The immune system’s function is to assess everything coming into contact with the body and determine if it is a threat or not, destroying anything deemed hazardous. As our society advances, we are producing more and more synthetic molecules, which are being introduced into every aspect of our lives, from the food we eat to the clothes we wear. Unfortunately, our bodies are designed to interact with natural substances and thus are not always able to process synthetics appropriately. This predicament may stimulate the immune system to begin labeling excessive numbers of substances as dangerous. As a result of overexposure to these “threatening” elements, an immune system may become overstressed and hypersensitive to many foreign molecules, whether synthetic or natural. This hypersensitivity manifests as inflammation in tissues contacted by the molecules, or, in other words, an allergic reaction. The most common offending molecules are very small, and thus blown by the wind into the eyes and respiratory system, causing the classic runny nose, itchy eyes and sore throat symptoms. As more synthetics are introduced and more toxins overwhelm our defenses, more immune systems are affected. Thus, allergies are becoming much more commonplace in our society. In addition, one prevailing medical theory states that these sensitivities may be passed on, either genetically or through the womb, to the next generation, causing babies to be born with allergies and food sensitivities that may then impact their development and life-long health status.
The customary western medical approach to treating allergies consists of avoiding the offending agent(s), and when this is not possible, chemically subduing the immune reaction. Unfortunately, when the immune system senses a challenge, it tends to redouble its efforts, thus overcoming the medication’s effects, requiring even more medication. Eventually the drugs no longer work, and the immune system is so aroused that the allergic reaction is worse than ever.
Oriental medicine views an allergy from a more holistic, or whole-body, perspective and analyzes which aspects of the system are out of balance, allowing the hypersensitivity to occur and persist. Frequently, if the body’s energetic system is rebalanced, the immune system is reset, and the hypersensitivity is resolved. If this is not fully effective, there are treatment protocols to desensitize the body to specific allergens, or symptom-producing agents. This desensitization will allow the individual to come into contact with the allergen without his immune system attacking it. No drugs required!