NAET – Miracle cure or hoax? Part I

If you have food or environmental allergies, intolerances, eczema, or a variety of other health issues, you may have heard of NAET treatment.


What is NAET Treatment?
NAET stands for Nambudripad’s Allergy Elimination Techniques. According to the NAET website, NAET is “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/acupressure, allopathy, chiropractic, nutritional, and kinesiological disciplines of medicine.”

Yet Another Alternative Treatment
It wasn’t intrigue in something new, nor was it solely the natural aspects that led us to try this very unusual treatment. It was desperation pure and simple.

My son, Tristan, is a healthy three-year-old today. However, just under a year ago, things were quite different. My son was diagnosed with eczema at three months old as he displayed the classic dry skin and small little pink patches of irritated, inflamed skin. We tried cortisone, drug store creams, and natural creams, but nothing seemed to stop his skin from getting progressively worse. We also tried chiropractics, osteopathy, and homeopathy. The latter with some luck, but not a cure-all. His case ultimately got so severe that his body was 90% covered in what looked like burn wounds. So, yes, we were desperate to help him curb the itching and to heal his damaged skin. NAET was something else to try. We searched for a local practitioner and found an acupuncturist.

Related: How NAET helped my daughter’s eczema

Testing for Sensitivities
I really don’t recall where I heard about NAET, but I do remember how foreign it sounded when it was described to me. And nothing prepared me for how odd the testing and treatments would be.

When treating a child is under a certain age, the testing is more reliable when a parent is tested together with their child. So, this is how it went down. I laid down on the practitioner’s table and was handed a small glass vial to hold in one hand. I was instructed to hold my opposite arm straight up, 90 degrees out from my body. I was told to resist as much as possible as the practitioner tried to push my arm down to my side.  My level of resistance indicated how sensitive I was to the substance in the glass vial. Huh?? From what I was told, and I understand, your muscles weaken when your body comes in contact with something you are allergic or intolerant to. So, if I wasn’t able to resist the pressure the practitioner applied to my arm, and my arm gave way, this would identify a sensitivity. If I could withstand the pressure and my arm didn’t move, then I wasn’t sensitive to the substance in the vial.

It all sounds like a bunch of hocus pocus, I know. It gets weirder, just wait. So, after the practitioner determined my sensitivity to the substance in the vial, then he asked Tristan to take the vial in his hand and with the opposite hand touch me, so he held my hand.  I raised my opposite arm and the practitioner again tried to push down. We did this test again and again. I think the first day we did the same test described above 15 times – that’s 15 different vials of substances ranging from vitamins and minerals to sugar.  Between testing each substance, I was told to rub my hands together vigorously to clear the energy from the past substance. My arm was feeling pretty tired by the end, but the practitioner adjusted his pressure on my arm so I wouldn’t have to resist so much at the end.

The first day of testing was finished and guess what? The results were different whether it was me alone being tested or together with my son. I was really surprised. This showed we had different sensitivities and some were the same.

Another thing – before starting NAET we had already identified some foods were triggers for Tristan’s eczema, so we tested these with NAET over the course of our many visits. Sure enough, my arm flew down and I just couldn’t resist the pressure from the practitioner when one of Tristan’s known triggers was tested. The practitioner would randomly test vials, and threw some placebos in the mix as well, so I wouldn’t knowingly give him less resistance when we were testing for one of Tristan’s food triggers.

Basic 15
There are 15 items that apparently have to be treated first, if someone is sensitive to them, in order for the body to be healthy enough to accept any further treatments for other substances. They are:

Basic 15
•    BBF (Brain Body Formula) – can signify stress, which is usually high in eczema patients
•    Egg Mix
•    Calcium Mix
•    Vitamin C Mix
•    B-Complex
•    Sugar Mix
•    Iron Mix
•    Vitamin A Mix
•    Minerals
•    Salt Mix
•    Grains Mix
•    Yeast Mix
•    Acid (Stomach Acid)
•    Base (Digestive Enzymes)
•    Hormones

My son reacted big time to 12 out of 15. By big time I mean my arm flew down when the practitioner applied pressure. My arm felt so weak when this happened. I really couldn’t believe how I lost the ability to control my arm. I had no idea which substance was being tested, so I wasn’t subconsciously weakening my arm for certain tests. Also, the practitioner seemed to apply the same amount of pressure each time. So, these 12 items seemed to be true sensitivities by NAET standards.


After the testing determined which substances caused a reaction in my son, the practitioner decided which items to treat first. I believe we started with BBF  (Brain Body Formula) alone. The practitioner placed the vial being treated in Tristan’s sock where it could safely stay for 20 minutes in direct contact with his skin. Acupuncturists usually apply needles to certain points on the body to help open up the body’s “chi” or gates I believe they’re called. In children, this isn’t as simple and my son did NOT like the children’s “stickers”, which were essentially stickers with a nasty, sharp, tiny needle sticking out. Since needles were out, the practitioner vigorously rubbed all the essential points on my son’s body so he’d be physically open to the treatment. Then the practitioner laid Tristan on his belly and made a series of rapid, forceful thumps down my son’s back along the spinal column. My son loved this and thought it was like a massage. After this, the practitioner tested us again to see if the treatment took. Again I raised my arm, held my son’s hand with the opposite arm, and the practitioner tested my resistance. If I was able to resist, we were sent to the waiting room where my son had to wait with the vial in his sock for 20 more minutes. If I was still not fully able to resist, the practitioner gave the massage again and then retested us, repeating until the treatment was successful.

Read more about Tristan’s NAET treatment conclusion here

About Jennifer

Jennifer is a work-at-home mother of two. One has eczema, allergies, and asthma, and one has only mild eczema. She is the founder of The Eczema Company and blogs at It’s an Itchy Little World. 

Thank you Jennifer for posting with us!

Have you tried NAET treatments or have questions about it? Leave a comment or question, we’d love to chat about it further!

8 thoughts on “NAET – Miracle cure or hoax? Part I

  1. Spanish Key says:

    Alternative treatments run the spectrum from plausible to complete quackery. NAET’s at the extreme far end and its practitioners ought to be prosecuted for malpractice. The only thing in its favor is that it doesn’t cause immediate harm, apart from the financial cost to the gullible and desperate. It runs counter to every aspect of modern science. Read more about it here I’m sure you can also find someone who’ll take your money and give you a good leeching.

    • beetee says:

      As a physical therapist, I am heavily science-minded. However, when my young son suffered with severe outdoor allergies, he was tested traditionally and steroid treatments were recommended. I couldn’t bare to subject him to steroids in the dosages recommended for him. I had heard of the NAET/BioSet treatment through a friend. (Mostly BioSet) What did I have to lose but money? And traditional medicine is not cheap either with our high out of pocket requirement of $10,000/year. (and I don’t have money to waste.) I went in as a total skeptic and came out of the first session as an only-slightly-milder skeptic. I did, however, see dramatic changes in my son from that very first treatment. He was treated 12 times that spring with treatment initially for the outdoor allergies. We discovered through the testing that he was also sensitive to a few foods and to his kitten. He was treated for each in turn throughout those 12 visits. He was a new kid. That was three years ago. The past two years we have visited with the doctor each spring for a checkup when the symptoms begin to return. (And they have never returned in full force.) Within two treatments he is back to his healthy self. I still ponder the process, but the proof is in the pudding. I am so glad to manage his allergies without drugs. He is too.

  2. Andrea Thomas says:

    Thanks for the post Spanish Key for your thoughts and the informative link. Your comment does come off as a little abrasive considering parents who are trying alternative methods didn’t have much success with traditional ones and are looking for relief elsewhere. Parents, in particular, want to provide their children with relief from eczema, allergies etc. and sometimes that means trying something on the extreme end. I don’t think they should be faulted because of it.

  3. Spanish Key says:

    You’re right, I ought to be more sensitive. My blood boils when I see witch doctors in action. Using pseudoscience to advise people that they or their kids are or aren’t allergic to substances, which might then result in poor nutrition for children or
    continued exposure to genuine allergens. See Eczema Mom’s alarming post here where her kid has a reaction after a NAET diagnosis The quack used a vial labeled “Fear.” Abdominal pain? This
    kid needs to be seen by a real doctor. See Caroline’s post at Fighting Eczema where she gets her kid tested by an “applied kinesiology” quack Believe me, I understand that standard medicine
    often can’t solve basic problems and patients or parents look elsewhere for relief. Nobody’s been able to fix my eczema or back trouble. Which may explain why I am a curmudgeon. Consider alternative treatments. Acupuncture–yes, it seems like maybe stimulating
    nerve centers could produce various kinds of physical effects. Traditional Chinese medicine–makes sense that herbs could contain biochemically active substances. NAET–“sounds like a bunch of hocus pocus,” and is. Let me see one of these “practitioners” diagnose
    the same vials in repeated double-blind tests where neither they nor the patients know what is in those vials. If common sense tells you there’s no way a body can be allergic to something in a glass vial, or that it could immediately affect your muscles, or
    that your kid could somehow communicate weakness to you while he’s touching a glass vial, then common sense is right. But of course people are free to try out relatively harmless “treatments” if they want to spend their own money. The complex, unpredictable nature of allergies and eczema means that the “treatment” or “diagnosis” will appear to work some of the time. Anyone who’s a parent understands the love a mother has for her children, and that she would do anything to help them. I wish you the best in your

  4. Eczema Mom says:

    I was directed here as someone indicated that my blog was mentioned on here. We’ve been doing NAET for 2 years now. It’s not an overnight miracle, but we have made gradual progress and my child is now able to eat most foods. Spanish Key has been much kinder
    to me on my own blog, and if you don’t agree with NAET that is your right. Of course my child has seen medical doctors, handfuls of them without any results. Which led us to try something new, and I am so glad we took that step. NAET was actually recommended
    to me by a Pediatrician who had 63 autistic patients undergoing this alternative treatment. Of the 63, 60 were having drastic enough improvement to be main-streamed into regular classrooms at school. As the doctor said, “Western medicine does not have all the answers and sometimes we have to look elsewhere.” At the time we seemed to have exhausted our options, but I’m grateful that the doctor was open-minded enough to lead us to NAET. I don’t claim to understand it all, but in our case the results are undeinable.

  5. Andrea Thomas says:

    Thanks Eczema Mom for your thoughts! We all know eczema is a trial and error condition. Some treatments work for some and not for others. I’m happy to hear that your little one has greatly improved! I hope this gives other parents some hope as they search
    for some relief.

  6. Veronica Michel says:

    Thanks for sharing Eczema Mom! My son is autistic and I tried NAET due to the pathetic failures of multiple doctors to treat my son’s autism. NAET has been a blessing and I have seen so much improvement in the short time we have been trying it, I know this is not always common. One critical thing to note is that NAET is non-invasive. Therefore, the risk of adverse side effects are low. Sorry I had to mention that because I have suffered significantly due to adverse side effects of meds prescribed by “real” doctors.

  7. Ruth says:

    Thanks for this – the naysayers who blame it all on quackery to my mind are just ridiculous. Ask them to prove it doesn’t work and all they do is say it’s not up to us to prove it doesn’t, it’s up to you to prove it does and you need double blind peer reviewed research. Well that doesn’t happen because unlike with western medicicnes pharma compnies, alterntative meds don’t get funding. Pharma companies fund research so their meds are marketed! You just prove naet doesn’t work! There’s a lot science can’t explain. A lot of science is based on theoretical formulae that can’t be proved. I had homeopathy to help my asthma and I needed no inhalers for 4 years after treatment. Unfortunately the lady who helped me moved or I would have repeated it but my asthma has never been so bad and acupuncture has cured my postnatal psychosis and sorted out other gynae issues! I’m very interested to try naet for my son’s allergies and intolerances. Thanks for posting

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