The concept of "tissue memory" is one of the more intriguing ideas encountered when learning neural therapy. That the body "remembers" the experience of pain is not hard to conceptualize, but remembering whole pathological processes with visible changes in the tissues is another matter.
The most dramatic example that I know of is Speransky's description of experiments in which infectious disease processes (such as tetanus or rabies) were triggered by irritating any part of the nervous system in animals that had recovered from an infectious disease many months before. This was in animals where no pathogen was any longer present! Another example is the Shwartzman‐Sanarelli phenomenon (mentioned in the Dosch textbook on page 185) in which tissue memory of local skin allergy could be triggered by injecting the appropriate allergen into a remote vein, but could be blocked by infiltration of procaine into the sensitized tissue.
Tissue memories can be "recalled" by irritating the nervous system virtually anywhere, as Speransky and his co-workers showed. In these experiments, a nerve was cut or a tooth was broken, and an irritating substance such as croton oil was applied to the nerve tissue. Alternatively, a biochemically inert glass sphere was surgically implanted into the brain. The result in either case was that the subthreshold tissue memory came to the surface and an old pathological process "replayed".
Practitioners of neural therapy recognize that tissue memories are neurological "programs" or "behaviors" that can be triggered by activation of interference fields. Treating interference fields abolishes or at least reduces the activity of the tissue memories to a sub-threshold level. However they can recur under certain circumstances. Sometimes it is some sort of irritation in the vicinity of the old interference field, e.g. sciatica triggered by hemmorhoids, trigeminal neuralgia by maxillary sinusitis, or gastritis by a spinal somatic dysfunction.
At other times, latent interference fields can be activated by systemic factors. It is not unusual for old ailments or pains to recur when the patient is physically or emotionally stressed or is dealing with a systemic infection. Neurotoxins, in particular, can increase cell membrane excitability to the point that latent interference fields again become active. A case is presented to illustrate this point:
A healthy 61 year old man presented with vasculitis of his distal toes of both feet. This was a recurrence of an episode he had experienced five years before. (See plates 2 and 3 of the book "Neural Therapy: Applied Neurophysiology and other Topics"). On the previous occasion, the vasculitis had been triggered by an interference field resulting from an abrasion of his left second toe. Neural therapy of the abrasion using a Tenscam device resulted in a cure after four treatments.
On this more recent episode, there was no history of injury to the toes or anywhere else in the body. (The patient was remarkably healthy and in fact played hockey regularly). However in the two weeks preceding the onset of his vasculitis, he had a repair and cleaning of his heavily amalgam-restored teeth as part of a regular dental checkup. Autonomic response testing indicated that mercury released from the amalgam was the systemic factor that activated the "tissue memory" of the vasculitis.
Mechanical disturbance of dental amalgam surfaces (as in chewing) has been demonstrated to release considerable mercury vapor. This can be clinically significant. It is not rare to see generalized arthralgia, pharyngitis, headaches and/or fatigue, often of many months duration, triggered by cleaning of dental amalgam. The patient is almost never aware of the relationship between the dental work and his or her symptoms.
This case was noteworthy because the physical findings were identical to those present when the vasculitis was triggered by an interference field from an abrasion. The lesson to be learned is that when a syndrome (or pain) recurs, the cause may be quite different from that which initiated the problem in the first place. And the cause may be systemic alteration in the patient's biochemistry.
Robert F. Kidd, MD, CM