Every symptom, every form of dis-ease we experience or problem we ever had, is an attempt of our organism to establish equilibrium again, to heal itself. Our physical symptoms are the language that the body uses in order to get a message through.
We, if we are willing to open up a conversation, may be presented with very interesting answers to our questions. This can change the way we feel or live our lives. Maybe we even have a responsibility to do so?
If you look up the word ‘responsibility’ in the Oxford English language dictionary the first entry is this :
Responsibility: 1)The state or fact of having a duty to deal with something or of having control over someone.
‘a true leader takes responsibility for their team and helps them achieve goals’
Let’s imagine all our organs and organ systems as an orchestra and we are the conductor. Let’s also imagine that during the past few performances the second violin really did not live up to the job. What would we do? Sack them immediately? I guess the musician’s union would have a word or two to say or maybe the violinist would take us to court for unfair dismissal.
A responsible conductor will take the violinist aside and ask ‘Hey, what’s going on?’ Many stories may come to light on his enquiry and from this point there will be a creative solution of some sort.
How about us? If you have developed a strong allergy against pollen for example, you may really suffer a lot. There maybe strong symptoms like severe asthmatic reactions which are very limiting and sometimes serious.
In most cases the story unfolds this way. The sufferer goes to the GP, they prescribe various forms of antihistamine. Those stop the tickling and itching and every spring time he/she needs to get some more of the stuff. Some way down the line, the antihistamine will stop working, it has to be changed or the doses are increased. The GP recommends to you to also take some form of cortisone.
The cortisone has many unwanted side-effects, i.e. marked changes in your metabolism, retention of sodium and loss of potassium (it makes you age quicker), marked effects on the gastrointestinal organs and the endocrine system among others.
So what about the itch? What was it that the itch and the tickling demanded from you? As I mentioned before, in the holistic outlook we acknowledge the body as a highly intelligent entity. Coming from this viewpoint it does not produce a symptom just for the sake of it. There is a significant underlying problem that could not be resolved on a particular level, therefore the body went into action producing some symptoms.
Pollen, by the way, is not dangerous at all,- people go to the health food store to buy it, so why do some people suffer from it so badly?
If a person has such a profound reaction to a harmless plant substance, what is the underlying story behind this? This is an interesting question and whilst studying in Bologna with my homeopathic master Massimo Mangialavori MD, we compared the state of allergy to a kind of ‘civil war’ that is acting out on the physical plane of the patient.
Any infection and inflammation in medical terms is a conflict. Pathogens like bacteria, viruses, fungi etc. are fought against by our immune system in order to throw them out or put them back into their dormant state.
As a society we experience plenty of this, such as the common cold and many other disease states that carry the suffix ‘-itis’ (meaning ‘inflammation’), eg. sinusitis, tonsillitis, laryngitis and so forth.
Generally, in conventional treatment, these symptoms are suppressed and put down in order to not have to deal with the uncomfortable fever, sweating, pain etc.
Anti-febrile, anti-inflammatory medication is administered and far too often antibiotics too. So, the immune system is not allowed to work this out but is suppressed in its action.
Just one result of this massive suppression is the very steep rise in allergies that we see in our western society. According to studies 30 years ago there were 8% of people seen in practice with allergies. Today there are more than 40% of people that have developed complex and fairly severe allergies.
In allergies the process is more complex than in a common infection or inflammation. The patient’s immunity is not high enough to throw out the aggressor (the poor little pollen particles for example) and subsequently develops behaviour that harms its own self. There is a local release of antibodies that leads, as a side effect, to cell damage and therefore recurrent inflammation. It’s a vicious cycle.
However, if you are suffering severely from allergies it may be interesting to ask yourself some of smart questions!
Ruediger Dahlke MD, the leading German expert on body symptom integration says in his book The Healing Power of Illness: allergy is aggression that the patient couldn’t deal with on the conscious level. Hence, it tumbles down into our physical body and really lets off steam. On this level aggression can defend, attack, fight and succeed to its heart’s content. It can readily make an enemy of completely harmless material like pollen, cat, dog or horsehair, house dust, strawberries, peanuts etc.
Aggression , as we know from psychology, has fear at its root and healing is only to be found if those fears and aggressions are faced and dealt with on a conscious level.
Much as the violinist had to face the question of the conductor and find some answers in order to play at her best, sufferers from allergies may need to investigate what’s going on in themselves.
If you suffer from allergies you may ask yourself the question where in your past or present you were not able to express aggression in a healthy way.
What are the areas of your life that you really fear to be confronted with?
In what way do you feel your aggression? Do you allow yourself some healthy expressions of aggression and force? Is there any way you can find a creative solution to channel your aggression? Could we have a look together?
These are fascinating areas of exploration and in my work I try to understand each client from that level. We share a space where these conversations are really possible. The prescription of the homeopathic remedy enables the body , mind and spirit level to open up for this work and together with the therapeutic exploration the client can find possibility to integrate their dis-ease experiences rather than shoving it under the carpet, so to speak.
This, in my view, is an interesting and creative way to look at our states of health and disease. Asking smart questions, interpreting the symptoms we suffer from, finding deep answers and giving the correct attention to our suffering on any level.
In the end the answer is that we make friends with our symptoms so their need to speak ceases. The earlier we do this, the better. If we change our way of being and attend to our needs in this way we surely will lead a healthier and also happier life.
But, I am not saying that it’s a necessarily easy way. Life is always a challenge but we could get better at it by playing by its rules.