Allergy Testing

What is Allergy Testing?

The term allergy was first used nearly a hundred years ago by Baron Clemens von Pirquet. He defined an allergy as being any altered response to the environment. In this context the environment means the food we eat, the water we drink, the air we breathe and anything to which we come in physical contact. To put it another way, an allergy is an overreaction, by the body, to an ordinarily harmless substance. These substances he termed allergens.

Nowadays we tend to talk about sensitivities and intolerances, but the same basic definition is a useful one; they all involve the body over-reacting in some way. Increasingly it is being found that there is no easy way to differentiate between allergies and intolerances both involve the immune system but in slightly different ways. Whilst intolerances, or delayed allergies, used to be thought by most doctors to be all in the mind, they are now increasingly recognised as causing many different health problems. Some 70% of the population are thought to have one or more food intolerances. Intolerance can cause, or be involved in, migraine and headaches, muscle and joint aches and pains, irritable bowel syndrome and more.

What is muscle testing?

Muscle testing is a safe and non-invasive method for evaluating food and environmental sensitivities. With the patient lying and fully clothed, small samples are placed over the patient's navel. If the patient is sensitive (ie allergic or intolerant) to the sample then their test muscle will go weak. There are other methods we use, but these are all based on muscle testing. Young children, infants, animals and debilitated patients can be tested via a surrogate (usually the mother as in the case of a baby, for instance).

What happens on my first visit?

At your first visit you will be asked about your symptoms, general health, lifestyle and medical history. Following muscle testing we will discuss which foods or chemicals seem to be causing you problems. A plan of action will be agreed, remedies or corrections prescribed if needed.

Will I be able to eat normally?

Whilst you may have heard stories of people being allergic to everything, this is, in fact, highly unusual. We find that most people only test weak to a small number of foods or chemicals. Only patients with very significant health problems tend to have extensive allergies. A varied diet encompassing all the different food groups is essential for good health and this is always the final goal. Quite often no allergies are found and these patients are delighted to be able to worry less about what they are eating! After a correction you should avoid that particular antigen as much as possible while the correction works through - this may take a day or several months.

Will I need to see my GP?

Most patients won't need to see their GP, but occasionally we might suggest it would be wise. If for example, you test weak for both wheat and another grain, such as oats, you could be tested to gluten sensitivity by your doctor (coeliac disease). If you are experiencing severe, new symptoms, you should see your GP first for a medical diagnosis.

We see most patients for between 1 and 4 sessions, depending on how complex their complaint is and how many sensitivities they have. Tess and Jamie use small phials of purified foods and chemicals for testing but there is no substitute for the real thing. If you suspect any given food or household substance please bring a small sample in with you for testing. Any food which you eat daily, or crave if you don't, is more likely to cause you a problem, so a sample of this would be good too, as would a small sample of tap water. David uses a different method he calls 'talking to the body' which accesses the body's innate knowledge without the need for samples.

Practitioners

Tess Rogers MInstAET MACH
Jamie Gisby BSc(Hons) MBAcC MInstAET
David Smyth MBAcC Founder of Reharmonising Allergy Testing recognised by MALLT MBCMA.

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Tess Rogers David Smyth Jamie Gisby
Tess Rogers David Smyth Jamie Gisby

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