Allergy Process Formats

Recently the Allergy Process was mentioned to me as if there was only one version.  No, no, no! 🙂  There are two distinct versions, and here are the tried and true exercise formats for both of them!

You can find more instruction and framing in both “Heart of the Mind” and of course a full walk through in the “Allergy Process” Audio CD.

Counter Example Process

Note: This is written for an allergy, but you can use it in any situation where you want to have a more resourceful relationship with something in your environment.

1.    Calibrate. Ask “What’s it like for you when you’re in the presence of the allergen?” Watch for the person’s physiology, eye accessing cues, breathing, etc

2.    Explain the mistake of the immune system. Explain that her immune system has made a mistake about something being dangerous when it really wasn’t.  The immune system has marked out something as dangerous, that’s not, in and of itself.  It can be retrained rather quickly

3.    Check for ecology/secondary gain.  What would her life be like with-out this?  Are there any positive or negative consequences? Use what-ever NLP techniques you need to at this point to deal with ecology issues before proceeding

4.    Find an appropriate counter-example resource. Find a counter-example that is as similar to the allergen as possible; that the immune system responds to appropriately. Anchor that response and then hold that anchor throughout the whole process.  Make sure the person is associated as you set the anchor. If possible let the person come up with her own example of what is similar

5.    Have the person dissociate. Using a plexiglass shield from wall to wall is an easy way to establish dissociation. While holding the anchor, have her see herself over there on the other side of the plexiglass having the resource. Use all your fluffy language suggesting that she is “the you you want to be,” and that her immune system operates appropriately

6.    GRADUALLY introduce the allergen. As she is watching herself over there behind the plexiglass, have her slowly introduce the allergen, the thing that used to create the problem. Introduce it as a gradual process giving her the opportunity to get used to it. Wait, at this point, until you see a physiological shift.  It’s like the immune system says, “All right, I’ve got it.  I’ll changes the notches on my flag so it doesn’t match up with any of the T cells I have

7.    Re-associate.  Bring her back into her own body and have her imagine she is in the presence of the allergen as you continue to hold the resource anchor

8.    Test.  If you can actually test carefully on the spot, do that. If not, recalibrate to see if the physiology, eye accessing cues, breathing, etc. have changed

Foreground/Background Process Summary
(Developed by Robert Dilts)
1.    Identify a limiting response that occurs in a specific context (allergy, the sound of a dentist’s drill, an annoying voice tone).
a.    Calibrate to the physiology associated with it.
b.    What is foreground? What are they most aware of?

2.    Find an appropriate counterexample resource, either a time when the person should have had the response, but didn’t, or a similar context, that is like the limiting one.
a.    what is foreground?
b.    What is the person most aware of?

3.    Identify something that must occur in the limiting context and in the counter-example that is outside the person’s conscious awareness.
a.    What is background in both? (i.e., the way the soles of the feet feel, the weight of their clothes, etc.)
b.    Anchor this feature.
c.    While holding the anchor, have the person focus on what she is most aware of in the counter-example experience.

Your goal is to create a strong association between what is most in the person’s awareness (foreground) and something that they are not attending to (background).

4.    Release the anchor and immediately have the person remember and associate into the previously limiting experience.

a.    Calibrate to the physiological response.
If the limiting response still occurs, recycle through step three with a different counter-example and strengthen the  association between the foreground and background features.

5.    Future pace by holding the back-ground anchor while the person thinks of future contexts.

0 thoughts on “Allergy Process Formats”

  1. My coached helped me hrough this last year for an alergy to lilacs. she then future paced it to covr other allergies. This year as I was weeding my garden I smelled the most deligtful and delicate fragrance. For several days I could not figure out what is was. Then as I leaned to weed the potatoes I noted it was wafting in the air. I did not know that potato blooms had a delightful frangrance.
    The allergy process is a wonderful gift.

  2. I worked with my niece at one point who had rather violent reactions to dairy products. I asked her to consider the possibility that her reactions could be changed quickly. She didnt’ at all believe it and took a whatever approach to the process. During the process, she discovered that she could feel empowered if it were a choice to avoid milk products than to have her body react so violently…and went through the first process written above. As she was leaving, she said, still in a disbelieving voice tone, “Well, I guess I just have to stop for a large milkshake on the way home and see if this really worked.” Next day she was “still” in disbelief…but now because she did not have any reaction at all to the milkshake. She even had a small glass of plain whole milk, then a slice of cheese…and nothing. Like the comment above, she viewed this process as a wonderful gift…not because she can now consume dairy products…but because she is now empowered to make the CHOICE not to consume dairy products. She smiles now about it all…still a bit baffled by how she “created” all the internal drama! That, however, is another capter. 🙂

  3. Jeff, thanks for the great example of real effectiveness:
    It is INDEPENDENT of one’s belief that the process may or may not work.

    I remember years ago a woman telling me that her boyfriend, while reading “Core Transformation” said hey, let me read this to you. He simply read the questions to her and she responded with whatever answer came to mind.

    She thought no more of it until a few months later when she realized she had lost 30 pounds…and her memory of doing the process came back to her. It was the only change she had made, and she hadn’t even consciously brought up weight, although it had been a big issue for her for some time.


  4. How can I modify these steps to rid myself of an allergy? Particularly when I’m not too sure what exactly it is that I’m allergic to?

  5. Hi there. I guess my question is similar to Nayel’s. How would I do the allergy process on my daughter who has eczema. We do not know what causes it. I have read about talking to the part responsible for eczema and asking it why it is there, the secondary gain; thanking it and telling it doesn’t need to be there anymore.

  6. RE: Modifying the steps… (Nayel’s entry on 09.12.08)
    The steps listed above that work with others, equally work with self.
    I suspect the self-anchoring part is where folks may find it a challenge. There are good books that offer bits on self-anchoring (Step 4 on the first format, Step 3b on the second version), such as Solutions (a wonderful book by Leslie Cameron-Bandler). The author of this forum’s article also mentioned an audio product called the Allergy Process – it’s excellent! It offers a “guided process” at the end, where the listener can just sit and listen to a voice guiding them through the steps, perhaps you might find that useful for working with yourself?

    RE: Eczema… (Olympia’s entry on 09.13.08)
    My understanding is that there are different meanings for this word, from skin conditions/dermatitis, to asthma (atopic dermatitis), to…hayfever, to…on and on…

    Since I can’t know your level of competency with the words you’ve written, it’s not for me to assume you can apply what you’ve read. With sincere respect, worth keeping in mind, is that reading “about” something, “…talking to the part responsible for eczema and asking it why it is there, the secondary gain; thanking it and telling it doesn’t need to be there anymore” …is enormously different than knowledge-of, and know-how toward applying and being able to-do. Before that level of communication occurs, one must be able to establish rapport with another’s unconscious, so that the part of the other person that’s been creating the allergic response feels safe, and welcomed, rather than being a nuisance, that no one wants, or as you wrote, that “…doesn’t’ need to be anymore.” (In other words, reading “about” playing piano like a master doesn’t mean I could just do it. Though that would be quite nice…wouldn’t it?)

    The words you’ve written, are suggestive of approaches such as Core Transformation, or perhaps Six-Step Reframing, both work with “parts”, and are entirely different processes than the Allergy Process. All are/can be quite effective, and on a case-by-case basis, one approach may be better than another depending upon the individual (e.g., your daughter), and their unique circumstances.

    As far as doing the Allergy Process (the topic of this particular forum) with your daughter: Your third sentence states, “We do not know what causes it.” This knowledge is needed for the Allergy Process (aka Counterexample Process) to work. Formal research has been done on this process, and it has been proven to be 80% effective! From what I recall, the times that it was not, they discovered secondary gains – which you could unknowingly be the source of (e.g., giving her more attention than if she didn’t have eczema; would she get so much attention if she didn’t have eczema? How can you reassure that part that it will?, etc.), or the proper stimulus was never identified. Perhaps you can find a qualified NLP Practitioner in your area to assist you with assisting your daughter (TIP: NLP Comprehensive has a referral list).

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