Alternatives for Allergies and Asthma
We are well trained in a pharmaceutically-based society that when we don't feel good, a drug is what will fix it. As a holistic practitioner, I believe in medications when they are truly needed. I also feel the thought process of 'illness equals drugs needed' can be self-limiting as it doesn't offer any options for the individual to help themselves.
We are all unique individuals, one drug does not help everyone and we need to treat the person as an individual rather than naming a problem and treating that alone while ignoring the person behind the problem. For example, ten people with allergies may exhibit completely different experiences of allergies - how can we think we can effectively treat all ten, or even two of them, with one drug?
When it comes to allergies/ asthma, I believe, we really need a new thought process.
As a child, I had fierce allergies, I couldn't even go outside without sneezing so bad I needed to put ice on my eyes. I was also drinking a lot of diet sodas, sugars, chemicals, etc.
My mom took me to the doctor who gave me Seldane (Terfenadine) - yes, those of my generation remember this drug, it was one of the first drug scandals I can remember. In 1997 the FDA removed it from market but this wasn't before many of us had used it for years which we found out could have some major problems. (For more on this here.)
When I chose to walk the path of alternative medicine, one of my main focuses was allergies because I knew, after treating myself homeopathically to cure my allergies, the POWER of homeopathy in clearing the immune system. This article is based on my personal beliefs and over 20 years of experience.
Allergies are the immune system's response to SOMETHING it feels is foreign. That could be a food, a pollen, a person (just kidding), a dander, a chemical, I could keep going here but you get the picture. It also could be that the person reacted to the foreign object because it was a perfect storm of sorts. For example, perhaps the person lost a loved one that week - causing a vital force depletion due to grief, then they didn't sleep for a few days and boom, a reaction to a chemical they never reacted to before...
So we have first the immune system, then allergens, and then a response and surrounding that all, we need to understand the environment within which it all occurred.
I believe there are many ways within alternative medicine to work with allergies while causing no harm (the first tenant of good medicine - be it alternative or allopathic). Two common ones we look at are to:
1) Eliminate the item the immune system is reacting to.
2) Eliminate the reaction by either shifting the reactivity of the immune system (ie. healing the immune system or making it non-reactive to something in particular) and/or releasing blocks to the individual's overall vital force so that the immune system can be stronger than the item it is reacting to.
What standard medicine does is #2 however not by supporting the immune system or healing it, but by suppressing it. This is the reason we have to continue to take medicine in order to not have the symptoms. This is also why after years on steroids and other medicines our bodies can break down. There is only so long we can consistently take a suppressive drug before our bodies give it. In alternative medicine we look to cure the underlying issues to make our system stronger rather than dependent.
So back to our options ;)
Option one: To eliminate the item the immune system is reacting to, we need to determine what it is and take it out of our environment. This may be simple if it is a food item or an item in our home that we don't care for.
Unfortunately, for most people, the foods or items they are allergic to aren't that easy to stay away from. I'm not saying if someone comes in allergic to NutraSweet that I will try to help them keep eating something self-destructive, however, if someone comes in allergic to their own cat or dog, I'm going to work with them to eliminate the allergy.
NOTE: If it is a home allergy, there are some wonderful hepa-type air cleaners that can reduce allergies in the home. I firmly believe these are worth the cost.
Leading me to #2, eliminating the reactivity.
Option Two: As a homeopath and herbal/nutritional practitioner, this is the option I go for, both in addition to #1 if possible to remove the cause and also when it isn't simple to change the environment and eliminate the cause.
From a nutritional perspective, we can look at foods that both inhibit the immune system and those that enhance immune strength and change our diet. We can also look at foods that heal digestion as malabsorption is a BIG cause of asthma/allergies in my opinion. Please see my article on this area.
From an herbal perspective, we can find herbs that clear toxins (this isn't forcing a detox, this is supporting the natural effectiveness of our system), enhance immunity and strengthen digestion.
From a homeopathic perspective we can determine where the blocks to the individual vital force are and choose the remedy to unleash the potential of the individual's immune system, thereby, allowing the individual's own vital force to heal the imbalance.
PLEASE NOTE: in my experience, mixed remedies (those homeopathics that contain more than one remedy) can for those with weakened vital forces cause further damage. Especially with asthma you need to work with a seasoned homeopath to find the remedy that is right for you and your situation. Please don't play around with your vital force or trust that something over the counter that is homeopathic won't cause harm. If your vital force is weak and you push it with a mixed homeopathic, you can cause harm.
There are also some new options in alternative health for energetically changing the vital force reactivity. One way is through energy medicine to increase the vital force and remove blocks. Another is craniosacral work to release the nervous system blocks. We can also use NLP (neurolinguistic programming) and hypnosis for some individuals.
I personally find an individualized, integrative plan of action most helpful for long-term issues. For short-term, acute manifestations of allergies or asthma, especially in children, we can often clear the blocks effectively and quickly with homeopathy and temporary elimination of known allergens.
I hope you found this helpful information for your personal healing path!
***Disclaimer: This article is not meant to treat, by reading this article you are taking responsibility for seeking the medical care you require as needed and recognize this article is meant for informational and educational means only.
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