Hypnosis for Allergies

Spring is on its way, and along with April showers come May flowers. For most of us the beauty and fragrant aromas of spring can be uplifting. However, if you suffer from allergies, spring can be a season filled with itchy eyes, runny noses, sneezing and a lot of fatigue. In the United States during the past 12 months The Center for Disease Control has reported a staggering 26.4 million adults and children diagnosed with hay fever. According to The Asthma & Allergy Foundation of America an estimated 50 million Americans suffer from all types of allergies. Allergies are the 5th leading cause of disease in the US among all ages and the 3rd most common chronic illness in children under 18.

Allergies can be misunderstood and unpredictable because we can have allergies as child and outgrow them; we can develop allergies that come and go at different times in our lives; or we can acquire new allergies later in life that at first may be subtle, but later on turn deadly. Allergies can become severe enough as to cause anaphylactic shock – making one’s throat swell to the point where death can result within minutes in the absence of an epinephrine shot.

How Allergies Are Created

Allergies are developed as a result of our immune systems marking out substances such as pollen or cat dander as if they were harmful viruses or pathogens. Once the immune system has marked out a substance as harmful, it springs into action when we come into contact with it, producing an allergic response and releasing chemicals, such as histamine, in an attempt to rid the body of this perceived invader.

So why does our immune system react to harmless substances such as pollen and cat dander as if they are dangerous? One theory may be that at the time many of us develop allergies, especially as teens and adults, we are going through a major change or experiencing high amounts of stress and pressure. Because of the added stress we are experiencing, our immune system becomes hyper vigilant for what it perceives as dangerous and begins to mark out substances, even harmless ones, in an attempt to protect us. This can be likened to the hyper-sensitive emotions and moods that we experience during this time. Just as our immune systems develop less tolerance, so also we too have less tolerance and patience for people and situations that we could manage previously, perceiving them as hazardous to our wellbeing.

Hypnosis Allergies & The Mind

So how much influence does our mind have over our allergies? In 1886 a physician named MacKenzie was treating a woman with an intense allergy to roses. MacKenzie had placed an artificial rose in his office. To his surprise and amazement, upon entering his office, his patient went into a full allergic reaction when she saw the rose not realizing it wasn’t real. Later experiments in the 1950’s were able to confirm that visual images could trigger an asthmatic or allergic response thus demonstrating that one’s beliefs and expectations around allergies can play a role in the body’s reaction. We also see this in the case of people with multiple personalities. Some of their personalities have allergies and some do not.

An interesting study demonstrating how the mind plays a role in whether or not we will manifest allergies was carried out by two Japanese researchers who used hypnosis to both create and take away allergies. Physicians Ikemi and Nakagawa hypnotized subjects and told them they were placing a toxic leaf like poison ivy on their skin, but instead applied a harmless leaf. They observed that the subject under hypnosis manifested the symptoms of red and irritated skin, as if being exposed to a toxic leaf. They then did the opposite, they told the subjects they were placing a harmless leaf on their skin but instead placed a toxic leaf on their skin. The subjects showed a dramatically reduced allergic reaction to the toxic leaf.

Conditioning The Immune System To Have Allergies

Research in the field of psychoneuroimmunology, the study of the mind, the neuro-endocrine system (nervous and hormonal system), the immune system and how they interact with one another have shown that the immune system can be conditioned. Like Pavlov conditioned his dogs to salivate when they heard a bell, the immune system too can be conditioned to become compromised, as well as produce an allergic response.

In one study guinea pigs were made sensitive to a specific chemical thus developing an allergy to the chemical. They then were repeatedly exposed to that chemical at the same time as they were exposed to a specific odor. Later on when the odor alone was introduced to the guinea pigs, they would experience an allergic reaction complete with a release of histamine as if the allergen was present.

Hypnosis & Re-Educating the Immune System To Have a Healthy Response To Allergens

In 1987 Robert Dilts, a Neuro Linguistic Programmer and founder of The Allergy Process learned through experimentation that our immune systems are trainable. Just as they can be conditioned to develop an allergy, they can also be re-educated to respond in a healthy way to what was once marked out as a harmful substance.

The process of re-educating the immune system is a mind-body process that utilizes both expectation and remembered wellness in order to give one’s immune system the experience of reacting to an allergen in a new and healthy way.

Remembered Wellness is a term coined by Dr. Herbert Benson (founder of the Mind body Medical Institute and associate professor of medicine at Harvard medical School). According to Dr. Benson we are all able to remember the peace, calm and confidence associated with health and happiness. This memory is not held merely on a psychological or emotional level, but also on a physical level within the body.

Using Allergy Process and hypnosis helps us to call upon existing memories from former experiences of remembered wellness as a means to create a new strategy for the immune system to model. Using hypnosis we access remembered wellness through calling upon the memory of a time when the person was able to tolerate the allergen, or, if the allergy has been with the person for so long that they cannot remember a time when they didn’t have the allergy, then we use something as an example that is like to the allergen in many ways but not the allergen itself.

The hypnotherapist then guides the client through a mind body process so that the new and healthy response to the allergen can be memorized on the psychological, emotional, physical and immune system memory level. This gives the immune system a new strategy and experience so that it has learned to what once was the allergen in a new and healthy way.

This Allergy process for re-educating the immune system can be carried out in approximately 2-3 hypnotherapy sessions.

Take A Deep Breath, Smell The Flowers & Enjoy It For A Change

So if you would like to experience breathing deeply, freely and easily this allergy season, then please contact us today and book your free – no obligation consultation.