In my previous post about acupuncture and Hashi’s, I wrote about the fact that I began “specialized” treatments for food sensitivities and allergies in September. In this post, I want to talk about this form of treatment and describe my first visit to my NAET practitioner.
What is NAET? It stands for Nambudripad’s Allergy Elimination Techniques. According to the NAET website, these treatments were discovered by Dr. Devi S. Nambudripad in November of 1983. The treatments are a combination of acupuncture, kinesiology (muscle testing), energy work, chiropractic work and nutritional and supplementation guidance. The treatments adhere to a particular schedule, clearing one allergen or sensitivity at a time, although the schedule is often amended based on what particular issues an individual might be facing. The explanation behind the procedure is that the treatment causes the substance for which you are being treated to circulate throughout your body while you are actually avoiding taking in that substance for a period of time. This allows your body to become reacquainted with the substance and to remember how to process it correctly.
For instance, if you are being treated for vitamin C, then your practitioner will determine how long you will need to avoid all contact with vitamin C after the treatment. This includes not only ingesting vitamin C, but touching it as well. After your avoidance period is over, your body will be absorbing vitamin C better than it was before the treatment because it has “relearned” how to process vitamin C correctly.
The official protocol for NAET states that substances should be avoided for 25 hours; however, my practitioner has found that, if she tests and asks the body how long it needs to clear a particular substance, and follows that advice, then her clients are much more apt to clear everything successfully. My “magic number” to date has been 50 hours. I wish it were 25 because, depending on what you’re trying to avoid, 50 hours can be a mighty long time. It is becoming easier with each treatment, though.
The First Treatment
My first visit was booked for 2 hours, but it actually lasted for 2 1/2 hours. I find that my practitioner is very generous with her time, unless I come on a day when she has a really full schedule.
Most of the first visit was spent discussing my lengthy and complicated medical history. I realized a long time ago that I needed to just create a document with my medical history on it so that when I start with any new practitioner, I can just hand them the page or refer to it myself when answering questions on their intake forms.
We talked at length about all of my issues, most of which she was pretty familiar with since she’s been doing this for a long time. I found her very easy to talk with, which is important for me if I know I’m going to be working with someone long term.
After the intake process, we went into her acupuncture room and she had me lie down on the table. She did some muscle testing to see where my “base” was, so she would have something on which to reference my reactions later.
What is muscle testing, you ask?
If you do a search for muscle testing, you will find a lot of varied opinions about this technique, but I have found it to be very helpful to me. People out there can say it’s quackery all they want, it has worked for me and continues to work for me. So, you need to stand back and keep an open mind if you’ve never experienced it before.
Conventional medical people always like to say “there are no studies supporting this”, but we have to include patient reports in any treatment modality we investigate and, until people are willing to start investing money in studies for alternative treatments, we won’t have any studies to support those treatments.
The first time I encountered this technique was with a naturopath I was seeing some years ago. She used muscle testing to determine various weaknesses in my body and also to determine which supplements would be best for me. The theory behind the testing is that the inherent strength in your muscles is connected to quality of function in your inner organs, therefore, if you have a weak liver, for instance, and you test for that via the muscles, the muscles will also present with weakness.
Typically, you stand or lie down and hold up one arm, resisting against a push on that arm by the practitioner. If the practitioner touches a part of the body that corresponds with a weak organ, you will not be able to push against the force any longer and your arm will fall. I went into my first experience with this not having any idea what to expect, so I wasn’t “preconditioned” in any way, and I was amazed at how it worked. There is no way that you can force your arm to stay up in these situations – the strength just isn’t there.
My chiropractor uses muscle testing at every session to determine where my muscles are weak so that he can decide what kinds of adjustments to make. As soon as the adjustments are made, my strength comes back in that arm. It has worked beautifully for all the years that I have continued to see him.
So, back to my first NAET treatment.
Once she had her reference base from the initial testing, she tested me for the substance that I was to be treated for that day. The first NAET treatment is always something called “Brain Body Balance Formula”. I have no idea what it’s comprised of, but its purpose is to begin to balance the body in preparation for the second treatment.
When she tested me for this, of course, I was weak. To date, every time she has tested me for a substance prior to the actual treatment, I have been weak. But, this doesn’t surprise me, given how many allergies and sensitivities I have.
After this, she had me turn over on the table and she performed a kind of spinal massage, beginning at my neck and going all the way down to the tailbone. While she was doing this, I was instructed to do different kinds of breathing, like holding my breath, exhaling and holding, breathing rapidly, and breathing normally. She went through these cycles a number of times and then did energy work where she placed her hands on my back for about 5 minutes or so. I have found that this “massage” and energy work always relaxes me.
Acupuncture followed the energy work. She only used about 10-12 points, but, make no mistake, it was still very powerful. She inserted the needles and then gave me time to rest.
At the end of the treatment, she tested me again for the substance for which I was being treated and I was much stronger than during the previous testing. Thankfully, for this first treatment, I did not have to avoid anything, so she didn’t have to test to see how long my avoidance period would be.
It became clear to me within a couple of days that I needed to cut back on my adrenal supplements completely. I have been off of them ever since.
To understand how amazing this is, is to understand that I have not been able to be without those supplements for years and years. I was stunned. I am still on my hydrocortisone, but the long term plan for these treatments is that I will eventually go off of that too.
I will be writing about all of my NAET treatments here, but I have had enough of them by this point in time to tell you that some pretty amazing things have been happening and, for the first time in a long time, I have real hope that I can get well. It’s an incredible feeling.
To getting well,
Vanessa Gunter, D.M.A., M.A.