Great Smokies Medical Center of Asheville

Archive for the ‘Neural Therapy and Injection Therapy’ Category

Infraspinatus Respiratory Reflex (IRR)

Monday, August 22nd, 2005

By John L. Wilson, Jr., M.D.

After noting that virtually 100% of his patients with asthma had exquisite tenderness when he palpated (applied pressure to) their infraspinatus muscle (a muscle which attaches to the shoulder blade or scapulae) and is located on the upper back near the shoulder), the curiosity of a physician from Louisiana, Harry Philibert, M.D., resulted in discovering a particularly significant tool in the treatment of asthma and other acute or chronic respiratory ailments. Dr. Philibert has since taught his technique to hundreds of physicians across the nation.

These early observations eventually resulted in determining that the infraspinatus muscle is the location of a special autonomic nerve center which is very significant in respiratory health. The autonomic nervous system regulates body functions that are not under our conscious control or on “auto-pilot”, such as breathing, heart rate, perspiration, dilation or constriction of blood vessels, etc.

Once this nerve center called the Infraspinatus Respiratory Reflex (IRR) becomes irritated, it can become a broadcasting station of sorts, sending distress signals to the paraspinal autonomic ganglia (those autonomic nerves that rundown our spine parallel to the spinal cord). When these signals are received, the result is tightness or spasm of the muscles that regulate air flow in our lungs, resulting in chest tightness, wheezing, coughing, difficulty breathing, etc. Many existing pharmaceutical drug therapies for asthma address the resulting constriction of airways, but stop short of addressing this underlying source of irritation of the autonomic nervous system in the IRR.

If a tender or irritated IRR can be associated with respiratory problems then, theoretically, reducing that irritation could ease the resulting respiratory symptoms. Reduction of IRR irritation is accomplished by the safe and simple injection of the IRR with Lidocaine, a local anesthetic commonly used by dentists and physicians. The duration of the local anesthetic is twenty minutes or so, yet the effects on the autonomic nervous system can last for many months, so the benefits are apparently more than just the pharmacological effect of the local anesthetic. The effect is as if the autonomic nervous system had been reset.

Clinical studies on the effects of IRR injections on a series of over 4,000 asthmatic patients over the course of many years, resulted in substantial improvement of symptoms in approximately 85% of asthmatic patients, in addition to improvement of commonly occurring associated shoulder pain. Approximately half of those patients reported themselves “cured” after a series of injections, stating that they didn’t have symptoms of asthma and didn’t require any medicine.

Although initial speculation was that cigarette smoke exposure resulted in irritation of the IRR, we now suspect that some metabolic conditions and other environmental incitants including chlorine and other chemicals, inhalant allergens including mold, food, food additives, etc. can also result in IRR irritation. It only makes sense to reduce exposure to any identified contributing factors.

Although some patients may experience significant benefit from a single IRR injection, a series of four to eight injections given over a period of many months is more typically administered to produce and/or maintain benefits. The injections are repeated while the infraspinatus muscle is sore upon palpation by the physician, and are stopped when tenderness to palpation is no longer present.

IRR injections are an important tool in the treatment of asthma and the other chronic or acute respiratory conditions including pneumonia, bronchitis, emphysema, chronic cough, as well as some cases of shoulder and neck pain. We have found the injections to be helpful to the majority of patients who have received them as part of a comprehensive treatment plan including environmental controls.

Neural Therapy

Monday, August 22nd, 2005

Too much stress and stimuli (including chemicals, radiation, pesticides, drugs, etc.) has overtaxed humans’ life preserving regulating mechanism–the autonomic nervous system. The autonomic nervous system is the vast network of the nervous system which is not subject to the will. The total length of its micro fibers is twelve times the circumference of the earth. The autonomic nervous system controls such activities as breathing, circulation, body temperature, cellular respiration and waste removal, activities of digestive glands, metabolism, hormonal formation and distribution, etc.

Neural therapy is a name given to a therapy by injection which effects the autonomic nervous system. It was discovered, as many valuable medical treatments are, by serendipity, by two German brothers, Drs. Huneke, in 1925. Neural therapy is a holistic treatment which can eliminate autonomic regulatory dysfunctions be reestablishing normal electrical conditions in nerves and the tissues supplied by them. Neural therapy can restore regulation through the injection of local anesthetics either on the skin superficially, creating a slight bubble or wheal on the skin, or occasionally injected deeper into other indicated tissues. It can be used to treat a wide variety of symptoms, including pain of most varieties, chronic headaches, neuralgia, rheumatism, sciatica, lumbago, inflammations of the joints, disorders of the middle ear such as partial deafness, eye disease, eczema, lower abdominal disorders, certain cardiac disorders, asthma, enlarged prostate, gastric disorders, and disorders of the liver and gallbladder.

The extremely fine endings of the autonomic nervous system fibers and blood vessels (capillaries) terminate in the fluid that surrounds every cell, and it is here where all vital functions in the body occur–cell respiration, energy balance, metabolism, temperature regulation, etc. Inflammatory conditions, injuries, bacterial infections, foreign bodies and scars can produce disturbances in this crucial regulating system. Every cell in the body is a tiny battery with a charge of 40-90 millivolts. One can think of an injured or affected cell as acting like a radio transmitter, transmitting false information to the body. This disturbance can also be likened to a burned out fuse in the basement which causes a malfunctioning light bulb, even though the light bulb itself is normal.

Such interference fields can place the entire human body under strain far beyond the immediate vicinity of the original disturbance. Hence a scar on one’s abdomen can be a cause of acute or chronic ankle pain or gallbladder dysfunction or poor equilibrium or virtually any symptom, depending on that individual’s inherited or acquired weaknesses. Studies have found differences in the two sides of the body resulting from such interference fields, reflected in differences in temperature, blood flow, electrical resistance of the skin and bio-electric potential. All of these parameters returned to normal after elimination of the interference field by skillful injection of procaine as taught by the Huneke brothers.

For example, a typical scenario of dysfunction can start with a simple back strain. The resulting pain produces muscle spasm, so blood flow is compromised to that area of the back. Waste products of those cells cannot be transported to the organs of elimination, so toxins build up, creating more one-sided swelling and pain, which can cause displacement on the vertebrae, eventually causing severe sciatica. Insomnia can result from the now chronic condition, and drug therapies for pain or inflammation can increase the work for the organs of detoxification which are already stressed. One can easily understand the vicious cycle of such a scenario. Neural therapy can intervene in this situation, effectively resetting the body’s autonomic nervous system to once again function properly and effect a cure.

Any cell in the body is capable of producing an energetic interference, as evidenced by the fact the ten individuals with the same clinical diagnosis will likely have ten different and unique focal disturbances causing their common maladies. So the skilled interview by a neural therapist of an observant patient can hasten the likelihood of successful neural therapy. A chronological review of events including tooth extractions, tonsillectomies, injuries, war wounds, sports injuries, any trauma, scars, fractures, pregnancies, chronic infections, any surgeries, puncture wounds, etc. can be invaluable to pinpoint the most likely causation of dysfunction. Neural therapy is safe and relatively free of side effects, but will only be effective when the proper focal disturbance is identified.

Some conditions cannot be expected to respond to neural therapy either at all or when a primary disturbance in the autonomic nervous system is not causative. These include: Mental illness, emotional disease, deficiency diseases, parasitic infestations, hereditary or genetic diseases, neurological diseases involving scarring such as Parkinson’s Disease and Multiple Sclerosis, and cancer (cancer cells become disconnected from the autonomic power grid and thus is not amenable to treatment by neural therapy, though treatment can be directed to removing the noxious stimuli which led to the autonomic nervous system dysfunction). Cortisone, tranquilizers and sleeping pills taken long term inhibit the body’s ability to respond to many therapies, including neural therapy.

Possible adverse effects of neural therapy should be mentioned, though they are not serious and temporary. Some local discomfort at the site of injection may be noted and is experienced differently by different people. Becoming dizzy (after any treatment involving needles) may occur and is temporary and harmless. The patient is advised to remain lying for a short time after a treatment, and assess their ability to drive before leaving the clinic and doing so. Inasmuch as cellular detoxification is enhanced when tissue function is restored, symptoms of toxicity (aching, headaches, fatigue, etc.) may occaionally be noted as cellular toxins are released into general circulation for eventual excretion from the body. Treatment of this temporary toxicity can be accomplished by treatments which facilitate detoxification including: Vitamin C, massage, mild exercise as tolerated, drinking adequate water, rest, and possibly a mild analgesic, though even over-the-counter analgesics further stress your liver’s detoxification burden. Some people are allergic to various “caine” drugs–local anesthetics–and often manifest in a local itchy skin rash. We find that many reported adverse reactions to “-caine” drugs are in fact reactions to the preservatives that are part of many of them. Patients should report a known sensitivity to novocaine, lidocaine, etc. to their physician and the selection of a different substance for neural therapy will be made in their situation.

The positive effects of neural therapy can be immediate or delayed. The patient is advised to report the duration of the effect of a neural therapy treatment to the physician on a return visit, and to report any change which has occurred in the interim. This will be most valuable in helping your physician help you. Of course, not every neural therapy session hits the bull’s eye on the first attempt, and the patient is well advised to have patience and persevere. Even a treatment which has failed to produce relief of symptoms is valuable to the physician, as a progressive search and elimination process may lead to the correct site of treatment. Rarely, one treatment will be all that is required; more often, a series of treatments will be necessary to restore normal function.

In summary, neural therapy is a safe treatment which, in a review of 25 practitioners treating 639 cases, resulted in 34% cures, 37% substantial improvements, 14% improvements, and 15% failures.

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