Natural Solutions for Allergies
By Dr. Mary Riggin – Acupuncture and Acupressure for Allergy Relief
Hospitals and clinics were becoming commonplace for Jan and her daughter, Katie. The effect of allergic asthma on their lives was becoming overwhelming. When she was just a baby, Katie was sensitive to almost everything. This impacted Jan’s life tremendously. Katie was always in danger; at home, with other kids, at school, even out and about with mom. They never knew when an emergency would strike. She recalled the time at the restaurant when little Katie accidentally put some chicken in her mouth that had been cooked in peanut oil. The Doctor had told Jan that even a small amount of peanut could put Katie into anaphylactic shock. It could kill her quickly. Jan always kept medication on hand, just in case. This one time, however, she had switched out her purses and had not put the meds in her new one. She had planned on making a stop at the drugstore to pick up the medication she needed. She should have stopped before lunch, but the kids were cranky and hungry. Big mistake. Soon after they started eating, Katie’s eyes, tongue and throat swelled. Jan did not realize that the chicken had peanut oil! “Oh God” Jan thought to herself, “I don’t have any medicine!” She quickly scooped up Katie and the kids and sped to the emergency room. They were all panicked; they knew Katie could die if she didn’t get help. Fortunately they were only two minutes from the ER and frantically ran inside. Within moments, Katie was getting the treatment she needed and was going to be okay, this time.
Lifestyle changes were becoming more and more necessary. Although the changes initiated upon Katie’s birth were already impacting daily living, the avoidances were becoming more and more evident with time. For people who suffer with any type of food allergy, the avoidance issue becomes a lifestyle issue. For many, like Katie, it can be a matter of life and death.
Reactions to foods and the environment are quite common for anyone who suffers from allergies. They are not always as dramatic as Jan’s experiences with Katie, but a lifestyle issue none-the-less. Some people only suffer with mild symptoms, while others must deal with more serious issues. Even subtle allergy-based symptoms of weight gain or a weakened immune system will lead to other chronic health problems eventually. The common medications and medical treatments for allergies are really an application of emergency care protocols. Allergic asthma sufferers are commonly prescribed the use of medications like steroid inhalers to handle the immediate issue, which is absolutely necessary. They will then try to avoid the substance that caused the issue in the first place. This is okay, if the allergy trigger is something that can be avoided, like strawberries. But what about dust allergies or common food triggers like peanuts, eggs or dairy? Now the avoidances become more difficult. In the situation with dust, which is everywhere, it’s a matter of staying medicated enough to handle the body’s reaction. With food allergies like peanuts, eggs or dairy, food choices become more and more difficult, especially with children.
Holistic solutions for allergies have been developed over the past few decades. Strict dietary guidelines have been a standard for many years. Unfortunately, this creates a deficiency in the amount of nutrients the body is getting because certain food groups are not being consumed. For years, many people have used various vitamins, homeopathic and herbal remedies instead of medications. But, symptoms reappear if you stop the remedies.
A holistic protocol that was developed in California over 20 years ago is a modern application of the 5,000 year-old practice of Oriental Medicine, and specifically uses the science of acupuncture and acupressure to actually desensitize the individual from the allergic trigger. This advanced protocol can handle the need to actually get the body to absorb the nutrients correctly, rather than just managing symptoms through avoidance. This advanced acupressure technique actually corrects the body’s inappropriate response to food and other allergens. The food that once caused a reaction can now be absorbed correctly.
Low energy is a common symptom for those who suffer with food allergies. This is simply because the foods are not being absorbed correctly, resulting in nutritional deficiencies. This will leave a person tired and sluggish. Common sense tells us that when you are absorbing your food correctly, your body gets what it needs to function at an optimal level. Food allergies affect all aspects of life because of the food absorption issue. The activities of daily living are affected if this is not handled from a holistic approach. When food allergies are desensitized the body will absorb foods better, which will increase your energy, your vitality and overall life.
I have seen this many times in the clinic over the years. People come seeking treatment because they want their symptoms relieved and to reduce their medications. What they find is they are presented with an opportunity to have their overall health restored as well. This is a completely new concept for people. It has never occurred to them that this is even possible. They have become accustomed to a lifetime of suffering and barely functioning and have been led to believe that this suffering is both normal and inevitable. Many allergy suffers are now discovering that it does not have to be that way!
Soon after the restaurant episode with Katie, Jan decided to search for something different. She could not go on like this. After attending a class on Natural Solutions for Allergies, she decided to put Katie through a series of allergy treatments. Much to Jan’s delight, Katie’s reactions to various foods and environmental triggers were reducing. Her chronic congestion and coughing stopped; the dark circles under her eyes were disappearing. She no longer snored at night and there was an amazing improvement in her energy level, behavior and appetite. Even her teachers reported a marked improvement in her schoolwork!
The results speak for themselves, and the best part of all is that there are no negative side effects, just beneficial ones!
Quality of life is desired by all of us, especially if you suffer from any type of chronic illness. Since holistic care is so individualized, the results are individualized as well. For some people, undergoing a simple course of care will “jump-start” the entire body into a completely different direction, and with careful care and maintenance, the overall health of that person is changed forever.
For others that suffer with a more chronic situation, long-term care with continued maintenance is always recommended. Yes, you need to keep getting treated! This is not a bad thing, as some may say, but really a good thing! Think of your car for a moment — don’t you get regular oil changes and tune-ups? Even if there is nothing wrong with it and it runs perfectly you still get it serviced regularly.
Imagine the care you would give your car if you got only one car for your entire life and were never allowed to replace it. How would you treat it? Well, fortunately, we are able to trade in our cars when they break down, but guess what? You cannot trade in your body for a new one. You are stuck with the body you are born with for the rest of your life. Being proactive is essential if we do not want to end up with a less than optimal body as we age. This is why we always recommend some type of maintenance plan for our patients; it just makes sense. So, the next time you change your car’s oil, ask yourself, have I gotten my body tuned up with a holistic doctor lately?
Executive Director, Acupuncture Physician
Dr. Riggin is FitFM - Family Wellness , is the Founder and Director of Healing Touch Oriental Medicine. As an inspiring health educator, in-demand speaker and doctor of acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, Dr. Mary has helped thousands of people completely turn their health around. Dr. Mary co-hosts and produces the wildly popular radio show "Food is the First Medicine" and her presentations and viewpoints on natural healthcarehave made her an in-demand and innovative expert in the natural health world.
Dr. Mary Riggin, produces and hosts Food is the First Medicine Talk Radio Show, and is a popular speaker. Since 1996 she has practiced natural medicine in the Tampa Bay area; her passion and purpose is to help as many people as possible. Listen to her weekly on TanTalk 1340AM in Tampa Bay, or online anytime, anywhere at www.foodismedicine.org.
She is former Vice Chair of the Florida State Board of Acupuncture and was appointed to this gubernatorial position by Governor Lawton Chiles and Governor Jeb Bush. She has been featured on various TV and radio shows and frequently teaches free classes at community and recreation centers throughout Pinellas County.
She is a published author and was featured in the book A Woman's Guide to Vitamins, Minerals and Alternative Healing, writes and publishes educational newsletters and brochures, and was elected to serve two consecutive terms as President of the Florida State Oriental Medical Association.