You know what it’s like when you’re suffering from allergies. Your life energy is drained away and you’re absolutely miserable. Your doctors tell you there is little they can do except prescribe medications that don’t make much difference. You feel depleted and helpless.
I had this experience three weeks ago when I arrived at a hotel in Bangalore, India. As soon as I entered the room I smelled my old nemesis – mold in the air conditioning. My eyes immediately welled up in reaction. I knew that no amount of allergy medications would suppress my symptoms for a ten day stay, so I was faced with three options: feel worse and worse every day I was in the room, give up my non-refundable payment and move to a new hotel, or find a way to alleviate or even heal my allergies.
I decided to find a way to heal my allergies.Here is what I discovered.
Allergies: Getting to the Source
The generally-understood theory is that allergies are caused by a physical substance that triggers an allergic response by the immune system. But there is an obvious problem with this theory.
People are not born with allergies; instead they develop them at some specific time in their lives. After years of having absolutely no reaction to a given allergen, allergy sufferers miraculously develop a response. That allergic response might last a lifetime or might disappear some years later.
So what’s going on here? Why do we develop allergic responses and how come they sometimes disappear of their own accord?
The Immune System Blooper
Allergies serve no useful function. They are, in essence, one big immune system blooper.
The immune system is designed to recognize and kill unwanted foreign invaders in our body, but the immune system’s job is very complex. Of the trillions of cells in our body, our immune system somehow has to figure out which cells are our own, which cells are foreign but welcome symbiotic guests and which cells are foreign and dangerous. Sometimes the immune system makes mistakes.
To get a sense of the complexity of this problem, think of the controversy in the USA over immigration and homeland security. The powers that be have to decide who belongs and who does not; who is a valued member of society versus who is a threat and should be eliminated. They often get it wrong. That’s a lot like the job of the immune system.
Imagine this – there are approximately 300 million residents in the US and seven billion people on the planet. Those numbers are small in comparison to the human body, which consists of about ten trillion cells. Moreover, there are about 100 trillion microorganisms in the human gut alone, most of which perform necessary functions for our survival. Think about that for a moment – The number of foreign cells in your body outnumber your native human cells by more than ten to one, and most of those foreign cells are essential for your survival.
To say that the immune system has a difficult job is an understatement. From my studies of immunology and neuroscience I’d go so far as to say that the human immune system is way more complex than the human brain.
So back to allergies…
The standard immunology explanation for allergies is that the immune system mistakenly recognizes some benign allergen as a threat, and mounts an immune response to annihilate that threat.
The runny nose, itchy eyes, rashes, asthma or digestive problems often associated with allergic reactions are all side effects of this misguided immune response. Our immune system is waging a war on home territory against what it believes to be a guerilla invader, and our own tissues pay the price as collateral damage. In scientific terms, our immune system releases histamine into the war zone as part of its immune process; and it’s that histamine that causes the unwanted symptoms of allergies. It’s a bit like spraying Agent Orange on vegetation to clear foliage. It helps with the war, but destroys the environment. (I dislike war analogies, but using the technical terms for what goes on in the immune system gets confusing really fast.)
So in a nutshell, an allergic reaction is a misguided war against a visitor that poses no threat.
What Triggers A New Allergic Response?
If you’ve been exposed to a particular type of pollen your whole life with no problem, how can you suddenly develop an allergy?
The answer is found in how two parts of the immune system communicate with each other. The immune system has an Early Warning System whose job is to detect dangerous infections and a National Guard whose job is to kill the infections that the Early Warning System identifies. If the Early Warning System thinks there is an infection to be defended against, it creates inflammation in the tissue that is under attack. This is how sends the message – it’s literally sending up a flare. If you’ve ever had an infected cut where the tissue has gotten red and puffy, that’s exactly what was happening. Your Early Warning System was creating inflammation to mobilize your defenses.
Most of the time this system works just fine. The Early Warning System detects an intruder and creates inflammation in the local tissue. The National Guard comes to the scene and kills the intruder. Once the war is over, the inflammation subsides and everything goes back to normal.
So far so good.
BUT, inflammation can be created in tissue in a number of ways, not only by the immune system’s Early Warning System. If you’ve ever cried all night and woken up with puffy eyes, you’ve experienced an emotional event, rather than an infection, creating inflammation.
When this happens, our National Guard may still perceive the inflammation as a notification that there is an infection, and goes on the hunt for intruders. Even though there’s no real threat.
Allergies Are A Scapegoat for Pain
Now here’s the unfortunate part of the story.
Emotional pain such as sadness, loss and despair also cause inflammation. When that happens our National Guard automatically shows up and starts looking for the intruder. There is no real infection, but the National Guard is programmed to search for something and will latch onto the most likely scapegoat. If there happens to be some foreign substance around (like pollen, cat dander or wheat gluten) our body’s defenses will brand that as the scapegoat, and start the war.
Worse, the National Guard has a long memory. Once it has branded a particular foreign substance as an enemy, it will attack that enemy every time it shows up again. It’s even more likely to mount an attack if the foreign substance shows up again in the presence of inflammation. The inflammation just re-confirms the branding as an enemy.
If an emotional pain is short-lived, then the likelihood of this kind of immune mistake is low. However, if we deny or suppress our painful emotions, as is common in most cultures, then that leads to long-term, low-grade inflammation in some parts of our body. Even though the emotion is pushed out of our mental awareness, it is stuffed down into our body, where it stays registered.
The longer we have suppressed or denied emotions in our bodies, the more likely it is that we’ll accidentally develop an allergic response. And once we have developed an allergic response, if the allergen shows up again and we still have suppressed emotions, then that will reconfirm to the National Guard that the allergen is an enemy, and the war will become even more aggressive.
So in a nutshell, one of the most common causes and perpetuators of allergies is unresolved painful emotions. These unresolved emotions lead to inflammation, which signals to the immune system that some innocent foreign substance is an enemy that needs to be killed.
The Miraculous Mind of Our Immune System
The immune system has evolved to be highly adaptive – it has to be in order to learn how to deal with new infectious diseases as quickly as they arise. Some immune cells synapse with nerve cells, providing direct connections between the brain, nervous system and immune system. The more I study the immune system, the more I think of it as an advanced, mobile nervous system.
Just as the brain is capable of learning and memory, so is the immune system. Just as the brain can change its mind, so can the immune system. The immune system can learn to respond to a particular allergen as a threat, and it can just as easily change its mind and decide that allergen is no longer a threat, ending the allergic response.
This is why some people’s allergies miraculously disappear just as fast as they came.
Is There A Cure For Allergies?
That fact that inflammation triggers and reinforces an allergic response provides the key to healing allergies. If the unresolved emotions, such as such as sadness, loss, disappointment or desperation are released, the emotional inflammation will cease and the immune system can realize that it simply made a mistake and call off the National Guard.
It’s relatively easy to contact and release those old, hidden emotions using guided meditations. Once the old emotions have been released, inflammation subsides, and the immune system only needs a little nudge to let it know that it made a mistake. This can be accomplished easily using classical re-conditioning.
The allergic response will ‘miraculously’ end.
A Breakthrough in Healing Allergies
As my mother used to say “necessity is the mother of invention.” I’ve been studying the immune system for many years, but I finally came up with a way to heal allergies through the emergency situation that presented itself when I walked into my moldy hotel room three weeks ago.
Armed with the knowledge I have just shared with you, I knew the first step to healing would be to release any hidden emotional charge that has fed the allergic response for all these years.
Using the Body-Psyche guided meditations like this one, I started with gentle body movements to feel into those body sites that were most affected by the allergic response – my lungs, sinuses and eyes. I began looking for and releasing the emotional charges which were hidden.
In the first session my gentle body movements guided me to the middle of my left lung. There was a feeling of heaviness there, a weight and sadness. As I connected with the emotion it became more intense. As the feeling built, I opened my heart to accept and release the old emotion. I could feel a flow of energy from the wound in my lung to my receptive heart, as old feelings dissolved away.
At the end of the session I felt great. No allergy symptoms at all.
I thought I was done. But when I woke up the next morning, the allergy symptoms were back. Not as bad as usual, but still there.
After teaching that day, I settled in for more exploration. This time I sensed a deep sense of sadness and defeat resting in the middle of my left lung. As that emotion released I had a vague sense of my mother and my relationship with her. I have no mental memory of what it was about, but was grateful to feel it release.
The third night there was still some residual restriction in my lungs and itching in my eyes and sinuses.
My third exploration delved deeper to the tips at the bottom of both lungs. This is where the earliest and youngest wounds lie. On the left I became aware of my relationship with my mother and on the right my relationship with my father. Suddenly I was mentally aware of something I had never let myself know before. There was a conflict between my parents. I felt loyal to them both and didn’t want to choose sides. I was stuck in the middle with nowhere to go. As an adult, I don’t know what their conflict was, but I could feel how it settled in my lungs as a child. Instead of feeling the pain, I stuffed it down deep at the bottom of my lungs. Tears flowed from the corners of my eyes and release came.
I felt free. I felt like myself, without conflicted obligation to my long-deceased parents. I breathed deeply, both in emotional relief and from the release of the allergy-induced constriction of my lungs.
By the fourth night, all that was left was a mild itching in my eyes and tightness in my sinuses. As I used my fingers to feel into the puffy, inflamed tissue, I contacted old, old tears long held back. I have no idea what they were about. It was too long ago to remember. But my body had been holding on to them for far too long. I was happy as the watery tears flowed, washing my sinuses clean.
When I lay in bed that night, another wave of emotion came over me and was released again. Intense sadness and images of my mother came and went with no particular memories or explanations for the feelings.
Over the ten days at the hotel I continued exploring, releasing and re-patterning from time-to-time. Each day my allergic response subsided more and more.
At the end of my stay in the moldy hotel I had mild remnants of the allergic response – a little remaining constriction in my lungs and an occasional slight dryness in my eyes, but not bothersome. In the past I would have suffered terribly from that much exposure.
All-in-all I spent two or three hours contacting and releasing the emotional charges that had been re-stimulating my immune system’s allergic response. That’s time very well spent compared to the other alternatives I’ve encountered.
Can You Heal Your Allergies?
After gaining scientific and personal insight into a path for healing allergies, I put together the Freedom From Allergies course so you can use to discover whether you can heal your own allergies.
Anything Is Possible
“The power of expectation has long been recognized as a significant mental and emotional force.”
– Dr. Herbert Benson, founder of the Beth Israel Deaconess Institute for Mind Medicine and a prominent researcher and Harvard Medical School
Allergies are a mistaken expectation that a particular allergen is a threat to our body that must be fought. I personally believe that it is possible to change that expectation and heal allergies.
I invite you to join me on a journey of self-healing to discover whether that is true for you too.