Leslie R Brody, Amy R Thieringer, Tiffany L Wang, Jennifer S Le-Bovidge, Wendy Elverson RD, Karol G Timmons and Lynda C Schneider
Objectives: To compare standard allergy management (SM) to a new integrative treatment for food allergies, Allergy Release Technique® (ART), for effects on skin prick testing wheal diameter (SPT), IgE levels (allergen specific (SIgE) and total IgE (TIgE)), quality of life (QoL), anxiety, calcium intake, and allergen ingestion. ART includes multiple components, including skin conductance assessments at acupuncture points, exposure to radio frequency pulses, food desensitization, cognitive behavioral techniques, and post-treatment exposure to food allergens. Three hundred and seventy-seven children have participated in ART over the past 12 years.
Methods: Allergies had been documented in 2007-2015 (time 1) for both ART and SM groups (N=10 each), matched for age (7-17 years), gender, and food allergy (peanut or cow’s milk). At study enrolment (time 2, 2016-2017), ART group had had weekly treatments (M treatment length=6.3 months). The SM group had been followed by a board-certified allergist for at least one year. An average of 4.56 years elapsed between time 1 and time 2 for both groups. At time 1 and 2, SPT, SIgE and TIgE were assessed; time 2 also included food challenges, food ingestion diaries, QoL and anxiety questionnaires.
Results: Wilcoxon signed-rank statistics revealed no significant differences between groups on any measures at time 1. At time 2, compared to the SM group, the ART group had lower SPT and self-reported impact of food allergy on QoL, higher allergen ingestion, and a greater decrease in SPT from time 1 to time 2 (p values <0.05; effect sizes, r=0.52-0.86).
Conclusion: ART is an integrative treatment resulting in smaller SPT, higher level of allergen ingestion, and lower impact of food allergies on QoL compared to SM. Results should be replicated using larger samples, a prospective design, disaggregating ART components, and comparing ART to oral immunotherapy.
Share this article