Allergies and sensitivities are on the rise, and for many are a huge issue. There are so many theories as to how and why people are becoming more sensitive, and there are many different ways to address them.
Most are aware that Western Medicine views an allergen as a hypersensitivity to an item(s) that results in reactions ranging from anaphylaxis, cough, wheezing, chest tightness, nasal congestion, asthma, sinusitis, skin disorders, and eye irritation. If you experience these symptoms the first things they test via scratch testing (skin test), avoidance, or blood work are: pollen, animal dander, dust, foods, molds, medications, and chemicals. Unfortunately, once you finally figure out what you are allergic to your options for treatment are somewhat limited to avoidance, symptom specific medication, or specific allergy shots. For years these were your only options, and many people found success with them. Others were forced to travel a different path.

So, where do all of these allergies come from? As with anything there are a lot of theories, but nothing is 100% proven.
Some believe that allergens are hereditary, have to do with the quality of our food (GMO’s), chemicals and our bodies ability to process them, or the quality of your gut.

The digestive system is responsible for 70% of our immune system. Dysbiosis is the condition that results when the natural flora of the gut are thrown out of balance, commonly caused by antibiotics. Antibiotics are extremely effective when indicated. However, for generations they have been misused and overused. Causing many people to suffer from “leaky gut” or other gut issues. If your digestive tract is not functioning properly it will cause a decrease in your immune system. Making you not only more likely to get sick, but more likely to have allergies and sensitivities.

There is something to be said about a “clean” lifestyle. Chemicals were developed in order to make our lives easier. To help food to last longer, prevent decomposition of materials like wood, or simply to “make things pretty”. However, an increasing number of people have something called methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR). Simply, explained people with MTHFR have issues breaking down folic acid, B vitamins, and chemicals. Studies suggest that over half the population has some form of this gene mutation. For more information on MTHFR please visit The reason this gene mutation becomes so important is because the immunotherapy shots and immunizations that you might receive have a number of agents in them that someone with MTHFR is unable to process properly. This can lead to a decrease in immune system and then more sensitivities.

In Chinese Medicine, for thousands of years, it is believed that allergies are caused by deficiencies of three organ systems. By addressing those deficiencies one is able to strengthen the immune system enough so that allergens, especially outdoor allergens, are no longer an issue. Allergies developed through heredity are looked at as underlying deficiencies, and addressed accordingly through acupuncture, herbal medicine, and lifestyle changes.

Nambudripad’s Allergy Elimination Technique (NAET) defines an allergen “as anything that causes an adverse reaction in an individual that does not cause an adverse reaction in a healthy individual.” Meaning your body can view anything as a threat including itself. NAET is a non-invasive, drug free, natural solution to alleviate allergies of all types and intensities. It uses a blend of acupressure/acupuncture, kinesiology, and other modalities to “reboot” the body so it no longer views it as a sensitivity. Allergens of all types and intensities can be addressed using this method and is quantifiable through blood work.
One thing almost everybody seems to agree on is that allergens have a direct correlation to the strength of your immune system. Somebody with decreased immunity is more likely to have allergens then someone with a strong immune system. Luckily, almost every treatment option out there takes this into consideration.

Stedman, Thomas Lathrop. (2006). Stedman's Medical Dictionary. 28th ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
Nambudripad, Devi S. (2002). Say Good-bye to Illness. Buena Park, CA: Delta Pub.,
Tierney, Lawrence M., Stephen J. McPhee, and Maxine A. Papadakis. (2002) Current Medical Diagnosis & Treatment, 2002. New York: Lange Medical /McGraw-Hill.(p.687)
Vighi, G., Marcucci, F., Sensi, L., Di Cara, G., & Frati, F. (2008). Allergy and the gastrointestinal system. Clinical and Experimental Immunology, 153(Suppl 1), 3–6.

Author's Bio: 

Teri Calandra is a Licensed Acupuncturist by the state of Illinois and is board certified through the NCCAOM. She holds a Masters of Science in Traditional Chinese Medicine, acupuncture, and herbology. She offers acupuncture and other alternative treatments at Calandra Center for Health and Wellness in Chicago, IL.
Teri Calandra is also a published author, and writes regularly for her blog