NAET: Nambudripad’s Allergy Elimination Technique
By Susan Brinkmann, June 10, 2010
JS asks: “Can you tell me if NAET (Nambudripad’s Allergy Elimination Techniques) is related to the New Age? It involves energy work.”
Anything that involves “energy work” is New Age, and NAET falls into this category. An easy rule-of-thumb to use when discerning one of these treatment modalities is to check to see if it involves a universal energy known as chi, ki, qi, prana, yin-yang, vital force, etc. If so, it’s not Christian (and not scientific) and should be avoided. Most places do not hide their belief in this energy so it’s usually fairly easy to spot on their websites.
In the case of NAET, this is an Allergy Elimination Technique developed by Dr. Devi S. Nambudripad, a chiropractor/ acupuncturist who has a medical degree from a university in Antigua.
Her website explains NAET as a “non-invasive, drug free, natural solution to eliminate allergies of all types and intensities using a blend of selective energy balancing, testing and treatment procedures from acupuncture, allopathy, chiropractic, nutritional, and kinesiological disciplines of medicine.”
Although she does not describe the types of energy she’s balancing, she is involved in the use of alternative treatments that are based on the manipulation of yin-yang (acupuncture) and vital energy
Her overarching belief is that allergies can best be explained through the principles of Oriental medicine, such as the belief that allergies cause blockages in the body’s meridian energy pathways. She also employs the very New Age muscle testing/applied kinesiology (see http://womenofgrace.com/newage/?p=28) to diagnose specific allergies, then treats them with a combination of spinal stimulation and acupressure. After each treatment, the patient must avoid the offending substance for precisely 25 hours.
Dr. Nambudripad’s history is a bit strange, to say the least. In her book, Say Goodbye to Illness, she claims to have suffered from a variety of health problems as child such as infantile eczema, arthritis, sinusitis, clinical depression, and severe migraines. “All the medicines, vitamins and herbs made me sicker, and the good nutrition made me worse,” she writes in her book. “I was nauseated all the time. Every inch of my body ached. I lived on aspirin, taking almost 30 aspirin a day to keep me going.” It was during her chiropractic training that she received an acupressure treatment from a guest speaker that helped her to feel better. She was later advised to eat nothing but broccoli and white race, a diet she claims to have existed upon for three years. Anytime she ate another type of food, her arthritis pain would return. This was especially true in regard to fruit, honey, or anything that contained sugar.
“These made me extremely tired, because I was very allergic to sugar,” she says in her book. “I could not drink or eat milk or milk products, because I was very allergic to calcium. I was highly allergic to fish groups, because I was allergic to vitamin A. I was allergic to egg products, because eggs gave me skin problems. I was allergic to all types of beans, including soybeans, they gave me severe joint pains. Spices gave me arthritis of all the small joints. Almost all the fabrics, except silk, gave me itching, joint pain, and extreme tiredness. My teacher at the acupuncture college confirmed my doubts. I was just simply allergic to everything under the sun, including the sun by radiation.”
Dr. Nambudripad experienced another profound healing after giving herself an acupuncture treatment while in contact with some carrots. After the treatment, she ate the carrots and found that she was no longer allergic. She reasoned this was because the carrots had been present in her electromagnetic field and that:
“During the acupuncture treatment, my body probably became a powerful charger and was strong enough to change the adverse charge of the carrot to match with my charge. This resulted in removing my carrot allergy. I tested and treated my husband and son. In a few weeks we were no longer allergic to many foods that once made us ill. . . . Later I extended this to my patients who suffered from a multitude of symptoms that arose from allergies.”
Stephen Barrett, M.D., of Quackwatch, explains the many problems with Dr. Nambudripad’s explanation.
First, taking almost 30 aspirin a day would have caused severe side affects. “Doses above four grams per day are likely to cause ringing in the ears, dizziness, increased breathing rate, and serious metabolic imbalances,” Dr. Barrett writes. “High doses can also cause severe stomach upset and a tendency toward abnormal bleeding. Death has been reported from single doses of 10-30 grams.”
Second, allergies occur to proteins, not vitamins, sugars or minerals. “It is possible to be allergic to eggs, fish, and or milk, but the claim that she was allergic to vitamins A, C and B-complex (a total of 10 out of the body’s 13 vitamins!), calcium, and sugars is absurd.”
Third, if she was indeed allergic to vitamin A and C, she could not have tolerated a diet of broccoli and rice because these foods are very high in vitamin A and C.
Another problem with NAET is that the principle diagnostic method is muscle testing, which is a distinctly New Age treatment. Proponents of muscle testing claim diseases can be evaluated through specific patterns of muscle weakness which they can heal by manipulating or unblocking alleged body energies along meridian pathways, or by infusing energy to produce healing in certain organs.
In the case of NAET, substances are put in the patient’s hand and the practitioner tests whether the arm can resist being pulled by the practitioner. If the arm can be pulled, it means the substance causes an allergy.
When the testing is complete, the practitioner then “treats specific acupuncture points on the back using strong acupressure either by hands or with a pressure device while the patient is holding the allergen in their palm, touching the sample with the pads of their fingers,” Dr. Barrett explains. “All patients above the age of ten will then also receive acupressure or acupuncture needles on specific points on the front of the body.”
Patients are asked to remain for 15-20 minutes in the office after treatment, after which time they are subjected once again to muscle testing to see if the practitioner can pull the patient’s arm while they are holding an allergen in their hand. If not, then the treatment is considered successful.
Patients must then avoid all contact with the allergen for 25 hours and are given a Guidebook that helps them to find the foods they are permitted to eat during that period. Full treatment consists of 30-40 visits (usually occurring once or twice a week).
Today’s healthcare system, which is closely tied to Big Pharma, has turned many of us off, but we must be careful not to replace one type of bad treatment with another equally bad or worse treatment.
Can Satan Heal?
By Susan Brinkmann July 19, 2011
KI writes: “I have a severely food-allergic child whose diet is limited to meats, many fruits, and some vegetables. Although he cannot have a normal, balanced diet, he is growing and developing well under regular medical advice. My mom is a loving grandmother who is naturally worried about his health. She is convinced that the only choice my husband and I have is to undergo
NAET [Nambudripad’s Allergy Elimination Technique], and has even suggested that if we do not try NAET, we could be abusing him for not providing a means to recovery. . . See also page 91
I have sent her the link to your post on
NAET, and explained that we have no desire to willfully or accidentally introduce anything not of God into his life. She has a dear friend who is a faithful Catholic and who found healing through NAET: she contends that since it did heal her, it is of God, because she believes that Satan cannot heal. I can’t find anything contrary to her claim, but know she is mistaken. I haven’t had luck researching this on my own, and wonder if you can help me: can Satan provide healing as part of his deception?”
Satan cannot “heal” – but he can easily appear to do so, which means his healings are always counterfeit. Either a person is healed through the power of suggestion (much like the placebo effect http://womenofgrace.com/newage/?p=222) or through an illusion of some kind. There are also several other reasons http://womenofgrace.com/newage/?p=207 why people believe themselves to be healed and Satan is more than happy to cooperate with these to fool someone. The bottom line is that the devil has more than enough power to convince someone that they’ve been healed, even when they have not.
But don’t take my word for it. Let’s see what Scripture has to say on this subject.
First of all, nowhere in Scripture do we find evidence that Satan has the power or authority to heal. Therefore, because he is not capable of doing anything good, he cannot heal anyone, but, as I said, only appear to do so.
Next, let’s look at Job 2:7 where we read “Satan went out from the presence of the Lord and inflicted loathsome sores on Job from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head.” This tells us that sickness or injury can definitely originate from Satan if God allows it. Therefore, it follows that Satan would certainly be able to make a person feel better or even appear to be healed if he simply stopped inflicting the sickness on a person.
However, keep in mind that because he’s incapable of doing anything good, he’s not withdrawing the affliction because he wants to help the person. He’s doing it because he wants to trick them into turning away from God and convincing them to rely on other powers such as those found in the occult and New Age “energy” for their needs. Remember, Jesus told us that Satan is a “murderer” and a “liar and the father of lies” (John 8:44). Satan always wants death and destruction, never healing and life.
As I mentioned, Satan is also a master of illusion. “For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:14).
There are ample warnings about this aspect of Satan in Scripture. “For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect” (Matthew 24:24), and “The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders” (2 Thessalonians 2:9).
The anti-Christ will mimic all the great miracles of Christ, such as walking on water, raising the dead, healing the sick, but these will all be lies.
We know from these warnings that Satan is entirely capable of fooling even the holiest among us, which is why our benevolent God has promised that He will shorten this time.
Your mom is certainly right that Satan cannot heal, but that doesn’t mean every alleged “healing” is from God. This is why we are so wisely taught to “test the spirits” (1 John 4: 1-6). For instance, in this case, we know that NAET is all about balancing a fictitious energy known as “chi”, which is part of a pantheistic belief system that posits the presence of a universal life force energy in all creation. Pantheism is not compatible with Christianity. This fact alone means NAET fails the “test” and should be avoided by Christians.
Nambudripad’s Allergy Elimination Techniques
December 7, 2004
Both of our children developed autism. Our daughter developed all of our son’s symptoms the night of her 6 month vaccines with no previous symptoms of autism. They have received specialized diets, heavy metal removal, allergy shots, supplements, N.A.E.T. and metabolic N.A.E.T. Our son appears to have suffered spiritual attack from infancy and perhaps even in my pregnancy. Our daughter appears to be free from spiritual attack. Their diet prior to N.A.E.T. ran about $1400/month. Abandoning their diet at that time meant no sleep, little language, limited learning ability, etc. I felt N.A.E.T. was an answer to our prayers at that time but I had no idea it could be counter to our faith.
Our daughter shows no symptoms of autism now unless she eats foods high in mold content, food preservatives, or artificial colors and sweeteners or takes any form of antibiotics. She just finished her first quarter of regular ed. kindergarten (Christian school–we have no local Catholic school) with a perfect grade card.
Our son is challenged in the areas of sociability and writing. He is at or above grade level in other areas. We are starting to homeschool him to address the spiritual attacks and give him a completely Catholic education. Many of his spiritual attacks appear to occur at public school. He had problems with gluten (no sleep, language, sensation of pain) and takes holy communion without us having to ask for reduced gluten hosts.
My quandary includes the concern that his allergies/autism and gluten problems might have been caused by spiritual attack from the beginning.
Is N.A.E.T. morally acceptable? Any direction you can give in morally acceptable allergy treatments will also be very appreciated. We currently have all therapies on hold other than supplements and reduced allergen diet. -Kimberly
Well, let me answer you from a personal point-of-view first. I have some of the conditions that the N.A.E.T method is supposed to cure. I will not use N.A.E.T. now or ever. That is my own personal opinion.
Now, let me discuss the subject of “miracle cures” and “revolutionary discoveries” from a Consumer Advocate point-of-view.
According to the N.A.E.T. the alleged “research” to prove the effectiveness of this program is totally anecdotal.
Their website states:
Data gathered and analyzed from office documentation spanning a ten-year period. Data from both male and female subjects of various ages were used. The patients completed symptom survey questionnaires; the most common signs/symptoms recorded in the sample group were used for the purpose of this analysis, result of a few surveys are shown here.
The number of patient visits until symptoms resolved were then tracked and documented.
Results: Approximately two thirds of the sample group experienced resolution of symptoms within the first 15 -25 visits.
Thus, based on their information, the “research” that proves the effectiveness of this method is based solely on examination of patient charts and self-reporting from the patients themselves. This is anecdotal evidence, NOT scientific evidence.
Thus, from a scientific point-of-view, N.A.E.T. does not appear to have any real scientific credibility. For example, we need to know the intensity of the Placebo effect. Many of these remedies are effective only because the people think they are effective. The Placebo effect is powerful and cannot be dismissed. This is not to say that the Placebo effect is not useful; it can be. The question, however, is whether or not a treatment or therapy has any actual scientific medical effect.
The N.A.E.T. people, as far as I can find so far, offer no scientific evidence of the effectiveness of their treatment.
This tends to be true with much of the “alternative” medical treatments.
Another red flag are claims that a treatment will solve most anything. There is NO SUCH THING as a magic bullet, a single therapeutic approach that will resolve all health problems, or even a extremely wide-range of problems.
Even treatments that do have scientifically verifiable positive effects on health, that proven effect is one a very narrow range of symptoms.
In addition, N.A.E.T. appears to me to be an attempt to make appear more “scientific” the same essential theory of Chinese Acupressure (which also claims that allergies are the main cause of most of our health problems).
Saying all this does not mean that the theory of allergies causing many medical problems does not have some truth to it. It may very well be true that allergies are a major cause of many things. I am not a doctor so I really cannot speak to that.
But as a Consumer Advocate, and former Chinese Alternative Medicine Practitioner, my red flags go flying when I see the utter lack of scientific studies to verify the “great” claims of some treatment program, and the claims that any one particular treatment program can cure such a wide range of ailments.
A good book I recommend that carefully analyzes Alternative Medical Techniques is: Dr. Rosenfeld’s Guide to Alternative Medicine: What Works, What doesn’t and What’s Right for You
Dr. Rosenfeld, who is Jewish not Christian, examines the various alternative medical techniques from a scientific and medical point-of-view. He does not, however, offer a spiritual analysis and may at times brand as okay things that would still be inconsistent with Christianity. But the value of the book is his medical analysis.
While this book, written in the mid-1990s does not specifically mention N.A.E.T., it does provide some principles and guidelines on how to evaluate alternative treatments.
For example, one of Dr. Rosenfeld’s major points of advice is that if it sounds too good to be true, it is. NO technique and NO medicinal substance will cure everything. Run, do not walk, away from products and techniques that promise the cure for about just anything.
Other advice he gives in a chapter called, “How to Spot a Quack” is to “suspect quackery in any of the following situations:
1. A product that promises to cure a variety of ailments quickly.
N.A.E.T. claims quick cures in their claim: “Approximately two thirds of the sample group experienced resolution of symptoms within the first 15 -25 visits.” These claims include the “resolution” of arthritis and fatigue, which Dr. Rosenfeld specifically mentions as a typical quackery claim.
2. Testimonials and “case histories” used to bolster claims for a particular treatment…that has allegedly alleviated or cured conditions considered incurable.
N.A.E.T. claims to “resolve” Arthritis, Eczema, and chronic fatigue all of which are considered incurable.
3. Claims to “cleanse” the body of “poisons” and “toxins” or “strengthen your immune system”.
N.A.E.T. does not use the terms in quotation marks above that I can tell, but it does use the phrase, Allergens are cleared“. This is the same language used in what is known as “Applied Kinesiology” and Acupressure, and similar techniques. The allergy testing that is done with Applied Kinesiology is bogus.
According to the N.A.E.T. website the treatment uses “a blend of selective energy balancing, testing and treatment procedures from acupuncture/acupressure, allopathy, chiropractic, nutritional, and kinesiological disciplines of medicine.”
The bottom line is that N.A.E.T. appears to use notions and techniques from Chinese cosmology and practices that include “energy balancing,” “applied kinesiology,” and other techniques that are bogus.
The claims of N.A.E.T. smack of a quack, are not based upon scientific research, but on anecdotal reports, and probably placebo effects.
N.A.E.T. claims to “resolve” (a cute way to avoid saying “cure”) everything from incurable conditions like Arthritis, Eczema, and Chronic Fatigue to flatulence. To the last condition, me thinks there is a LOT of flatulence in N.A.E.T. — but I thought they cured that? 🙂
Now with all this said, N.A.E.T. combines many elements in its treatment from what I can gather. Some of the things that N.A.E.T. utilizes in its program are legitimate in terms of proper nutrition. The issue of proper nutrition may well explain some of the “cures” since nutrition can have a major impact on health and on psychological conditions as well.
I know that it is very difficult for a parent who has children with conditions like you describe. This is what makes opportunist and new age dingbats rich in that they can exploit those who are vulnerable and desperate for cures.
The bottom line advice given by Dr. Rosenfeld in his chapter, “How to Spot a Quack” is a good one:
Look very carefully into every treatment suggested to you, regardless of its source, especially if their is a risk involved; determined how commonly it’s used; ask how long it’s been around; find out in what percentage of cases it has been documented to be successful (beware of testimonials and anecdotal evidence especially as regards to conditions considered incurable); be aware of its potential side effects; and ask whether there are better or proven treatments to accomplish the same end. Finally, check to see whether it is approved by the American Medical Association (AMA), the organization that for many years has alerted Americans to fraudulent treatments, and continues to do so.
On the subject of moral acceptability, things like N.A.E.T. has more to do with medical prudence, or the lack thereof, than it does with moral acceptability in terms of the Catholic Faith.
I do think that it is morally unacceptable to exploit the vulnerabilities of people who are hurting, in pain and suffering, and are desperate for relief. I understand the suffering reaching out to those who promise relief, but I would suggest that it is not prudent to reach out to just anyone or just to any treatment.
At best such alternative treatments might give some actual relief from pain and suffering either from the placebo effect or perhaps from actual medical reasons; but a cure? Not likely.
The practitioners of these treatments are using techniques that come out of, and are based upon, cosmologies that are contrary to the Truth of Christianity. The Yin Yang cosmology, energy flows in the body called meridians, chakra and ch’i and all the rest is just a bunch of bunk at best, and at worse can open doors to the spirit world.
These treatments should not be used except for conditions of which scientific evidence has shown that these treatments can be useful (for example, acupuncture has been proven to be useful in pain control).
BEWARE, however. Be very careful of the ancillary material that often comes with these alternative treatments. It is common practice for “alternative health practitioners” to use these alternative methods along with occultic/pagan and otherwise non-Christian philosophies and notions.
I myself, when I was involved in such things, would silently and unknown to my patient pray to the “spirits” while performing acupressure and “balancing of energies”, massage, and applied kinesiology. Those “spirits” were not of God.
Personally, I would suggest finding other sources besides N.A.E.T for medical advice and treatment. The choice is yours. I do not think there is anything inherently objectionable from a moral standpoint in using alternative medical treatments, but I would exercise great caution. While these things might be morally neutral, they may not be prudent. In some cases could be even be dangerous if these alternative treatments replace more appropriate medical methods. In still other cases, spiritual problems could develop because of the technique and/or practitioner coming from an occult, pagan, or otherwise non-Christian cosmology and worldview in lieu of a scientific approach. -Bro. Ignatius Mary OMSM
Nambudripad’s Allergy Elimination Techniques (NAET) are a form of alternative medicine by which practitioners claim to be able to diagnose and treat allergies and supposedly related disorders. The techniques were devised by Devi Nambudripad, a California based chiropractor and acupuncturist, in 1983, drawing on a combination of ideas from kinesiology, acupuncture, acupressure, nutritional management and chiropractic methods.
Reviews of the available evidence conclude that the diagnostic techniques used in NAET, primarily a form of applied kinesiology, are ineffective at diagnosing allergies and several medical associations advise against using applied kinesiology in this way. The few available reviews in the literature that discuss NAET directly, state that it lacks any supporting evidence and that its claims are unsubstantiated. The theoretical basis of NAET has been criticized for lacking scientific rationale and the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy advise against the use of NAET. […]
Independent studies on the treatment phase of NAET have not been performed, with two review articles concluding that “NAET has to be the most unsubstantiated allergy treatment proposed to date” and that “there have been no studies supporting the use of these techniques”. The Teuber and Porch-Curren review cautions that “there is the potential for an anaphylactic reaction if a patient with severe food allergies seeks such a therapy and tests themselves by oral challenge away from a physician’s office after completing the NAET sessions successfully”. The Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy has advised against using NAET to treat allergies, criticizing its “lack of scientific rationale” and describing it as a “potentially dangerous technique”.
“NAET clashes with the concepts of anatomy, physiology, pathology, physics, and allergy accepted by the scientific community. The story of its “discovery” is highly implausible. Its core diagnostic approach – muscle testing for “allergies” – is senseless and is virtually certain to diagnose nonexistent problems. Its recommendations for dietary restrictions based on nonexistent food allergies are likely to place the patient at great risk for nutrient deficiency, and, in the case of children, at risk for social problems and the development of eating disorders.”
Nambudripad’s Allergy Elimination Technique (NAET)
By Stephen Barrett, M.D. Revised October 26, 2002
NAET is a bizarre system of diagnosis and treatment based on the notion that allergies are caused by “energy blockage” that can be diagnosed with muscle-testing and permanently cured with acupressure and/or acupuncture treatments. Its developer, Devi S. Nambudripad, DC, L. Ac, RN, PhD, is described on her Web site as an acupuncturist, chiropractor, kinesiologist, and registered nurse who practices in Buena Park, California. In October 2002, the site’s “Doctor Locator” database listed 803 NAET practitioners in the United States and 51 in Canada, most of who are chiropractors or acupuncturists. (In 1999, the list contained 776 names for the United States). Nambudripad also runs Nambudripad’s Allergy Research Foundation (N.A.R.F), which sends members a bimonthly newsletter for an annual subscription fee of $36.
In her book, Say Goodbye to Illness, Nambudripad states that she “suffered from childhood from a multitude of health problems.” These included severe infantile eczema until age seven or eight and arthritis beginning at about the age of eight. As a young adult, she suffered from bronchitis, pneumonia, insomnia, clinical depression, sinusitis, and frequent migraine headaches. During this period, she said, she tried many medicines, changed doctors, and consulted nutritionists, but:
All the medicines, vitamins and herbs made me sicker, and the good nutrition made me worse. I was nauseated all the time, every inch of my body ached. I lived on aspirin, taking almost 30 aspirin a day to keep me going [1: xi].
During her chiropractic training, acupressure administered by a guest speaker helped her feel better and later advised her to eat nothing but broccoli and white rice. Then:
After a week’s restricted diet, I tried eating some other foods. My previous complaints slowly began to conquer me. I went on eating a white rice and broccoli diet. This time, I ate this food for three and a half years. Once in a while, I might try a bite of other foods, but my arthritic symptoms would return. I could not eat salads, fruits or vegetables, because I was very allergic to vitamin C.
I could not eat whole grain products because they contained B complex. I could not eat fruits, honey, or any products made from sugars. These made me extremely tired, because I was very allergic to sugar. I could not drink or eat milk or milk products, because I was very allergic to calcium. I was highly allergic to fish groups, because I was allergic vitamin A. I was allergic to egg products, because eggs gave me skin problems. I was allergic to all types of beans, including soybeans, they gave me severe joint pains. Spices gave me arthritis of all the small joints. Almost all the fabrics, except silk, gave me itching, joint pain, and extreme tiredness. My teacher at the acupuncture college confirmed my doubts. I was just simply allergic to everything under the sun, including the sun by radiation. [1: xiii-xiv]
After “eating rice and broccoli for three and a half years,” she suddenly felt better after an incident in which she had given herself acupuncture while in contact with some carrots. She then ate some carrots and found she was no longer allergic. She then reasoned that the carrots had been present in her electromagnetic field and that:
During the acupuncture treatment, my body probably became a powerful charger and was strong enough to change the adverse charge of the carrot to match with my charge. This resulted in removing my carrot allergy. I tested and treated my husband and son. In a few weeks we were no longer allergic to many foods that once made us ill. . . . Later I extended this to my patients who suffered from a multitude of symptoms that arose from allergies. [1: xvi]
I have no way to determine what Nambudripad experienced, but I can say that her story is not believable.
●Taking “almost 30 aspirin a day” is likely to cause extremely severe side effects. The adult aspirin pill contains 5 grains (325 mg), so 30 would contain 9750 mg or 9.75 grams. Doses above 4 grams per day are likely to cause ringing in the ears, dizziness, increased breathing rate, and serious metabolic imbalances. High doses can also cause severe stomach upset and a tendency toward abnormal bleeding. Death has been reported from single doses of 10-30 grams .
●Allergies occur to proteins, not to vitamins, minerals, or sugars. It is possible to be allergic to eggs, fish, and or milk, but the claim that she was allergic to vitamins A, C and B-complex (a total of 10 out of the body’s 13 vitamins!), calcium, and sugars is absurd.
●A diet consisting of rice and broccoli would contain no vitamin B12 and inadequate amounts of iron, protein, and several other nutrients. Curiously, it would be very high in vitamin C and high in vitamin A, both of which Nambudripad says she was allergic to.
●“Emotional allergies” can arise when people have unpleasant experiences connected to eating specific foods [3:23].
Nambudripad describes NAET as an “innovative, completely natural method for regaining perfect health with complete and permanent freedom from allergies and diseases arising from allergies.”  She claims that “there is hardly a human disease or condition that may not involve an allergic factor” [1:3] and that “most of the causes of common illnesses, like headache, back aches, joint pains, addiction, PMS, indigestion, cough, body aches, and many more are, in fact, undiagnosed allergies.”
Science-based allergists define allergy as a reaction of the body’s immune system that take place after the body becomes sensitized to a substance (allergen), usually a protein. Allergic reactions result when allergy-causing proteins combine with antibodies to trigger the release of histamine and other chemicals that can cause skin rashes and various other symptoms. Nambudripad claims that allergens entering the body cause a clash between the “energy fields” of the allergen and the allergy sufferer. She states:
An allergy is defined in terms of what a substance does to the energy flow in the body. Allergies are the result of energy imbalances in the body, leading to a diminished state of health in one or more organ systems.
When contact is made with an allergen, it causes blockages in the energy pathways called meridians. Thought about in another way, it disrupts the normal flow of energy through the body’s electrical circuits. This energy blockage causes interference in communication between the brain and body via the nervous system. This blocked energy flow is the first step in a chain of events which can develop into an allergic response. Allergies are the result of energy imbalances in the body, leading to a diminished state of health in one or more organ systems .
Nambudripad also claims:
●A family history of cancer is significant because it may be transmitted to the child as an allergic inheritance [1:51].
●IF one is allergic to chemicals, adverse energy could penetrate into the body through skin, thus blocking the body’s energy pathways [1:12].
●Imbalance leading to allergy may follow a serious accident, a major operation, a childhood disease, or an emotional shock [1:14].
Dubious Diagnosis and Treatment
Although Nambudripad recommends taking a standard allergy history, her principal diagnostic method is muscle-testing in which substances are placed in the patient’s hand and the practitioner tests whether the arm can resist being pulled by the practitioner. Supposedly, when the arm is weak, the substance is said to cause allergy. “Surrogate testing” can be used to test young children or adults who are weak or incapacitated. The surrogate touches the skin of the person being tested while the practitioner tests the muscle of the surrogate. Some practitioners use an electrodiagnostic device that measures skin resistance to a small current emitted by the device 
When testing is completed, the practitioner “treats specific acupuncture points on the back using strong acupressure either by hands or with a pressure device while the patient is holding the allergen in their palm, touching the sample with the pads of their fingers. All patients above the age of ten will then also receive acupressure or acupuncture needles on specific points on the front of the body. Then:
Patients are asked to remain for 15-20 minutes in the office after the treatment. At that time they are tested again for their muscle strength with the allergen in their hand. This time, if the treatment is successful, the patient’s arm should remain strong against the practitioner’s pressure. The patient is then asked to wash their hands or rub them together for a minute. Patients are instructed to avoid all contact with the allergen that they were just treated for, for 25 hours. They are also advised to read The NAET Guidebook to find the suitable foods they can eat for the next 25 hours. During the spinal NAET treatment procedure the NAET practitioner and the patient should be alone in the room to prevent “electromagnetic interference.”  (Nambudripad claims that a third person in the room can “steal” the treatment [3:6].) On the following visit the practitioner retests the previously treated item. If the result is satisfactory, the practitioner can treat another item. A course of 30-40 visits (once or twice per week) is commonly recommended Nambudripad also claims that NAET can be used as a preventive measure in people who are not sick [3:14].
According to The
NAET Guide Book, the need for specific supplements is determined by having the patient hold a supplement in one hand while the practitioner pulls on the other arm. According to the book, weakness indicates allergy. If the patient tests strong, more pills are added one by one until the patient’s arm tests “weak.” The total number of pills in the patient’s hand then indicates “the total deficiency on that day in the present condition.” The book claims:
This number can be anywhere from 1-2 pills to many thousands, depending on the deficiency. For example: in certain nerve disorders, the total amount of vitamin B-complex deficiency can be as high as 20-30 thousand grams.
If the deficiency is 1-6 pills, one may not need to take supplements. Regular balanced meals will provide the requirements.
If the deficiency is more than 6-10 pills (or the amount equals 6-10 times recommended daily dosage (RDA), then one should supplement one pill daily. If the deficiency is calculated in many tens, hundreds or thousands, supplement the person with 4-6 times the recommended daily dosage of that particular supplement. . . .
Supplements in mega doses are often needed for a number of months in the following cases: arthritis, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, any chronic problems related to allergy, hair loss, constipation, degenerative diseases, cancer, etc. [3:21]
The NAET muscle-testing procedure is an offshoot of applied kinesiology, a pseudoscientific system based on the notion is that every organ dysfunction is accompanied by a specific muscle weakness. There is no scientific evidence that this is true; and test-to-test variations are due either suggestibility, muscle fatigue (from repeated testing) or variations in the test technique. The idea that the number of pills held in the hand can somehow be registered in a way that can influence the strength of a muscle is absurd. The idea that someone can be “deficient” by 20-30 thousand grams is even more absurd. That would be 44 to 66 pounds! Moreover, most vitamin pills contain less than a gram of their vitamin or mineral ingredients. Twenty thousand pills could not fit in the hand of the person being tested.
Curiously, Nambudripad’s Web site warns patients against “being lured into clinics by doctors promising NAET allergy elimination treatments, but they are not receiving NAET treatments.” The methods she list include: (a) placing colored slides at various locations on the body, (b) lying on a special bed while holding an allergen, (c) placing their fingers into a computerized dish with flashing lights while “some mumbo-jumbo is done on them,” (c) touching certain body parts and sitting alone while thinking about the allergen or “allergic thought,” (e) prescribing $400 to $500 worth of supplements, vitamins, enzymes or sublingual drops on the first visit without removing any allergies, and (f) shining a laser light on their back while they hold the allergen in their hand .
Bioenergetic sensitivity and enzyme therapy (BioSET) is a NAET variation developed by Ellen Cutler, DC, who operates the BioSET Institute in Larkspur California. Proponents claim that BioSET achieves more permanent results by adding digestive enzymes and a system of “detoxifying” the body . Cutler’s book, The Food Allergy Cure, includes the following information:
●“BioSET uses a variety of tools drawn from acupuncture, chiropractic and kinesiology to locate and remove blockages in electromagnetic pathways that are specifically related to allergens.” [8:6]
●“Virtually any symptom can be the result of a blockage caused by an allergen.” [8:7]
●“Food allergies” are tested by placing the test substance a glass vial containing sugars in the patient’ hand and muscle-testing the opposite arm. If the person is allergic, pushing down on the outstretched arm will cause it to weaken or collapse [8:159-168].
●When the patient’s “blockages” have been identified, she uses acupuncture or modified chiropractic technique to stimulate points on the patient’s spine, which “tends to balance the electromagnetic fields of the body in relation to the allergen.” [8:9]
●Nearly everyone suffers from “toxic overload,” for which she may prescribe fasting, juicing, dietary modification, exercise, massage, periodic deep breathing, skin brushing, “detoxification baths,” saunas, coffee enemas, enzyme, homeopathic products, use of a water filter, and avoidance of electromagnetic fields [8:181-209].
Cutler has applied to trademark the name BioSET, but the U.S. Patent Office has not decided whether to approve it. BioSET® is a trademark registered to BioSET, Inc., a company in Houston, Texas, that is completely unrelated to Cutler’s activities. This company, which manufactures and markets the BIOSET Process for sludge management, was founded 1995 and has objected to Cutlers’ trademark application.
Cutler claims that over a thousand practitioners worldwide use BioSET [8:5], but her site does not list their names. In October 2002, Google searches brought up more than ten times as many NAET links as BioSET links. Since NAET, which has been around longer, is claimed to have fewer than 1,000, I wonder whether Cutler’s number includes Nambudripad’s database of NAET practitioners in addition to those affiliated with BioSET.
In 2002, Cutler and Nambudripad acquired “MD” degrees from the University of Health Sciences – Antigua (UHSA), which offers a medical degree program that chiropractors can complete in 27 months. Students receive credit for two years of basic science courses taken at chiropractic school. UHSA’s coursework consists of a 3-month preparatory course (which can be taken online) and 24 months of clinical sciences. For their clinical training, students must either find a hospital that will provide it or go to a UHSA-affiliated hospital in Ohio. (UHSA won’t reveal the hospital’s name until after the student enrolls and pays tuition.) UHSA’s program is obviously inferior to standard medical school training in the United States, and the school is not accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (the medical school accreditation agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education). However, its graduates who pass United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) appear to be eligible for further training and licensure in many states — but not in California, where Nambudripad and Cutler practice.
The most bizarre form of NAET I have encountered surfaced in a recent lawsuit by a woman who, among other things, was trying to recover the cost of her treatment with Walter J. Crinnion, N.D., a semi-retired naturopath who practiced for many years near Seattle, Washington, and is now semi-retired. Crinnion also teaches “environmental medicine” at Bastyr
University and wrote the chapter on that subject in the major naturopathic textbook. Documents in the case indicate that the woman had paid Crinnion $30,521 for 286 visits over a 3-year period during which he had treated her for headaches that he attributed to childhood sexual abuse and environmental toxins.
Crinnion’s services included sessions in which he held the patient’s hand with one of his hands while she talked to him or while they sat quietly. During the sessions, which took place at his home, Crinnion asked himself questions while placing the third finger of his other hand over his index finger and pressing down to “test the strength” of his own second finger. In his deposition, he stated that the ability of his index finger to resist being pushed down indicated to him whether each question should be answered yes or no. At various times, he pressed on the woman’s back to “desensitize” her to whatever substances or emotions he imagined to be the problem. He also claimed to “balance her energy” with his hands by touching her head or moving his hands through the air two to four inches from her body . In my report to the defense attorney, I summarized these sessions as “two people holding hands while one pays the other to press on her back and think to himself,” Crinnion called the procedure “emotional NAET.” I regard it as a combination of abuse and larceny.
NAET has also acquired a following among veterinarians. The leading promoters are Roger Valentine, D.V.M., and Rahmie Valentine, O.M.D., L. Ac., who operate a “holistic” pet center in Santa Monica, California. They state that “veterinary NAET is an ideal diagnostic and treatment modality for all holistic veterinary practices.”  Their Veterinary NAET Web site maintains a referral directory with about 100 names. The claim that allergic conditions treatable with NAET include “eosinophilic lesions, toxic chemical reactions, vaccine reactions, ‘idiopathic’ bowel disease, gingivitis, gastritis, cystitis, sinusitis, rhinitis, asthma, constipation, diabetes mellitus, chronic recurring infections, conjunctivitis, external otitis, dandruff, seborrheic dermatitis and pancreatitis, as well as the more commonly agreed-upon allergic conditions: over-grooming, flea allergy dermatitis, food intolerance and allergic bronchitis.”  Instead of testing the animal, they perform “surrogate” muscle-testing in which the spine of a person touching the animal is tested:
The NAET treatment phase in animals consists of stimulation of the spinal nerves of the surrogate. While maintaining contact with the animal and the identified allergen, acupressure is applied to specific meridian points along the spine of the surrogate. This activates all of the spinal nerves, thereby triggering the nervous system into a fresh recognition of the perceived allergen. This is an actual reprogramming of the nervous system to recognize the allergen in a new way. The allergen is no longer perceived as an irritant and “bad”, but as a newly neutral substance. The body then experiences a state of balance in the presence of the allergen, and is non-reactive. In the human protocol, additional body acupuncture points are stimulated to reinforce the new identification .
The Bottom Line
NAET clashes with the concepts of anatomy, physiology, pathology, physics, and allergy accepted by the scientific community. The story of its “discovery” is highly implausible. Its core diagnostic approach — muscle testing for “allergies” — is senseless and is virtually certain to diagnose nonexistent problems. Its recommendations for dietary restrictions based on nonexistent food allergies are likely to place the patient at great risk for nutrient deficiency, and, in the case of children, at risk for social problems and the development of eating disorders. I believe that practitioners who use NAET have such poor judgment that they should not be permitted to remain licensed. If you encounter a practitioner who relies on the strategies described in this article, please ask the state attorney general to investigate.
1. Nambudripad DS. Say Goodbye to Illness. Buena Park, CA: Delta Publishing Co., 1993.
2. Goodman AG, Goodman LS, Gilman A. The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics, 6th edition. New York: Macmillan Publishing Co., 1980, p 695.
3. Nambudripad DS. The NAET Guide Book: The Companion to “Say Goodbye to Illness.” Third edition. Buena Park, CA: Delta Publishing Co., 1999, p 21.
4. Nambudripad DS. What is NAET? NAET web site, accessed Oct 11, 1999.
5. Cutler EW. Winning the War against Immune Disorders & Allergies. Albany, NY: Delmar Publishing, 1998.
6. Nambudripad DS. An open letter to NAET patients. NAET web site, accessed Oct 14, 1999.
7. Zacherl TW. What is BioSET? About.com web site, accessed Oct 25, 2002.
8. Cutler EW. The Food Allergy Cure. New York: Harmony Books, 2001.
9. Crinnion WJ. Deposition in Superior Court of the State of Washington (King County) Case No. 00-2-30314-9 KNT, Jan 3, 2002, pp 50-55.
10. Valentine R, Valentine R. Veterinary NAET: The veterinary application of NAET; a breakthrough approach to allergy resolution. Veterinary NAET web site accessed Aug 10, 2000.
Disciplinary Action against Dr. Geoffrey Ames
By Stephen Barrett, M.D. Revised June 25, 2009
In 2004, the Washington Department of Health Medical Quality Assurance Commission concluded that Geoffrey S. Ames, M.D., who practices in Richland, Washington, had committed unprofessional conduct by using a LISTEN device* to (incorrectly) diagnose a patient as having an “egg allergy.” Such devices which provide readings based on the patient’s skin resistance to a tiny electric current, are not FDA-approved for diagnosis and have no diagnostic value. The Commission issued a 5-year license suspension that would be stayed provided that Ames (a) stopped using the device, (b) undergoes quarterly practice reviews, and (c) pays a $5,000 fine. In 2007, the Washington Court of Appeals upheld the Health Department’s decision, ruling that use of the device had created an “unreasonable risk of harm.” In 2009, the Washington Supreme Court agreed, stating that Ames had “led patients to believe that LISTEN could diagnose and treat allergies, when in fact it could do neither.” *Life Information System Tens
STATE OF WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH MEDICAL QUALITY ASSURANCE COMMISSION
1.1 Geoffrey S. Ames, M.D., the Respondent, was issued by the state of Washington in December 1989, a license to practice as a physician and surgeon. The Respondent completed a pathology residency. He completed a year of internal medicine training. He started a family practice in Gardnerville, Nevada. The Respondent is board-certified in holistic medicine. The Respondent took an acupuncture course at UCLA, San Francisco. Since 1995, he has been practicing as a physician in Richland, Washington. The Respondent’s practice includes the following specialties: NAET1
allergy therapy, JMT allergy therapy, neuromodulation technique allergy therapy, acupuncture, acupressure and dermatology.
1NAET stands for Nambudripad Allergy Elimination Technique. Devi S. Nambudripad developed the NAET, which is a technique that treats allergies using acupressure.
Allergies: Dubious Diagnosis and Treatment
By Stephen Barrett, M.D. Revised May 31, 2011
Many dubious practitioners claim that food allergies may be responsible for virtually any symptom a person can have. In support of this claim — which is false — they administer various tests purported to identify offending foods. Claims of this type may seem credible because about 25% of people think they are allergic to foods. However, scientific studies have found that only about 6% of children and 1-2% of adults actually have a food allergy, and most people with food allergies are allergic to less than four foods.
The following procedures are not valid for managing food allergies:
●Nambudripad’s Allergy Elimination Technique (NAET), based on the notion that allergies are caused by “energy blockage” that can be diagnosed with muscle-testing and permanently cured with acupressure and/or acupuncture treatments.
Dave & Liz Smith, USA
Sent: Monday, December 06, 2004 12:00 AM
I have a friend who is using BioSET which is energetic in nature, drawing on applied kinesiology, acupressure, Nambudripad’s Allergy Elimination Techniques (NAET*), and chiropractic. While I will no longer consider using it for myself, I have seen it work for her. For example, my friend has severe multiple chemical sensitivity. She was out of town on business and was having a bad reaction to the room she was staying in perhaps the soap they used for the sheets or the cleaning solvents. Her doctor, several states away, treated her remotely, namely by touching a photo of her, while doing the treatment. He had just come back from a late night shift at an Emergency room, so he did the treatment at three in the morning or something, which was precisely when she got relief from her migraine. Watermelon used to trigger an immediate migraine, but now she can eat it with abandon. Her sister even has a dog with allergies; the dog would have a irritated raw nose all the time. The dog’s owner held the dog, and the doctor did the treatment on the owner who I guess was acting like a conduit for the dog’s energy. The dog’s nose actually did get better! Once or twice I would say was a coincidence, but it has worked repeatedly on many different sensitivities. This doesn’t mean it is good or moral just because it works. I guess that’s the scary question, determining why it works. Must run! Liz * Categories: new age
Categories: new age