My first allergy test came around age six. It was the traditional “scratch test” and I only remember a very long afternoon of testing, which culminated in another of my thumping, nauseating migraines (probably triggered by anxiety) and my allergist shaking his head in disbelief at my results (severely allergic to everything but oranges, dogs and pork) and sending my parents on their way with not much more than their sympathy and a “good luck” pat on the back. At that time, we hadn’t heard about the Pulse Test – Arthur F. Coca, M.D.’s, simple at-home protocol first introduced in the 1950s that supposedly sheds light on allergies by monitoring changes in one’s pulse.
I became familiar with the Pulse Test a few years ago, while doing some desperate, late-night Internet searches after another bout of food allergy hell that kept me awake with stabbing abdominal pain, hives and the like. I must admit, when I first stumbled across the Pulse Test, I was a little more than dubious. Up until then, my only mode of food allergy and sensitivity testing was through the traditional scratch test and blood tests. My curious nature got the best of me, though, and I decided to buy Dr. Coca’s book and give Pulse Test a try. A simple test I could do from the comfort of my own home – at no cost – and by simply counting and logging results sounded pretty good to me.
Here’s the basis of the Pulse Test, in a nutshell: Dr. Coca, whose wife had severe allergies to certain medications and chemicals, noticed that when an allergen (food, chemical, etc.) is introduced to the body, the pulse tends to quicken, often quite rapidly. He wrote that the pulse can be an indicator of ill health and that if people wanting to boost their health and wellness could do so easily by taking their pulse, before, during and after exposure to possible allergens. All they needed to do was find their deep arterial pulse and count.
How to test
Here’s a summary of what’s involved