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Day 27 Allergies and Insomnia

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by gailnyc, Feb 12, 2013.

  1. gailnyc

    gailnyc Well known member

    I've had both allergies and insomnia for awhile. The insomnia, which I've always known was stress-related, comes and goes in short acute bursts. But the allergies are year round. Until reading about TMS, I'd never thought that allergies could be stress related.

    Last spring I had really bad allergies. Thinking back on it, this was when my cat, who was 18, was diagnosed with yet another condition (anemia) and I had to take her to the vet once a week for a blood test and sometimes a shot. However, I did not make that connection. During the summer, I went to see an allergist, who tested me and told me that all I was allergic to was grass pollen! I couldn't believe it! I have had what feel like year round allergies for over ten years! I have done all the usual things, like getting a hypoallergenic bed and comforter, etc., to reduce allergens in my home.

    And yet, I actually have really mild allergies.

    So allergies as TMS makes total sense to me.
     
    Gigi likes this.
  2. Stella

    Stella Well known member

    My allergies started when my Father told me "your Mom and I are thinking about getting a divorce." I was 10 years old. I had them the rest of my life. Now I don't. I agree with you.
     
    missy likes this.
  3. Leslie

    Leslie Well known member

    There's an allergy experiment about to take place in my house in the next few months. I remember undergoing allergy testing in my teens, although why... I can't specifically recall. I don't remember being told I was allergic to anything in particular but they did tell me I had some sort of juvenile asthma and treated that (not surprising I had it - my best friend suffered from a severe case of it herself and her parents had recently divorced & both remarried at the time). At any rate, my husband has had severe spring allergies (hayfever of course) for as long as he can remember. He read Healing Back Pain at my request about a month ago. I asked him to read it so he would have a better understanding of what's going on with me but it will be very interesting to see what happens with his allergies this spring as a result of his new-found knowledge.
     
  4. Lori

    Lori Well known member

    The question about allergies is: why is our body intolerant of whatever the irritant is?

    I remember when i used to mow the family lawn (my bro and I took turns) I would sneeze while dumping the grass bag. I openly admit I did not like mowing the lawn. In recent years I occasionally mowed the lawn and noticed that when I was telling myself what a pain it was to mow the lawn I would sneeze. When I viewed it as being outdoors and getting exercise, I would not sneeze! Quite an interesting discovery for me.

    So I'm thinking allergies do have an emotional root. Why wouldn't they. (yes, I do realize some people can have violent reactions to certain things--I'm not ignoring that fact, just asking WHY that is)

    It seems that people's programming or conditioning about allergies plays a role as well, e.g. expecting a reaction to something, say, during various seasons.

    Best wishes for healing!
     
    veronica73 likes this.
  5. Gigi

    Gigi Well known member

    My severe headaches started 2 years ago, and it was the time of Cedar Fever in TX, so I went and got allergy tests done. It turned out I was allergic only to grass, and when I asked why the allergy meds helped, the dr. just shrugged. Now I know--after 2 rounds of PT and numerous other things--that the headaches are TMS. I've only been working the structured program for about 3.5 weeks, but I have had some marked success with banishing the headaches.

    I've also strugg;ed with insomnia for most of my adult life. I have no trouble believing that it's TMS as well. For years I had trouble "turning off the tapes" my mind would replay when I went to bed. Now if I truly can't sleep, I take one Tylenol PM, which usually works within about 45 minutes. Yoga and exercise really help too. Life is good, esp. now that I'm aware of how powerful my subconscious is!
     
    gailnyc likes this.
  6. gailnyc

    gailnyc Well known member

    I had a similar experience last year. After thinking I had year-round allergies for years, I went and got tested. Turns out I am only allergic to grass, too! I was really surprised. My doctor said I must have "sensitive sinuses," but now I know it's TMS. TMS becomes easy to accept when you see this kind of pattern in yourself.
     
    Gigi likes this.
  7. Gigi

    Gigi Well known member

    Too true, Gail! My headaches turned out to be an ultimately very painful manifestation of TMS. I even tried 2 rounds of PT, which did nothing. At one point I desperately needed relief, and tried a chiro who used e stim and heat to relax the muscles at the base of my head. He had never seen them so tight! It did bring me relief for about a week. Now I have other tools to deal with that pain, and I'm SO grateful!
     
  8. gailnyc

    gailnyc Well known member

    Gigi, I don't know if you've read Claire Weekes' Hope and Help for Your Nerves, but she specifically talks about the "band of pain" around the head that can be brought on by anxiety/tension.
     
  9. valerie

    valerie Peer Supporter

    well i haven't had allergies really in my life until I moved to Sacramento. The first year was fine, but after listening to people say, this is the worst place in the country for allergies, I got some mild allergic symptoms and just took a zyrtec for a couple months a year. This year I haven't had any symptoms - while it seems like around me everyone is sneezing and sniffling. mmmm.
    I wonder if the "gluten" allergy epidemic may also be TMS related.
     
  10. Stella

    Stella Well known member

  11. Lori

    Lori Well known member


    Pretty amazing!
     
  12. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    I gather that allergies are the result of a hyperactive autoimmune system that interprets and reacts to ordinary things in your environment as if they were foreign invaders. If there's a "black box" somewhere in the limbic system of your brain that turns on a switch that activates the autonomic nervous system in such a way that you experience TMS pain, it certainly seems possible that there's a similar "black box" that switches on (or in the case of infections, reduces) autoimmunity. Stress and repressed emotionality, if they can cause TMS, could also be big factors triggering an allergic reaction, at least it seems that way to me.

    I know that the first time my parents tried to get a divorce, back when I was 6 years old or so, is also when I started developing allergies and asthma. Interesting too how at that same time our dog got sick and died of distemper and our cat likewise caught feline distemper and almost died too. Her kittens were not so lucky and didn't make it. This was also the time I got a whole bunch of childhood diseases in rapid succession. Also, got so run down, I caught pneumonia too. Seems as though the cat, the dog and I all picked up on the explosive conflict my parents were having at the time and the stress almost killed us all. Never saw how that whole complex of events were related to my parents' violent arguments before I started looking into the origins of my TMS. A explosive emotional environment is obviously not too good for kids and animals.

    Any rigorous scientific studies out there linking repressed emotionality and allergies/asthma/hives?

    I do note that today I no longer seem to be allergic to dogs. This change seems to have occurred after my father's death in March 1997. Makes me wonder whether I was really allergic to dog dander at all, but only to the dog as symbol? After all, my late father did beat my mother's dog with a broom in front of me at about the same time I started developing allergies. You'd have to wonder whether the violence and fear I associated with dogs as symbols was what really switched my autoimmune system into overdrive? I know that people who are allergic to certain plants can start to have allergic reactions when you present a picture of that particular plant to them. The psycho-symbolic world of the unconscious is so poetic, isn't it?
     
  13. Gigi

    Gigi Well known member

    I haven't read that book yet, Gail, but will look for it. Thank you so much!
     
  14. Gigi

    Gigi Well known member

    Thank you so much! I've bookmarked that page, but haven't yet figured out (logistically and technically) how to do them before going to bed. It's worth a shot!
     
  15. Leslie

    Leslie Well known member

    About a week ago the pollen was visible, outdoor surfaces were yellow, dandelion fluff was literally piled up on the edge of the grass. All of my husband's regular allergy symptoms started while he was at work so he decided to take a Claritin. The following day he was golfing, concerned about the symptoms ruining his good time, and irritated that the Claritin had not helped the previous day. He remembered reading something about allergies in Dr. Sarno's book and much to my surprise he actually asked me to remind him what the book had said about allergies. His next question was even more surprising: "how do I make it stop?" So I told him, if he really believed his allergies were the result of emotions and not caused by all that stuff blowing around outside he could just tell them to go away. Turns out my husband would probably be one of those fortunate people who would have a book cure if he was suffering from back pain (which I hope he never does) because he told the allergies to go away, had a great day playing golf in the blowing pollen, and hasn't had a symptom since!
     
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  16. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    Leslie, it seems 'as though' the autoimmune system has a turn on/turn off switch very much like the autonomic nervous system. It you can switch off the autonomic nervous system's TMS response with psychological exercises and meditation, it stands to reason that you could also switch 'off' the hyperactivity of the autoimmune system that causes your body to regard harmless substances like pollens and house dust as foreign invaders, which, in turn, increases the production of histamines, leading to an allergic reaction. I know that changes in barometric pressure and changes in altitude can initiate an allergic response in your body too. So there has to be some kind of switch in the brain that initiates the allergic response to begin with. It's my hunch that allergic reactions are programmed very much like the programmed pain pathways associated with TMS. But of course I'm not an MD etc. etc. etc. Great that your husband could do that too, apparently just with an inoculation of knowledge, very much like a Sarno book cure.
     
  17. Gigi

    Gigi Well known member

    Leslie, how wonderful! I firmly believe that if we could harness the full potential of our minds, there would be no unsolvable problems!Three cheers for your husband!

    I just got Claire Weeks's book, Hope and Help for your Nerves, on ILL from my public library. I'm amazed at how relevant it still seems, even though the coyright is 1969. Her suggestion for dealing with TMS is a four stage process: 1. Facing 2. Accepting, 3. Floating, and 4. Letting Time Pass. Very insightful.
     
    gailnyc likes this.
  18. Leslie

    Leslie Well known member

    I'm struck by your use of a "switch" as a metaphor, Bruce. My husband definitely has those switches, I, on the other hand seem to be hard-wired. There have been many times, usually after a disagreement that he has moved right by, where I've said to him, I know you wish I had a switch to just turn this off, but I'm not like you, I don't. I never thought of this in the TMS context before but it certainly makes sense. Originally I thought I needed a doctor to get rid of the pain, then I thought I needed a psychologist, turns out what I actually needed was an electrician :)

    I would agree with this. The best part is that my husband was very apprehensive to read Dr. Sarno's book. He was concerned that if he learned how the mind could generate symptoms his mind might start doing it to him.
     
  19. Leslie

    Leslie Well known member

    I agree, we would all be unstoppable!

    I found her book really helpful and I've recommended it to several people I know, with a side know telling them to overlook the part where she talks about electric shock therapy. Ah, to be light enough to float every time and patient enough to let time pass!
     
  20. gailnyc

    gailnyc Well known member

    I think of what she says about electro shock therapy (and sedation) as analogous to Sarno in this way: she is trying to help people recover WITHOUT the use of these aids. She believes that we can. However, she seems to be saying that some people may need these aids at first, until they are past their critical stage.

    I don't think it goes against Sarno to take an Advil or a muscle relaxant once in awhile to help you cope with pain. But he wants you to use these only as ways to get past the worst of the pain so you can recover on your own, just like Weekes.
     
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