I remember growing up… allergies were a “thing”. Everyone seemed to be tested. I remember going to a medical clinic having 20 little needles prick me simultaneously on the forearm, each needle delivering a different allergen…. mold, mildew, dust, dander, pollen, etc… You would go home after the ‘test’, and return to the clinic in 24-48 hrs in order to have the pricks examined. Those pricks which became inflamed identified what you were allergic too. For me, the test came back stating that I was allergic to dust, mildew, and mold. I had the test due to repeated ear, nose, throat infections, hence the ENT specialist figured there was something triggering the constant infections at home. That the infections had nothing to do with dust, mildew or mold and that compulsive cleaning was ineffective in preventing the infections is a topic for another post… as is the real trigger for my infections (and medically stated reason to remove my tonsils).
My allergies aren’t the point of this post, the point is that recently it came to me… back a couple decades it seemed every other person was allergic to cats and dogs. We couldn’t have a dog or cat because my brother was allergic. I wasn’t, my parents weren’t; they grew up with dogs. Only my brother was allergic to dog and cat fur, and it wasn’t only him; it seemed that a ton of other kids were too. Coincidentally, dogs and cats were not household pets like they are now.
Which got me thinking…
What has changed? In the past couple of decades what has happened that all of a sudden it seems no one has an allergy to either dogs or cats. It seems that today not a household is without a dog or cat. How can that be?
Have dogs and cats changed, no longer creating allergens, no longer causing allergies?
Has our physiology changed such that we are not affected by dog or cat dander or fur?
There is only aspect of the human being that can change so dramatically that our physiology can change “all of a sudden” making us immune to dogs and cats… our psychology.
Growing up, there were few dogs as pets, obviously there were those who had pets, but the pets most kids had were cheap pets… goldfish or hamsters. Also, the dogs people had as pets often served a purpose other than that of filling purses or strollers to help empty nesters deal with their unresolved parenting issues or to help young adults “play” parents since having actual children would conflict with their self absorbed lives. Besides, dogs make for far better social media posts then snot nosed whiny children, because whats a day without an instagram or snapchat or Fb post that your friends can like? The dogs people had, were typically guard dogs… not cute little things you cuddle, dogs designed to bark and bite.
Which brings me back to allergies…
What if we were allergic to dogs (and cats simply by default because they have fur too) because there was a social narrative that dogs for the most part pose a threat to our well-being (again because most were guard dogs not ‘pets’ or therapy animals), hence dogs consciously and/or unconsciously triggered our flight-fight-freeze response resulting in an inflammatory response… sneezing, congestion, tickle in the back of the throat, coughing, perhaps even asthma and in some people skin changes (e.g. itching, a rash).
Today, you can bring a dog into any classroom and not a kid will run to the back of the room concerned either about being bit, or about their allergies. You can bring a dog into a classroom without even bothering to ask if anyone is allergic because you would be laughed at for suggesting that anyone could be allergic. Interesting how things (or is it people) change?
So, where did the allergies to dogs and cats go? It went the same place the social narrative went that dogs and cats are dangerous, are threats to our well being… it “went away”. We grew out of a mindset, hence we grew out the allergy.
Which brings me to the health care system in general.
Ointments and medications and whatever else the health care system suggests are the solutions to our issues… rarely are. They are indeed solutions to major pharmaceutical companies and health service companies, but actual solutions to people…. rarely.
Health is primarily a state of mind. The health of our body is a direct result of the state of our mind, the state of our thinking, the health of our mind. If your mind is awash in narratives that identify a world filled with nothing but danger, risk, threat, then how can your body be healthy? You cannot be healthy, will not be healthy and no amount of medical intervention can overcome the narratives in your head to make the rest of you healthy.
It starts with analyzing what you think about, how you think about it, and the impact of your thoughts on your physiology. From there, you can make progress, from there you can start to select which narratives are helping you, and which narratives need to be rewritten so they to can help you, and which narratives need to be trashed as there is no saving them, and keeping them means that there is no saving you.
Consider this… the #1 medical diagnoses expected in 2020 by the WHO (as in World Health Organization) are: anxiety and depression; both of which are states of mind.
Things that make you go…. Hmm
(Arsenio Hall, circa 1990s)