When the word Allergy was first introduced into the language of medicine about a hundred years ago, it is unlikely that anyone envisaged the controversy that it would cause. Originally intended to mean any condition occurring as a result of unusual reaction to substances regarded as non-self, and this included anything swallowed, inhaled or touched, the definition was soon narrowed by scientists who saw in some allergic reactions a clear parallel with the way in which the body deals with infections. Gradually, then, it was seen as a truth that unless this physiological response the Type one or Antigen/Antibody response could be demonstrated, an allergy was not involved. As a result of this thinking, and without an obvious physical link between multiple symptoms, it could be concluded that the patients problems had a psychological basis and were treated as such.
The allergy debate continued until some twenty to twenty five years ago, when evidence began to emerge that this ‘truth’ was nowhere near the whole picture.
Whilst a high level of stress can be the trigger that sets off the allergy, there is likely to be also an inherited malfunction of the immune system, both these factors playing their part in the development of the problem. Indeed the symptoms of allergy can increase or decrease in severity depending on the patient’s stress level at the time.
The allergic response is inflammatory and symptoms appear in ‘target’ organs. Skin, lungs and eyes are obvious targets, but allergic symptoms may also appear in muscles, joints, bowel, bladder and brain. The link between symptoms is not psychological, but is physical inflammation.
The allergy testing methods of main stream medicine were mainly developed to detect Type 1 reactions e.g. Hayfever and when the allergy is of this type, its symptoms are usually treated with the judicious use of antihistamine, steroid and other drugs. In many cases of allergy - often referred to as intolerance or sensitivity, these drugs are of little use.
In the field of complementary medicine, simple accurate allergy testing methods have been developed. The most important of these are muscle testing (Applied Kinesiology) and the Vegatest (an electromagnetic instrument). Both of these methods have been shown in practice to be extremely effective and accurate.
Muscle testing is usually to be preferred in that it is simpler in use and involves the patient in no discomfort. It may be used with children, infants and the elderly. It is possible through this accurate and painless method to identify all the patients allergens whether they are foods, chemicals or environmental pollutants such as traffic fumes and other chemicals, dusts, hair, pollens and so on.
It is possible to relieve the allergic symptoms caused by food and drink by dietary means, but avoidance is not at all easy when we identify environmental pollution as a cause of the allergy.
The specialist isopathic approach to desensitisation for allergies, developed over the last twenty years at the Institute and now used by all members of The British Institute for Allergy and Environmental Therapy has proved to be one of the most effective therapies available. The Institute acts as a source of information for members of the public who are actively seeking help and maintains a Register of Qualified Therapists.
© 2006 Donald M. Harrison
The British Institute for Allergy and Environmental Therapy