Let’s take a minute to discuss allergies. It’s definitely that time of the year and even though we’re close to being past the pollen, there’s still quite a bit of sneezing, coughing, itchy, watery eyes, runny noses, congestion; all of that yucky stuff that gets stuck in our heads and our lungs that we are not too happy about.
The strange thing about allergies is some people deal with them while others don’t. If pollen was the only culprit, all people would be suffering. So it’s not necessarily the pollen in the air, even though there is lots of pollen around!
Allergies are what we call a hypersensitivity reaction. That means our body is over reacting to something normal in our environment. This is different from a normal physiologic reaction. For example, if you were in a smoke filled room it would be very normal to be coughing inside that room, that’s a healthy response because your body doesn’t want to inhale that smoke. You’re going to cough to stop the smoke from getting deep into your lungs and that’s a normal physiologic response. When we are talking about pollen and things like that in our environment it’s not necessarily as normal to have such a hypersensitive reaction. Sure, if you were to breathe in a whole bunch of pollen it would be normal to cough and sneeze a couple of times to get it out, but, in terms of the lingering effects of it, not necessarily normal. So why in the world would our body have a response like that to something normal in the environment? The number one reason is that our body, on some level, is depleted; physiologically, emotionally, physically, spiritually depleted in some way so our physiology is not functioning normal anymore. It’s not normal to have allergies to normal environmental things.
We are not talking about food allergies here, those are different and something we’ll discuss in a different blog. So why do we get seasonal allergies? The answer is quite simple. It’s that our body is depleted and we have to find a way to replenish or make our body more vital and healthy. If our body is sick, it’s not because we are lacking in Zyrtec or Claritin. We are not having an allergy because of a lack of medication. We are having allergies because we are not having enough vitality. Our body is not successfully mounting a normal immune response to what’s happening. We have this environment in that pollen comes into us and our body is amped up on high alert and makes an immune response that’s overly strong to a normal environmental stressor.
Think of it this way: Someone who is already at threshold with their health doesn’t have any wiggle room – they’re already at the tipping point toward symptoms and dis-ease. On an emotional side, imagine it this way: You’re already stressed, you’re already fatigued; it’s tough at work and there’s traffic on the way home, you walk in the door, your kids are making all kinds of noise, there’s craziness and then the next thing you know you are already at threshold, your body can’t take much more of anything else happening in this situation. If it does you’re going to boil up and go over the top and maybe lose your temper or yell or something that is not normal for your life.
Think of our immune system in the same sort of way, our immune system has a particular threshold, our body has a particular threshold and when we’re depleted our threshold is much lower so things that normally wouldn’t irritate someone who is in a healthy vital state are now irritating our immune system. This is how allergies and quite frankly much of the suffering of life can happen.
What’s really neat is that there are some studies showing that as people become well-adjusted, as they receive the benefits of regular chiropractic care, their immune system is strengthened. These people have an increased vitality and hence a reduction in the symptoms of allergies, among other things.
Now, there’s a lot of ways to build up your vitality. Regular adjustments are one of the best ways. If you are currently experiencing allergies and you are already receiving regular chiropractic care then it’s time to look at other ways to up the vitality of your body, build up that strength from the inside out, so that allergies don’t have to be something that bothers you every single spring or fall or whenever they seem to come about in your life. Remember, health is normal, sickness and disease is not.
Check out our previous allergy blog from May of 2017 for more info on supporting your immune system during allergy season.
Drs. A & B
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