A few months ago, I had the privilege of speaking with Barb Meconis, R.N. about an interesting therapy called NAET. NAET stands for “Nambudripad’s Allergy Elimination Technique” and I had an immediate crush on this method as soon as I heard about the successes that some people had experienced with it.
Before we fall head over heals in love, however, we need to understand that NAET is not a “cure” for food allergies or celiac disease. It’s a therapy that supports and rebalances the immune system. It can help reduce the symptoms and the severity of reactions, and can even reduce the number of sensitivities in some people if done properly. It can provide
immediate relief, but it often takes time, great care, and work, especially if your reactions are severe and complex. So don’t go running around behind your Epipen’s back with that bad boy Peanut Butter, or sleep around with the gluten monster if you have celiac disease, or sneak into back alleys for a three-way with good ‘ole Ben and Jerry’s. Allergic reactions are serious business. A few treatments DO NOT mean that you can suddenly eat something that makes your throat close up, no matter what someone might tell you. GOT IT?
A relationship with NAET is worth a try, however, and one that deserves a regular commitment to see if it helps rebalance your unique immune system as you also work to help heal your gut (where about 75% of your immune system lives). Take your relationship with NAET slow, steady, and consistently; and work with a very experienced practitioner like Barbara.
See a list of NAET approved practitioners here: www.naet.com
THE EASTERN WAY
Now. Let’s fall in love a little. Developed by Dr. Devi S. Nambudripad, M.D., D.C., L.Ac., Ph.D., the premise behind NAET is decidedly energetic and has the underlying philosophies of Eastern medicine. But the entire method combines several medical disciplines such as allopathic (Western medicine), acupuncture, chiropractic, kinesiology, and nutrition. It is non- invasive and drug-free technique that helps desensitize the body to specific elements of specific foods.
If you have no idea what I just said, stick with me and I’ll explain further.
Let’s first understand how this method looks at the body and its reaction to food.
NAET sees allergies, an immune reaction, as the result of energetic blockage, which can be unblocked. That is one difference between the two halves of the medical world: Western Medicine sees health as the absence of disease, while Eastern Medicine seeks a state of balance by resolving different layers of underlying causes. So the practice of NAET, much like acupuncture, looks underneath the allergic reaction, below the histamine response, to another layer, the energetic body.
The NAET method also describes multiple allergies as a spiraling weakness in the body, or blockage, where the immune system is not properly supported. Many people are experiencing this today. They start with an allergy or sensitivity to one type of food, and then end up with a list of 10, 20, or more.
“The hardest thing for most of my clients to understand is that this is about energy medicine. It is one thing that we don’t learn in medical school. NAET is a very humble treatment that allows the body to respond the way it wants to respond, and the body is very intelligent. I started as an R.N. in 1970, working in the ICU and I never really saw people get better. It saddened me and I was ready to quit medicine altogether. But working with NAET, I’ve been able to watch people heal. Children get better and can eat ice cream for the first time in their life. Adults can re-assimilate into society. It is a fascinating journey that I have had the privilege of taking with them.” – Barbara Merconis, R.N.
UNDERSTANDING THE LAYERS
We humans have many layers and complex patterns to our well being. Some people have mild reactions while others have a life threatening anaphylaxis. Environmental allergies also come into play (cigarette smoke, mold, perfume, building materials, etc.), as do fungus and parasites, autoimmune disorders, diabetes, viruses, bacteria, autism, brain issues, and more.
The more complex the layers, the more treatments are required to feel relief, and the potential for other types of intervention might be needed.
After clearing the physical blocks, the NAET method even provides a series of treatments for emotional trauma that might be underlying a food reaction. This may sound strange, but our emotions can greatly influence our immune systems. Imagine yourself as a child where the dinner table was a constant source of conflict in your family. Perhaps you were criticized or even abused when you entered the kitchen, or when you prepared a certain type of food. Your brain may be associating anger, resentment, sadness or fear with a particular food or food in general. As a result, your immune system might feel the need to protect you from that food. Interesting, isn’t it?
Dr. Nambudripad, in her book, describes several situations where mild to severe emotional trauma needed healing before the food reaction could be cleared. Not everyone has emotional trauma associated with food, but if you do, it is important to also receive psychological counseling along with your NAET treatments.
THE BASIC FIFTEEN
Barbara and I started with the BASIC 15 treatments, which are the underlying essential nutrients for everyone. If you are allergic to a string of fruits and vegetables, for instance, you may have an allergy to Vitamin C or B, not just the list of fruits or vegetables. Clearing the basic 15 could clear a bunch of food reactions at once.
Here is how it works.
APPLIED KINISEOLOGY (NEURO-MUSCULAR TESTING – NST)
The first technique is called Kinesiology. I’ve had this done in the past by a few different people and at first thought it was a bunch of hocus-pocus. But in the hands of a pro, I became amazed at how accurate it can be. After you take your place on the therapy table, you will hold a vial containing the offending substance in your right hand. For me that day, it was sugar.
While holding the vial in your right hand, your left arm is raised like in the picture above left. Barbara tries to push it down. If she can (above right), the substance in your hand is weakening you. If she can’t, and she is one strong chick, you are not reacting to that substance, so you can move on to test for the next one. Crazy, right?
If you test positive (or “weak”) for the substance, it’s time for a treatment. You will keep the vial in your right hand and then turn your body over onto your stomach. I have a pillow under my chest in this picture, while Barbara takes a little machine up and down my spine several times (pictured left). She gives specific breathing instructions as she does so. This does not hurt. You simply feel a mild vibration that is quite pleasant.
The next step is the acupressure. With a little instrument, Barbara will apply some pressure to different points around the meridians of your body. Just relax.
BRIEF NUTRITIONAL CONSULT
After the acupressure, you repeat the neuro-muscular test to see if the treatment was effective. Using the same technique, Barbara then checks for the length of time you need to avoid the substance you were treated for. For instance, I needed to avoid all food items that contain any kind of natural or artificial sugars, including fruit, coconut, maple syrup, toothpaste, and supplements. I had to avoid eating or touching sugar for 35 hours.
After the treatment you rest in a dark room for about 30 minutes.
MY RESULTS SO FAR
After the first three treatments, I felt immediate and remarkable relief. My vision was insanely clear as I drove down the highway toward home. I felt elation, strength, energy, and wanted to chat with everyone I loved on the phone. My abdomen felt better and more connected. I slept long and hard after those treatments. After the fourth treatment, the one for sugar, I felt rather emotional and drained, then slept for about 12 hours for two days in a row. There are different types of reactions that will help your practitioner determine the depth of later treatments. I will need to finish the basic 15, commit to doing a long series of treatments and then get new IgE and IgG bloodwork done before I could say that it helped my food allergies. But I feel inspired enough by this treatment to tell you about it. I think it has a lot of possibilities.
WHAT OTHER PEOPLE HAVE SAID
I’ve spoken to a number of people about NAET and their experiences. Some people have told me that they credit NAET with an actual reduction of the number of food allergies and sensitivities that they have; others have felt a great reduction in the severity of even their IgE (anaphylactic) reactions over the long haul. Still others have said that it either didn’t help them much or didn’t last. I’ve heard chiropractors and medical professionals call this treatment “very powerful”, and others remain skeptical. One mother told me that her son was having serious behavioral problems in school. The problems arose in the afternoon, after he had eaten class treats with food additives and food coloring, to which he was highly allergic. He stopped eating these foods, and after a series of NAET treatments, was able to indulge upon occasion with his classmates with no behavioral problems.
QUALIFIED PRACTITIONERS ARE A MUST
A word of caution: Choose a qualified practitioner. There are those that claim to cure a life-threatening, anaphylactic response with a few laser-type treatments. These folks have inspired the California Senate to approve a bill that would prohibit chiropractors from treating food allergies. You can research qualified practitioners at www.naet.com.