Balance your Immune response. Now.
By Amanda Coleman, LMP
When I was a kid, I had a very reactive immune system. I was terribly allergic to cats, dogs, hamsters, pollen, dust, mold, you name it: it made me wheeze. Frequent colds and flus all turned into bronchitis. I routinely had to find my way through the war-zone of the freaking out my body was doing just to get a breath. Interestingly, I did find my way through.
It all came together the summer I was eight. We were leaving my hometown of Portland and my life with my father, to move out into the rural landscape with the “new Dad”. Things could not have felt more out of my control or less to my liking. But there was one saving grace: I could have a cat. We would be living in the country, so, even though I was allergic, the cat could live outside and maybe it would work. I was damn well certain it was going to work! Patches was her name; a sweet-natured little calico kitten of my very own. She was my first friend in the strange farm country of Yamhill. I would pet her and she would rub against me. I would feel the reaction begin…the itchy eye, the urge to lick the back of my throat. And I would get frustrated. I love this little cat! She loves me. And I need this love. Really. It is more important than itching or sneezing or wheezing, or whatever else is going on inside me right now… “Hey… what IS going on inside me right now? What is this “allergy” thing my body does, anyway?”
Rather than asking an outside source, I went inside. I used my curiosity, my attention, my powers of observation and my patience, just like I did when investigating the seed heads, the wooly caterpillars, or other beings in nature. I stilled myself and focused. I practiced. I learned to “see” the allergy in action. I learned to catch the reaction earlier and earlier and earlier. Finally, there I was, with time stopped, inside myself, watching my own little histamines with their backs arching, hair starting to stand on end, about to totally freak out. And into that moment I whispered…”Shhhhh. It’s okay. It’s just Patches. Don’t start, okay?” Okay. That was it. Like taming a feral beast, the allergies began to stand down. With time and practice I “grew out of” my childhood asthma and allergies and got so that I could sleep with a cat on my pillow. I even used the same method to stop hiccups. “Where does a hiccup begin?” I would wonder, and then I would go investigate. As soon as my attention got near that initiation moment, the hiccups would cease. Well, that’s handy. It’s all pretty handy, but you know, it’s just some weird thing I can do.
Fast forward 25 years. My husband and I are living on San Juan Island and the hay is high. He is miserable with hay fever. He has to take medicine religiously. I am hay fever free by this point in my life, but watching him reminds me viscerally of the horrible feeling of it from when I was a kid. And that reminds me of the thing I did to treat myself. So, I tell him about it. That’s all. I just told him. A few days later he tells me, “You know, it works. It works way better than Claritin. I drove past a hay field and started to get all stuffed up, but then I started talking to myself gently. ‘Hey, you love this island. You love being here. You love the whales and the beauty and the time away from the city. It’s just HAY. Don’t freak out.’ And the symptoms abated for the rest of the season. And each subsequent year has been less of an ordeal.
I guess it’s more than “some weird thing I can do”
Oh, and morning sickness? Same technique, same result. Turns out my stomach felt “scared” by the overwhelming changes coming our way. I learned to reassure it that all was well. No puking required.
So, I’m curious. If I tell YOU about it, what will happen? Because maybe you can do this too, and you just haven’t tried it yet. What’s bugging you right now as you sit at your computer? What if you gave into a moment of pure curiosity about it? What would you find out? What soothing words could you whisper to that upset place in yourself?
Write to me and share your story. [email protected]. Have you healed yourself lately? What ‘weird’ healing techniques do you have that maybe you take for granted?
Amanda provides Visceral Manipulation and SOMA (structural integration) at the Tummy Temple on Tuesdays and Fridays. She has an uncanny knack for making friends with your body and soul and coaxing profound healing out of people. She also leads the inspiring and freeing class series, “Remember to Breathe.” To make an appointment with her, please click here.