Allergies are complicated by nature. They have much to teach us. In a previous article, I clarified the need to redefine allergies from an energetic standpoint to make them relevant to the work of acupuncturists.
By energetic definition, an allergy is anything that disrupts a person's qi in some way. This is purposefully a very broad definition, which allows for more subtlety in detection and treatment. This definition also points to the necessity of using some sort of feedback mechanism (or divination method) to assess a person's allergies.
Feedback mechanisms are essential to all of the newer methods of allergy treatment I am aware of. One feedback mechanism we all know and practice is the use of the Chinese pulse, but it is difficult to get specific information about allergies this way. Applied kinesiology (muscle testing) is a common method used to gather information about allergies, but I have found it too limiting and not accurate enough for my satisfaction. Another method to consider is the Nogier pulse. There are a number of other methods available, but the important thing is that you use them and that you practice enough to get good at the method you prefer.
All of the newer allergy treatment methods, in my opinion, derive from the use of traditional Chinese medicine, utilize acupuncture points, and integrate the best of Western knowledge and experience about allergies, which to some extent is a very Western disorder. Allergies are becoming increasingly more common and severe as a direct result of environmental pollution, Western lifestyle choices, and toxic medical and dental practices. The very nature of allergies is such that each generation is more allergic than the last. It is part of our evolutionary process to become more sensitive beings in general. Allergies are a result of such sensitivities being played out in a toxic world in need of change.
Allergies (and the people who have them) are a calling to each of us who treat them to refine our methods. There is no need for us to practice Western medicine, but there is much to be gained from integrating the more precise and refined knowledge of anatomy Western science can give us. With a more precise understanding of the energetics of anatomy integrated into the highly effective and natural methods of TCM, we can refine our treatment and get better, quicker results. The key to treating allergies successfully is accuracy.
I think it is of the utmost importance to retain the energetic understanding of TCM, and to even risk expanding upon it to include a more specific knowledge of anatomy. It is also of utmost importance to remember that we are practicing in a holistic tradition, and not to neglect the spiritual aspects of healing.
Inherent in all spiritual traditions is the access of information through divination, intuition, and even altered states of consciousness in order to best help those we set about to heal. A practitioner who does not utilize feedback mechanisms, divination techniques, intuition, or a refined spiritual nature runs the risk of just acting out of ego. Certainly each of us has a reservoir of education and experience from which we draw in every treatment we do, but success with allergic clients often requires more of us.
In treating highly sensitive persons, especially those with severe allergies, an unrefined technique can be disastrous. Treatment can become just another trigger for reaction in this clientele. It is likely we will all be seeing more sensitive clients in the future.
Click here for previous articles by Heidi Hawkins, MAc, LAc.