Dr. George Best
It has been my experience that the most common reason for allergy treatment by means of allergen desensitization to fail to bring about good results is heavy metal toxicity. This is true whether we are talking about allergy desensitization using conventional allergy shots, or through "energy-medicine" allergy desensitization techniques such as NAET and ASERT. In fact, over the eight years or so that I have been using ASERT (Allergy and Sensitivity Elimination and Reprogramming Technique) in my San Antonio office, EVERY patient who had been on a regimen of conventional allergy shots that did not work turned out to have one or more heavy metal toxicities.
It appears that heavy metals cause confusion in the body's immune system, and predispose the body to developing allergies. It has been my observation that those people who test positive for heavy metal toxicities also tend to have reactions to many more allergens than people who do not have heavy metal toxicities. By far the most common heavy metals that are problematic are mercury and lead, but cadmium, thallium, and a host of other metals can show up as well.
Mercury toxicity appears to most commonly be related to amalgam dental fillings, exposure to thimersol (a preserving agent used in vaccines and various liquid solutions used in medicine), and industrial mercury exposure. Although there has been much concern in recent years regarding mercury contamination of seafood, I have not found seafood consumption to be related to mercury toxicity in my patients. Most people probably do not consume enough mercury contaminated seafood for it to create toxicity issues.
Probably the most common source of mercury toxicity by far is amalgam dental fillings, but I typically do NOT recommend replacing amalgam fillings unless there is evidence of major leakage of mercury from the fillings because the removal process can release large amounts of mercury into the bloodstream, which can create a far bigger health risk than simply leaving the amalgam fillings in place and simply undergoing a periodic mercury de-tox regimen.
Lead toxicity is most commonly seen in people who were exposed to lead-based paint (and possibly ingested lead paint flakes during childhood). Other sources of lead toxicity include occupational exposure, such as in electricians who use their teeth to strip insulation (which often contains lead) from electrical wiring. Another occupational source of lead exposure is seen in military personnel and police officers who, during training, handled large amounts of lead slugs (I have heard that a common "punishment" in such training is for recruits to have to go gather up lead slugs from the firing range to collect a pre-determined large amount of lead).
Regardless of the type of heavy metal toxicity, there are various ways to test for it, as well as various ways to treat it. Testing can be done by conventional blood and tissue tox-screens, by hair analysis, and by muscle reflex testing ("applied kinesiology"). Of the three, I prefer muscle reflex testing even though it is a bit esoteric, because it is simple to do, inexpensive, and if there are multiple heavy metals present it tells me which metal is causing the biggest problem (allowing me to prioritize treatment).
Conventional treatment for heavy metal toxicity is typically done by means of chelation therapy. Chelation therapy uses various substances injected into the bloodstream to bind the heavy metals so they can be eliminated from the body. Similarly, chlorella (a type of algae) and/or cilantro extract can be used to bind heavy metals making them easier to eliminate from the body. Another method, that is still somewhat controversial even among "alternative" practitioners is the use of special foot baths that utilize a very low-level electrical current to draw out heavy metals and other toxins through the skin of the feet.
Finally, the method I prefer is to use metal-specific homeopathic remedies to assist the body in eliminating specific heavy metals. If a patient presents with multiple toxicities, I will usually begin with the chlorella and cilantro approach to start the process and then eventually use homoepathics to eliminate the specific metals. The homeopathic de-tox approach usually takes 2 to 4 weeks to sufficiently reduce the toxicity so that allergy desensitization can be effective.
Once the patient has de-toxed the heavy metal sufficiently, allergy desensitization can be performed effectively. If using conventional allergy shots, the desensitization will take place over a period of months to a few years. If using "energy medicine" techniques, it has been my experience that most people can have the majority of their allergic sensitivities eliminated within a few weeks. For this reason, I of course favor the "energy medicine" techniques, but these methods are quite strange to most people. Many people simply cannot believe that these strange methods of treatment work, so they will stick with conventional allergy treatment, which is quite effective in the long-run once any interfering heavy metal toxicities have been handled.