Imagine if allergies and intolerances were curable. Wouldn't it be great. You could greet the spring without sneezing, go to a restaurant of your choice, buy what you wanted at the supermarket without studying the ingredients. It seems impossible - we have been told that allergies can't be cured.
But what if it is only that we have not discovered how to cure allergies - not that they cannot be cured? It was always possible to fly to the moon, but until 50 years ago we didn't know how to. Maybe it is possible to cure an allergy but we haven't yet discovered how to do it.
Imagine your immune system is a part of a sophisticated army protecting your land against enemy invaders. You have your radar in place to detect any foreigners and several battalions of troops are on stand by. Suppose the guy watching the radar screen mistakes an innocent ice cream van (your allergen) for an enemy tank (bacteria or a virus). Thinking he is under attack, he issues an order to destroy the ice cream van. Heavily armed troops attack and within moments the van and any civilians in the vicinity have been destroyed (any wonder why you go red or swell up?).
In our analogy, the innocent ice cream van is that allergen that so affects your life. Doctors agree that an allergy is a mistake - allergens in themselves have no ability to harm the body - it is only the body's response to that substance which is dangerous. The ice cream van has no weapons, just as a peanut doesn't have any ability to attack other cells in the body.
So what options do we have? One would be to banish all ice cream vans from the area (avoid your allergen). Another would be to drug our troops so they don't fight very effectively (antihistamines). But the best way by far would be to teach the radar man the difference between an ice cream van and a tank (education).
The field of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) provides practical methods to help us to try to re-educate our immune system. It teaches us to use safe tools like our imagination. Each of us experiences NLP processes in everyday life. For example, have you ever watched a sad film and your eyes have watered? Or a comedy and you have laughed out loud? Of course we know that the film isn't real, and yet our body's chemistry changes as if it were.
Imagining a movie is one of the ways NLP can help change the body's chemistry and teach the immune system to behave more appropriately. We imagine our body's current response and replace that with a picture of how we want our response to be. Whilst this is obviously not all there is to it, it is a very important and powerful part of the process.
It may also help to examine how and when your allergies and intolerances developed. We often find that allergies begin at transition times in our lives. We all go through huge changes such as puberty, leaving home, getting married or becoming a parent. Or more subtle ones such as gaining a younger sibling, learning to walk or moving school. These changes affect how we see ourselves and the world around us and they can also affect how we see things on the inside - on a cellular level. In our army analogy, it's as if the radar machine has been replaced with a different model. Things look different. The radar man no longer recognises egg (for example) as being harmless, so he has to re-learn whether it is friend or foe. Suppose you happen to catch the flu as you're eating egg. To the radar man, he's not sure which one is making you ill - so just to be safe he labels them both as viruses. There's the mistake.
The next time you come into contact with that same flu virus, the radar man doesn't wait for you to be ill again. He recognises and attacks it straight away. That's why you don't catch the same flu twice. The trouble is that egg is in the same category - labelled as an enemy. So the next time the radar man detects egg, he sends the troops out automatically. That's an allergy.
Part of the NLP re-education process involves figuring out how your allergy might have developed. With the benefit of hindsight, your body might have acted differently. Using your imagination, you can teach your body what it needed to know at that critical time.
These techniques have been used successfully for over 15 years to help sufferers from allergy and food intolerance to re-educate their bodies. Successes with common allergies and intolerances include pets, foods, pollens and more. They do not work for everyone or for every allergy but they are drug free, non invasive and involve no contact with your allergen.
Our work lies entirely in 'reprogramming' the way your immune system sees and therefore reacts to your allergen. Treatment often consists of two sessions of up to two hours each. Although you don't have to believe in the process for it to work, you do have to desire the outcome. So here's the question – how much do you desire being free of your allergy? It is important to remember that no allergens are present whilst being treated. After treatment, we recommend that our clients have their new response tested by their doctor or allergist to confirm the change.
By Rob Mesrie
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