Mind and Body

Allergy Alert: Alternative Treatment of Seasonal and Indoor Allergies

For the nearly 50 million allergy sufferers, a complementary or alternate approach is sometimes a breath of fresh air.Some practitioners of "integrative medicine" prescribe a combination of botanical supplements, anti-stress therapy (i.e. biofeedback, meditation, exercise and yoga), acupuncture, and/or acupressure as well as fish oils for individuals with allergies and allergic-type asthma.

A true pioneer in this field is Dr. Roberta Lee, who is currently the medical director of the Center for Health and Healing (www.healthandhealingny.org) in New York City.She has also edited a textbook on integrative medicine with a special focus on preventative aspects to human health.

For example she has recommended a variety of approaches to her patients who suffer with allergies which include: fish oils, quercetin, stinging nettles and well as anti-stress therapy to complement traditional medications. She also believes that various factors including foods, chemicals (scented products), and artificial ingredients may impact one with allergic triggers.Dr. Lee and I routinely recommend nasal and sinus saline (salt water) irrigation for persistent sinus disease.

In many cases natural is quite good, but it's important to discuss any botanical supplements or herbs with your health care provider before using them.They may interact with prescription medications.I will follow-up in future blogs about complementary and/or alternative focused treatment.In any event, if you suspect you may have an allergy, get tested for proper care.

Dr. Clifford Bassett is an adult and pediatric allergy specialist, and diplomate of the American Board of Allergy and Immunology. He is the medical director of Allergy and Asthma Care of NY and author of "The New Allergy Solution: Super-Charge Resistance, Slash Medication, Stop Suffering." Bassett is a clinical assistant professor of medicine and on the teaching faculty of NYU School of Medicine and NYU Langone Medical Center, and faculty at Cornell University Medical College. Follow him on Twitter.