Does Hypnosis Help Hayfever?
When you're a hay fever sufferer, you'll try anything for some hay fever relief. Have you tried hypnotherapy?
I heard about a study that suggests hay fever sufferers report fewer symptoms after using hypnotherapy. As a pretty severe hay fever sufferer this year, I was sceptical. Antihistamines with decongestant lasted only a few hours, eye drops only minutes. I seriously doubted that closing my sticky eyes & taking deep breaths would help. After all, breathing in the pollens is what got me here in the first place! Then someone suggested hypnotherapy on my personal Facebook post, it was a local hypnotherapist, my interest was ignited again.
I was suffering so much and was at my whits end, so I decided to give it a chance. After all I know that the mind is very powerful. Maybe if I concentrated on what was suggested rather than on my snotty nose and eyes battling for first place in who can run the fastest, I could potentially hit on a hay fever cure / hay fever reliever. What did I have to lose?
(OK 60 euros. But I had almost spent that on over the counter hay fever 'cures' anyway)
After a month of hay fever related symptoms, I was willing to try anything.
I thought the hypnotherapy session would be focused on my physical hay fever symptoms, which included
- itchy +/ sticky +/ watery eyes
- scratchy throat
- asthma-like cough
- streaming nose
- blocked nose
- itchy lips and tongue
- severe tiredness (from the lack of sleep)
"You are feeling very sleepy" *Poof!* That's what I was expecting.
"You're back in the room" *hay fever symptoms gone!* That's what I was wishing.
But it wasn't like that at all.
How is it possible that hypnosis can help allergies such as hay fever?
Hypnotherapy is reported to be an effective natural way to relieve allergy reactions and discomfort. But it's hard to believe this possible when your body is responding to what it considers to be an attack from an external source. An often severe reaction to a harmless, beautiful blanket of wildflowers for me. And the lemon and orange orchards that surround the area I live in (and have in my own garden)
It was explained that sometimes hay fever is indeed medical, sometimes psychological. That's a hard antihistamine pill to swallow when you've always suffered in some form from the list above. I have experienced allergy rhinitis and sinus issues since as long as I care to remember. So my scepticism was on fire. Just like my eyes!
Practitioners who offer hypnotherapy for hay fever have the belief that it may be a learned behaviour. Not necessarily from having the symptoms in the past, but a past event that then starts to present itself as the symptoms. We can unconsciously tell ourselves (our immune system) that we are being threatened. Say WHAT?
What was the hypnotherapy session like?
Before we started, I was given some tests, to establish how open I was to my subconscious joining in, it was nothing more than holding my arms out and listening to the instructions given. Apparently, me and my subconscious work well together as a team. Go team Tracey!
A while later, whilst 'under' I was reclined, feet up, thinking this wasn't going anywhere. I was aware of what was being said, and where I was. But as I was considering that this could be a waste of time, my arms got heavier in my lap and my mind kept wandering off.
Eh? What? I was being asked a question! I didn't realise I would have to participate and speak!! I smiled to myself, as I knew I wasn't paying attention and been caught out, I was daydreaming myself into a relaxed state expecting to come out of it later feeling refreshed after a little 'snooze'. As I have experienced in the past.
What I had to do was listen carefully, my subconscious mind was requested to participate. We delved backward; we focused on now; we visualised the future. My subconscious was having to work hard to help rewire my belief system. Unravelling what I had taught it over the years from reinforced behaviours after situations I had found myself in, from things people had said to me, or implied with their actions (or lack of)
Yes, but did it work?!
I won't go into personal details of the session, suffice to say, I learnt some things about myself and some tools to help me with the feelings I seem to be suppressing. We discussed how the severe symptoms that I have been experiencing recently, could be my way for these feelings to come to the surface... an attempt to sabotage the happy positive life that I now have, through my deep-rooted belief that I am not worthy of it. "Ooh. A lovely garden with beautiful views. Whoa! You aren't worth of THAT! I will sabotage it by throwing some hay fever your way. Ha! Now you can't enjoy it as much!" ~ My unconscious mind
Feeling not worthy is something that I have recognised and thought I'd addressed in the past. But it appears from my emotional hypnotherapy session today that I hadn't addressed it fully at all. I won't discuss it in depth here, but it all made sense to me based on what we touched on.
During my session, there were a couple of occasions where I was aware of my nose getting really stuffy, and I thought about opening my eyes and reaching for the tissue box. But after working through a particular topic of conversation during that same time, my nose became clear again. I hadn't sniffed. I hadn't reached for a tissue. OK, so maybe there is something in this. Or is it a coincidence?
When the session had finished I walked back to my car through the rambla (dusty dry river beds) lined with orchards and blankets of wild flowers, grass and weeds. I didn't experience anything, not even a tickle. OK, this could have been a coincidence too?!
I got in my car and drove a short distance before the most beautiful coloured bird joined alongside me, before darting off, followed by an equally colourful butterfly. I was filled with a real sense of calm and decided to stop at a bar and realised that I still hadn't had any symptoms. I sat outside and waited.
I drove home via the supermarket, and immediately I felt a familiar tickle in my nose and one nostril was suddenly blocked. This could have gone one of two ways. I could have said, "See, I knew it wouldn't work" and reinforce the negativity. Or, like I did, in my minds eye I acknowledged it, and told myself that I am OK, and worthy of what is around me. And I am not lying here, when I say it cleared. The initial signs were looking wonderful.
Fast-forward to the evening, and it's a different story. I was sitting outside for the whole evening, the wind was blowing, the dust was kicking up, and I REALLY battled with my symptoms. It didn't matter what I told myself, my symptoms knocked me sideways. BUT if I am honest with myself, they were not as bad as I have been experiencing, and today was a whole day without medication. So one could argue that the hypnotherapy helped to reduce my symptoms. Someone else may argue that the temperature had dropped and played its part, until the winds kicked everything up.
All I know is that today has been a great day for me, and I am thankful. Regardless of what caused it to be so.
So, the short of it is, I am not sure if it's worked for me. Time will tell, and watch this space. What I can tell you is that despite the involuntary tears, I enjoyed my session and the insights it gave me. I have even booked for a past life regression. I feel another blog coming on!
I would love to know your thoughts on the subject of Hypnotherapy and allergies. Has this solution worked for you? Has it made you consider trying hypnotherapy? Please comment below.