A cure for hay fever?

Den­tist Frank Dil­lon has de­vised an in­no­va­tive method for over­com­ing hay fever. He tells Joy Or­pen that the in­spi­ra­tion came from a TV doc­u­men­tary, and that he has been us­ing the sys­tem suc­cess­fully for decades

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Life - - NEWS -

Frank Dil­lon runs a busy den­tal prac­tice in south Dublin. His rooms have a state-of-the-art, yet or­derly feel to them, while he pro­vides the warm-hearted, hu­man touch that soft­ens the edges of the clin­i­cal, an­gu­lar en­vi­ron­ment. The sleek equip­ment re­flects Frank’s in­ter­est in tech­nol­ogy. “I al­ways en­joyed the idea of play­ing with gadgets,” he ad­mits. So much so, he even in­vented a sys­tem for the de­liv­ery of lo­cal anaes­thetic.

And true to the old adage that the acorn doesn’t fall far from the tree, he was drawn to medicine be­cause of the in­flu­ences of his fa­ther, a con­sul­tant physi­cian in Cork for over 50 years. And thanks to his in­ter­est in gad­getry, den­tistry par­tic­u­larly ap­pealed to him; so he stud­ied at Uni­ver­sity Col­lege Cork (UCC) and has been “hap­pily” reg­is­tered for 40 years. He and his wife, Ni­amh, live in Dublin, and they have three grown-up chil­dren.

Meet­ing Frank, it be­comes ev­i­dent that the so­cial as­pects of his pro­fes­sion ap­peal to his out­go­ing, ebul­lient na­ture, re­sult­ing in a com­fort­able work­ing re­la­tion­ship be­tween pa­tient and den­tist. The pa­tient can also rest easy, know­ing Frank uses the lat­est tech­niques in his prac­tice.

That, then, begs the ques­tion; how can this com­mit­ted man of sci­ence have writ­ten a guide that ex­plains how to elim­i­nate the symp­toms of a phys­i­cal con­di­tion, us­ing a sys­tem that in­volves a form of self-hyp­no­sis? “In the early 1980s, I saw a pro­gramme on the BBC about a haemophil­iac who had a tooth ex­tracted while clin­i­cally hyp­no­tised, to pre­vent him bleed­ing,” ex­plains Frank. “I was gob­s­macked by what I saw. If a haemophil­iac came in here, ask­ing for an ex­trac­tion, I’d turn him around and send him off to the near­est hos­pi­tal to have it done in an ap­pro­pri­ate set­ting. If I re­moved his tooth in the con­ven­tional way, he would lit­er­ally empty [his blood] on to the floor. So I was amazed by what I saw in this pro­gramme.”

At the time, Frank suf­fered from hay fever —known med­i­cally as al­ler­gic rhini­tis — which af­fected his work, quite badly, on oc­ca­sions. “As a den­tist, it was par­tic­u­larly an­noy­ing, be­cause my runny nose, stream­ing eyes and blocked-up si­nuses made my work dif­fi­cult. I couldn’t take an­ti­his­tamine tablets be­cause the drowsi­ness they caused af­fected my con­cen­tra­tion. Fi­nally, I re­sorted to a cor­ti­sone-based in­jec­tion to con­trol the symp­toms.”

When Frank re­searched the longterm ram­i­fi­ca­tions of tak­ing cor­ti­sone (and sim­i­lar drugs), he didn’t like what he dis­cov­ered. “Ba­si­cally, [in the long term] it dis­solves your bones,” he says. “I thought there had to be a bet­ter way.”

So, fol­low­ing the TV doc­u­men­tary, he de­cided to find out more about hay fever. What he learned sur­prised him, but made sense, too. “When an al­ler­gen, such as pollen, hits your body, that sends a sig­nal to your brain — which is wrongly in­ter­preted as a threat. The brain then trig­gers mast cells to re­lease his­tamines — the bad boys that cause se­cre­tions in your nose and your eyes.”

Frank won­dered if it would be pos­si­ble to in­flu­ence un­con­scious thought; to change its re­sponses to stim­uli, to pro­gramme it dif­fer­ently? He came to the con­clu­sion that it was em­i­nently pos­si­ble, and so he be­gan to ex­per­i­ment with ways in which this might be done. Even­tu­ally, he de­vised a very sim­ple method that in­duces a hyp­notic state, be­fore in­struct­ing the body to re­spond dif­fer­ently to cer­tain stim­uli. But first it must be said that Frank baulks at the use of the word “hyp­no­sis”; as he feels it sug­gests some­one else is in con­trol, and be­cause the term is some­times as­so­ci­ated with show busi­ness.

So he has la­belled his tech­nique per­sonal mind pro­gram­ming (PMP). In his free, user-friendly guide, which he has posted on­line, he il­lus­trates the power of the mind by of­fer­ing the ex­am­ple of some­one who blushes when some­thing vul­gar is said to them. Frank says this oc­curs be­cause the shy per­son’s un­con­scious brain — re­act­ing to the re­mark — is able to cause a sub­stan­tial phys­i­o­log­i­cal change to oc­cur very quickly in the face. “And this tells us that the un­con­scious mind does have the power to al­ter func­tions of the body,” says Frank.

His tech­nique is sim­ple and very, very easy to learn. He says ev­ery­one has prac­tised PMP at some point in their lives, whether it be learn­ing the com­plex move­ments of walk­ing, or rid­ing a bike. “Don’t be in any doubt — you can con­trol pro­cesses in the body,” he says. “There’s a raft of ev­i­dence about the ben­e­fits of tech­niques such as PMP.” Frank gives clear in­struc­tions on how to use his method in his guide. He sug­gests mes­sages you might in­cor­po­rate into your own recorded guided med­i­ta­tion; or if you pre­fer, for a small fee, you can down­load one he has made.

Once you are deeply re­laxed, you re­peat­edly tell your un­con­scious mind that pollen is not dan­ger­ous, and that no alarm sig­nals need to be sent to the mast cells in your brain to pro­duce his­tamine. You then in­struct it to turn off your “his­tamine switch”, while re­mind­ing your se­cre­tion cells, that they too can re­lax; there will be no more need for their ser­vices.

Frank ex­plains the process: “The ob­jec­tive of PMP is to shut down the ac­tiv­ity of the con­scious brain to an ab­so­lute min­i­mum, and then to make sug­ges­tions to the un­con­scious brain. You want the mes­sages to pass straight through the con­scious brain and into the un­con­scious, with­out stop­ping off in the

‘When an al­ler­gen, such as pollen, hits your body, that sends a sig­nal to your brain — which is in­ter­preted as a threat’

con­scious mind for anal­y­sis, check­ing and ver­i­fi­ca­tion.”

Frank has been prac­tis­ing this process for decades. “It may sound like su­perquack­ery,” he says, “but it’s sim­ply the prac­ti­cal ap­pli­ca­tion of knowl­edge that has been known for cen­turies, and about which more and more is be­ing learned ev­ery year, as neu­ro­science ad­vances at an ac­cel­er­at­ing pace.” He says it’s an ex­cit­ing field, with great po­ten­tial for fur­ther de­vel­op­ment. He has been us­ing the tech­nique for 30 years and says it has never failed him. His hay fever does re­turn ev­ery year, but once he has re­pro­grammed him­self, he is then free of it again. “I do it for a cou­ple of weeks at the be­gin­ning of the pollen sea­son, and then I’m fine,” he says.

Frank says he also uses PMP to im­prove sleep, con­cen­tra­tion, pro­fes­sional per­for­mance and so on.

“Be­fore we get car­ried away here, let me say this: PMP is not a magic power, nor is it the an­swer to all our prob­lems,” Frank em­pha­sises. “But it is an aware­ness of the im­por­tance of your un­con­scious and an aware­ness that you can in­flu­ence your un­con­scious if you want to.” For more in­for­ma­tion and to get Frank Dil­lon’s guide, see nomore­hayfever.com

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