We hear about allergies often: casual conversation, the media, and conversation with our doctors. Although many people are aware of the wide variety of allergies, we still have a misunderstanding as to why they occur.
What is our body trying to tell us?
While allergies are often thought of as something we can not change about ourselves, they are really the body’s attempt to move in the direction of health. Allergies signify a chronic imbalance in our diet and activity level. When our bodies become too overloaded, we can not detoxify or eliminate the excess waste.
In macrobiotics, allergies are considered a blood related issue. What this means is that if our blood chemistry is compromised, we then become more susceptible to experiencing allergies. From my time as a counselor, people with exaggerated emotional sensitivities tend to become more prone to allergies as well. This concept can be linked to the Chinese association that water represents emotion. As blood is mostly aqueous, blood is ruled by water and in turn, affected by our emotional behaviors(and consequently our eating habits as our emotions affect them). A problem with our flow of emotion could in turn cause a a compromise in our blood chemistry. In order to promote health and prevent allergies, we need an ongoing way to monitor our body’s responses and inputs to somehow create more helathful responses to our food and environment.
Allergies are results of imbalances, but what is it about our environment and food that have made our bodies so vulnerable? A major contributing factor is our modern diets. The underlying cause of almost all allergies is an influx of dairy product and fructose. Since the 1980’s nearly all manufactured food has switched from containing natural sugars to the cheaper alternative of high fructose corn syrup. Other leading causes include a diet high in animal-based foods and also the increase of GMO’s, or genetically modified organisms. Other common food allergies include yeast, gluten and soy. A person that suffers from allergies knows that when we lose the ability to connect with the environment, we lose the ability to properly nourish ourselves. Our life becomes limited.
If you develop a systematic approach, you can overcome allergies. To start, practice a macrobiotic diet that reintroduces natural food so that you can keep track of the irritants. Begin on a strictly grain and plant-based diet, and as other foods are added one at a time, monitor your body’s reaction. This requires writing it down. If you have a strong symptom, chances are you should eliminate the food and try again after a month of eating as a macrobiotic.
In order to strengthen the lymph system and digestive organs, replace unhealthy food with these choices:
Miso soup (every day!)
Saute vegetables with sesame or olive oil
Quick steamed greens (every day!)
Unpasteurized sauerkraut and other naturally fermented foods
Another helpful strategy for allergy relief is through the skin and importantly, through the feet. These parts of us help to flush toxins if you do the right things:
Make a habit of using hot water with a handful of table salt mixed in to soak the feet for 5 to 10 minutes before you go to bed
Rub your body with a wet wash cloth every day, outside of the shower or bath
Allergies are warning signs. The same substances and behaviors causing allergies can lead to the development of a more serious degenerative disease.
Please, monitor your allergies and practice these suggestions to improve your relationship with the body’s natural response mechanisms.