Sunday, August 8, 2010

Holistic Mackerel Batman!

Fact about Me: 
I am either allergic or have intolerances to many many many MANY things:  trees, grasses, pollens, dust, mold, cats,dogs, horses, weeds, dairy, and shellfish (the latter being an anaphylactic reaction causing death in about 15 minutes).  For the non-food-related allergies I have tried allergy shots, and after 2 years the results were only mildly noticeable so from April to October I pop an antihistamine every morning with my glass of orange juice.

So What?
Several weeks ago my mother-in-law commented on how she hadn't blown her nose in quite a while.  On the surface it seemed like a very strange thing to just say randomly, but if you know Heather you know that there's often a long history of internal dialog that precedes random comments such as that one.

It turns out that she went to visit a Registered Holistic Allergist who in one session rid her of all those pesky allergies.  Ordinarily I would have scoffed at the entire notion, but Heather happens to be a Registered Nurse and has been involved in the medical field for longer than I've been alive.  She's seen it all, and heard about even more when it comes to health care and treatment of everything from cuts and bruises to brain trauma, so when she endorses something I tend to listen.

So my wife convinces me to to see the same person and this past Friday afternoon I went in for my tests and first treatment, and I was skeptical.  Very skeptical.  They "test" you by having you hold your fingers together (thumb and ring finger on your dominant hand) and the Allergist tries to pull them apart.  This is the baseline.  Then they do the same thing with your other hand palm down on the top of your head, then with the palm up on the top of your head (this one makes it easier to pull your fingers apart due to the way the energy in your body aligns).

Then, you place a small vile of liquid against your forearm (of the arm with the fingers touching) and the Allergist tries to pull your fingers apart again.  If you're intolerant (or allergic) to the substance it's easier to pull your fingers apart.  The easier it is the more intolerant you are.

The vile doesn't actually contain the substance, just an energy representation of the substance though, the thought being that in the presence of this energy that your body thinks is harmful it tries to fight against it and hence, takes away from the energy you're using to keep your fingers together.

So we do this for a couple hundred substances and much to my surprise, without being told which substances were which, this system indicates that I have a ton of allergies - and all of them confirmed by a traditional scratch test (plus a few others)!

Despite the "hocus pocus" nature of the test I'm beginning to be convinced.  It's one of those things that unless you experience it for yourself you'll probably file it under "yeah, right" and pay no attention.  The remedy for these intolerances is even more New Age voodoo than I can adequately describe (though I will try).

They place the vile of each substance to which you have an intolerance on a metal plate on a machine that looks like it's from some war-era torture device with knobs and buttons and a couple wires coming out of it, one of which has what looks like a silver anal probe on the end.  Then, as you hold the anal probe the other end (which looks like something you'd find on the end of a stereo cable) is placed on several acupressure points on your body while a very small current is pumped into you (5 microamp, and they don't place it near your heart - just in case).

When you're done (about 20 seconds per pressure point, and they do about 13 or 14 spots) you re-do the "test" for the intolerances you were just "cured" of.

This is where it gets really freaky.  Let's take weeds, pollens, grass, and ragweed - my arch nemeses for most of the spring and summer.  Prior to the treatment, when holding a vile of one of these things to my arm I could barely keep my fingers together, the Allergist pulling them apart with ease.  After the treatment however, she couldn't get my fingers to come apart at all.

So what, you say?  That's a far cry from not suffering from allergies, right?  Well that's what I say too.  Only the strange thing is that the next morning (less than 12 hours after the treatment) I did NOT take an allergy pill and then I went golfing and cut my lawn, two activities that would normally render me sneezing and blowing my nose, and rubbing my red, itchy eyes (sometimes even after taking an antihistamine!)  Only this time I barely had a sniffle.  My throat, which would normally be all scratchy, was fine.

Later that night, and subsequently this morning I found that I was sniffly and my eyes were slightly itchy, but not nearly bad enough to warrant complaining (or taking an allergy pill).  So far I have attributed this to other allergens in my house that I have not received treatment for, which is evidenced by the feeling of no allergies whatsoever when I am in the backyard (near those things for which I have been treated) but some symptoms when I am on the couch (where the cats hang out all the time and where dust gets into the cushions).

So, I'm going to give it a couple weeks and see how it goes. I'm going up to the beach where the grassy allergens are normally bad, and where there are no cats and dust (my mother is a freaky OCD cleaner so the cottage is normally spotless) and I'm not going to take any antihistamines and we'll see.  If I feel my symptoms have greatly improved then I'm going back to get the rest of my stuff treated (especially dairy and shellfish) and I'm taking my son (who is allergic to peanuts) and my mother (who has fibromyalgia).  Then, it's off to the "regular" Allergist to get my scratch tests done again (and my son's) to see what they come up with.

I'll keep a posting progress as there is some to report.  For those near KW, Woodstock, London; here is the link to the place I went to: http://www.insideu.ca

Corn

Have you ever cut the kernels off an entire cob of corn?  Those of you who have elderly parents/grandparents or small children may have done this before.  Well I did this the other day for my son who was having an unusually hard time eating his corn on the cob and I noticed something.  The amount of corn that was cut off the cob far exceeded the amount of corn that one would normally put on their plate if they were to just cook some corn from a can (or frozen, or whatever).  Far exceeded.  And I normally eat at least one and half cobs with a typical dinner.  I'm either getting far more than my daily allotment of grains (side note: corn is not a vegetable(?)) or I have to seriously rethink my idea of a "portion".