Do you mark the arrival of spring with a runny nose, nasal congestion, sneezing, itching/tearing eyes, hives or skin rashes? You may have seasonal allergies commonly referred to as hay fever. More specifically, you may be suffering from a poorly functioning immune system. With spring comes the annual release of pollens, molds, dust and other irritants. Your immune system can become overloaded, unable to defend itself against these invading forces of spring.
Decongestants and/or antihistamines are often used to relieve symptoms of seasonal allergies. These medications stop the runny nose and sneezing, and dry up nasal congestion. Unfortunately, side effects may result, such as drowsiness and the drying of mucus membranes. When these medications are stopped, the symptoms return. To make matters worse, the symptoms are often worse the following year. What alternatives do you have?
Naturopathic medicine uses an alternative approach to allergies by cleansing your body, which results in the rejuvenation of your immune system. Allergies result when the immune system becomes uncontrollable. Allergies are often associated with other immune system related problems. For instance, in 70 per cent of all allergy cases, there is a family history of hay fever, eczema or asthma. Naturopathic medicine teaches that if you suppress symptoms of eczema or diaper rash, it will result in asthma and/or hay fever. The path to a cure is the removal of suppressive treatments such as cortisone cream. This allows for the reappearance of the acute disease or rash. Externalizing toxins through the skin means your body is healthy enough to resist the attack.
What are the risks associated with leaving the underlying cause of an allergy untreated? An allergic reaction can result when a foreign substance enters your system by either breathing, ingestion of food, contact with the skin, or injection. The process of developing an allergy occurs over time and is called sensitization. The body recognizes this substance as harmful and begins to attack it. An allergy may then result, and is caused by an overreaction of the immune system and the production of histamine.
There are two possible outcomes to an allergic reaction. The first is that the body is strong enough to attack. This results in inflammation that, over time, may lead tothe development of diseases such as arthritis. The second outcome is immune rigidity. This occurs when the body is unable to respond to the foreign substance, resulting in the development of fatigue and chronic illness. For instance, a child with a strong immune system will contact a foreign substance, spike a fever, fight the infection, and then regain normal immune function. Many adults lose this ability to react to disease. We then have overreaction such as inflammation or fatigue, which are signs the immune system is fixed in dysfunction.
There are a number of tools that can be employed to identify and treat allergic conditions:
Electro-Dermal Screening is the process of gathering information from the patient by introducing a small electrical current to predetermined points on the body and then collecting the data for evaluation. A trained practitioner is able to detect many energy patterns produced by this screening and can incorporate his or her findings into the patient’s overall healthcare plan. My brother optimized his health in his twenties by eliminating food sensitivities identified by this method. For 10 years he has followed this allergy elimination diet to decrease the overload on his immune system. I utilized this diagnostic technique in my practice for two years. In the end, I realized identification of allergies is only one part of the puzzle.
NAET views allergies from a holistic perspective and is based on Oriental Medicine Principles. By re-establishing energy flow through the meridians, NAET works to eliminate the body’s reaction to allergies through a natural, drugless and non-invasive method. It can be safely used on anyone.
The team of Jaffe and Mellor observed patients who had a medical diagnosis of either osteo, gouty, psoriatic, or rheumatoid arthritis. As a result of this study, the researchers found specific pathogens to be the primary cause of immune ysfunction leading to allergies. Jaffe and Mellor developed JMT™, a technique that focuses on the cause and intervention of the disease process. It usesmuscle resistance testing or electro-dermal screening to detect causative factor such as the presence of certain bacteria. The JMT™ technique was demonstrated to me by practitioner Ross Ribeiro, who systematically desensitizes suspected pathogens in osteoarthritis. These pathogens are yet another piece of the puzzle, yet the picture is not complete unless the biological terrain or environment is changed.
Homotoxicology involves a combination of low dose homeopathic remedies. It is designed to cleanse the body of toxic material and restore balance. “According to Homotoxicology, all the processes, conditions and phenomena that we describe as diseases are the manifestation of the body’s battle with poisons and the effort to neutralize and excrete these poisons. Sometimes the body wins the battle and sometime it loses. Whatever the outcome, the processes that we describe as disease are invariably biological processes serving the natural purpose of fighting and eliminating poisons (1).” Following this biological process has solved the mysteries of allergies for me.
Alternative practitioners have various techniques to aid them in treating allergies. A combination of EDS, NAET, JMTTM and/or homotoxicology can be used. Treating allergies and the immune system involves investigative work. Given the range of substances an individual can react to, allergies create an interesting puzzle to solve. A thorough history can give necessary information needed to treat allergies. The first step is to start a journal of foods and new products used, such as soaps. When you understand the cause of allergies and the alternative treatments available, you can start on the right path to a cure.
References: Heine, Hartmut. Homotoxicology and ground regulation. Germany.
Dr. Trudy Strasser, ND, RAc, specializes in heavy metal testing and detoxification, women's health, infertility, pain and scar therapy, and facial rejuvenation acupuncture. She received the Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine in 1997 and a diploma in acupuncture in 1998 from Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine in Arizona.
Dr. Strasser is the owner of Biological Medicine Inc.