NAET is an allergy elimination technique developed and pioneered by acupuncturist, chiropractor, and medical doctor Devi S. Nambudripad. She believed that removing blocks in the body’s energy channels could alleviate allergies. Devi herself experienced numerous food allergies while in chiropractic school in the early 80s. She was able to overcome her allergens by administering acupuncture treatments while in contact with the allergen. If a person has an allergy to corn, they will then receive a series of acupuncture treatments while holding a small piece of corn or having it lie on their body.
NAET is practiced both with acupuncture, involving needle penetration of acupuncture points, and with acupressure, where points are stimulated with pressure but not punctured with needles. There are no age or health restrictions to NAET therapy. Infants and the elderly can both respond to the treatments.
What Types Of Conditions Can NAET Help?
- Food allergies, immediate or delayed
- Environmental allergies such as mold, dust, or tobacco smoke
- Pet allergies from dog, cat, or bird dander
- Eczema lesions provoked by allergies or energy blockages
- Emotional allergies that are triggered by anxiety or distress
The Relationship Between Allergies And Eczema
Roughly 1/3 to ½ of patients with eczema have at least one food allergy. The most common food triggers are milk, dairy, tree nuts, peanuts, citrus, soy, and corn. However, any food can potentially be an allergen. Environmental allergies can also provoke a hyperimmune response, leading to eczema eruptions.
Common eczema triggers in the environment are hand soaps, detergents, molds, pollen, animal dander, canker sore on tonsils, and wool clothing. Allergens can cause direct damage to keratinocytes, cells that comprise the outermost layer of the skin called the epidermis. They can also disrupt the skin barrier and lead to the breakdown of proteins.
Indirectly allergens stimulate the rush of inflammatory cells (cytokines) and immune cells (T-cells) into the skin. This leads to a cascade of reactions, which produce swelling, redness, and itching.
What Can I Expect During An NAET Treatment?
NAET utilizes a technique called Applied Kinesiology where the practitioner tests the muscle strength of the patient while in the presence of a medicine, food, or object. Applied Kinesiology, also called muscle testing, will indicate if the substance is an allergen by causing a weakness in the tested muscle.
There are many variations of applied kinesiology but the most common one has the patient stand with both arms raised in front of them at chest level, palms facing upwards. The practitioner places an object into one palm of the patient and then presses down on the opposite arm while the patient is told to resist this pressure. An arm that drops more quickly suggests allergy or sensitivity to the offending agent. A strong arm indicates no problem with the tested item. This process is repeated on all suspected allergens.
Once the allergens have been discovered, the therapeutic part of the treatment can begin. The patient will hold one of the allergens during the acupuncture or acupressure treatment. For roughly 15-20 minutes after the treatment, the patient will continue holding the allergen. They will then be retested using the principles of Applied Kinesiology to see if the allergen has cleared.
If the allergy has cleared, the patient will be told to avoid the food or substance for at least 24 hours following treatment. This process is repeated until all allergies have been resolved.
Benefits Of NAET
- Non-toxic, safe to use with a variety of medical conditions
- Minimally invasive
- Results are often long-lasting or permanent
- Can eliminate the need for pharmaceuticals and nutraceuticals
- Helps with balancing the immune system, restoring overall health
Limitations Of NAET
- The process can be tedious, and time-consuming if the patient has numerous allergies
- Cost of visits, especially if acupuncture is not covered by the patient’s insurance
- Cases studies of NAET have been published but there have been no randomized, clinical trials to date
Childhood Eczema Eradicated With NAET, A Patient Testimonial
Benjamin was a smart, creative 4-year-old boy with chronic eczema, seasonal allergies, and digestive upset. His parents had taken him to both the pediatrician and dermatologist looking for answers to the disfiguring eczema that was a permanent fixture on his cheeks, hands, and abdomen. Ben was prescribed topical creams and oral antihistamines.
His lesions improved but always returned when treatment was discontinued or tapered. Ben’s dermatologist suggested oral steroids as a next step but the list of potential side effects alarmed his parents and they decided instead to turn to alternative medicine.
During the initial intake, it was revealed that Ben had over 30 documented food and environmental allergens! He was a very bright preschooler who proudly listed off all of his dietary restrictions, which included peanuts, pineapple, tomatoes, eggs, and bell peppers among others. Ben’s mom admitted that her son’s multiple allergies and sensitivities made both mealtime and play dates a planning nightmare.
Ben was started on supplements to decrease allergies and promote the healing of his digestive tract. His parents purchased a high-quality air purifier for his room and installed a water purification system. After 3 months Ben’s eczema had improved by 30% but he continued to have outbreaks and digestive upset with trigger foods.
Disappointed that he hadn’t had greater improvement; I referred Ben to an acupuncturist who performs NAET. Just after a month into treatment, Ben’s mother called the office to say that he was able to eat tomatoes without itching for the first time since infancy. He was now able to eat pizza at birthday parties without feeling ostracized by the other kids. 6 months later I saw Ben for a follow-up visit. He was now 5 years old and did not have a speck of eczema on his body and all of his food allergies had resolved.
Who Practices NAET And How Can I Find Them?
Many acupuncturists, naturopathic physicians, integrative medical doctors, and chiropractors practice NAET. Dr. Nambudripad’s website has a list of providers trained through her institution.