Recommended reading: new and old
David Vinyes, of Barcelona, Spain, is president of the Spanish Neural Therapy Society and a very busy man. Not only is he in demand as a speaker internationally, but he also is active in neural therapy education in Spain, is an organizer of international neural therapy conferences and is editor of a Spanish language neural therapy newsletter, available through http://www.terapianeural.com.
So it is not surprising that he sometimes gets a little behind in his reading. I know this from his recent letter in response to my newsletter of last April on the Infraspinatus Respiratory Reflex (Vol. 9, No. 4):
Hello again... I'm on holidays and I'm reading your interesting newsletters... thanks for sending them!
When I do lung segmental therapy I palpate the whole area, ventral and dorsal, looking for tender nodules or narrow bands of tight muscle fibers; you can find them in the subdiaphragmatic area, trapezius, pectoralis and of course along the paradorsal and parascapular areas. Several times I have seen a similar reaction to the one you describe with the IRR, when injecting the subdiaphragmatic points, probably when there is a major component of anxiety... often you can see how the lungs open immediately with a sigh.
I'd like you to send me the Speransky article about pneumonia... I didn't know about that! Thanks!!!
Then soon after came another note:
Thanks for this very valuable Speransky article; I didn't know about that and we'll deliver it to the students of the course along with his book that was translated into Spanish in 1954. I don't know if you have the articles I'm sending to you... Research like this is a hope for us. I think that in the near future, conventional medicine will discover the importance of the ANS and neural therapy.
Dr Vinyes has sent us three articles, a recent one by Stefan Weinschenk entitled "Neural therapy - a review of the therapeutic uses of local anesthetics". Dr Weinschenk is the author of "Handbuch Neuraltherapie", a premier German neural therapy textbook. (See newsletter archive Vol. 8, no. 9). He is an academic and writes in a way that will satisfy the highest scholarly standards. However his target audience is likely unfamiliar with neural therapy, so some of the material will already be common knowledge for readers of this newsletter. Nevertheless there are clinical pearls to be found here, and the review is recommended reading for any neural therapy practitioner.
The second article, "The Inflammatory reflex" (also a review) was published by Kevin Tracey in 2002. Its subject is the research that demonstrates the inhibitory effect of the autonomic nervous system on inflammation. This is old news to neural therapists familiar with the clinical literature of the first half of the 20th century, and also to older physicians who trained in the days when vagotomy was a treatment for peptic ulcer. However this modern perspective looks at the subject from a different angle, namely the biochemistry and cellular physiology creating the nervous system effects. Central to this process is the discovery that cholinergic activity inhibits the macrophages' release of inflammatory cytokines. Then a sensory feedback loop to the hypothalamus allows for precise nervous system control of the inflammatory process.
This is a readable and interesting article and I can see why Dr Vinyes uses this in his neural therapy teaching. For those who want to pursue this subject further, Tracey has since written more papers in a similar vein, one of them including the possible role of "complementary and alternative therapies".
The third paper is a classic from 1938 by A.A.Vishnevsky called "Novocaine blockade in the treatment of gangrene". This well-written and well-translated article immerses us into a long-gone world - that of leprosy in the pre-antibiotic era. Leprosy was a horrible disease, but because of its chronicity and its supericial manifestations lent itself to test Speransky's theories (Vol. 7, No. 1) about the nervous system's place in the pathophysiology of infectious (and other) diseases.
The disease itself exhibits characteristics suggesting nervous system involvement in its spread; skin and neuropathic lesions are often symmetric, a difficult phenomenon to explain by haematogenous spread of bacteria. Also mycobacterium leprae appears to be of low pathogenicity. Individuals can carry m. leprae for decades without contracting the disease. Disease usually manifests only with some irritation of the system, e.g. a cold or other infection, or trauma.
The paper describes numerous cases responding to injections of Novocaine (procaine) into areas remote from the leprous lesions. At times regional blocks were performed, but more commonly large volumes of dilute procaine were injected into the para-renal space. Vishnevsky's feeling was that he was creating a "weak irritation" that changed the trophic status of the whole nervous system. (Speransky proposed that weak irritation of the nervous system could trigger both trophic and/or dystrophic effects.)
The whole paper is worth reading, but if time is short, scroll down to the Discussion for an excellent summary of the rationale for this method of treating leprosy, or any infectious disease.
The Neural Therapy in Practice newsletter was intended as a complement to Dr. Kidd's book, Neural Therapy: Applied Neurophysiology and Other Topics, which is still available for sale through Amazon.