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Neural Therapy

Neural Therapy

Neural therapy is a therapeutic method that was first used in Germany in the 1920s. It slowly evolved as conventional medical knowledge expanded and concepts of Chinese Acupuncture became known. Presently it included techniques from conventional medicine such as nerve blocks, paravertebral blocks and ganglion blocks using procaine (a short acting local anesthetic). Techniques unique to neural therapy such as segmental stimulation and scar injection are incorporated in the therapy when appropriate. It also includes stimulation of acupuncture points with procaine and homeopathic medications.

Neural therapy treats the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS). The ANS is the component of the nervous system that regulates function of the body in the background. It is referred to by other terms including the vegetative nervous system and the unconscious nervous system. There is good scientific evidence that every single cell in the body is indirectly in constant communication with every other healthy cell. Cells and tissues that are in an altered state of electrical charge (improper polarization) form a gap in the intercellular communication network. Neural therapy attempts to normalize cellular and tissue function using procaine and homeopathic medications.

The ANS regulates the activity of every system of the body. In the nervous system it regulates states of arousal, sleep wake cycles, awareness of chronic pain, emotional states and neuroendocrine function. In the respiratory tract the ANS regulates the amount of mucous secretion by the nose and sinuses, the respiratory rate and airway function. Cardiac activities such as heart rate, rhythm control strength of cardiac contraction and tone of the blood vessel walls (blood pressure control), are under ANS control. Digestive activities such as appetite control, gastric acid secretion, digestion and assimilation, and gut motility are also under ANS control. The CNS regulates sexual function, urinary function and bladder control. In addition to affecting organ function the ANS monitors and regulates the activity of tissues within the organ such as the local acid base balance.

The ANS connects the cells of the body via segments from the brain and spinal cord that are localized as ganglia. These are groupings of nerves that act as primitive brains (centers of information control) to the segments of the body they relate to. All segmental nerves and the corresponding autonomic ganglia supply a closely circumscribed, compact zone, which comprises skin and subcutaneous tissue, connective tissue, blood vessels, muscles, bones and internal organs.

Therapeutic stimulation of any part of a segmental system will affect all the components of the system. This is why stimulating the vertebral bodies that are related to an area of disc herniation (as in a paravertebral block), will have a therapeutic effect resulting in pain relief and tissue healing. It is why stimulating the vagus nerve ganglion or the skin over the area of the abdomen is therapeutic for people with problems related to the gastrointestinal system.

Another important consideration in successful neural therapy is to look for and treat interference fields. Irritating stimuli to the entire system may arise from an area distal to the segmental area that is the location of person’s symptoms. This phenomenon can account for about one third of resistant problems. Common interference sources include scars from prior surgeries or injuries, prior head trauma, chronic sinusitis, old tonsillitis, prior lung infections and dental problems. It is therefore possible to help improve the symptoms of a person with low back pain by treating a scar on the abdomen or by treating the residual inflammation in the appendix segment (even after the appendix has been removed).

I have used neural therapy to treat a variety of problems. It is not a cure for chronic illness but often results in a substantial improvement in symptom severity. I find that 75% of my patients experience a 50% improvement in their problems after 5-6 sessions. I generally space the sessions at weekly intervals. Once improvement is achieved the time interval between sessions is gradually increased. The sessions are discontinued if there is no further improvement and or maximum benefit is achieved.

Conditions that may benefit from neural therapy:

  • Chronic pain from arthritis or injury: I have had good results with spinal pain as well has pain of the joints including the joints of the upper and lower extremities.
  • Headache: I have successfully treated migraine headache as well as tension headache
  • Respiratory problems: chronic sinusitis, asthma, chronic bronchitis, emphysema
  • Cardiovascular problems: congestive heart failure, angina, high blood pressure
  • Gastrointestinal problems: Irritable bowel syndrome, gastroesophageal reflux disease, abdominal pain due to gall stones, ulcers, pancreatitis
  • Genitourinary problems: problems related to the prostate, chronic cystitis, chronic pelvic pain

Neural therapy is not a substitute for appropriate conventional medical therapy.

In general, the sessions are covered by insurance. When insurance does not pay for neural therapy there is a flat fee of $75.00 per visit.

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