In the past five and half years, I think I 've done enough research on eczema and skin to write a thesis. I've gone the standard medical route. I've used Eucerin and Aquaphor. I've applied steroid cream. I've given her Zyrtec religiously from 15 months old. Nothing changed.
So, I looked into other options. We saw the chief of pediatric allergy at a local children's hospital. I kept food diaries. She was allergy tested three times. Nothing ever came back positive except for one slight allergy to dog. The allergist told me that the Zyrtec and cortisone would be a long-term treatment. In the meantime, I could take comfort in the fact that she might grow out of it and her case was really not as severe as I thought it was.
I went back home. Did more research. I joined discussion boards. I prayed. I looked into nutritional supplementation. I dumped the petroleum based creams and switched to olive oil based creams. I began using evening primrose oil to treat the itching. I gave her cod liver oil and flax seed oil daily in effort to provide her body with the "essential fatty acids" her skin needs.
I would see improvement, and then for no reason at all, the eczema would flare up again. That's where we are now. Five and a half years later and I have no more answers than when I first started.
One of the things that surprised me most about motherhood is how horrible it feels to not be able to help your hurting child. I am desperate for an answer. Which brings me to the latest and greatest that I've been looking into: NAET treatments.
NAET stands for Nambudripad's Allergy Elimination Techniques. Here's what the website says:
"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."
That's about as clear as mud, right?
The technique claims that through muscle testing and acupressure, you can identify allergies and then desensitize the body to the identified allergens so that they no longer cause problems. Ever.
I know, it sounds too good to be true.
NAET can be used to treat everything from depression to autism. The practitioner that I found claims she has almost "cleared" her daughter of autism. That's a pretty bold assertion. She says that it's taken a year and a half of treatments, but her daughter is now in a class with children her own age and reading above grade level. According to her, NAET is just beginning to get some "mainstream" press. Oprah is supposedly working on an episode that will feature NAET and Dr. Oz sometime in the coming year.
My husband (ever the practical, scientific type) thinks it sounds nuts. And I'll agree that I do tend to be somewhat of an "easy sell" when it comes to these things. But, on the other hand, when I step back and look at the "solutions" provided by modern medicine -- giving your child an antihistamine and steroid cream every day of her life from 15 months old -- that sounds pretty darn crazy, too.
Taking Jillian to these treatments will not be easy. The nearest practitioner is nearly two hours away and I have to take her twice a week to start. But, based on the research I've done, coupled with the first-hand experience of friends, I'm going to give it a shot. And, while I have no intention of turning this blog into a blog about allergy and eczema, I will post occasionally about our experience with the treatment in the hopes that it might help someone else out there looking for answers. Friday will be our first official treatment, during which Jillian will be cleared for egg. She will have to avoid egg, chicken, feathers and all egg derivatives for 25 hours following the treatment to ensure that the treatment "takes."
So, interpeeps -- what say you? Has anyone out there had any experience with NAET -- positive or negative? Do you think it sounds crazy? I 'd love to hear from you if you'd be so kind as to leave a comment.