By Dr. Rita Khanna
Sensitivity to certain substances, which causes body reaction, is known as an allergy. The word ‘allergy’ means an altered or abnormal tissue reaction, after exposure to an antigen (also called an ‘allergen’). Allergies are often associated with weak adrenal, immune, and digestive functions.
Common allergic reactions are sneezing, watery eyes, running or clogged nose, coughing, eye, nose and throat irritation, and conjunctivitis. These reactions are the body’s ways of defending itself against bacteria and viruses. The immune system plays a role in defending the body against microbes and other threats to health, but it is also the culprit in the phenomena of allergies and hypersensitivity.
The Immune System
The immune system is a collection of cells (such as, B-Cells, T-Cells etc.), chemical messengers (e.g. cytokine), and proteins (such as immunoglobulin) that work together to protect the body from potentially harmful, infectious microorganisms (microscopic life forms), such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi.
It generates Immunoglobin E or IgE, which attacks the particular allergen that enters the body. When the IgE encounters its allergen, it binds to it, and the cell to which the IgE is attached, releases histamine, cytokines, or leukotrines – or any powerful inflammatory chemical. The allergic reaction occurs if the body tissues are sensitive to the allergen. The allergen may reach the tissues by direct contact with the skin, or various mucous membranes of the organs, or through the bloodstream after absorption. Almost any part of the body can be affected by allergies.
Allergic reactions are caused by a wide range of substances and conditions. These include pollens, dust, cosmetics, animal hair, poisonous plants, serums, vaccines, drugs, physical agents, such as heat, cold, and sunlight, and also a variety of foods. The foods that commonly cause allergic reactions are oranges, milk, eggs, wheat, peanuts, fish, chocolates, tomatoes, and strawberries. Stress and heightened negative emotions can also aggravate allergies, which may lead to chronic respiratory illnesses, such as asthma and bronchitis.
Yoga strengthens the body’s natural resistance, helps the body block toxic reactions, and strengthens the liver, which boosts the immunity. An ideal life style, based on Yoga, that helps to remove stress and leads to relaxation, is extremely effective in reducing the allergy symptoms, by tempering the immune system’s response to the offender.
Surya-namaskara, Shavasana, Sarvangasana, Setu Bandhasana, Halasana, Paschimottanasana, Ardh-matsyendrasana, Yogamudra, Shashankasana
Kapalbhati, Bhastrika, Ujjayi, Nadi Shodhana
Neti, Kunjal, Enema or Laghoo Shankhaprakshalana (Once in a week)
To strengthen the overall physical resistance to every allergy, the body requires a large alkaline reserve for its daily activity. For that, take a glass of warm water, with the juice of lemon, and two teaspoons of honey – first thing in the morning.
Before breakfast – a glass of carrot juice. Breakfast – some seasonal fruit, Lunch – chapattis and seasonal vegetables and salad and curd / buttermilk. Evening – fruit / fruit juice. Dinner – same as lunch / dalia (broken wheat).
• Tea, coffee, chocolate, cola drinks, alcohol, sugar, and products made from it.
• Refined cereals, meat, fish, chicken, tobacco, milk, cheese, butter, smoked, and salted pickled foods.
• Foods containing any chemical additives, preservatives, and flavorings.
A Few Guidelines for Managing an Allergy
• The best way to prevent allergic reactions is avoiding what triggers them.
• Drink a reasonably large amount of warm water.
• Take diet, which is low in heavy indigestible elements, like fats and oils, milk and ghee, spices, sweets and refined products. Adequate fresh fruits, vegetables, and roughage are recommended.
• To increase the intake of fresh seasonal fruit, take fruit in between meals.
• Do not eat and drink together. Drink water half an hour, before or after, eating.
• Regular meal times should be followed, and the evening meal should be before 7 p.m. Avoid overeating.
• Take plenty of soups.
• A salt free diet is the best diet and should be taken frequently.
• Massages and steam baths are beneficial.
• Hygiene of the whole body must be looked after properly.
• Plenty of sleep, adequate rest, and fresh air are very beneficial.
• Cleansing (overhauling) of the body before the allergy season will counter allergies.
• Reduce stress and be cheerful.
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Courtesy: Dr. Rita Khanna’s Yogashaastra Studio.
A popular studio that helps you find natural solutions for complete health.
Also conducts online Yoga Courses & Naturopathy Guidance.
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Dr. Rita Khanna
Dr. Rita Khanna is a well-known name in the field of Yoga and Naturopathy. She was initiated into this discipline over 25 years ago by world famous Swami Adyatmananda of Sivananda Ashram in Rishikesh (India).
She believes firmly that Yoga is a scientific process, which helps us to lead a healthy and disease-free life. She is also actively involved in practicing alternative medicines like Naturopathy. Over the years, she has been successfully practicing these therapies and providing succour to several chronic and terminally ill patients through Yoga, Diet and Naturopathy. She is also imparting Yoga Teachers Training.
At present, Dr. Rita Khanna is running a Yoga Studio in Secunderabad (Hyderabad, India).