How an alternative treatment could offer relief
By Olivia Carter
Disclaimer: Always consult your doctor first before trying any new treatments or therapies.
For anyone who is tired of avoiding a food group or hibernating every spring, there may be relief found in the form of a small needle.
Deborah Farley, a licensed acupuncturist and Doctor of Oriental Medicine, says a specialized acupuncture treatment could be the answer to curing and treating allergies.
Acupuncture is the insertion of needles into the body that trigger chemical and electrical responses for healing purposes.
“We’re actually working with the body’s electrical system because you have an electromagnetic field where the acupuncture points are located,” Farley, who owns Acupuncture Works, LLC in Wyndhurst, said. “And when the needle hits that electromagnetic field, it creates an electrical response that stimulates all those chemical and electrical reactions for healing.”
Farley’s specialty is allergies, treating mainly for the alpha-gal allergy—an allergy to red meat brought on by a bite from the Lone Star tick.
The specialized procedure is called “Soliman Auricular Allergy Treatment,” or SAAT, and it isn’t taught in acupuncture schools or in China, Farley said.
The treatment uses the body’s electrical system to confirm that a client does indeed have alpha-gal or any other allergy. Not only can Farley use this procedure on people but also on cats and dogs. It’s the same treatment she uses on seasonal allergies as well.
“We use the body’s own electrical system to confirm the allergy, and then to help us confirm the location of where the needle is placed in the ear and then that needle is worn for three to five weeks,” she said.
After three to five weeks, Farley removes the needle and tests the client again to ensure the allergy has cleared.
“What we’re doing is we’re blocking the body’s signal to the allergen, and de-sensitizing the body to where it doesn’t respond to that allergen anymore,” she explained.
About a year ago Farley treated Rebecca Raybon, who struggled for 40 years with alpha-gal.
No doctor could figure out what caused her to wake up in the middle of the night covered in hives.
It would happen, and then maybe not happen again, for six months, she said.
“We did food diaries, etcetera, and could not narrow anything down,” she said. “I did allergy testing, but nothing was conclusive.”
A couple of years ago Raybon woke up with a swollen mouth and face and drove to the emergency room. The doctor suggested it might be alpha-gal and gave her an EpiPen to carry.
When Raybon decided to try acupuncture, Farley explained that the procedure wouldn’t necessarily get rid of the condition but would train her body not to respond to it when she ate red meat.
“I have had no hives or swelling since we did this last year, and I eat anything I like,” Raybon said. “I recommend her highly as a professional who makes sure you are educated on what she is doing and what to expect.”
Farley said she has treated more than 900 cases of alpha-gal and has seen a 100% success rate for those who have followed up with her.
“If they want to have mammal again they can. Many don’t but they don’t have to worry about cross-contamination anymore,” she said.
She has treated allergies for 20 years using regular acupuncture and has been able to help build up her clients’ immune systems again—but it would take 12 to 18 months with weekly treatments.
With SAAT she can do it in just three weeks.
“I had never heard of this technique until 2018, now I’m putting my entire practice into it,” Farley said. “It’s so much more effective, works better, and is cost-efficient.”