Allergies and Sensitivities; Their Pro-Ageing Effects

The Pro-Ageing Effects of Allergies and Sensitivities

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Natural Health Magazine’s Complementary Health Guru, Jayney Goddard, explains how allergies and sensitivities can accentuate the ageing process.

Hayfever season is upon us and I see increasing numbers of patients who are complaining of seasonal allergies  - where they never had them previously.

It is very strange that more and more of us seem to be developing these problems and I personally believe that a number of factors are responsible, including nutritional issues, unmanaged stress, and environmental pollution.

Of all of these, environmental toxicity is probably the worst culprit. We're being exposed to unprecedented numbers and types of environmental pollutants, and recently an eminent professor at the prestigious Cornell university estimated that 40% of deaths worldwide are caused by pollutants in water, air and soil.

The World Health Organisation also supports these figures.

Many practitioners suspect that these environmental toxins are provoking an 'up- regulation' of our immune response i.e. putting our immune systems into a constant state of red-alert, causing us to be excessively reactive or sensitive to allergens so that we over-respond to other elements such as pollens, dust and more.

Now, given that this article is about holistic anti-ageing, you're probably wondering what hayfever, allergies and environmental pollution have to do with ageing?

Well, it turns out rather a lot in fact.

There are many factors which are involved in the ageing process. These include wear and tear, oxidative stress, psychological stress, inadequate nutrition (which in developed countries means that we take in an excess of calories through very nutrient poor food - some of which is downright dangerous e.g. trans fats, high fructose corn syrup, processed meats, refined carbohydrates and more).

All of these lead to inflammation, which is a natural response to stressors and is usually helpful and protective, however when it gets out of control, it causes many devastating conditions.

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These include arthritis, heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, many cancers and even the degenerative neurological diseases Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.

Inflammation is also at the heart of the allergic response. In the case of hayfever or seasonal rhinitis, every time that an allergic response is provoked by an allergen, be it a pollen, a chemical or a food, precious resources are diverted away from our immune system - meaning that it can't do it's normal day to day job of keeping us well - and this provokes the degenerative, and thus ageing, effects of stressors.

Ways to combat seasonal allergies

Conventional or pharmaceutical medicine really has no treatments for allergies other than the 'sticking plaster' approach of using antihistamines which at best provide temporary relief.

The good news is that complementary medicine has a number of approaches which have been shown time and again in practice to be extremely helpful.

The core tenet of complementary medicine is to work preventatively - by addressing the underlying reason why a person is developing such an over-reactivity to allergens.

Several branches of complementary medicine are outstandingly effective in this arena; homeopathy, acupuncture and Chiro-Kinetic therapy (CKT).

Each of these approaches aims to understand why the body is producing a set of symptoms and then provides whatever is necessary  for the body to heal itself.

In the case of acupuncture, the practitioner will ascertain which energetic pathways known as 'meridians' in the body are blocked and they will insert needles, or apply pressure to that specific are to unblock the energetic flow, thus enabling the body to work correctly and to heal itself. In spite of the use of needles, which can be off-putting for some, acupuncture is rapid, gentle and effective.

In homeopathy, the homeopath can work in two ways, first of all, they can prescribe homeopathic medicines which can immediately address the distressing symptoms of allergies, fast and effectively. This is called 'acute prescribing' and the medicine given will usually be a highly diluted mixture of the allergens that the person is reacting to, i.e. pollens and grasses.

The second way of working is where the homeopath makes a highly detailed, in-depth analysis of the patient's symptoms, lifestyle, medical history and more, so that the person's 'constitutional' remedy can be prescribed. This is a highly dilute medicine which is totally individualised to that person and addresses all of their symptoms, holistically. By working in this way, a homeopath is able to help the person to become more healthy overall and thus better equipped to deal with stressors - including allergens.

This is the essence of preventative medicine - the creation of a state of physical, mental,and emotional resilience - so that the person remains healthy regardless of external factors which might undermine a person in a weakened state.

In Chiro-Kinetic therapy (CKT), the practitioner uses a special technique called 'muscle testing' as a way of communicating with the body to establish areas of imbalance.

The CKT 'conversation' with the body is at a cellular level. Cellular memory, communication and intelligence are of particular importance.

The body communicates with the CKT practitioner by relaxing a muscle group, allowing cellular memory to be investigated. Testing may include checking for and addressing allergies, digestive and eliminative concerns and also hormonal, structural and emotional issues.

The aim is to build up a clear picture of the imbalances that the body considers a priority.

 

To find qualified, professional practitioners - or to find a selection of the best training schools which teach these approaches click on these links.

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