This month I would like to continue my report on neural
therapy in Latin America. I am using the term
"Latin America" this time because I want to include Puerto Rico, which of
course is not (geographically) a part of South America. I will explain what I mean by all this below,
but first a couple of corrections of errors in my last newsletter.
The first correction is that the clinic "Los Robles" is the
centre of neural therapy teaching in
Columbia and is located in Popayan. (Some of you will have seen that name on a
widely circulated dental - acupuncture meridian chart.) Sintergetic medicine is taught in Medillin
and Bogota, Columbia.
The second correction is the name of the city hosting the
international conference on neural therapy this March. It is not Guayaquil,
but Quito, Ecuador's capitol. Hopefully this has not spoiled anybody's
plans to attend, because by the time you read this, the meeting will be over.
Now, back to the subject of Puerto Rico: At our recent "Neural therapy mid-winter
retreat" our special guest was Dr. Carlos Chiriboga of Guayaquil
(He is a leader in neural therapy in South America
and was mentioned in last month's newsletter).
Dr. Chiriboga was a little insecure about his spoken English so he asked
that his friend Dr. Osvaldo Font of Puerto Rico be invited to help him. I was only too happy to do that, as I had
heard that Dr. Font's presentation on "electroneuromedular medicine" at a big
conference in Baden-Baden
in 2008 had caused quite a stir.
Dr Font graciously agreed to come, to assist Dr. Chiriboga
and also to give a "short presentation" on his own work. He did just that at the conference, and he did not disappoint!
Dr. Font's approach bears similarities to neural therapy,
and might even be considered a variation of neural therapy. However procaine is
not a primary part of treatment, nor are interference fields searched for in
the usual ways. Where it resembles
neural therapy is its effect of altering abnormal autonomic nervous system tone,
particularly in the region of the spine.
Electroneuromedular medicine targets the spine, more
specifically the dura mater. In cases of
chronic pain or spinal cord injury, a long acupuncture needle is inserted into
the spine until the tip touches the dura mater.
The patient feels a sharp pain, often in an extremity, and the operator
feels a powerful shock in his or her fingers through the needle from the dura
itself. Dr. Font explained that dura
mater carries a voltage of approximately 115 volts at a 60 Herz frequency, i.e.
much like that in North American house wiring.
When contact is made, Dr. Font attaches a hand-held pulse
generator to the needle that "revs up" the frequency, i.e. increases it to a
couple of hundred Herz. The patient
feels pain in various parts of the body corresponding to the spinal tracts
The effect can be dramatic.
In one of his films, a young woman presented with complete paraplegia
resulting from a spinal tap seven years previously. Electroneuromedular treatment resulted in her
being able to walk away from her wheelchair and progress to a complete
I found this case particularly interesting, as it seems
unlikely that direct trauma from a spinal tap could damage the spinal cord to such an extent. Clearly some sort of
reactive vasospasm must have been the mechanism of injury. If this was true, bringing back normal sympathetic tone might have been enough to restore circulation and "re-awaken" sleeping nerve cells.
I have seen significant improvement in brain function after
traumatic brain injury and cerebro-vascular accidents with neural therapy (e.g.
the "crown of thorns" procedure) and by cranial osteopathy. Japanese scalp acupuncture has a reputation
for efficacy in this area as well. The rationale is that around every brain
injury is a "penumbra" of brain tissue that is still alive and that can be
re-awakened by improving cerebral circulation.
Whether this is the mechanism or not, Dr. Font's electroneuromedular
therapy stands in a class of its own in treatment of spinal injury.
Dr. Font told me that an inspiration for his work was Robert Becker, author of the classic
book "Body Electric". Among Becker's
many contributions to our knowledge of body electricity was the discovery that
fracture non-union or delayed union could be cured by applying a specific
electrical current across the fracture site.
It strikes me that Dr. Font's treatment of spinal cord injury may
operate in a similar way.
Of course this is speculation on my part and I would be
interested in Dr. Font's or others' opinion of this interpretation. You can see film-clips related to his work
using the search words "Osvaldo Font" on http://www.youtube.com/. Dr. Font is also hosting an international
meeting "Primer Congreso de
Medicina Integral y Anti-Envejecimiento en el Caribe" in Puerto Rico from September 1st
to 5th, 2010. English
translation will be available at this meeting.