Spring is in full swing. There are blue skies, warmer weather, flowers and the Indiana landscape turns green. But for the many attributes of spring, there is a drawback for lots of Hoosiers — allergies. For those suffering from seasonal allergies, spring can also mean itchy eyes, runny noses and coughs.
An estimated one in five Americans suffers from allergies. Allergies cause multiple symptoms, and can decrease resistance to colds and sinus infections. They are also a significant risk factor for the sometimes life threatening disease asthma.
Treatments for allergies traditionally include medications such as antihistamines and decongestants, as well as immunotherapy, or allergy shots. There is another option. The treatment is non-invasive, painless and does not require medication. It’s called N.A.E.T. (Nambudripad’s Allergy Elimination Technique). The technique, pioneered by Devi S. Nambudripad, M.D., D.C.L.Ac., Ph.D., in California is gaining popularity in Indiana, which now has eight practitioners including physicians, registered nurses, a veterinarian and other health care providers. (See sidebar for a complete listing of practitioners.)
While the Western medical perspective is that allergies are caused by substances the immune system mistakes as being harmful, N.A.E.T. views allergies from a holistic perspective based on oriental medical principles and defined in terms of the effect an allergic substance has on the body’s energy flow. Trudie Crawford, N.D., R.N., is a naturopathic doctor practicing N.A.E.T in Camby, which is just south of Indianapolis near Mooresville. She practices out of her home, a yellow 1940s farmhouse with white trim. It sits on 3 and a half acres of land in a pastoral setting. The house is surrounded by 13 enormous evergreens, and there’s a creek that runs along the woods in the back of her property.
She explains how N.A.E.T. works in detail: “The N.A.E.T. treatment stimulates pressure points along the spine from the neck to the sacrum while the patient is holding an allergen. After the treatment, specific acupressure points are then massaged to stabilize the treatment. The allergen must then be completely avoided for 25 hours for best results. Allergens are treated and cleared one at a time in a specific sequence. Normally, only one item is treated on a given day. In most cases, one session is all that is required to eliminate an allergy if N.A.E.T. is applied properly.” (Allergens are identified with painless muscle response testing.)
Noblesville resident Stacey Sobczak is the mother of five children, four of whom have been treated by Crawford. Sobczak says N.A.E.T. has profoundly impacted her 9-year-old son Sam’s health. Sam had severe allergies and suffered from allergy related illnesses his entire life. He had chronic earaches as a baby, suffered from sinus infections and would miss 30 to 40 days of school a year. He had been seeing an allergist for five years.
His mother explains some of the impact of his medical treatments: “His doctor was constantly weighing him because he was on allergy medication, and with those you don’t grow. At one point his liver functions were over 700, when they are supposed to be under 100, because he had so many antibiotics.” Sam was getting ready to start allergy shots when Sobczak heard about Crawford. When asked if she was skeptical about N.A.E.T. at first, Sobczak explains, “We were willing to try anything, especially for our child.”
Sobczak’s willingness to try paid off. Sam, once described by his mother as “pale, tired and listless, with dark circles under his eyes,” now “is growing, has good color, no dark circles under his eyes and is full of energy.” Sam has been off of all allergy medication for a year and has not had any “allergy attacks.” He was treated for ragweed, pollen, trees and some hidden food allergies Crawford discovered. Sobczak also received N.A.E.T. treatments. She was treated for allergies to eggs, coffee and corn. Since then her acid reflux, chronic canker sores and other symptoms have subsided.
Mooresville resident Sarah Filbey has taken two of her three daughters to Crawford. Her oldest daughter, Sarah Emily, age 16, has been receiving treatments since August of last year. She has suffered with allergies since infancy. She was diagnosed with asthma at age 18 months, eczema at one year and developed severe food allergies. She had been close to death three times from her asthma and Filbey carried around Benedryl, inhalers and an “asthma machine” for several years.
Filbey, who describes herself as a conservative Christian, was skeptical of N.A.E.T. at first because she didn’t want to do anything new-age. She did, however, believe in homeopathic medicine, and had tried herbs, lotions, oils, healthy cooking and chiropractic medicine, with no results. At a friend’s consistent urging she finally took her daughter to Crawford.
Since seeing Crawford, Sarah Emily’s morning sneezing fits have stopped, and her eyes are clearer. She can now tolerate eating an egg, which was once an allergen that nearly “sent her to the hospital,” according to Filbey. She is allergic to several other substances and continues her treatments with success. Filbey is now urging friends and acquaintances with allergies or children with allergies to seek N.A.E.T treatment.
For more information on N.A.E.T. see www.naet.com.