This month I would like to discuss a commonly overlooked reason why our patients do not respond to neural
therapy as well as they should. I am speaking here of course about those in
whom an interference has been identified and treated, sometimes with a good
initial response, but where the response to repeat treatments is disappointing.
When this happens, we think of underlying conditions
affecting cell membrane stability.
Environmental neurotoxins and nutritional deficiencies come first to
mind, but a simple, easily remedied condition is probably almost as common -
dehydration is easily missed, perhaps because patients do not feel
dehydrated. What they are more likely to experience is cold hands and feet, dry
skin, weakness, postural hypotension and fatigue. They may also have stomach problems and/or
constipation. These symptoms are often
mild and seldom volunteered by the patient.
Dehydration can be detected on physical examination. Low blood pressure may be present. The hands and feet are often cool and a pinch
of skin on the dorsum of the hand should immediately flatten when released. If the skin pinch does not disappear within a
second or two, the subcutaneous tissues are probably drier than they should
Some people simply do not drink enough, especially in warm,
windy weather or after vigorous exercise. Or they may drink the wrong
things. In my experience, coffee drinkers are frequently dehydrated. Drinking coffee and other caffeinated drinks
result in a net loss of fluid because of the diuretic effect of
caffeine. Alcohol does the same thing
and too much of it may be part of the explanation for "hangovers".
Pharmacologic diuretics may also cause dehydration, if adequate liquids are not
consumed to compensate for them.
Hydration is not just
a matter of water. Some
health-conscious patients aim to drink eight glasses of water a day. They are often the ones with plastic water
bottles in hand, as if preparing to walk the Sahara!
Paradoxically, they may not be able to "hold" their water; the water just
passes through them.
The reason they cannot "hold" their water (I am not speaking
about bladder capacity!) is that their extracellular
space does not contain enough minerals to maintain isotonicity. The body makes the tonicity of the
extracellular space a priority over volume, so if the extracellular minerals
are lacking, the volume decreases. This leads to reduced tissue circulation and
to the symptoms mentioned above.
Minor changes in
blood chemistry (i.e. changes within the reference range) can be markers of
dehydration. Low or high serum sodium, or high BUN should be watched
for. A low chloride (a neglected element
in clinical medicine!) is a particularly good sign. Health Equations http://www.healthequations.com/ provides a "hydration index" quantitating these and other serum components.
The minerals most commonly lacking are sodium and
chloride. Often the most health
conscious patients are salt deficient, as they have been lead to believe that
salt is bad for them. Because excess dietary salt can exacerbate hypertension
in some people, the prevailing belief that everyone should restrict dietary
salt has taken hold. As with so many
other medical fashions, a good idea carried too far has unintended
consumption of salt in addition to water can be very helpful in many of
these cases. However electrolyte
solutions (containing other minerals such as phosphorus, bicarbonate, sulfates,
potassium, and magnesium) work even better.
Some commercially available products are Health Equations' http://www.healthequations.com/ Lyte
solutions and Body Bio's http://www.bodybio.com/
If dehydrated patients are hypertensive, I always make sure that they are taking adequate magnesium before recommending
increased salt consumption. (I suspect that sodium-sensitivity in hypertensives
is an indication of magnesium deficiency.)
They should also check their blood pressure regularly, holding back on
salt if blood pressure increases.
A good way of remembering the importance of hydration when
practicing neural therapy is to remember that interference fields are associated with disturbance of the electrical
properties of cell membranes.
Electrolytes both within and without the cell, separated by the
hydrophobic cell membrane, maintain the electrical charge of the cell membrane.
Some failures of neural therapy occur because the electrolyte solutions are
simply inadequate for maintaining the electrical charge.
Since procaine's role
in neural therapy is to restore the cell membrane's resting potential, maintaining
adequate hydration and extracellular electrolytes can be looked upon as adjuncts to neural therapy.
A FEW DAYS LEFT - A FEW ROOMS LEFT!
(rooms held until Friday, January 15th)
MID-WINTER NEURAL THERAPY RETREAT
FEB 5TH AND 6TH 2010