What is an allergy?
An allergy is an adverse reaction that the body has to a particular food or substance in the environment. Most substances that cause allergies are not harmful and have no effect on people who are not allergic.
The allergic response
Any substance that triggers an allergic reaction is called an allergen. Some of the most common allergens include:
- grass and tree pollen (hay fever)
- dust mites
- animal dander (tiny flakes of skin or hair)
- food allergy (such as nuts, shellfish or fruits)
From a western medical point of view, an allergy develops when the body’s immune system reacts to an allergen as though it is a threat, like an infection. It produces antibodies to fight off the allergen, in a reaction called the “immune response”.
The next time a person comes into contact with the allergen, the body “remembers” the previous exposure and produces more of the antibodies. This causes the release of chemicals in the body that lead to an allergic reaction.
Symptoms of an allergy can include sneezing, wheezing, itchy eyes, skin rashes and swelling.
The nature of the symptoms depend on the allergen. For example, you may experience problems with your airways if you breathe in pollen.
NAET and Eastern medical perspective
In NAET allergies are viewed from a holistic perspective, based on oriental medical principles. In an allergic person the allergen is viewed by the brain as a threat to the body’s wellbeing. Therefore for our purposes, an allergen is defined as a substance which has an adverse affect on the natural energy flow in the body. When contact is made with the allergen, it causes blockages in the energy pathways (called meridians), disrupting the body’s electrical circuits. This blocked energy flow is the first step in a chain of events which may lead to an allergic response. Allergies result from energy imbalances, leading to a diminished state of health and prevents the normal self healing process.