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Neural Therapy is a system to diagnose and treat medical problems of patients which are otherwise difficult to treat or resistant to treatment. Neural therapy (in German: "Neuraltherapie") can be traced back to the German physicians Ferdinand and Walter Huneke , who at first called it "Heilanästhesie" (curative anaesthesia), then "Segmenttherapie" (segmental therapy) and finally, at K.R. von Roques's suggestion, "neural therapy after Huneke". This method is particularly widespread in Europe, above all in the German-speaking world, where it is widely used among doctors open to complementary medicine. Borne out by neurophysiological fundaments (head zones, gate control theory , etc.), it is also being recognized to an increasing extent by medical councils. Only the disturbance field theory is still disputed. Provocatively the disturbance fields could be called "internal trigger points"! In the regulative medical approach of neural therapy the monocausal symptom-oriented way of thinking is extended by allowing for complex interacting factors, which are traced by a special diagnostic process, including a specific palpation technique and a heightened skill of perceiving subtle soft tissue changes. Neural Therapy is based on the theory that trauma can produce long-standing disturbances in the electrochemical function of tissues. Among the types of tissues affected by trauma include scars, nerves or a cluster of nerves called ganglion.There is no scientific evidence that neural therapy is effective in treating cancer or any other disease.http://www.cancer.org/docroot/ETO/content/ETO_5_3X_Neural_Therapy.asp?sitearea=ETO American Cancer Society. It has been used to treat pain disorders, though there is not strong evidence to support its efficacy.Barbagli P, Bollettin R, Ceccherelli F. Acupuncture (dry needle) versus neural therapy (local anesthesia) in the treatment of benign back pain. Immediate and long-term results. Minerva Med. 2003 Aug;94 (4 Suppl 1):17-25. Italian. PMID 15108608 It is practiced mostly in South America and Europe.http://www.cancer.org/docroot/ETO/content/ETO_5_3X_Neural_Therapy.asp?sitearea=ETO American Cancer Society http://www.neuraltherapie.at/
History In 1925 Ferdinand Huneke, a German surgeon, used a newly launched pain drug, that contained Procaine (local anaesthetic) on his sister who suffered from severe intractable migraine. Instead of using it as recommended intramuscular he injected it intra-venously - and the migraine attack stopped immediately.Impressed he and his brother Walter used Procaine/Novocaine and at times a mixture with caffeine called "Impletol" (still used in migraine medicines) which proved to be useful in many painful conditions either via local injection or i.v.1940 Ferdinand Huneke injected the painful shoulder of a lady who also had an osteomyelitis in her leg which at that time (before antibiotics) threatened her with amputation. The shoulder pain improved somewhat but the leg wound became itchy. This time he injected the leg wound - and the shoulder pain vanished immediately - a reaction called "Flash Phaenomenon" (Sekundenphaenomen).
Neural Therapy The key concept in Neural Therapy is that any scar, traumatised, infected or dysfunctional tissue called "Interference Zone" or Stoerfeld (Spina Irritativa in Spanish) can create health problems elsewhere in the body. If this zone is injected with a local anaesthetic a "Flash or Huneke Phaenomenon" occurs. In about 50% this is a not necessarily painful tooth or ENT affection.This must be reproducible in the same patient, last for at least 8 hours with teeth and 20 hours elsewhere.More systematic research and publications after WW II began and many physicians observed "Flash Phaenomenons".In the 1950ies a close cooperation with the German-Spanish dentist Ernesto Adler (1906-1996) developed. Adler observed "miracolous" cures from ailments like severe allergies, rheumatoid conditions and others after tooth extractions. A sub-speciality of dentistry called Odontology evolved that studies the impact of dental health on general health.Neural Therapy is now vastly popular with doctors in German speaking countries (and anywhere with a significant expatriate community) as well as in the Spanish speaking world, as yet little known in the English speaking world.Although ranked as "alternative method" it is commonly used in German university pain and rehabilitation clinics and reimbursed by German private health insurers.While the concept of the "Flash Phaenomenon" is what defines the method in practise it is the use of local anaesthetics, preferably but not exclusively Procaine/Novocaine, for a range of uses:# diagnostic - differentiation of radicular/nerve compression versus trigger point or myofascial pain (see also Travell and Simmons) - often also therapeutic; specific nerve blocks may be used
# therapeutic - loco-regional use of intra-cutanous small injections around e.g. a painful joint that may be combined with intramuscular or intra-articular injections. Results are often surprsingly long lasting and can be repeated many times, unlike Cortisone Injections
# segmental use within a nerve segment
# deep injections around autonomous nerve fibre ganglia and nerve plexus. e.g. pterygo-palatine ganglion for Trigeminal Neuralgia, pelvic plexus in females for period related and migraine pain
# Phantom pain can at times be treated most effectively by injecting the remaining limb or foot or treating the scar.
Links - professional organizations [http://www.ignh.de]
Chapters in Books
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