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It’s that time of year again, when stepping outside on a warm and windy Oregon day means risking a sneeze attack or the unexpected onset of tears streaming down your face. It’s allergy season, and your first instinct may be to sprint to the nearest drug store and pay $20 for 10 pills that will end up being devoured in five days. But there might be another way—actually three—to alleviate your allergy symptoms without a trip to the pharmacy. 

 1. Acupuncture

Some of us are a tad skeptical when it comes to sticking needles in our skin, but according to licensed acupuncturist Dr. Eric Stephens, "most people liken it to a mosquito bite.” His goal at the Acupuncture Center of Portland is to use Chinese medicine to get folks back into balance, which might involve acupuncture or doses of Chinese herbs. He promises that the needles aren’t scary and could get rid of your allergies for good. In fact, a study published by Annals of Internal Medicine found that eight weeks of acupuncture treatment significantly reduced seasonal allergy symptoms, leading us to believe that the initial scare is worth the long-term relief.

2. Hot Yoga

 Getting in shape and sweating out allergies—sign us up! Trisha Donovan, the owner of Portland Hot Yoga, swears that hot yoga helps her get rid of her allergies. Donovan keeps her studio at a toasty 97-104 degrees with the humidity at 83%. She says that hot yoga “helps clear out the sinuses and speeds the metabolism.” We can’t find any hard science to back up this claim, but if nothing else, struggling to balance in standing bow pose might make you forget about your sniffles for a minute.

3. Homemade Saline

Time to go D.I.Y. and concoct your very own cure. A recipe from the American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology suggests mixing three teaspoons of iodide-free salt and one teaspoon of baking soda. Add one teaspoon of the mixture to a cup of lukewarm water. Put this into a soft rubber ear bulb syringe and (fingers crossed) flush the allergens from your sinuses.

Let last year’s sneeze filled allergy-ridden season be your last. Pollen counts may be at all-time highs, but with these solutions, hopefully you can put your tissue boxes away for now.

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