7. Myth: My naturopath/chiropractor/acupuncturist/homeopath diagnosed my allergy:
Fact: Naturopaths and other alternative medicine providers do not diagnose allergies in evidence-based ways. Yet many offer purported different diagnostic tests as part of their practice. Treatments have either been shown to be unreliable or have been demonstrated to be useless. Unproven or disproven tests for food allergy that alternative practitioners may offer include:
IgG blood tests
IgG blood tests (e.g., Hemocode and Yorktest) cannot identify food sensitivities or allergies, only recent exposure to different food ingredients. It has no established value as a diagnostic test for food allergies.
AK is a well-known scam that is purported to diagnose allergies by holding a suspected allergen and then pressing down on that limb. Muscle weakness is said to signify an allergy. Careful evaluations show that AK tests can be completely manipulated by the tester, and they have no relationship to actual allergic responses.
Electrodermal test or “Vega Testing”
The Vega test is claimed to measure body electric currents (to acupuncture points) with an allergen in the electrical circuit. There is no correlation between Vega test results and reality, in that it cannot identify allergies at all.
Cytotoxic testing (Bryan’s test)
These fake allergy tests were last generation’s IgG blood tests, sold in storefronts, and involves mixing a patient’s white blood cells with suspected allergens. There is no correlation between the results, and allergic responses. The FDA and other regulators have taken action to clamp down on cytotoxic assay sales, but providers can still be found.
While useful for testing for exposure to drugs and some chemicals, there’s no basis for examining the hair to determine allergies
Used more for diagnosing food “intolerance”, this involves measuring the pulse before and after eating a suspected allergen. It should be self-evident why this sort of testing isn’t advisable for suspected allergies.
8. Myth: My naturopath/chiropractor/acupuncturist/homeopath can eliminate my allergy
Fact: Despite claims that are made with regularity, there are no “cures” for allergies that exist within alternative medicine. Perhaps because of the limited treatment options, alternative purveyors offer a variety of “allergy elimination” treatments that are claimed to be effective for a variety of allergens.
NAET, or Nambudripad’s Allergy Elimination Techniques is claimed to eliminate “energy blockages” through some combination of chiropractic and acupuncture treatments. Testing includes some elements of applied kinesiology (see above) and electronic devices that measure skin resistance, akin to the Vega test (see above). Not surprisingly, there is no credible evidence that “NAET” can eliminate allergies of any kind but this does not prevent its proponents from making wildly dangerous claims.
Peanut anaphlyaxis is real. NAET is pseudoscience. Perhaps not surprising, NAET techniques can kill.