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How to Perform a Tick Check at Home

Spring has sprung! The sun is (occasionally) peeking out from behind the clouds to thaw us from the winter chill, and, after months of being cooped up and bundled up indoors, we are all ready to get out into the wild, bare our skin, and …

Get bit by a tick?

Of course, no wants to bring a tick home with them from their outdoor adventuring, but, if you are living in Maine or other coastal areas of the United States, the likelihood is very high. According to the website Everythingticks.com, these minuscule insects thrive in warm, wooded and humid environments – which describes the Maine climate in the spring and summer to a T! Unfortunately, these creeping, crawling creatures can transmit serious diseases through their bites, including Lyme disease. The sooner ticks are found and (properly) removed, the lower the risk of becoming infected with Lyme disease or other infections, many of which have long-term side effects if left untreated.

Tick Checks Can Keep You Safe and Healthy

Performing a tick check as soon as you get back home from hiking or other outdoor activities can help keep you safe from ticks that carry disease. Follow the steps below on yourself and any friends or family members that were adventuring with you outside – even if you were just frolicking in a grassy backyard!

1. Remove Clothing – Try to remove most of the clothing you wore outside as soon as possible to avoid bringing ticks into your home on shirt sleeves, pant legs or socks. Leave the clothes outside until you are ready to put them in the dryer on high-heat to kill any ticks that might be lurking.

2. Check Hot Spots – Just as ticks like hot and humid external environments, they also gravitate to the hotter and sweatier areas of the human body before they latch on for a meal of blood. “Hot spots” are areas of the body to which ticks gravitate, such as the armpits, groin and hairline. Because ticks can be so small, it is important to look closely, especially in areas with dark hair. If you are on your own, you can use a mirror to check hard-to-see areas, or you can ask a friend or family member to double check spots that are difficult to reach on your own.

3. Remove any Ticks – If you do find any ticks, it is important to remove the tick properly and fully. For more information about how to do this, go here.

4. Monitor for Signs and Symptoms – After removing a tick from your body, monitor how you are feeling closely. If you come down with a fever or chills or notice any odd rashes, body aches or other strange symptoms, be sure to contact your doctor immediately to discuss treatment options.

5. Consider Getting Your Tick Checked for Diseases – Click here for more information about testing a tick for disease-causing pathogens.

 


Attacking Seasonal Allergies with Acupuncture and Herbs

Ahhhh Choo!

At long last, spring has sprung! For many of us, the tender spring flowers, leaves and grasses blossom in tandem with runny noses, sneezing, itchy, red and watery eyes, headaches, brain fog, fatigue and scratchy throats. If spring is an enigmatic harbinger of long-awaited beauty as well as debilitating seasonal allergy symptoms for you and your loved ones, you’re in luck! Acupuncture and herbal medicine can be effective therapies when it comes to battling the pollen and keeping you feeling healthy enough to get outside and enjoy all that spring has to offer.

Invading Allergies

According to Chinese medicine theory, allergy symptoms arise when your body’s wei qi (protective barrier or immune system) is weak. The wei qi is connected to the Lung meridian, which is in charge of opening and closing the pores to release toxins from inside of the body and keep immune-compromising pathogens out. Imagine your wei qi as the first line of defense against an enemy attack! If the wei qi/ immune system is weak, the lungs cannot properly close the pores of the skin to protect the body from pathogens. Pathogens that cause allergies – like pollen – ride into battle on spring winds and easily invade weak immune systems, causing the combination of symptoms we know as “seasonal allergies.”

Counter-attack and Strength Building

If you seek help for allergies from an acupuncturist, they will choose acupuncture points that not only help alleviate allergy symptoms but also work to re-balance and build up your immune system so it is not as susceptible to invasion. Acupuncture can effectively help clear sinuses, soothe irritated throats and boost energy. When it comes to chronic allergies, however, it is best to receive regular acupuncture treatments for several months prior to the season when your symptoms flare. That way, you and your acupuncturist can ensure your body’s immune system and wei qi is strong enough to withstand allergens.

Alongside these alternative methods of allergen prevention, you might also want to consider servicing your HVAC system. Allergens can build up in your HVAC filters and so regular maintenance is strongly recommended. Not sure how to go about cleaning your air conditioning system? Try reaching out to an HVAC specialist such as AnytimeHVAC.

The Story of the Jade Screen

Chinese herbal remedies can also be effective when it comes to building up your body’s immune system and treating allergy symptoms. One of the most popular formulas for seasonal allergies is called Yu Ping Feng San or Jade Screen Formula. Just like acupuncture, this formula contains herbs that help expel seasonal pathogens from your body and bolster your immune system against future allergy attacks.

A teacher of mine once told me that the story behind the name of Jade Screen Formula stems from a tradition in ancient China. In the springtime, people used to put screens carved out of jade in front of their doors when they opened them to let fresh spring air into their homes. The screens were supposed to protect the household and its inhabitants from “evil wind pathogens” … otherwise known as seasonal allergens.

It is best to take this and other similar formulas for at least a month prior to allergy season.

If you suffer from seasonal allergies, speak with an acupuncturist today! You may be stopping to smell the roses this year after all!