Our Approach to Allergies
When your body thinks it is being attacked by something (what it THINKS is a pathogen), histamine is released. Many, seemingly benign, things in our environment may be tagged by our immune system as a pathogen. Typical examples are plants, animal dander, bug bites, dust, and even certain foods or food additives.
Histamines, as part of your immune system, are produced by specialized cells called mast cells and basophiles. These cells can be found in the connective tissues of the stomach, intestines, nose, mouth and skin, as well as in the brain. Once released by mast cells and basophiles, histamine triggers an inflammatory response by the immune system. Blood vessels allow a greater number of White Blood Cells (WBCs) into the blood stream to fight the pathogen. In a sense, histamines and WBCs act like bouncers in a night club, trying to kick out the pathogens by any means necessary, i.e. sneezing, tearing watering eyes or out through the skin (which usually causes itching, redness or rash). To go along with feeling horrible, the histamines released in the brain act as an excitatory neurotransmitter causing less restful sleep.
Knowing how these chemicals work and affect our body makes it easier to understand why allergies and/or sensitivities, over time, have the potential to cause other chronic issues. With histamine being an essential element of the immune system, we want it there when it’s suppose to be. HOWEVER, an overabundance will cause the helpful, necessary histamine, to become damaging and even harmful when levels get too high. As an example, histamine is the single greatest adrenal gland stressor. Prolonged stimulation to the adrenal glands (the glands that help your body handle stress) will weaken the immune system, create chronic fatigue, change your metabolism, create a fluid imbalance, make your eyes sensitive to bright light and even make you dizzy when changing position from laying to seated or standing.
- Identify what your body perceives as a “pathogen”.
- Identify where in the body the pathogen is having its greatest affect.
- Balance the involved acupuncture meridian(s).
- Desensitize the patient to the pathogen.
- Assess for histamine metabolism issues and determine what necessary nutrition is needed for the proper breakdown and elimination of histamine to prevent immune system over-response from histamine overload.