You may have noticed that I complain from time to time about
the lack of English-language literature
on neural therapy. Our inveterate
correspondent Rainer Kumm, (a German-trained physician practicing in the UK) regularly
reminds me of this by referring me to German and Spanish literature. I am not sure who is the more frustrated by
my lack of knowledge of those languages.
As I explained in the introduction to my book Neural Therapy: Applied neurophysiology and
other topics http://www.rfkidd.com/booksite/, my solution to this dilemma has been to go to
first principles of science and to build from there. Basic science has been the resource for most
of my medical thinking in this area, but even here there are limitations. Not
all the important science in the world is published in English!
This is especially true in the realm of biophysics. It seems that German and Russian scientists
have published a great deal in their own languages. Whether this is due to a lack of interest in
the subject in the English speaking world, difficulty finding good translators,
or simply choosing to write for the largest existing audience, it is hard to
About 25 years ago a monograph summarizing many years of
work by a group of Austrian researchers was translated into English. The title of the book was "The Extracellular Matrix and Ground
Regulation". The subject matter was
the anatomy and physiology of the extracellular space. The book's author was Alfred Pischinger.
This marvelous little book was important for two reasons:
(1) It was a systematic study of a neglected subject - the "matrix" or
extracellular space. (2) It was a window (through the language barrier) into
the German-speaking world of science and medicine.
This book has been one of my most treasured possessions for
over 20 years. I have gone back to it
often and you will notice many references to it in my book on neural
therapy. You can imagine my excitement
at the news that a translation of the (new) German 10th edition is
Alfred Pischinger passed away in 1982 so this edition is
edited by a colleague, Hartmut Heine; - at least that is what is stated on the
cover. However examination of the
contents shows three editors, one for each of its three sections. The first section is by Heine and covers the structure and function of the
extracellular space. The second (by
Bergsmann) covers regulatory control of
the "ground system" found in this space.
The third (by Perger) is about
"therapeutic consequences" of matrix regulation research.
Information about neural therapy (and acupuncture) is
scattered throughout the book. In the
first section, the structure and function of proteoglycans and structural glycoproteins is covered in a general
way. It is fascinating to read how the
bottle-brush structure of proteoglycan molecules interplay with crystalline
water. And how the glycocalyx (the sugar surface of cells and other intercellular
components) transmits information through the extracellular space and through
the cell membranes. All these molecules
are negatively charged and electrically very active. The proteoglycans in particular, have piezo-electric
properties, respond to mechanical as well electrical forces, and act as a
sieve, permitting or preventing the passage of large protein molecules
according to circumstances. The clinical
recognition of the importance of adequate hydration makes more sense when the
physiology of this space is understood.
In addition, the matrix's electrical properties support the idea that
information can be spread rapidly throughout the body independently of the
The second section includes a brief tutorial on cybernetics, i.e. feedback loops and
regulatory principles. Neural therapy
has sometimes been referred to as "regulation therapy" and this part explains
why. It is especially useful in explaining the limits of neural therapy and
why it often does not work when the ground system (and the autonomic nervous system) is "blocked". The anatomy and physiology of acupuncture
points is covered. Acupuncture points
are described as "windows" into the extracellular matrix. Palpation of these points is recommended as a
method of evaluating the condition of the underlying extracellular tissue.
The third section describes the famous "puncture phenomenon" discovered by Pischinger in the 1970s. Skin puncture was shown to provoke changes in
venous pH, oxygen saturation, electrolytes, cholesterol, leukocytes,
etc., lasting up to five days, especially on the ipsilateral side of the
body. Because these changes are
measurable on the venous side only, a disturbance in matrix regulation is the
obvious cause. Iodometry, a technique
of measuring iodine consumption of the blood and thus the concentration of
oxidants (such as free radicals) was developed to assess the reactivity of the
ground system. This method has been used
to demonstrate that the outcome of all treatments, from neural therapy to
surgery and chemotherapy, is affected by the pre-existing state of the matrix.
I was intrigued to find that the state of the gut has been recognized to have a major effect on the
body's ability to regulate. There
was an inkling of this idea in the last edition, but considerable new research is
presented to flesh this concept out.
The organization of this edition is improved over the last
one. The writing and translation are
better in the first two sections, but strangely, not in the last. It would have been helpful had trade names of
some medications and German diagnostic procedures and protocols been explained
for English speaking readers.
This book is nevertheless a treasure - highly recommended for all physicians, and especially those interested
in neural therapy.
For newcomers to this newsletter (and old-timers, too) an
archive of previous newsletters may be of interest to you at: http://www.neuraltherapybook.com/newsletters/