many people, affecting at least one-third of all Americans with sneezing, sinus congestion, runny nose, red, itchy eyes, skin reactions such as hives, and even severe reactions triggering asthma attacks.
People think they only have two options: hide out and stay indoors, missing out on all picnics and outdoor activities, or take prescription/OTC meds daily to temporarily control the symptoms only to then deal with a host of unwanted side effects such as drowsiness, low libido, depression, altered smell and taste, and high blood pressure.  But another option exists: a natural remedy that has been shown to provide relief for those suffering from seasonal allergies!
In a 2004 study published in Allergy magazine, weekly acupuncture treatments and Chinese herbal medicine can effectively treat the acute symptoms of seasonal allergies, while also treating the underlying cause to help prevent future allergies from occuring.  The aim is to regulate the immune response to allergens, and unblock the body’s flow of energy to restore balance to the body and strengthen the immune system to create substantial long-term health benefits.   Treatments over the course of a few weeks will help to strengthen your body’s defenses against allergens and help to mediate your body’s response to the irritants.  Now is the perfect time to start the acupuncture treatments!  Contact us to schedule an appointment.

Tips to help manage allergies
  • Eat local, seasonal foods. It keeps us in tune and in balance with the natural cycles around us.
  • Eat local honey, and – if you do not have a reaction to it, test by having only a tiny granule at first – local bee pollen. The local honey and bee pollen is made from pollen of local flowers, in a form that is utilized by the body. Thus, when the body is later exposed in the environment, the immune system does not see it as an invader and react against it.
  • Drink green tea and chamomile tea, both contains natural antihistamines
  • Avoid mucous producing foods like dairy and cold/raw foods which can exacerbate symptoms
  • Drink water to stay hydrated and keep the sinuses hydrated and for proper lymphatic drainage
  • Rinse your nasal passages to clear the allergen irritants out (see instructions below)

Nurture your nose
Between winter’s cold air and the allergies of spring and summer your sinuses can take a beating. Not to worry…there is a tried and true Ayurvedic ”solution” to this problem. The Neti Pot is a simple way to clean your sinuses and get rid of infection-causing bacteria. Neti Pot use helps relieve colds, allergies and sinus infections.
Mix a 1/4 teaspoon of finely ground non-iodized salt in 8oz of water.  Use the purest salt available because impurities in the salt can be irritating. Lean forward and turn your head to one side over the sink,keeping the forehead at the same height as the chin, or slightly higher. Gently insert the spout in the upper nostril so it forms a comfortable seal. Raise the Neti Pot gradually so the saline solution flows in through your upper nostril and out of the lower nostril.  Breathe through your mouth. When the Neti Pot is empty, face the sink and exhale vigorously without pinching the nostrils. Refill the Neti Pot and repeat on the other side. Again, exhale vigorously to clear the nasal passages.

We’ve all experienced sleepless nights spent tossing and turning in bed. Studies indicate that insomnia affects one in three adults every year in the US which means that over 90% of people experience some degree of insomnia in their lifetimes.  An occasional sleepless night is normal, but did you know that chronic insomnia has serious effects on our physical and mental health?
According to the National Sleep Foundation, poor sleep means more than a slow start the next morning.  Insomnia can impact your quality of life and can lead to mood disturbances such as anxiety, lack of motivation, decreased attention span, difficulty concentrating, and depression.  It can also contribute to physical problems ranging from headaches and weight gain to heart ailments.  Quality sleep helps you thrive by regulating hormone levels, boosting immune system function, and increasing blood supply to organs and muscles.  Without proper sleep, your body and brain will be ineffective at performing its daytime activities.
What causes insomnia?
Insomnia is when a person has trouble falling and/or staying asleep and does not feel refreshed after a night’s sleep.  It includes tossing and turning, waking up throughout the night (whether from dreams or habit), and being unable to fall asleep after waking up in the middle of the night.  Various factors contribute to insomnia; these include: stress, irregular work schedules, medications, chronic pain, drug or alcohol abuse, major life changes, hyperthyroidism, depression and anxiety.
How can Chinese Medicine help?
The World Health Organization lists insomnia as a condition that can be treated safely and effectively with Acupuncture.   Acupuncture clears obstructions in the muscle and nerve channels, and assists with the flow of oxygen-enriched energy throughout the body which results in calming and relaxing the sympathetic nervous system.  Benefits of acupuncture include deeper breathing, improved digestive capability, and a general sense of well-being.  Acupuncture works to bring your body and mind back into its natural rhythm thereby securing more restful sleeping patterns.

Tips for a better night’s sleep
Regardless of what’s causing your insomnia, it is important to establish and maintain healthy sleep habits.
At night:
  • Establish a regular bedtime routine and regular sleep-wake schedule
  • Avoid large and heavy meals at least 3 hours before bedtime
  • Create a comfortable sleep environment that is dark, quiet and cool.
  • Make it a rule not to work with a laptop, use your cell phone, or watch tv while in bed
During the day:
  • Exercise regularly, but finish your workout at least 3 hours before bedtime
  • Incorporate physical and mental relaxation techniques such as yoga and tai ji
  • Consume less or no caffeine, particularly late in the day
  • Avoid alcohol. Even if it helps you fall asleep quicker, it actually worsens insomnia by causing shallow, unrefreshing sleep
  • Avoid nicotine altogether as it has a detrimental effect on the lungs, heart, sinuses, and circulation.  And it also interferes with sleep as it is a stimulant that prevents the brain from resting

RECIPE: Lullaby Longan Tea
(Ancient Wisdom, Modern Kitchen by Wang and Sheir)
This sweet and nutty-flavored beverage is gentle and soothing, and especially good for anyone who has trouble falling asleep.  Longan fruit, which is reputed to add luster to the skin, can also be brewed as a single-ingredient tea.  This recipe serves 1 to 2.
Combine the 8 pieces of dried longan fruit (long yan rou), 10 lotus seeds (lian zi), and 2 cups water in a small pot and bring to a boil.  Lower the heat and simmer, covered with the lid slightly ajar, for about 10 minuttes.  Strain out the herbs and serve.
Ingredients can be bought here in NY Chinatown.
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