By Keith Beasley
Record pollen levels in England during June 1999 sent millions rushing into Chemists to buy something to stem the sneezing and streaming eyes. Others took to a herbal remedy, shut themselves indoors or cut all dairy products from their diets. The typical animal reactions to a problem - fight or flight. Something happens to us that we don't like so we throw chemicals at it to subdue it or avoid the 'problem' as best we can. Is this really the response of an intelligent species!?!
A more enlightened response is to look for the cause of all our distress and discomfort and eliminate it. Unfortunately, the cause of hay-fever is fairly well accepted as being pollen in the air, so unless we live in a sealed environment divorced from all pollinated species, we're not going to eliminate this cause! . . . although a few sufferers have gone down this route!
So, maybe the question to ask, isn't what causes the hay-fever, but why does pollen cause so many adverse reactions in humans? I mean, pollination a perfectly natural process which has been going on around us since we first had noses. Surely our bodies should be capable of living in harmony with such a basic feature on the environment? Perhaps our bodies are. Maybe it's our mind that's the problem?
As more and more turn to complementary medicine, so we're accepting that health isn't just a physical thing. We know now that our health and 'quality of life' are inextricable linked to our life-style, our attitudes and approach to life. Most, if not all, symptoms are what used to be called 'psychosomatic'. Perhaps it is 'all in the mind'.
I've had hay-fever seen childhood. I particularly remember when, as a teenager, I'd set about mowing the lawn: within minutes my eyes and noses were streaming and my arms would be coming up all blotchy. For many years I suppressed all of this - with the 'best' anti-histamine tablets of the time. Maybe I was a bit dried up and/or drowsy, but I could walk the corn-fields without sneezing!
Then, in my early thirties I tired of all this medication. Why should I have to take pills? With thumb and forefinger pinching my noise tight and simple breathing techniques I tried to tell my body that this was not an appropriate reaction to things natural! Gradually I found that, so long as I was relaxed, I could be outside in the pollen season without too much difficulty.
I'd proven to myself that it WAS 'all in the mind' and improved my quality of life no end. However, it hadn't really explained why we get hay-fever . . .
Rather that 'alternative' or 'complementary' therapy, I prefer the description 'holistic'. Holistic - whole. Complete. Mind, body and soul working in harmony. Pursuing this approach, I began to see that most dis-ease and dis-stress results when we are out of harmony with our inner self - our soul. Specific symptoms or conditions are indicators as to the cause of this disharmony, clues as to which area of our life or set of attitudes are bringing about our unhappiness. Thus, for example, shoulder problems often indicate that we are shouldering too many burdens. So, how does hay-fever fit into this pattern? Well, there are no rules, and it may be different for each of us, but this is my conclusion and experience:
In 1996 I left my job in the electronics industry and started teaching Reiki Healing. I was teaching my first course in June and during the lunch break my students and I went for a walk along the local footpaths - through ripening corn-fields. I found myself start to sneeze. Very embarrassing for a teacher on a healing cause! However, I found myself able to 'rise above' the situation and 'see' what was happening. With the enhanced awareness that comes through Reiki I was able to 'look at' my thoughts at the time the hay-fever started. Ah! It was simple! Whenever I had a 'negative' thought, I'd sneeze! When my mind was thinking positively, no problem. As soon as a '"But .." or some other doubt or worry took hold in my conscious mind the eyes and/or nose would start streaming.
So from then on, I saw the onset of hay-fever symptoms as an indicator as to my state of mind. Whenever I'm not at peace with myself and/or with the world, I find that being in a pollen rich environment brings on the sneezing. The pollen is merely the trigger - blaming this wonderful stuff for our sniffing solves nothing! It's our attitude towards to - our way of relating to the natural world that matters. Fight nature - in our way of living generally - and nature will reap its revenge.
A few years on and, from time to time, I still find myself susceptible to hay-fever attacks. Such 'bad' times correspond to days and weeks when I'm working through some difficult issues, facing some harsh realities of life. i.e. when my mind is slowly but surely coming to terms with who and what it is. When the old mind is letting go of old notions of 'life' and 'success' and accepting the soul's way - living 'here and now'. This can be a long, slow, process, particularly if we've been suppressing our natural, spiritual, selves for so long. Thus, much of my suffering now could well be directly attributable to the many, many years when I took anti-histamines instead of tuning in to my body's symptoms of dis-ease. By letting the scientific me run my life then (everything was VERY logical and controlled in those days) I was denying my true, inner, self. THAT was what the hay-fever was trying to tell me. Only now do I listen and act accordingly.
So, how should we deal with hay-fever? Listen to your intuition, not the Pharmaceutical adverts! Listen to your own thoughts and notice which situations 'bring on' attacks and what situations leave you free of them. Practice some relaxation or self-healing technique and use this before venturing into 'difficult' and/or pollen rich situations. Be prepared to spend plenty of time on your own working through possible causes for your dis-ease with the natural world. I found Reiki, as a self-treatment, to be effective in helping me with all these processes. Take up whatever you feel drawn to - follow your nose!
To those on a quest for truth and committed to personal self-development, hay-fever is not a curse, but a blessing: It provides first hand and immediate feedback on our state of mind - just what we need when we're trying to improve ourselves! Hay-fever, like many occurrences in life is a challenge . . . from which we can grow and find fulfilment.
For those wanting to adopt this approach, Keith runs Reiki training in North Wales. Contact him now to register your interest in such a course. On-line consultations also available.
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