Massage could help allergy sufferers

(NBC) - As the warm weather arrives, so does the pollen.  Plenty of folks are suffering right now.

While there's medication to prevent the symptoms, nothing foolproof.  That's why some folks swear by an alternative form of relief.

The last thing Melyssa Smith needs is to be slowed down by her seasonal allergies. This spring her special weapon is massage.

"I noticed relief, slight relief instantaneously when I got off the table," Smith said. "I notice things were different. It wasn't complete relief for one or two days afterwards, but it lasted longer than any pill I would take."

Research shows stress can exacerbate allergy symptoms by increasing production of histamines, the chemical our body pours out in response to allergens, like pollen.

Massage therapist Sherri Pierce says she can fit the bill.

"It increases the blood flow, and the blood circulation and it clears the mucus from the sinuses and the throat and the nose," Pierce said.

Sometimes Pierce adds hot stones to facilitate lymphatic drainage, blood flow and relaxation.

"With these techniques you have very little side effects," Pierce explained. "You may have some drowsiness, some drainage and coughing within the next 24-48 hours. But after that, you should feel you can breathe a lot easier, more efficiently."

The results can last up to three weeks.

Massage therapy is not meant to replace medication for treating allergies. It's a complimentary therapy.

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