For as long as I could remember, I had suffered from digestive problems. Even as a five-year-old, I was habitually constipated, bloated, tired, and depressed, especially at the end of a day. No matter what I ate or when, how or with whom, I would end up feeling as if I were three months pregnant. As a result, I avoided jeans or any pants with buttons, and I always wore loose clothing with an elastic waist. Both my father and grandmother complained of digestive problems, so I assumed this was an inherited condition that I would have to live with for the rest of my life.
In the seventies I began to study and practice complementary healing modalities, especially massage and polarity therapy. I went on to study homeopathy and nutrition with various doctors, including Dr. Bernard Jensen, a well-known nutritionist and chiropractor. Dr. Jensen emphasizes eating whole foods instead of refined foods, and consuming a good amount of raw fruits and vegetables. This kind of diet aids in healthy bowel performance, which he considers fundamental for overall optimal health and longevity.
My work with Dr. Jensen convinced me that my digestive problems were not irreversible, and I became determined to find a solution. I studied every book about natural healing available, and tried almost every vitamin and supplement. I also began treatments with a homeopath named Dr. Bill Gray.* I was so impressed with Dr. Gray's work and the improvements that I saw in my own health that I began to study with him.
Meanwhile, I continued to experiment with nutritional cures through special diets and extensive fasting. I remember doing a thirty-day fast in which I could eat only grapes. I felt great while I was on it but, to my disappointment, as soon as I started eating a regular diet again, I was tormented with the same old symptoms. At times I despaired of ever finding the answer I was seeking.
After years of studying nutrition on my own and feeling that this was one of the keys to my problems, I decided that I wanted to work toward a medical degree in a program that had a strong emphasis on nutrition. My twin brother, Ira, had gone into conventional medicine, and I considered doing the same, but I was disappointed to discover that there was very little training in nutrition offered in the medical school curriculum. Chiropractic, on the other hand, offered extensive nutritional training and a more natural approach to medicine in general. Rather than just treating the symptoms of an illness and controlling the body's functions through drugs, this approach is dedicated to the prevention of disease and the use of natural techniques to enable the body to heal itself. I enrolled in chiropractic school in 1972.
During my first year there, probably because of the stress of the studying I had to do, my symptoms worsened. Everything I ate aggravated my digestion, and I became severely constipated and bloated. At the chiropractic clinic affiliated with the school, I had X rays, barium studies, and various blood tests done. Once again I did a grape fast, this time for almost three months. Whenever I fasted, my symptoms seemed to improve slightly, but I would relapse into my old allergy patterns as soon as I began to eat regular foods. I tried different chiropractic treatments, more homeopathy, and other new diets. Nothing seemed to help.
After graduating from chiropractic school and practicing for a number of years, I decided to enroll in a three-year postgraduate chiropractic and orthopedics training program. This program changed my life, my health, and my professional practice forever by introducing me to enzyme therapy.
Enzymes are complex proteins in the body that cause chemical changes in other substances without undergoing changes themselves. Enzymes are the labor force that keeps us alive. They are essential to more than 150,000 biochemical reactions, particularly those involving food digestion and the delivery of nutrients to the body. All living organisms depend on enzymes. In essence, life is not possible without them.
Enzymes can be divided into three major categories: metabolic enzymes, digestive enzymes, and the enzymes found in the foods we eat. Metabolic enzymes are made by the human body and are responsible for running its many functions, including breathing, moving, thinking, and the intricacies of the body's immune defense system. Digestive enzymes are secreted by the mouth (in the saliva), stomach, pancreas, and small intestine. These enzymes are vital for the proper digestion of all foods. Food enzymes are found in raw fruits and vegetables and work in the mouth and stomach, where they predigest foods. This means that, if we are ingesting the proper food enzymes, much of our digestion will take place even before our food enters the small intestine, although food enzymes continue their work there as well.
Simply stated, all the different types of meat that we eat and each raw fruit and vegetable contain enzymes that will help us to digest the food in which they are contained. The problem with the modern diet is that these enzymes are destroyed during cooking, canning, and other forms of food processing. Even if we get enough enzymes, we cannot utilize them when we do not chew our food well, a minimum of thirty times. As an experiment, I had my daughter, Gabrielle, try chewing each mouthful of food thirty times at dinner. She ate three bites of food in the same amount of time that she would normally take to finish her meal. This taught me that we practically inhale our food instead of eating it. Our fast-paced lifestyles have destroyed this luxury?which is really a necessity. I am not optimistic enough to believe that everyone who reads this book will go out and chew their food thirty times, but we could improve our digestion 100 percent just by eating more slowly, chewing our food a few more times, and using a digestive enzyme with meals to accelerate the digestion of the food. This would be a significant health gain.
I also feel that the proper chewing of food is the answer to weight loss. Because we are essentially eating enzyme-deficient meals, food particles are not adequately predigested. This causes our digestive system to overcompensate, leading to inefficient use of foods and more fat storage. Improper digestion also contributes to toxicity, disease, food allergies, and the nearly universal epidemic of fatigue and depression.
Enzymes were the right and natural cure for me. Two weeks after beginning enzyme therapy, the bloating and constipation I had experienced my whole life disappeared and have never returned. In fact, enzyme treatment has been extremely successful in eliminating some of my food allergy problems.
As the years passed, however, my remaining food allergies and sensitivities lingered, causing me prolonged discomfort and manifesting as fatigue, irritability, cravings, and depression. I noticed that my patients who were taking enzymes experienced the same scenario. It seemed that enzymes were only the initial step in their healing, not the complete answer. So my search to find other methods that would work with enzyme therapy and completely eliminate all food problems continued.
As time went on I discovered various healing methodologies that each provided me with a piece to the puzzle. Studying acupuncture enlightened me about the function of the meridians, or energy pathways. Acu- puncturists believe that all disease or pain is the result of imbalances in the energy flow along the meridians in the body. When needles are inserted into certain points along these pathways, the blockages are removed, resulting in harmonious balance, order, and restoration of the free flow of the life force, or chi.
Other tools that I acquired were applied kinesiology (muscle testing); chiropractic reflex work, which involves stimulating various areas on the spine that correspond to various organs for positive effects on these organs; polarity therapy, a massage technique; electroacupuncture diagnosis, which uses computerized instruments to test energy blockages of the acupuncture meridians; and food and environmental sensitivity testing. I began to incorporate all these various tools with enzyme therapy and my chiropractic experience, eventually coming up with the BioSETTM system in 1995.
Prior to the development of BioSETTM, no completely effective treatment for food allergies existed. Thus this method represents a Promethean breakthrough in the field of allergy medicine. Not only does BioSETTM offer an exceptionally productive protocol for the treatment of food allergies, it can be used to treat immune disorders, asthma, headaches, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and women's disorders. The success of BioSETTM in my daily practice over the years has led me to teach this system to other health practitioners, including chiropractors, dentists, acupuncturists, and Western-style medical doctors. Today BioSETTM is used by over a thousand practitioners throughout the world, all of whom are experiencing excellent results in desensitizing people to every kind of allergen, including food and food additives, pollens, grasses, weeds, fungi, fabrics, and chemicals.What Is the BioSETTM Allergy Elimination Technique? The Diagnostic and Therapeutic Fundamentals
Clinical studies of the BioSETTM allergy elimination technique have proven it to be the most effective, easiest, and fastest treatment for the elimination of allergies. To understand how BioSETTM works, it is useful to think of the body as an organism through which electromagnetic energy flows along invisible pathways. According to Chinese medicine, this electromagnetic energy in our bodies, which it calls chi, manifests as lines of force that run near the body's surface, then pass into our internal organs. These lines of force are called meridians. The amount of energy conducted through our acupuncture meridians can be measured and recorded. This is done either through muscle testing or with an electrical device that measures the electrical properties of the body's meridians and indicates whether they are balanced, stressed, weakened, or blocked. Acupuncturists employ a variety of techniques to eliminate imbalances or blockages in the natural flow of energy through the body. BioSETTM uses tools drawn from acupuncture, chiropractic, and kinesiology to locate and remove blockages in electromagnetic pathways that are specifically related to allergens.Why Allergic Reactions Take Place
When an allergen enters the body, there is a clash between the energy field of the allergen and the energy field of the allergy sufferer. This sets off a chain reaction in the body. First the brain makes a concerted effort to protect the body from a substance it perceives as harmful by identifying the allergen and alerting the immune system. The immune system responds by sending out antibodies that aid in the destruction of the substance, blocking the allergen from damaging the system. Technically, this occurrence is called an antigen-antibody bond, and it is the immune system's defense against foreign agents.
When any substance perceived as a foreign agent enters the body, whether it is ingested, inhaled, touched, or injected, the body defends itself with white blood cells such as T cells, B cells, and antibodies. These antibodies link up very specifically with an antigen to help destroy the enemy. This type of immune reaction causes the release of substances such as histamines from the cells into the bloodstream. These substances are called immune mediators and are part of the process of tissue inflammation in the body, which is what commonly creates those swollen, red eyes we see in allergy sufferers. These immune responses may also cause blockages in the body's electromagnetic energy pathways. So the body's reaction to allergens can produce any number of symptoms, from constricted sinuses, throat, or breathing passages, to vomiting, diarrhea, or watery eyes.
The operation of the body's immune system is complex. We still do not fully understand how a substance triggers, regulates, or stops an immune response. Nor do we really understand why some individuals are allergic to cashews and others to shrimp or shellfish. Genetics plays a role in this, as do stress, poor digestion, environmental toxicity, and poor nutrition. I have named this the load phenomenon, based on the idea that we can go for years without being allergic to something. Then one day, when our emotional and physical stresses increase to a certain point, we suddenly have a big enough load to tip the balance within our body. Common physical stresses include menopausal changes and poor dietary habits.
Whenever energy blockages occur in the body, health problems inevitably result. The symptoms produced by such blockages include bodily aches and pains, sore throats, fever, chills, painful lymph nodes, weakness, extreme fatigue, headaches, sleep disturbances, irritability, confusion, depression, forgetfulness, burning sensations in the body, frequent urination, crying spells, sores in the mouth, indigestion, bloating, water retention, and even suicidal behavior and death. But virtually any symptom can be the result of a blockage caused by an allergen.
Symptoms vary depending on the meridian along which the energy blockage occurs. For instance, if the energy flow is blocked in the meridian that leads to the lung and large intestine, a person might suffer from severe respiratory distress, asthma, chills, sinus problems, constipation, or diarrhea. If the blockage is in the kidney meridian, the person may suffer from water retention or frequent urination. A blockage in the energy flow of the gallbladder meridian may produce pain and swelling in the breast, pain in the rib and chest muscles, abdominal cramping, heavy menstrual bleeding, severe mood swings, aggressive behavior, or anger. Energy blockages in the heart meridians can cause heart palpitations, cardiac arrhythmia, insomnia, dry mouth, heavy sensations in the chest, night sweats, fatigue, and insecurity.
BioSETTM practitioners use chiropractic spinal techniques to stimulate the acupuncture points connected to each meridian. If a blockage affects a certain meridian, the practitioner stimulates the acupuncture point along the spine connected to that meridian. For example, a wheat allergy causes a blockage in the lung meridian and can result in breathing difficulties. To treat a wheat allergy, a BioSETTM practitioner stimulates the acupuncture points along the spine that are related to the lungs while the patient holds the particular allergen, in this case wheat. Soon after the treatment is completed, the person will no longer be sensitive to wheat.
At present, it is still not known exactly why this procedure is so effective. After years as a BioSETTM practitioner, I have developed my own theories. I believe that by stimulating those areas where the allergic reaction originates, while the person is holding the allergen, the practitioner can eliminate the body's electromagnetic repulsion to that allergen. In place of the allergic reaction, a chemical or enzymatic change may occur in the body that neutralizes the immune mediators and interrupts the antigen-antibody reaction. This clears the energy blockage from the area involved, in this case the lungs, which then sends a message to the brain that the wheat allergy has been desensitized. Thus the body no longer identifies wheat as an allergen, and energy blockages no longer occur when the patient eats wheat. Through the BioSETTM technique, the body's allergy complexes are literally reprogrammed, one substance at a time.
Excerpted from The Food Allergy Cure by Ellen Cutler, M.D.. Copyright © 2001 by Ellen W. Cutler, D.C.. Excerpted by permission of Harmony, a division of Random House LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.