This book makes important contributions regarding the entire clinical process of identifying and eliminating the numerous miserable conditions associated with allergies. The book is refreshingly eclectic in content, in that the author, an acupuncture practitioner of long-standing, is working with both allergy testing (primarily IgG, for delayed response allergic reactions, or food intolerance) and Five Element Acupuncture.
Excellently illustrated throughout, Martin Healy explains the basics of the immune system, the types of allergic reactions, the two kinds of food allergies, the origins of bowel toxicity, with additional material about Candida albicans. He explains issues relating to babies and children, hormones and HRT, common conditions such as IBS and migraine, and delineates the various types of allergy tests, most particularly the IgG.
He discusses in detail dairy products and numerous groups of foods, with particular emphasis upon tips regarding the constituents of foods which are perceived to be common allergens, such as wheat, dairy products and eggs. He very correctly stresses throughout that since each individual's biochemical metabolism is unique, that what is perfectly healthy for one person may be tantamount to poison to the next.
Another extremely useful and graphic feature about this book is the extensive use of true case studies, highlighting incredible stories of suffering which were alleviated or eliminated when the individual's allergies were identified and eliminated. One poor man, 52 years old, had been sneezing 700 times each day for 35 years!! What is even worse is that he had done the trek from over 60 NHS doctors and ended up in hospital three different times, but all to no avail. The doctors couldn't identify any allergies (they only used skin tests), so this gentlemen was given steroids for over 20 years which gave him horrific side effects including osteoporosis, cramp and low mineral count. Finally, he visited an allergy clinic, where it was revealed that he was allergic to oats and egg yolk. He had been eating a bowl of muesli every morning, which was undoubtedly the source of this sneezing affliction.
The author is extremely lucid in discussing the various components within certain foods which are likely to aggravate symptoms in reactive individuals, particularly concerning dairy products, eggs and wheat.
He also explains in a cogent manner why stress probably lies at the source of many allergies, although of course there are biochemical, immune and neurological interactions within the body which exacerbate the condition. He describes how Five Element Acupuncture is more focused upon the emotional causative factors of disease, in contrast to Traditional Chinese Acupuncture which emphasizes more, the effects of the external causative factors of disease.
There are many practical aspects to this book, particularly regarding the process of allergy testing, the various gradings of reactivity, and how long one should avoid eating each class of reactive food.
My only slight criticism is in the style of referencing at the back of the book, which lists the same book numerous times throughout the reference list, rather than assigning it a single number and reference. This ought to have been corrected by the publishers.
I would certainly recommend this book to both allergy practitioners and sufferers.