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Similarities Between Allergies and Phobias

Dr. Michael Levi, an immunologist, believes that an allergy is like a “phobia” of the immune system. In his analogy, an allergy in a person indicates that their immune system has developed an irrational “fear” of a certain substance causing the immune system to “panic” when confronted by that substance.

The intense fear you experience in a phobia sends your body into fight-or-flight mode, directing energy to parts of your body to save your life. Your heart beats faster to provide an emergency supply of extra blood to your muscles that tense as you prepare to flee, and your nervous system goes into high alert.

It’s the same principle with an allergy where your immune system prepares to expel, or at least neutralize, the allergens entering your body. But just as a phobia is a fear without reason, an allergy is also an unconsciously irrational reaction.

Imagine life’s elements divided into two categories: those that are dangerous and those that are safe. For example, burning houses and crashing automobiles are clearly in the dangerous category while clowns and water should be in the safe category because they are no overt threat to safety. In a phobia, elements in the safe category become mistakenly classified in the dangerous category. As soon as something from the dangerous category gets close to a person, their adrenal glands activate to release cortisol, which causes heart palpitations, sweating, and anxiety. Their entire body mounts a concerted defence to protect against the object of fear.

Allergies work the same way. Ingesting poison, which naturally belongs in the dangerous category, may trigger cramps, vomiting, inflammation, and swelling to protect the body. But milk and eggs are not poison and should not cause any distress. For people with allergies, these foods have been erroneously classified as dangerous and are labelled as allergens. When those allergens enter the body, the body’s immune system triggers to cause swelling, redness, inflammation, and itchiness. Again, the entire body goes into defence mode to expel the allergen.

In the case of both phobias and allergies, the body/mind system produces a huge fear response to a non-dangerous situation. In either case, taking drugs (e.g., anti-histamines to suppress the body’s production of histamines) or avoiding the source of the perceived threat may address the symptoms in the short term but completely miss solving the underlying problem. What is really required is some way of convincing the subconscious body/mind that there is no danger.

Allergies, like phobias, and the resulting misclassification of safe elements as dangerous, are the results of past events in which you felt danger while you were in close proximity to the element. Your subconscious protected you by moving that specific element into the dangerous category. For example, food allergies acquired during childhood might be due to the child experiencing stressful family situations while eating. If the child felt threatened while drinking milk, and that threat was present often enough, then at some point the subconscious connected milk with danger and moved milk into the dangerous category.

I have had a spider phobia most of my life. I remember the triggering event. My mother was kneeling on my bedroom dresser, cleaning the open window in front of her. When I entered the room, I thought my mother was about to fall out the window. Right at that moment, she jumped in surprise as she uncovered a spider. My mother was not afraid of spiders but was simply startled. However, I was really frightened when I saw my mother, who was in a precarious position, jump when she found the spider. My own subconscious was not being logical by any means when it moved spiders into the dangerous category. From then on, any spider even on TV, triggered a phobic response in my body.
Phobias and allergies are sometimes created together. Not long ago, I was able to clear a young man of his hay fever. His fear of bees disappeared at the same time because it had been created simultaneously with his hay fever. Bonus!

My practice is based on using homeopathy and neurolinguistic programming together to re-classify the elements of your allergies and phobias into their proper categories so you can leave them behind and live life without fear or discomfort.