Does yoga help in curing allergies?
Q: I have been suffering from an allergy called eczema for the past 1.5 months which is caused when I consume eggs, tomato, tamarind and chicken. I have been taking cetzine every night. The doctors told me to avoid these items. Do I need to avoid these for the rest of my life or will yoga, especially pranayama, help me get over this allergy?
A:Allergies can be affected by the overall immunologic resistance of the body and by general health including physical condition and stress induced psychologic reactivity to unfavourable allergens. Yoga exercises that improve the integrated interactions of the mind and body can lead to a greater tolerance for specific allergens such as foods. Once an overall improved control of the body-mind axis has been achieved, a very small amount of one allergen can be taken as a test dose, and if this is tolerated progressively larger doses can be tried on successive days. However, one must be prepared to treat any allergic response with appropriate medications since allergy can be surprisingly variable, and a cautious approach is always needed. It is interesting that many asthmatics, for instance, grow out of their disease and become more tolerant to allergens, although other subjects may remain susceptible to allergic reactions. Perhaps the use of yoga could prove more helpful to these latter people, and this approach should be encouraged.