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Spring is almost here and I can feel my allergies kicking in. I developed seasonal allergies in my early 30’s after an extremely stressful time of my life. I had been unkind to pretty much every part of myself. My romantic relationship was falling apart and everything was out of control. I was being swallowed up by self hatred and hopelessness. I felt like crap all the time. I thought I kept getting colds but when I went to the doctor I was informed that I had developed late onset allergies. Ugh.

Allergies are an autoimmune disorder that causes an abnormal reaction by a person’s immune system against a normally harmless substance. In western medicine there isn’t much to offer in the way of “curing” allergies. I was prescribed antihistamines, steroid nasal spray and a steroid inhaler. As I am sure you can imagine I wasn’t comfortable with this prescription especially since the treatment was theoretically a “rest of my life” thing.

In Chinese medicine strengthening the immune system is supposed to help and possibly even cure allergies. Avoiding stress, eating good foods and supporting the immune system are key. I firmly believe that I can cure myself of allergies. I haven’t yet but I manage to control them with a fair amount of success using yoga and acupuncture. With this in mind I have been doing more and more immune supporting yoga asanas lately in hopes of keeping my reactions to a minimum.

Yogic immune system boosters often involve back bends and chest openers. These types of postures stimulate the thymus gland, which in turn strengthens the immune system. I did this sequence today and it was lovely. I feel refreshed and my sinuses feel a lot clearer.