This month I would like to continue my report on neural therapy in Latin America. I am using the term "Latin America" this time because I want to include Puerto Rico, which of course is not (geographically) a part of South America. I will explain what I mean by all this below, but first a couple of corrections of errors in my last newsletter.
The first correction is that the clinic "Los Robles" is the centre of neural therapy teaching in Columbia and is located in Popayan. (Some of you will have seen that name on a widely circulated dental ‐ acupuncture meridian chart.) Sintergetic medicine is taught in Medillin and Bogota, Columbia.
The second correction is the name of the city hosting the international conference on neural therapy this March. It is not Guayaquil, but Quito, Ecuador's capitol. Hopefully this has not spoiled anybody's plans to attend, because by the time you read this, the meeting will be over.
Now, back to the subject of Puerto Rico: At our recent "Neural therapy mid‐winter retreat" our special guest was Dr. Carlos Chiriboga of Guayaquil Ecuador. (He is a leader in neural therapy in South America and was mentioned in last month's newsletter). Dr. Chiriboga was a little insecure about his spoken English so he asked that his friend Dr. Osvaldo Font of Puerto Rico be invited to help him. I was only too happy to do that, as I had heard that Dr. Font's presentation on "electroneuromedular medicine" at a big conference in Baden‐Baden in 2008 had caused quite a stir.
Dr Font graciously agreed to come, to assist Dr. Chiriboga and also to give a "short presentation" on his own work. He did just that at the conference, and he did not disappoint!
Dr. Font's approach bears similarities to neural therapy, and might even be considered a variation of neural therapy. However procaine is not a primary part of treatment, nor are interference fields searched for in the usual ways. Where it resembles neural therapy is its effect of altering abnormal autonomic nervous system tone, particularly in the region of the spine.
Electroneuromedular medicine targets the spine, more specifically the dura mater. In cases of chronic pain or spinal cord injury, a long acupuncture needle is inserted into the spine until the tip touches the dura mater. The patient feels a sharp pain, often in an extremity, and the operator feels a powerful shock in his or her fingers through the needle from the dura itself. Dr. Font explained that dura mater carries a voltage of approximately 115 volts at a 60 Herz frequency, i.e. much like that in North American house wiring.
When contact is made, Dr. Font attaches a hand‐held pulse generator to the needle that "revs up" the frequency, i.e. increases it to a couple of hundred Herz. The patient feels pain in various parts of the body corresponding to the spinal tracts being stimulated.
The effect can be dramatic. In one of his films, a young woman presented with complete paraplegia resulting from a spinal tap seven years previously. Electroneuromedular treatment resulted in her being able to walk away from her wheelchair and progress to a complete cure.
I found this case particularly interesting, as it seems unlikely that direct trauma from a spinal tap could damage the spinal cord to such an extent. Clearly some sort of reactive vasospasm must have been the mechanism of injury. If this was true, bringing back normal sympathetic tone might have been enough to restore circulation and "re-awaken" sleeping nerve cells.
I have seen significant improvement in brain function after traumatic brain injury and cerebro-vascular accidents with neural therapy (e.g. the "crown of thorns" procedure) and by cranial osteopathy. Japanese scalp acupuncture has a reputation for efficacy in this area as well. The rationale is that around every brain injury is a "penumbra" of brain tissue that is still alive and that can be re‐awakened by improving cerebral circulation. Whether this is the mechanism or not, Dr. Font's electroneuromedular therapy stands in a class of its own in treatment of spinal injury.
Dr. Font told me that an inspiration for his work was Robert Becker, author of the classic book "Body Electric". Among Becker's many contributions to our knowledge of body electricity was the discovery that fracture non-union or delayed union could be cured by applying a specific electrical current across the fracture site. It strikes me that Dr. Font's treatment of spinal cord injury may operate in a similar way.
Of course this is speculation on my part and I would be interested in Dr. Font's or others' opinion of this interpretation. You can see film-clips related to his work using the search words "Osvaldo Font" onhttp://www.youtube.com/. Dr. Font is also hosting an international meeting "Primer Congreso de Medicina Integral y Anti‐Envejecimiento en el Caribe" in Puerto Rico from September 1st to 5th, 2010. English translation will be available at this meeting.
Robert F. Kidd, MD, CM