GAPS and NAET: Complimentary Therapies

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Wardee: Today in our GAPS series, Katy from Katy She Cooks shares part 2 of her NAET journey, this time how it can compliment GAPS. Or is it the other way around? Or both? Decide for yourself as you read.

It was almost two years ago that I wrote a guest post here at GNOWFGLINS, about our experience curing food allergy using NAET treatments. At the time, several of the comments mentioned others’ experiences with the treatments — that they worked for a while, but allergies often returned.

For those unfamiliar with NAET, it’s an allergy elimination technique practiced by naturopaths, chiropractors, and other medical professionals that uses a combination of the methods in kinesiology and accupressure to “reset” the central nervous system, and “tell” the body not to react to certain foods (not an official or scientific definition, just my bumbling way to explain it!).

In short, the people leaving those comments were right! With an unhealthy gut, allergies old and new have a way of creeping back up into the body. I found this out first-hand: I was continuing to acquire new allergies even after multiple NAET treatments. An old allergy would have cleared after treatment, but a new one would pop up, causing chronic eczema and sinus drainage. I had also begun showing disconcerting early signs of fibromyalgia, an auto-immune disease that has plagued my mother for many years.

Last fall, our naturopath was feeling similarly frustrated with the limits of NAET when she read Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride’s Gut and Psychology Syndrome. In her mind, she had found the solution: until the gut was healed, the body would continue to be offended by new allergens crossing the all-important gut lining into the blood stream.

I read the book at her beckoning, and began the GAPS diet about 8 months ago (I eased in to the full-diet in October, and then retro-actively began the Intro diet in January). The plan? Heal my gut for good so new allergies could be kept at bay.

I began a 30-day intro plan, so each stage lasted about 5 days. After significant die-off symptoms during the first few days, I slowly gained energy, and was happy that a persistent spot of eczema on my leg was completely clear within the first 10 days .

But like most people on the intro diet, I was LIVING for phase 3 when I could finally introduce eggs. Imagine, eating an egg-and-squash pancake! Oh, the joy of eating scrambled eggs for breakfast! Anything but soup!

So you can imagine my great disappointment when I tried eggs, and my eczema flared.

I gave it another five days on phase 2 to clear. Every time I tried to add eggs again, the eczema returned.

At this point, I was tired, frustrated, and losing too much weight (I have a small frame, and was at a healthy weight before the diet began). Even while eating tons of animal fat in every bowl of soup, my pre-pregnancy “skinny” jeans were hanging off my body. My concerned husband drew a line and told me it was too much, something had to change.

I went back to my naturopath, and she used NAET to treat me for an unknown allergy to egg whites. I began eating eggs again, with no eczema. The mild headache I’d always had when eating scrambled eggs disappeared. I was able to continue with the intro, eggs included (which eventually included the coveted grain-free muffins and breads!), eczema-free. It made a huge difference — my weight loss leveled off (I even gained back the pounds once I transitioned to the full diet) and my energy levels increased.

I’m not sure how long it would have taken me to clear the egg allergy without a NAET treatment. But I do know that I couldn’t have lasted much longer on that phase of the intro diet.

To be clear: I am not at all suggesting that NAET is necessary for those doing GAPS — I fully believe healing occurs with the diet alone. But in my experience, it was a helpful addition to my treatment plan, as outlined by our healthcare practitioner.*

Our pediatrician, a GAPS-certified and NAET-trained practitioner, agrees: in her experience, using both treatments together is the fastest way to facilitate healing, especially in those with severe or life-threatening allergies (she has used both in treatment of her autistic son).

Of course, only more time will tell if the diet and NAET treatments will work long-term to clear the issues that plagued me. I already have a 95% improvement in chronic pain, which is a huge blessing, and reason enough alone for me to do the diet — but a few problems linger (I still struggle with sinus drainage). I’m hoping a trip next week to our naturopath will offer another NAET treatment, get to the bottom of the drainage, and give my body another boost as I continue to heal on the GAPS diet.**

* The biggest downside to seeing a NAET practitioner is cost — it is often (unfortunately) quite expensive, and most do not take insurance. Ours is extremely reasonable, so it has been within our reach to receive treatments.

** Another benefit from seeing a NAET-trained healthcare provider is the fact that they usually incorporate muscle-testing, which can help discern when a GAPS-related symptom is detox-related or reactive. Muscle testing can also help determine a safe time to transition off the diet.

What are your experiences with NAET and GAPS? Please share! Or if you have general questions or comments, please share those, too.

Want more from our GAPS series? Catch up with Why I’m On The GAPS Diet, Demystifying the GAPS Diet (what it is), and Intro and Full GAPS Explained

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Comments

  1. says

    Thanks for the post, Katy! Everyone in our family has a few nagging issues that have *way* gotten better but haven’t cleared up completely after a year on GAPS – eczema, tics, unexplained weight loss, seasonal allergies, etc. I had considered chiropractic and acupuncture to help resolve them, but I’ll have to look into NAET, too.

  2. Danielle says

    Thanks for helping me understand NAET. We are doing full GAPS, with the intention of doing intro once we get settled into our new home. I just moved north of Indy this week, so if you can get affordable treatment, I’m interested to know where that is. Thanks!

  3. Annemarie Davies says

    Thanks katy, for sharing this post as it really gives me hope that I am on the right track with my treatment. I have been doing NAET for 18 months and have had exactly the same experience as you with returning allergies and more additions of them. Although modt of them are clear now, I still have 2 lingering that cause some real havoc.
    My naturopath has now done an INDICAN test and it revealed a very unhealthy gut. So, I now am on a 6 week detox to kill the overgrowth of “bad guys”, reseal the gut and introduce a new and healty family of micro flora. I really hope that this will clear my allergies as I have been suffering for over 3 years now with constant sinus problems and throbbing headaches, fatigue and now also asthma like symptoms :-(.
    I am not familiar with the GAPS diet, but interestingly I have been hearing about it for months now. Maybe God is trying to get my attention…….
    Thank you again for sharing your journey!

  4. Beth says

    I’m so glad you came back to post an update after posting about your initial experience with NAET. I have been doing GAPS intro for about a month (after being paleo for a year), and though I’ve experienced quite a few benefits, my constant bloating, which was the reason I started GAPS, has shown no sign of improvement. About 6 months ago, I diagnosed myself with candida overgrowth and mercury toxicity, after a lot of research and all of the symptoms (and causes) falling into place. After a month of being strictly on intro and no improvement w/the bloat, I began questioning whether the cause was something that GAPS could even address. I came across NAET only last week on the GAPS Yahoo group, and after doing some reading up on it, decided to give it a shot. I found a practitioner nearby who is an acupuncturist and has done a LOT of the NAET course work and had my first appointment and treatment 3 days ago. I tested weak for 9 of the big 15! She treated me that day for the brain body function, and I felt really good that whole day. I started thinking that GAPS and NAET are very complimentary. No matter what the issue is, I believe that what you eat and drink lays the foundation for everything else.
    I had my second treatment today, and am looking forward to further healing!
    The only way in which I think GAPS and NAET clash is during the 25 hour avoidance period after treatment. For some treatments, what you can eat afterwards is very limited, and is not GAPS-legal. Thankfully the avoidance period is short, and I don’t think that straying from GAPS briefly will undo everything.

  5. Audrey says

    Katy,

    Thanks for the update! I read your first post (2 years ago) and have a question:

    Did NAET work permanently on your son, or have his food allergies returned/worsened as well, as you say yours have?

    I’m on a gluten, dairy, egg, soy, corn and shellfish-free diet, and my 18-month old is too (but he also has asthma and needs an epi-pen for a severe allergy to chickpea.)

    I just contacted a local, certified NAET practitioner to schedule my first appointment–I will definitely update on how it goes. But I’m very curious on your son’s situation, since I’d like to try NAET for my son if it works well enough for me. Has his eczema returned? (My son also has eczema). Does he have any behavioral or ADD-type symptoms?

    Thanks for your time and for your great posts! I may give GAPS a try while I start my NAET treatments, but I’m hoping eventually I’ll be able to eat my current offenders, and won’t have to be on a restrictive diet — though I never plan to return to the Standard American diet.

    Audrey

    • says

      Audrey –

      Before I did GAPS, my son was consistently having a return of allergy — either by needing NAET “boosters” (treatments that are needed about 6 months after initial treatment) or by developing allergies to new things.

      I did not put my children on GAPS, but I did drastically modify their diet to a GAPS-inspired protocol. They still ate limited grains (we removed all processed crackers, etc), but I severely limited sugar (almost none) & greatly increased their intake of home-made probiotic ferments. They don’t really like fermented veggies, but love kombucha, yogurt, and smoothies made w/ dairy kefir (it’s very important that the dairy kefir is homemade, as storebought is not the same at all). They also take a double-dose of Garden of Life children’s probiotic each day, as well as 1.5-2.0 ml of fermented cod liver oil.

      After a year of this adjusted diet, my son has not developed a single new allergy. It’s been his healthiest year of life — the healthiest year for all three of my kids. This is the first spring that his eczema hasn’t returned in at least a small form — he didn’t have ADD symptoms, so I can’t speak directly to that.

      All in all, I do believe that healing a leaky or dysbiotic gut is imperative in avoiding future NAET treatments. But small changes help a great deal — the keys for us were: almost no sugar or dyes, very limited processed grains, daily intake of strong probiotics (homemade & supplements), and FCLO. I hope with NAET & some dietary changes, you and your son will see much improvement!

      (by the way — see if your NAET provider can muscle test you for how bad your gut imbalance may be. he or she might be able to help you determine how long to be on the diet.)

      • Audrey says

        Katy,

        Thank you so much for your response. I have my first appointment with my NAET practitioner this Thursday. I will update on how it goes.

        It’s absolutely time: my family was out of town over the weekend, avoiding all allergens as usual, yet my son woke up in the middle of the night with puffy eyes, itching all over, and was up for two-three hours. The following night I let him have some SunButter and his eyes, cheeks and lips became swollen and he started sticking out his tongue (which made us think it was also swelling) and we ended up going to the ER. Oh, and I had what seemed to be an allergy-induced migraine the entire weekend, despite the fact that I hadn’t eaten anything that I knew I was allergic to, which was fun…

        It all made me realize that it’s time that take action and address our allergies. Right now I feel so helpless and it’s all very scary and just plain hard. I’m willing to do anything, and NAET seems to be the next logical step.

        I’ve seen blogs of folks who’ve kept themselves or their kids in treatment for years and years and give them hundreds of treatments. Do you still do NAET treatments weekly for your son, and do you think that you will need to continue to do so for years to come?

        Lastly, were the “new allergies” that your son was developing at one point life-threatening? It must have been scary for your son to be able to eat something one day, and then to suddenly react to it.

        Thanks again for your response. I’m so fascinated by your experience–it gives me hope.

        Warmly,
        Audrey

        • says

          Audrey, we do not do weekly NAET treatments. Since we modified our diet, my and my kids’ gut flora is much more balanced and our gut linings are healed — so our bodies aren’t as quick to allow new foods to be offensive. We currently see our naturopath about once every 3 months or so, and usually it’s just one of us seeing her (and sometimes this is just for a sickness, not an allergy). My son has only had 1 NAET treatment in the past 9 months.

          The new allergies were never very dangerous — mostly, he would get a rash, or a cough that wouldn’t go away (skin and lung disorders are always connected, as they are on the same meridian in the body). He was also constantly battling yeast overgrowth, which made his immune system very weak. I cannot emphasize enough, the difference our GAPS-inspired diet has made on our health. I think that when people are getting weekly NAET treatments for years, they are not addressing the gut issue thoroughly enough.

          Hope all goes well — I think you’re definitely headed in the right direction!

          • says

            Thanks for the response Katy. I’ve just started logging my own experience with NAET. I’ve only had one treatment as yet, but I’ll tell you I felt great the first day and then kind of crappy off and on afterward (the treatment was for BBF)

            Maybe that means it’s doing something? Who knows—thanks again for your help and responses–your story has definitely been inspirational and encouraging for me. I’ll let others know how my story goes as well!

  6. Deb says

    Hi Katy, I have been on the GAPS diet since Jan 1. I have lost 17 pounds in the 17 days, but it isn’t a problem for me like it was for you. I could stand to lose a few more. I tried this week to introduce stage 2 foods, but my eczema broke out again, along with diarrhea. I do not have access to an NAET provider. My question is, is there some sort of support group somewhere on the internet? As you experienced, I am eating a lot of soup!!!! I am guessing that without something to speed along the process, I will be on step 2 for a while. My family is not doing this with me, which makes it even more difficult. I would just like to talk to someone else who is going through it, or has, for several weeks, like I am expecting to do.

  7. says

    I just wanted to comment on your site again because I promised I would update. I ended up discontinuing the NAET therapy simply because it was too hard for me to get to the practitioner. He’s in NYC and there’s absolutely no parking where he is (midtown) and, after trying it a few times, I realized it was too much and that I wouldn’t end up being consistent with the treatments because of the difficulty of getting there. I really liked my practitioner, but the wait in his waiting room was also too much, especially with my two and a half year old with me.

    So I decided to try this very new therapy called biophoton therapy. There is very, very little written about it on the internet, but I read about it in a magazine called What Doctor’s Don’t Tell You, and I immediately made an appointment. (The women I’m seeing is in NJ and much easier to get to.)

    Anyhow, I’ve only gone to three treatments, but after the h. pylori treatment I’ve been having a BM everyday, which is just incredible for me. I usually go every three-four days, sometimes less!

    I haven’t brought my son yet because I wanted to see how much success I had first. At my last treatment she treated me for some foods (cheese, yogurt, mayo, egg, chocolate, coffee beans, and a few others) but she told me to wait 72 hours before trying anything. She also said she may have to treat again–not sure why? Anyway, tomorrow at 12pm marks the 72 hour mark, so I’m going to try something–probably yogurt. The problem is, my allergies are all delayed and sort of hard to identify. With dairy, I often look really red and weird the next day, and my mood is affected. With egg, I’ll get headaches and my mood will be like terrible–like deep depression. It’s not like I get hives or anything. But, I’m going to tease it out and see!

    I’m updating my blog here: cravingfoodnormalcy.wordpress.com and will be posting about all my treatments and progress, as well as my son’s once we start him. I hope that your all doing well and continuing to feel healthy!

  8. nada hammouda says

    I was wondering about the GAPS diet: I understand it eliminates dairy products as well as most grains and starches. is it safe to go on a full GAPS diet while suffering from adrenal fatigue stage 3 ? would the lack of carbs compromise my adrenal health ? How can I avoid further adrebal stress while avoiding grains and dairy which happen to be an essential part of an adrenal fatigue diet but which I happen to be allergic to ?

  9. Melissa says

    I tried to do GAPS for many years but I am allergic to nuts (oxalate), broth, most veges, and fruit partly due to allergy and partly due to oxalate. SO, I was left with only meat and got very sick trying to do this. I have been doing NAET for 4 months now and have seen the most improvement with it. I have IC a very painful bladder condition, and everything I have treated with NAET has helped but I still react to many things, I have learned to do it at home with my husband and I find that helps with cost, and it does still work. My fear is that everything will come back because I am still not able to follow the GAPS protocol because of the high oxalate content. Any advice?

  10. says

    We have been doing NAET for 19 months.

    The only point I would disagree with is when you say food trumps NAET. I have found the opposite to be true, NAET is more powerful than a clean diet. For instance, I was sticking to a healing diet when I found out the chicken and chicken broth were the main causes of my symptoms. I am going to use NAET to remove the allergy so the body can truly heal and use the nutrients correctly instead of acting like an invader.

    What comes first leaky gut or allergies causing leaky gut? Everyone draws their own conclusion based on their experiences.

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