Dr. Bradley Reich of Reich Chiropractic Clinic in South Beloit feels strongly that chiropractic care offers far more than just relief from back pain.
Reich says that he’s seen significant improvement in the allergy and asthma symptoms of his patients after chiropractic treatments.
"Allergies are basically a response to a stimulus that can’t be handled," Reich said. "Restoring nerve function to certain parts of the body and spine will stimulate the immune system. Your eyes, throat, sinuses and nose all are controlled from the back. If we jump-start that area of the body, the immune system will respond accordingly and bring that area of the body back to balance."
Reich says much of the allergic response is tied to a malfunctioning adrenal gland, and that by correcting and balancing the body, it can help manage symptoms.
"Your adrenal gland helps you control your inflammatory process in the body; allergies are usually due to excessive inflammation," Reich said. "If your adrenals are working properly you can handle allergies."
Although many allergies are inborn, Reich said early chiropractic care can help children fully grow out of their symptoms. Once a month at his clinic he runs a discounted rate for children, $5 per adjustment, to help illustrate the benefits of his treatment.
The benefits of trying chiropractic care over more conventional methods of allergy treatment are simple according to Reich.
"It’s low cost and no risk. You only stand to gain by this sort of treatment," Reich said.
Acupuncture for allergies
Katie Kupietz of Bodhi Tree Acupuncture and Wellness in Burlington said that treating allergies with eastern medicine techniques such as acupuncture or herbal medicine is vastly superior to traditional medication.
"As far as Chinese medicine is concerned, allergies actually come from the liver," Kupietz said. "We use acupuncture to balance the internal organs that are giving you the negative symptoms. Also, the idea of acupuncture is to get you well in general; it’s sort of a reboot for your body. Longer term, it’ll help your body function at a higher level."
Kupietz says that she’s seen dramatic improvement in the general health of her clients as they come for acupuncture treatments. She feels that making the body stronger to begin with will help prevent it from getting run down by ailments like allergies, and that medication is actually more part of the problem rather than the solution.
"Using medicine is actually hurting your liver," said Kupietz. "Your liver is responsible for detoxing, so every time we put bad food or chemicals in our bodies our liver has to work overtime to filter it so we don’t get sick. Using medications might actually make it worse over the long run while it makes it better in the short run. It’s a temporary fix."
Picking the right food
Portlynn Mason, who has owned and operated Naturally Yours Health Foods in Lake Geneva for more than 40 years, knows the power of choosing the right food for your health. Mason, who was born with no stomach acids, has devoted her life to researching healthy living through natural foods and products and passing that knowledge on.
Mason hesitates to recommend that people treat their allergies through the use of natural foods and products, but rather she recommends preventing allergies by making more informed decisions about what you consume.
"I so believe that allergies happen because people are eating the wrong foods for their blood types," Mason said. "I truly believe in eating right for your blood type. People are eating the wrong foods, and we are in a more toxic environment than we’ve ever been, so your body is in a weakened state to begin with."
Although Mason favors prevention over treatment, she has seen many of her customers effectively manage symptoms with certain foods.
"Lots of people try with local honey and it really helps them a lot," Mason said. "But it can be hard to get. It’s difficult to get the purity we used to be able to get. A lot of harvesters are having trouble with their yields and are importing it from elsewhere."
Although much of the evidence linking local honey to reduced allergy symptoms is anecdotal. In theory, the bees making the honey leave small amounts of pollen in it, and when ingested, the honey inoculates a person’s immune system to that specific allergen.
Mason also says that she is a big proponent of horseradish for opening up the sinuses. While it may only offer temporary relief, she feels that it’s safe and effective. Mason says that horseradish shows up as an ingredient in several herbal sprays that she stocks intended to treat allergy symptoms.
Agreeing with Reich and Kupietz, Mason says that the obvious advantage natural food and herbs have over medication is that they are safer.
"God gave us herbs for cures," said Mason. "The herbs are non-toxic. All these medications have side effects and after effects; they’re harmful."
- Bodhi Tree Acupuncture and Wellness, visit BodhiTreeAcu.com or call (262) 721-8101.
- Reich Chiropractic Clinic, ReichChiropracticClinic.com or call (815) 389-1492.