Natural Allergy Treatment - Positive Association Technique (PAT)

Positive Association Technique (PAT) is a natural allergy treatment that aims to reduce the symptoms of allergies, sensitivities and intolerances.

PAT is the end result of over twenty years of development and involves a combination of naturopathic, kinesiology and acupressure techniques.

How does Positive Association Technique (PAT) work?

PAT is based on the premise that allergies and sensitivities can come about from the body forming a negative association with a food or environmental substance, through negative conditioning. Negative conditioning can happen when you're exposed to a food or environmental substance while going through some sort of negative event; i.e. a physical or emotional stress

In clinic, we often see clients that have developed their reactions "out of the blue" after a physical stress (e.g. an illness) or emotional stress, even if they have had no issues prior to the stressful event.

Other factors can also make someone more susceptible than others to developing allergies and sensitivities, such as:

  • leaky gut - where the lining of the gut becoming 'holey' allowing toxins to enter the bloodstream, which your body recognises as pathogens, leading to overall inflammation and possibly food reactions.
  • histamine intolerance - histamine one of the major chemical released during an allergic reaction, but when your body is unable to break histamine down properly, it can lead to excess histamine and increased inflammation.
  • stress and adrenaline - during stress, several hormones are released as part of the "fight or flight" response, including histamine (see histamine intolerance) and cortisol, which may reduce immune function and disrupt the balance of good bacteria in the gut and lead to leaky gut (see leaky gut).

This has also been shown in studies, such as the one done at the University of Newcastle by Gauci et al (1994) where participants, who were already allergic to dust mites, could be trained to have an allergic reaction to a flavoured drink when it was paired with exposure to dust mites, through the use of negative conditioning.

Positive Association Technique (PAT) aims to reverse your body's negative association with the substance, by using a positive conditioning effect.

PAT is a non-invasive holistic therapy, which:

  • draws on acupressure and kinesiology techniques
  • aims to re-train your body
  • may reduce your reactions to substances that may be causing or exacerbating your allergy-related symptoms, including food and environmental substances

We often see symptoms associated with allergy-related conditions such as: Eczema, Asthma, Hayfever, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Migraines, and Pet Allergies

What can I expect during a Positive Association Technique (PAT) consultation?

PAT is a natural allergy treatment performed by qualified and experienced Naturopaths, which may reduce your reactions to food and environmental substances.

The 45-60 minute Initial Consultation generally has 3 components:

1. Firstly, the practitioner will go through your individual symptom history to get a full picture of your reactions, look at any other possible underlying causes, as well as any pre-existing conditions that may be exacerbating your symptoms.

2. They will utilise a form of muscle response testing (or kinesiology) to find out which substances your body may be reacting to. This involves lying down on a treatment bed, and testing the strength of your triceps muscle in the back of your arm when holding onto samples of different food and environmental substances. As you hold onto each sample, the practitioner will ask you to press your whole arm into the treatment bed and they will meet your pressure. Whether the muscle stays strong (or "locked") or whether it weakens slightly (or "unlocks") may give an indication that your body reacts to that substance in the form of an allergy, intolerance or sensitivity.

3. Once we have a better idea of what may be causing your symptoms, we use a chiropractic tool called an 'AccuStim' to gently stimulate acupressure points that lie down either side of the spine, while you are holding onto a sample of the substance (e.g. dust mites). This stimulation aims to create a positive conditioning effect, while you are exposed to the substance, to help re-train the body to no longer have a negative reaction towards the substance.

Frequently asked Questions

How many sessions will I need? Most clients (80-85%) only need one session for each substance group (e.g. dust mites), so the number of sessions usually depends on how many substances are contributing to your symptoms. After the initial testing, your practitioner will give you an idea of how many sessions you may need, although the average across the board is 4-5 sessions.

What about follow-up sessions? Follow-up sessions take 15-20 minutes, where the practitioner checks to see that the last substance has "held" (using muscle testing), then performs PAT for the next substance.

How often do I need to come? Most clients decide to come weekly or fortnightly, but having sessions closer together or further apart will not have a negative effect. Although, we advise a maximum of 2 sessions per day, and 6 sessions per week.

Do I need a referral? As our practitioners are Naturopaths, no referral from your GP is needed.

The History of Positive Association Technique (PAT)

Positive Association Technique (PAT) was originally brought to Australia in 2003 by an Acupuncturist from America and practiced as Advanced Allergy Elimination (AAE), and later bought by an Australian family in 2005 (who opened in NZ in 2007).

The company underwent a name change in 2009 to Allergy Pathway, to better reflect the nature of the technique. It was then passed down, within the same Australian family, and began operating as Health & Wellness Australia & Auckland (HWA) in 2011, where we have now added other modalities such as Naturopathy and Acupuncture, along side PAT consultations.

Since 2003, PAT has been performed on more than 30,000 Australians and New Zealanders.

See if Positive Association Technique (PAT) can help you

Want to know if PAT is right for you? Get in touch!

Send our practitioners a question using our Ask a Practitioner service, and you'll get a call-back or reply straight to your email inbox.

Call our Head Office on 1300 853 023(Aust) / 09 479 5997(NZ) 9am-5pmEST Monday-Saturday

Request an E-PACK straight to your email inbox with more information about how we can help you with some of the most common allergy-related conditions and for more information about your local clinic

Book an appointment

Want to try Positive Association Technique (PAT)?

Book an appointment online with one of our experienced PAT practitioners in one our clinic locations - North Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth or Auckland.


Initial Consultation: $150 AUD / $135 NZD

Follow-up Consultations: $100 AUD / $90 NZD

Extended Consultations: $135 AUD / $110 NZD

All sessions can be claimed through Private Health Insurance, under Naturopathy.

We have HICAPS terminals in each of our clinics, so can process your claim on the spot (except HCF), and you will only be charged the gap amount. Please consult your individual health fund for the exact rebate amount you will receive, as it varies widely.

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