When conveying ideas about neural therapy (or any other area of medicine), case histories can be very helpful. Short and concise histories work best. Irrelevant material is trimmed away to bring out certain teaching points.
As useful as they may be in teaching, straightforward cases are the exception in real life. Most of my patients present with a variety of complaints, complicated histories, and "background issues" i.e. underlying nutritional, toxic, immune, emotional, social or existential problems. Simple, one‐answer solutions are the exception.
Even when a simple solution seems within reach, the general condition of the patient will often decide otherwise. Response to treatment may be disappointing or temporary. Or other health problems will crop up.
This month I want to present a case which illustrates how complex decision-making can be in neural therapy. The experienced neural therapist will recognize this scenario immediately; the beginner will hopefully realize that complexity should not come as a surprise.
(My comments ‐ in red.) In August of last year, an alert 87 year old lady accompanied by her daughter, presented with severe right‐sided neck pain beginning a few weeks after a coronary artery stent procedure, 1½ years before. She was an insulin dependent diabetic and was taking oxycodone‐acetaminophen for pain, glyburide, nifedipine, fosinapril, pantoprazole and citalopram.
The neck pain was unaffected by posture or movement and examination revealed no significant somatic dysfunction in the neck or elsewhere. The history was highly suggestive of interference fields in either the heart or the catheterization scar at the right femoral artery, but autonomic response testing (ART) instead revealed (to my surprise) an interference field in the right third lumbar sympathetic ganglion. Neural therapy (using the Tenscam device) resulted in significant relief from the pain for three days.
On the next visit, autonomic response testing revealed no interference field in the lumbar region, but instead one in a surgical scar over the right ankle. Surgery had been performed for a fracture four years earlier (probably a contributor to the lumbar sympathetic ganglion interference field at the previous visit). This time neural therapy resulted in 10 days relief and considerable improvement in energy and well-being.
Unfortunately, from this point, the patient no longer responded to neural therapy even though interference fields were found in the right stellate ganglion, right femoral artery puncture site, right acromio-clavicular joint and other locations. Her pain was increasing and she was becoming increasingly depressed and discouraged. "Fading response" is often an indicator of cell membrane instability.
The patient's general health was therefore evaluated more carefully. Signs of dehydration, (cool hands and feet, lack of skin turgor), light‐headedness, alterations of serum electrolytes and BUN were detected. In December the patient was prescribed oral electrolytes and other nutritional support.
After this treatment, neural therapy of her lumbar sympathetic ganglion provided a few days relief and her analgesic requirements dropped by 50%.This response was encouraging, but with repeat neural therapy treatments, progress again stalled.
On the next visit, (in February) autonomic response testing indicated a need for vitamin B12. (The patient had reported that vitamin B12 injections had helped her energy in the past.) In February a course of daily vitamin B12 injections was undertaken. Again ‐ a good response to neural therapy with decreased pain and increased energy and sense of well‐being.
However B12 did not prove to be the answer. Responses to neural therapy again faded even though the patient was feeling overall better.
In April, the question of hydration was revisited and the blood chemistry was repeated. Almost no improvement was detected clinically or in the serum markers of hydration. Further questioning revealed that in the seniors' home where she lived, a "low salt policy" was in effect. No salt was added in cooking and the use of salt at the table was discouraged.
This time, the daughter bought her mother a large‐hole saltshaker and coarse‐grained whole sea salt. The electrolyte regimen was resumed and within weeks her pain level subsided significantly. And then repeat neural therapy treatments became effective.
Interference fields are more than just local disturbances of the body's electrophysiology. They may also reflect the body's general electrical and energetic health, i.e. they may act as "canaries in the coal mine". Although neural therapy may be effective in the short run, taking steps to improve the patient's general health may be necessary for lasting benefits.
Robert F. Kidd, MD, CM