Is NAET the answer for those of us suffering from allergies?
If you’ve read my “about” blurb, you know that allergies forced me to stop working with animals. But I am allergic to a lot of things, not only animals. I react badly to things like Neosporin, calendula, scented candles, gasoline, cleaning liquids, detergents, etc. I also have seasonal allergies and food allergies that are constantly getting worse, and about a year ago, I happened to mention to my chiropractor that I could no longer eat anything containing soy in any form, and she said that she knew of an acupuncturist in our area who had successfully treated a few of her other patients for their soy allergies, and they were now able to eat it.
I was skeptical at first. I had never ever heard that you can eliminate allergies. I had tried all the allergy medications on the market, but the side effects were worse than my allergies, so I stopped taking them and just suffered through spring, avoided all the foods I reacted to, and had to decline invites from friends with pets. My (Western) doctors were no help – all they could offer were medications.
Then, in one month I started reacting to avocados, chick peas and red peppers, and decided that enough is enough and I might as well give this acupuncturist a try. I called and after the acupuncturist told me how she got rid of her own allergies and asthma with the help of NAET, I made an appointment. She warned me that it might be a long process, but I felt I had nothing to lose (well, money, but I was at my wit’s end). I have now been getting NAET treatments for almost a year, and have gotten rid of a whole bunch of allergies. This past spring was the first in 20 years when I have not been a total mess, I can eat many of the foods I had to avoid, and I can spend time with dogs again!
What Is NAET?
NAET stands for Nambudripad’s Allergy Elimination Technique and was invented by Dr. Devi Nambudripad <MD, D.C., L.Ac., Ph.D.). She herself had suffered from allergies her entire life, and came up with this way of eliminating them by combining techniques from Oriental and allopathic (Western) medicine, chiropractic, kinesiology, acupuncture, acupressure and nutrition.
Can It Help Animals Too?
Yes! I recently found out that NAET works on animals as well, and since allergies in pets are on the rise, resulting in everything from dermatitis to anaphylaxis, I thought that was very exciting news. Pets, just like humans, can develop allergies to many things you wouldn’t think of. Foods, grass and pesticides are obvious, but how about tap water, stainless steel, plastics, collars and vitamins? The body’s reaction is also often mistaken for other illnesses. Itching and sneezing, sure, but allergies are not the first thing that comes to mind when your dog has gingivitis, constipation, or diabetes.
Let’s Hear From The Experts
I did a bit of research and found Dr. Rahmie Valentine, O.M.D., L.Ac., Dipl. Ac. & C.H. (NCCAOM), who has been practicing NAET for 20 years and teaches veterinary NAET both in the US and Europe. She currently lives in Bluffton, SC, where she has a holistic medical practice for humans, Low Country Healing Arts, and also offers holistic veterinary care and consultations to various clinics.
I also found Dr. Mark Newkirk, B.S., M.S., VMD, of Newkirk Family Veterinarians in Egg Harbor Township, NJ, who practices both traditional and complementary veterinary medicine, including NAET.
Dr. Valentine and Dr. Newkirk kindly agreed to be interviewed by me, and below, you’ll see what they had to say about veterinary NAET. For more info, please visit their websites, links are in the text above. Dr. Newkirk also does phone consultations.
Q. How did you find out about/get into NAET?
Dr. Newkirk: Got into it based on an ad in the [AHVMA] journal. The need for it was obvious. Lots of allergy in pets.
Q. How long have you been using NAET?
Dr. Newkirk: 12 years.
Q. What type of animals do you mostly treat?
Dr. Newkirk: Mostly dogs. Some cats. Some birds.
Q. Birds, I didn’t expect that. How do they feel about the needles?
Dr. Newkirk: No needles with NAET. All done with finger pressure
Q. What allergies are the most common/do you mostly treat?
Dr. Newkirk: Food! Next is vaccines. Then the environmental allergies such as pollen, mold etc.
Dr. Valentine: Skin allergies, upper respiratory, gastro intestinal and also drug reactions (vaccines and antibiotics).
Q. Are there any foods and vaccines in particular that the animals react to (i.e. that are “worse” than others)?
Dr. Newkirk: Chicken. It’s in so many pet foods. Grains. Rabies vaccine
Q. I know for people, it can be quite a lengthy process to get rid of allergies through NAET. How long does it usually take to eliminate allergies in a pet?
Dr. Newkirk: It can be lengthy also. Depends on how long the allergies have been going on. We generally eliminate foods first.
Dr. Valentine: This varies with each animal and is usually dependent on age, constitution (basic genetic inheritance that might go along breed lines, for example) length of time the pet has had symptoms and severity of symptoms. So the resolution can vary from a few treatments to many.
Q. And once the allergy is gone, it’s gone forever?
Dr. Newkirk: Many times it is gone forever. The problem is that unless you do the repair work inside the body (GI system, liver, proper foods, probiotics etc) the allergies can return.
Dr. Valentine: The allergy to that particular substance is gone forever, but usually the tendency to be allergic remains as a lifelong challenge.
Q. How do you repair the GI system and the liver?
Dr. Newkirk: Herbs, probiotics enzymes. Fix leaky gut syndrome.
Q. So it’s important to make sure your pet has a “healthy lifestyle” to keep the allergies at bay?
Dr. Newkirk: Yes. Proper diet.
Q. Are there any conditions that people usually do not think of as an allergy when it is?
Dr. Newkirk: Ears are often food related. Feet and ears are often environmental allergies.
Dr. Valentine: Any condition may have allergic components to it, even diseases such and cancer, kidney failure, thyroid issues, etc.
Q. Why do you think NAET is not more widely known?
Dr. Newkirk: It is a “weird” looking therapy. And it seems unbelievable. Need more teachers. Very few docs are doing it.
Dr. Valentine: People seem to find NAET after failing western medicine and ending up extremely disillusioned. It seems to be from this place of desperation that people are willing to consider a more holistic approach. Usually they are pleasantly surprised.
Q. How long does it take to train to become a NAET practitioner?
Dr. Newkirk: Actually the basic technique is very simple. So training is short. Getting good takes practice just like anything else. I would say it took a year for me to be comfortable with it.
Q. Do you have to know acupuncture first?
Dr. Newkirk: No.
Dr. Valentine: Although the theories that NAET are built on come directly from Chinese Medicine, knowing Chinese Medicine or acupuncture before learning NAET is not necessary. But if you do have a background in Chinese Medicine, it makes learning NAET much easier.
Q. Do you have to be a vet to do acupuncture on pets?
Dr. Valentine: If you are not a veterinarian, then in order to work on any pet other than your own, you must be working under the direct supervision of a licensed veterinarian.
Q. Do you use muscle testing on animals too?
Dr. Newkirk: Yes.
Q. When using people as surrogates for treatment, do they have to get treated for their own allergies first?
Dr. Newkirk: No.
Dr. Valentine: Of course I believe that everyone would be better off if they are treated for their own allergies, But no, you do not have to be cleared of allergies in order to be a surrogate.
Q. Can you cure conditions other than allergies with NAET?
Dr. Newkirk: Cure is not the right word. But it can help a great deal. Allergies underlie many other conditions as well.
Q. Which word do you think would be more appropriate?
Dr. Newkirk: Alleviation.
Q. Are there any conditions in particular that may be allergy related?
Dr. Newkirk: Inflammatory bowel disease. Some forms of arthritis.
Q. I know Dr. Nambudripad claims that almost everything is an allergy, which is interesting, but I think it also may make people doubt her and NAET. How do you feel about that?
Dr. Newkirk: The more I study, the more I find a poor immune system and an unhealthy cleaning/detoxifying systems (liver, gut) are underlying most diseases, including cancer.