Pollen – Highly Magnified

Many people suffer from an allergic reaction to something. Amazingly it’s possible to train the immune system to stop reacting to harmless substances.

What is an allergy?

“Allergies are a kind of phobia of the immune system.” ~ Dr Michael Levy, allergist-immunologist 

The word, “allergy” pertains to a condition or sensitivity to some substances, called, “allergens”. Most people have experienced an allergic reaction to something during their life.

For many people an allergy is a constant burden to live with whether it’s the annual bout of hay fever, a nut allergy or a persistent allergic reaction to a family pet. Living with allergies can range from being mildly annoying to potentially fatal.

Our immune system is overreacting

When our immune system is functioning well, it identifies truly dangerous substances like harmful bacteria or viruses and responds to them in order to protect our body. In an allergic reaction, our immune system is overreacting. It has made a mistake and has identified some harmless substance, such as wheat, pollen, dust, or pet hair, as being dangerous when it isn’t. From then on, every single time this substance is ingested, inhaled or touched, our immune system puts the active part of its system into action. Interestingly, some people are able to produce the allergic response just by thinking about being in the presence of an allergen.

In general, we can thank our immune system for behaving this way. For instance, once it has encountered a cold virus or bacteria, it will mark it off so that it can respond to the danger at any time in the future. This protective behaviour becomes a problem however when it goes into action and there is no danger.

Allergy symptoms

To deal with the threat, such as viruses and bacteria, the immune system releases Killer T cells to attack the threat. In an allergic response, in the absence of a virus or other foreign substance the Killer T cells attack healthy cells which explode, releasing histamine and this causes the symptoms associated with allergies.

Some allergic reactions can be life-threatening, but on the whole allergy symptoms are generally mild, and typically people suffer with sneezes, coughs, watery eyes, itchy skin and mouth, rashes and breathlessness.

How do we develop an allergy?

Allergies tend to develop during times when we are in some kind of life transition such as starting school, moving to a new place, puberty, leaving home as a young adult, death of a loved one, pregnancy, and the like. We are transitioning from one way of being to another and change can be frightening. When we arouse fear we experience stress. Stress knocks us off balance and puts our immune system into a heightened state of alert.

The positive intent of our immune system is always to protect us

The positive intent of our immune system is always to protect us, but when in a hyper-alert state it is more likely to make a mistake, and take something that’s benign, in the environment, and interpret it as a threat. Once it recognises something a threat, it never forgets unless we retrain it. So whenever it encounters the identified threat it automatically reacts by producing Killer T cells.

To counter the effects of histamine many people take an anti-histamine. While antihistamines can control many mild allergies, the side effects of drowsiness and resistance to medication can make this an unattractive option. The good news is that there are some powerful psychological techniques available to resolve allergies that leverage the fact that our immune system is a fast learner. We can quickly teach and retrain our immune system so that something it thought was a threat it no longer identifies as a threat.

Leveraging the fact our immune system is a quick learner

Some people assume that because allergies are a medical problem, largely affecting the immune system, psychological techniques will be not work. However, our psychology, neurology and immunology are interconnected.

The field of science that researches this interconnectivity is called Psychoneuroimmunology. Experiments with the field, have confirmed that the immune system is continually learning and can be influenced by psychological techniques. In addition to our immune system changing, we now know that our brain is also changing all the time, rewiring, altering, and reshaping its networks to adapt to an ever changing world. This ability is called neuroplasticity and we can leverage it too, to help us stop our allergies.

My ‘go to’ allergy recovery techniques is ……

My ‘go to’ technique for helping people recover from allergies is the ‘Counter-Example Process’ which combines the power of the imagination with targeted guided imagery. Like any change process, success isn’t 100% guaranteed, because we’re all unique human beings, and no one technique will work for everyone, everytime. However, I find that around 70% of my clients report a dramatic improvement in the allergic responses from just one 90 minute session.


What next?

If you'd like to explore how you can remove your allergy and gain freedom from the unwanted symptoms contact me today, on 021 056 8389 or email me at tony@tycoaching.nz or use the Book Now button below.

Wishing you a wonderful week.
Go well

REMEMBER - "When you change your mind you change your life."


Tony helps individuals to harness the power of their mind to achieve success and well-being in life, work and business. Tony's particular area of expertise lies in helping people to 'change their minds' so they gain freedom from worry, anxiety and stress, overcome limiting beliefs and unhelpful habits. Tony’s solution focused approach to coaching uses a range of techniques drawn from the fields of solution focused coaching, neuroscience, positive psychology and clinical hypnosis.