Hay Fever and Allergies – What Can We Do?

Spring for all of its freshness, wonder and glory brings its own set of problems in the form of allergies, from mild bouts of hay fever and itchy eyes to full-on respiratory attack. Here are some of the things you can do to minimise or alleviate these unpleasant conditions.

Instant relief can be at hand at your local pharmacy in the form of antihistamines and eye drops. However I prefer to leave these as a last ditch stand in my quest for relief, but on those days where all else is still not providing relief, they are much better than heavy breathing, sniffling, sneezing and looking like you have been crying all day.

Natural alternatives for the above can be obtained at your local health food shop – herbs like Horseradish, Fenugreek seed, Marshmallow, Garlic and Echinacea are very effective at providing relief and in helping to boost your immunity. These are usually made up in effective combinations and sold in convenient tablet or capsule form. Another thing to look at is the use of a natural Nasal Spray. Saline (salt) solution is very effective used as an eye drop or wash to overcome itchiness and excessive watering of the eyes.

Watch what you eat! Be observant of your diet and look out for reactions. Sometimes our allergies are exacerbated by certain foods, so if you notice a connection between what you’re eating and an increase in allergy reaction, you can modify your diet for some relief.

Another thing to consider is drinking a glass of clean sea water daily. This will provide a complete mineral pill in natural proportion to help build your bodies defences. Or make your own solution by dissolving rock salt in water, called Sole(So-lay).

Look into your environment- Do that spring clean! Even though it creates allergy havoc while you are doing it, the removal of dust and mites etc can only improve the situation for the better. Plus it has a strong psychological effect.

Tip; clean or replace your air conditioner filter, and replace your vacuum cleaner filter. Take down your fly screens and wash them free of all dust and dirt.

Introducing an environment of negative ions can be quite effective. Look to utilising Himalayan Salt Lamps. Bring a big fresh improvement to your inside air quality by using these around your home and office. One in your main living area is good start, but one in every room is even better. Elanra & trade; negative ioniser machines are also very beneficial. These are also sold as a personal pendant that can be worn at all times.

Aromatherapy can provide positive assistance and perk up the surrounding area at the same time. Oils like Lavender, Eucalyptus, Camomile and Melissa dispersed into your space make an enormous difference in your reaction to irritants. It is especially helpful to use these in a steam inhalation. If this is inconvenient or you don’t like the heat, try a little oil placed on a tissue or pad and sniff it as required. Sometimes it seems that an oil looses its effectiveness quite soon, so it is a good idea to alternate them throughout the season to maintain effective relief. Specialist suppliers also sell oil blends suitable to the occasion, or try blending your own combinations.

Allergies can also be related to stress and some other oils that can be used are Bergamot, Clary, Neroli, Rose, Jasmine, Sandalwood and Ylang Ylang.

NB Only pure essential oil will provide therapeutic benefits – fragrant or scented oil only provides odour.

Massage with any of these oils mixed into a massage oil can also be very helpful, as the oil absorbs into the bloodstream and often decreases the severity of allergic response.

Crystals.Try carrying or wearing the following stones for relief from hay fever: Amber, Aquamarine, Blue Lace Agate, Jet, Tigers Eye, and Zircon. Allergy relief can also be obtained with Apophyllite, Danburite, Iolite, Lepidolite, Muscovite, Carnelian, Red Jasper, Chrysoprase and Cat’s Eye.

These same stones can be strategically placed around the home and office for beneficial effect. Use them in decorations, we took an old serving tray and filled it with clean sand and then placed various stones into an eye pleasing pattern that also provides the desired therapeutic result.

All of these can also be made into an elixir and sipped through-out the day.

If you are a real sufferer, you may need to use the whole lot to get on top of it. And one last tip is to remember to breathe. When the irritation is getting on top of you and your stress levels are building, stop, take in a few deep breaths and do your best to relax, and remind yourself that this too will soon go away.

Disclaimer:The metaphysical and healing properties outlined in this article are for inspiration and reference and educational purposes. These alleged properties are gathered from writings, books, folklore and various other sources. They are dependent upon the attitude and beliefs of the individual. In no way are they meant to replace diagnosis or treatment by a qualified therapist or physician.

What Every Parent and Educator Should Know About Enriching Young Brains and Minds

To learn important lessons for all parents and educators, we interview today Eric Jensen, a former middle school teacher and former adjunct professor for several universities including the University of California, San Diego. Mr. Jensen co-founded the Learning Brain Expo, a conference for educators, and has written 21 books on the brain and learning. His most recent book, Enriching the Brain: How to Maximize Every Learner’s Potential (Jossey-Bass, 2006), is highly recommended for educators and parents alike.

Alvaro Fernandez (AF): Eric, thank you for your time. Can you explain the role that you and your organization play?

Eric Jensen (EJ): We act as translators between the neuroscience and education fields, helping to build a Brain-Based Education movement. We launched the first conference that attempted to bridge these two worlds in 1998. The goal of the conference, called Learning Expo, was for teachers to speak to scientists, and, equally important, for scientists to speak to educators.

Critics say that neuroscience research can add little to educational practices. What we say is that, whereas it is true that much needs to be clarified, there are already clear implications from brain research that educators should be aware of. For example, four important elements that are often neglected by educators, given the obsessive focus on academic scores, are nutrition, physical exercise, stress management, and overall mental enrichment.

AF: Since 1998? How would you characterize the progress so far?

EJ: The good news is that today many educators, more than ever, are learning about how the brain works. There is a growing number of academic programs such as Harvard’s masters program in Mind, Brain, and Education, and peer-reviewed journals such as the Mind, Brain and Education Journal.

Still, there are clear areas for improvement. Too many staff developers are weak on the science. I see too many books saying “brain” in the title that are not grounded in any brain research. Something I always recommend when shopping for books is to check the References section, making sure the book references specific studies in credible journals from 2000 on.

AF: Now, those are mostly awareness-related initiatives. What, if any, are the implications in daily teaching and learning in schools?

EJ: You are right, this is still an emerging field. A number of private, independent, forward-thinking public schools and charter schools are implementing specific initiatives, mostly around brain-based teaching strategies, nutrition and exercise. But these are tougher for some public schools, which have limited resources and flexibility. to implement. We also see an growing number of enlightened parents learning about the principles we discuss and applying them at home.

AF: Have you seen any impact at the policy level? specifically, what do you think about the current debate about the merits or demerits of No Child Left Behind?

EJ: I agree with the move towards accountability. Now, the question is, accountability for what? for creating narrow, specific test scores? or for helping nourish better human beings. I have seen very little policy activity in the US; some in Asian countries such as Singapore and China, that are evaluating how to refine the curriculum for 5-10 year olds. In the US, there was a major push for music enrichment programs, that was somehow misguided, in the late 90s. The problem is that, whereas it is clear that enrichment has an impact, it is tough to measure specifically what type of enrichment, since much of the benefit develops over time. The short term “stock-market” mentality that measures student growth over a few weeks or months has to be tempered by long-term measures, too.

For example, it seems clear that there are important skills that can be trained, that make for a better and more successful human being – such as the ability to defer gratification, sequencing, emotional intelligence, improved working memory, vocabulary, and processing skills. However, the type of assessments used today to measure schools’ performance don’t focus on these. We would need broader assessments to allow educators to focus on those important long-term skills, beyond the immediate pressures.

A specific area going from bad to worse is the level of stress in the system, and the lack of resources and knowledge to regulate it.

AF: You mention processing skills, as well as other cognitive skills. In your recent column you highlight Scientific Learning’s computer program that can train auditory processing. What’s your view on the role of computer-based programs?

EJ: It is encouraging to see programs based on extensive research, such as Scientific Learning’s. I appreciate the value of such programs to tailor individualized interventions to the needs of specific kids. So I believe these programs present a huge potential.