Hypnosis and Allergies
If an encounter with a fluffy cat makes your nose grow red and puffy and you begin sneezing and wheezing, or a tiny taste of shellfish makes your face swell like an airbag, then it means that something inside of you has made a terrible mistake. This is because your body is treating a harmless substance as if it were a life-threatening invasion that requires an immediate and over-whelming counter-attack from your body's natural defenses.
The interesting thing is that even though your allergic reaction now seems so automatic and so inevitable, it was not always like this, because this is something that you somehow learned.
Now sometimes this learning can be traced back to a traumatic event in your childhood that just happened to coincide with the introduction of the allergen into your body. If this is the case, then you have the potential to unlearn it.
However, even if you are never able to determine the initial sensitizing event, you know that when your defenses are down, when you are anxious and experiencing far too much stress, your allergies will inevitably get worse. This is why hypnosis may be just the tool to help you to live a much more enjoyable life.
First, there is more than enough evidence that proves hypnosis is one of the most effective natural remedies for stress, anxiety and other crippling emotions. Second, there is conclusive proof that hypnosis can significantly reduce the intensity of an allergic reaction. And third, hypnosis has been proven to cure some allergies that were triggered by a specific cause, even if the initial sensitizing event occurred when you were just an infant.
Call 416-556-6238 today to find out more.
You can even book a free 30-minute telephone consultation with a qualified hypnotist who will be happy to answer all of your questions.
Allergy Fact Sheet
Allergies arise when the immune system becomes too hypersensitive and treats harmless substances in the environment (called allergens) as if they were lethal substances. These substances can be inhaled (such as dust and pollen), injected (such as bee stings and insect venom), ingested (such as peanuts) or simply come in contact with the skin (such as latex).
- a hypersensitive immune system;
- a traumatic event coinciding with the introduction of an allergen into your body;
- a weakened immune system caused by stress, anxiety, sadness and other emotional states.
- The symptoms depend on the type of allergen and the response it triggers. The most common are:
- an immune response usually involving some form of inflammation;
- hives and rashes;
- red, itchy, watery eyes;
- a runny nose;
- sneezing, coughing and wheezing;
- stomach pain, bloating, diarrhea;
- anaphylactic shock (which can have various symptoms, the most well known are a swelling of the throat, lips or tongue).
How Hypnosis Can Help You
Studies have shown that those who are prone to allergies tend to be highly hypnotizable. Hypnosis is ideally suited to help you manage your allergies better because;
- it can enhance your innate capacity to heal yourself;
- it can improve your ability to follow sound medical advice and work with your physicians;
- it can help to reduce the amount of medication you require to manage your allergy;
- it can help you deal with the emotional component of your illness;
- it can reduce stress, anxiety and other problems that can make your allergic reaction worse;
- it can help by allowing you to dissociate yourself (focus your mind and attention elsewhere) from your allergic reactions so they are not nearly as annoying and uncomfortable;
- it can help if there is a link between a specific emotional trauma and the onset of an allergy;
- it can help if there is a link between your mood (such as feeling sad) and the intensity of your allergic reaction;
- it can help if the allergy involves any subconscious and state dependent processes;
Some Research That Proves These Claims...
The scientific research is conclusive. If you are capable of entering a moderately deep state of hypnosis (something 70% of the population can achieve), then hypnosis can help you to reduce the intensity of an allergic flare-up. It can also help you to control any emotions that might make it worse. And it might even be able to help you to grow out of an allergy by pin-pointing the emotional event that first triggered your allergic reaction. Here is a summation of some of these studies...
Modulation Of Type I Immediate And Type IV Delayed Immunoreactivity Using Direct Suggestion And Guided Imagery During Hypnosis. Allergy Volume 44(8): 537 – 542. Zachariae R, Bjerring P, Arendt-Nielsen L.
Eight highly hypnotizable volunteers were recruited for this study where it was found that when these subjects were given suggestions while in hypnosis to decrease their reaction to a histamine prick test, there was a significant reduction in the inflammation of the skin when compared to a control group. This study confirmed numerous anecdotal reports that hypnotic suggestions can decrease inflammation and other allergic skin reactions.
Abreaction During Systematic Desensitization Under Hypnosis for Food Allergy [translated from Japanese]. Japanese Society of Psychosomatic Medicine 34(4) pp.329-333 1994. Junko I, Yoichi M, Hiroyuki A, Hideki T, Tetsuya N.
The authors of this paper state that it is well known that some food allergies are heavily influenced by psychological events and that fear and anxiety can play a role in this process. Then they describe the case of a 52-year-old woman who was admitted to hospital because of an allergic reaction caused by eating fish. She had only recently developed this allergy and when the authors of this study used hypnosis to uncover the cause, they found it was linked to the fear and anger she felt towards her ex-husband and her children's attempt to get her to reconcile with him. After this fear and anger was released during hypnosis she no longer continued to have an allergy to fish.
Effect of Self-Hypnosis on Hay Fever Symptoms - A Randomised Controlled Intervention Study. Psychother Psychosom 2005;74:165-172. Langewitza W, Izakovicb J, Wylerc J, Schindlerd C, Kissa A., Bircherb AJ.
Seventy-nine subjects who were moderately to severely allergic to birch pollen and grass were taught how to practice self-hypnosis to decrease their allergic reactions and increase their feelings of well-being. The researchers managed to follow 52 of them over the next two years (or two complete allergy seasons). After the first allergy season was over, the subjects reported that they experienced (on average) a 29.2 % reduction of their symptoms and a 26.2% improvement in their overall well-being, when compared to a control group. And while there were no further improvements between the first and second year of the study, the gains that were made the first year were maintained.
Increase and Decrease of Delayed Cutaneous Reactions Obtained By Hypnotic Suggestions During Sensitization Studies On Dinitrochlorobenzene and Diphenylcyclopropenone. Allergy Vol. 48(1):6 -11. Zachariae R, Bjerring P.
Sixteen highly hypnotizable subjects were recruited to test how their skin reacted to two drugs (DNCB and DCP). They were randomly assigned to two groups. Using a combination of direct suggestion and guided imagery, hypnosis was used to heighten the immunological response to these drugs in one group and to reduce it in the other group. They were then sent them home and only brought back one month later for the actual skin-prick test where the researchers found a significant difference in the allergic skin reaction between these two groups. Proving that hypnosis can both increase and decrease an allergic reaction.
Skin Reactions to Histamine of Healthy Subjects After Hypnotically Induced Emotions Of Sadness, Anger, and Happiness. Allergy Vol. 56(8):734 – 740. Zachariae R, Jørgensen MM, Egekvist H, Bjerring P.
The authors of this study begin by noting some of the anecdotal reports that claim emotions can increase allergic reactions. In an attempt to verify this, they recruited 15 highly hypnotizable subjects and gave them each a histamine prick test and then measured the size of the flare-up on the subject's skin at specific intervals. They then repeated this after hypnotizing these subjects and inducing three emotions: sadness, happiness and anger. Happiness and anger did not cause any real changes. However, when they hypnotically induced feelings of sadness they found that there was a significant increase in the allergic reaction.