What is neural therapy?

Neural Therapy is a medical system that identifies and treats the disturbances in the body’s neurological control mechanisms that underlie all pain and illness. These disturbances, called “interference fields”, can be found almost anywhere in the body, are subtle, but easily and safely treated by injections of dilute procaine or other local anaesthetics.  

Neural therapy is little known in the English-speaking world of medicine and is sometimes categorized as an “alternative” or “complementary” medicine.  However this is a mistake, because its theory and practice lie firmly within the mainstream of western, science-based medicine.  In fact, Neural Therapy is well established in many German and Spanish-speaking countries and a considerable scientific literature exists in these languages (and to a lesser extent in English).

So what are these “interference fields”, and how do they work?  The Russian neurophysiologist (and student of Pavlov) Speransky described in 1935 “irritations” of the nervous system that caused reactions, sometimes local, sometimes regional and sometimes encompassing the whole organism. These reactions could be transient, but information about the irritation could be stored as a “tissue memory” with the potential to be reawakened by a second “irritation”, even years later.

For example, a dog was injected in a hind leg with a sub-lethal dose of tetanus bacteria.  A local reaction of spasm in the leg ensued, but subsided after a week or two and the dog recovered completely. However months later, the nervous system of the dog was irritated a second time by severing a remote nerve, breaking a tooth, etc.  The initial reaction from the tetanus injection resurfaced; tetanus developed in the leg, spread throughout the body and the dog died of fulminant tetanus!

The clinical implications of this phenomenon did not become apparent until the 1940s, when the German physician-dentist Ferdinand Huneke serendipitously discovered that injecting procaine into his patient’s leg scar (for another reason) suddenly cured a frozen shoulder!  Ferdinand Huneke’s genius was to realize that old injuries (e.g. a surgical scar) could be the key to understanding a host of otherwise mysterious pain or other medical problems.

The Huneke brothers (Ferdinand and Walter) were the founders of what is now called Neural Therapy. They had experimented with procaine for many years and knew that its properties extended far beyond that of simple local anaesthesia. Gradually it became apparent that interference fields could be found not only in scars, but other injury locations, teeth, organs and even autonomic ganglia. And that these interference fields when treated could cure seemingly unrelated pain syndromes and even complex medical problems.

Neural Therapy has broad application in medical practice – It is safe and can be utilized for conditions like unexplained pain syndromes, recurring pneumonias or almost any condition where the autonomic nervous system is involved.  Since its theory is based almost entirely on conventional anatomy and physiology it is simple for traditionally-trained physicians to learn.

Physicians interested in learning more may consult the Recommended Reading List or published articles in the peer-reviewed literature.  Alternatively, video recordings of the first international Neural Therapy conference in North America (2017) are available free of charge to members of the North American Academy of Neural Therapy (NAANT). Also, free of charge to members, is a recording of Advanced Neural Therapy Injection techniques by Hans Payer of Switzerland.

A monthly Neural Therapy newsletter with frequent case reports is available at www.neuraltherapybook.com,  and with it, an archive extending back twelve years. International conferences on Neural Therapy in Europe and South America can also be an excellent way of staying abreast of recent developments. Some offer simultaneous translation into English. And NAANT is in the early stages of developing its own workshops and a conference for North America.