Allergies a Question of Balance

by Carl Johns, LMT, Mountain Medicine Integrative Wellness Center

“Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, order, rhythm and harmony.”
—Thomas Merton

I’ll start with a couple of stories: Many years ago I had a friend from a tai chi class who told me he had been plagued with severe allergies. He had tried many things for relief, both mainstream and alternative.

He got no relief from medications, treatments of any kind or dietary changes. He then started a consistent meditation practice, and over the course of a few months his allergies faded away.

At the time he told me this, he had no allergies whatsoever. Another person from that class had such severe pet allergies, he could not enter the house of anyone who had a cat or dog, whether the animal was present or not. After a couple visits to a good acupuncturist he no longer suffered entering a house with pets.

We often feel, with something like an allergy, that there is something wrong, something that needs fixing.

In the first story, my friend discovers that is not true, and he really needed to take matters in his own hands, to go inside and heal himself. The second person seeks out an acupuncturist with the wisdom not to treat the symptoms, but to create balance and harmony so the body can heal itself.

The allergy is a message from the body, and it requires that we listen, rather than press on with business as usual and ask someone else to be responsible for our health and happiness. The message might be, as Thomas Merton is saying, that we need to seek out balance and order and to start moving harmoniously with the rhythms of life.

As a bodywork practitioner, particularly with shiatsu, acupressure and craniosacral therapy, my goal is not to focus on symptoms, but to bring order and balance with relaxation, to open the flow of energy and blood, and to reconnect the whole person with rhythms of life.

Over time, symptoms start dropping away, and health and happiness follow.

It’s an inside job, and the best practitioners don’t push but facilitate the process so each client can find their own individual path to healing.