The immune system is our body’s natural way of protecting us from foreign substances that are potentially damaging to us. Such a substance is called an ‘allergen’. Allergic reactions occur when the immune system reacts to a normally harmless substance in the environment by producing antibodies to neutralize or get rid of the substance. This reaction results in an inflammatory response. This inflammatory response can be mild such as hay fever (due to pollen allergy) causing symptoms such as sneezing, runny nose, red eyes, itching, eczema or an asthma attack. Other causes include; airborne particles, moulds, dust, chemicals and other substances. Severe life-threatening allergic can occur to certain foods, a medication or bee and wasp sting is known as anaphylaxis. This is a serious condition and immediate medical treatment is essential. Factors responsible for allergies are dependent on hereditary influences and the environment. Stress and fatigue are also responsible for a weakened immune system, which contribute to allergic reactions.
Conventional medical treatment will usually involve avoiding the allergen and the use of antihistamines and corticosteroids. For some people use of medication can cause unwanted side effects and over-reliance.
Integrative & Complementary Medicine Treatment
Acupuncture can be used to correct underlying energetic imbalances and support the immune and strengthen the immune system therefore preventing allergic reactions.
Nutritional & dietary changes with vitamin and nutritional supplementation, good antioxidant status, probiotics and reducing toxic load can help to dampen down the inflammatory response and revitalise the body.
Aromatherapy essential oils such as Tea Tree will help to strengthen the body’s immune system and others e.g. lavender, geranium will assist in relaxation. Massage will help tense muscles to relax and reduce stress levels.
Other complementary therapies such as herbs or homeopathy can also help to alleviate allergic reactivity and reduce stress.