Summer Issue, 2012
Naturopathic Injection Therapies
Maybe you’ve had the experience of feeling overwhelmed at times by the diversity of treatments and therapies available to ND’s, and the results and successes they can bring to our clients. With so much training available, it’s important that we spend our time and resources on skills that bring meaningful results consistently to people who come to us for healing. I’d like to introduce you to two types of injection therapies that consistently, over time, have delivered healing and relief to some of the most intractable conditions that present to a physician: Neural Therapy and Neural Prolotherapy.
Neural Therapy is the use of local anesthetics to treat the autonomic nervous system. It was originally developed in Germany. It is a therapy in which the physician uses specialized injection techniques to reset and release interference fields in the body that are disrupting normal healthy function. The injections used in Neural Therapy have many effects and here are a few that are meaningful to us:
1. Removing obstacles to cure. Interference fields in the autonomic nervous system are obstacles to cure. Neural therapy treats interference fields that present as traumatized, devitalized, or scarred areas in the body. Scar injections are the best known injections in Neural Therapy. By injecting the scar, the obstacle (interference) is removed and healthy function can be restored. For example, a client came to me following an arthroscopic knee surgery for damage from a skiing accident. After surgery, he found he had the same knee pain he’d experienced prior to the surgery. The surgeon checked his work and decided that there were no complications from the surgery and the pain was unrelated to the surgical procedure. The patient could not live with the pain inside his knee, and came to me for help. I treated the arthroscopy scars with procaine and immediately the pain he felt from the accident was gone. After this one treatment the pain never returned.
2. Directing the uptake of medicine. Diseased or traumatized tissues often are the hardest areas to treat because, with accompanying decreased circulation, we have to increase the amount or strength of the medicine to get a therapeutic response. Neural Therapy injections over these areas are a powerful adjunct therapy because they increase circulation, open and drain the lymphatics, and decrease pain while directing medicine uptake. As ND’s we have used hydrotherapy for this purpose very successfully, but it is not always practical and doesn’t have all the effects of the procaine. The circulatory effects of Neural Therapy last about 24 hours and in some cases can permanently improve the circulation.
These are just two of many reasons why I use Neural Therapy in my practice.
Neural Prolotherapy (NPT)
This therapy is the work of John Lyftogt, MD from New Zealand. He developed this technique to help athletes who came to him for various acute and chronic pain conditions. Over many years he has advanced this therapy and now gives workshops all over the world, including Seattle. The treatment involves the injection of either 5% dextrose or 5% mannitol subcutaneously in patterns following the cutaneous nerves. I have been using this therapy for almost two years and it is one of the best pain and trauma treatments that I’ve come across.
In my experience Neural Prolotherapy routinely brings about off-the-charts results for healing and recovery of function. It also can be used as a great adjunct to chiropractic adjustments and other pain relief modalities.
For example, recently I had a patient fly in from California for treatment of chronic left sacroiliac pain she has had for 16 years. She has had 2 surgeries, many prolotherapy treatments, PRP, and adipose stem cell injections and was still in terrible pain and steadily increasing her narcotics to walk using crutches. Using the Neural Prolotherapy technique, I treated her low back, sacroiliac, anterior and lateral thigh areas with 5% mannitol solution. I then asked her to get off the treatment table. To her amazement she was able to walk back and forth in the therapy room, and then out into the waiting room and down the hall—without pain or crutches. She had not been able to do this (walked unassisted and without pain), for 16 years. She will need more treatments of Neural Prolotherapy to have sustained results, and I’ve referred her to a doctor in her area for more treatment with NPT.
In my experience Neural Prolotherapy routinely brings about these off-the-charts results for healing and recovery of function. It also can be used as a great adjunct to chiropractic adjustments and other pain relief modalities. NPT can be done with a specially formulated gel and ultrasound to help it penetrate to the cutaneous nerves.
It is my hope that Naturopathic Medicine can integrate these injection therapies and continue to offer healing and restoration of function to those who have not been able to find results elsewhere.