Food sensitivity, the Autonomic Nervous System and Desensitization
Unfortunately, most people are, to some degree, in a constant state of sympathetic hyper-tonicity. Two of the first systems that seem to break down due to stress are the immune and digestive functions. When they do, our bodies start to view food and even our own selves as foreign invaders. This has resulted in an epidemic of food sensitivities, and Gastro-intestinal (GI) disorders, including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and in severe cases, Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, relatively rare phenomena a century or so ago. ( By the way, I deliberately do not use the term food allergy, as a true food allergy occurs when a whole food protein or other large molecule is absorbed into the blood and elicits an immunologic response. Sensitivities can be to anything. )
Dr. Elson Haas, MD, a pioneer in integrative medicine has found that the seven most common food sensitivities are: Wheat, Sugar, Cow's Milk and other dairy products, Eggs, Corn, Soy, and Peanuts. Another food family that commonly provokes reactivity is the nightshade family. Nightshade Vegetables include potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, pepinos, cape gooseberries, Chinese lanterns, tomatillos, ground cherries, naranjillas, tree tomatoes and garden huckleberries. It is interesting to note that one other member of the nightshade family is tobacco (could this be another problem with second hand smoke?)
How do food sensitivities manifest themselves?
Food sensitivities manifest themselves in many ways, some quite insidiously.
Though these symptoms all appear to be unrelated, they can all be reactions to the great pretender: food sensitivities! So if one does suspect sensitivity to a particular food, is there is a way to confirm it? Fortunately, the answer is affirmative, and anyone can do it!
Over forty years ago, Dr. Arthur F. Coca, developed a Pulse Test for determining food sensitivity. Very simply, if one suspects that a food is causing reactivity, he should take his pulse for 30 seconds, before eating it. Then, twenty minutes after finishing the food, he should again take his pulse for 30 seconds. If the number of beats increases the second time, there is a high probability that the food is reactive. Then for the next 72 hours, he should completely eliminate that food from his diet, to purify his system of it. Three days later, now in a pure cleansed state, he should again eat the suspected food. If indeed the food is reactive, he will have a dramatic response to eating it. The Coca pulse test is a wonderful tool to know what to stay away from. But there's more good news! It doesn't mean that the patient is doomed to never eat their favorite food again!
Bioset Desensitization is a technique which enables the patient to fully clear and/or reprogram his nervous, immune and digestive systems to any allergen or sensitivity. Developed by Ellen Cutler, DC, Bioset as I practice it, uses a combination of applied Kinesiology (AK) and acupuncture to completely resolve food sensitivities. Bioset is based upon the Nambudripad Allergy Elimination Technique (NAET), but Dr. Cutler found that with NAET, food sensitivities gradually returned. She surmised that there most probably was an immune deficiency which had developed, causing the reactive symptoms to return. An important element of Bioset is applied Kinesiology, a form of muscle testing developed by George Goodheart, DC, and used to determine somatic weaknesses and food sensitivities. Dr. Cutler hypothesized that if the patient could be tested (using AK) on a small sample of his own blood, he might show weakness. The result was remarkable: almost universally, patients were found to be hypersensitive to their own blood! By first desensitizing patients to their blood, Dr. Cutler found that food sensitivities were almost universally eliminate. I go one step further: Whereas Dr. Cutler uses acupressure to reinforce the desensitization process, I use acupuncture on the same points, and the results have been phenomenal.
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