By Dr. Franz Hopfer
From Neural Therapy, Reflex Zones and Somatotopies: A Key to the Diagnostic and Therapeutic Understanding of Man’s Ills, a seminar guide compiled by the American Academy of Biological Dentistry, June 1989
To the understanding of a method belongs also a knowledge of its historic development. After the discovery of Novocaine by Alfred Einhorn around the turn of the 20th century, Schleich and Spiess reported [on] the surprising effect in local application. On the one hand, they observed a surprisingly inflammations-halting effect; on the other hand, a pain-halting effect which went far beyond the expected time.
Later on, one expanded the therapeutic application by using this local anestheticum (LA) on the Headschen and Mackenzieschen zones. Here, one used the cutivisceral reflex paths for treatment of the deep-lying organs. Subsequently, this method - now called Healing Anesthesia - was further developed through new techniques such as injections into the sympathetic strain, into the nerve root areas, etc. Famous physicians such as Leriche [and] Wischnewski, to name some, were decisively involved in this.
A milestone in the history of this process was the accidental discovery in 1940 by F. Huneke [of] the “Seconds Phenomenon.” He opened to medicine entirely new ways and perspectives, and led to a new consideration of the so-called focal illnesses. Instead of all speculations, it was possible to establish a scientific concept upon it.
The Synthesis of Healing Anesthesia and Seconds Phenomenon According to Huneke Yields the “Neural Therapy”
From these two components, the experiences with the Healing Anesthesia and the Seconds Phenomenon, we obtained the method which we now describe as Neural Therapy (NTH). Therewith it is emphasized that in this diagnostic and therapeutic process the nervous system - and especially the vegetativum - has the leading role.
Already since C.L. Schleich, all doctors pointed to the harmlessness of local anesthetica, and they emphasized that they represent an important alternative for the avoidance of iatrogenic damages. Important and significant for one’s understanding is that with the able application of the LA, no pharmaco-kinetic effect is reached, just as little as it presents a symptomatic treatment. The effect rests on the functional disruption of a circulus vitiosus and the reestablishment of a normal regulatory balance.
Neural Therapy & Its Risks
After this introduction, a few points on the harmlessness of this method, since one of the most outstanding characteristics of the NTH is its low-risk-ness. Preconditions for this are:
- The exclusive use of proven neural therapeutica from the Procaine and Lidocaine sequence with observation of the maximal dosage.
- The absolute avoidance of additions such as adrenaline, coricoids and alcohol derivatives.
- Good knowledge of anatomy and the injections techniques.
- Paying attention to the clinical contraindications for deep injections, for example, the presence of disturbances in the coagulation.
Notable is that, omitting a few exceptions, all injections techniques used in the NTH are of a purely clinical source, and they are listed in the standard work by Hans Killian about “Local Anesthesia and Local Anesthetica.”
The far-reaching harmlessness of this method is documented in two open reports from two public institutions: the statistics of the surgeon Prof. Reischauer, from the City Clinics in Essen, and the notations from the “Ambulance for Focus Diseases” of the Viennese Territorial Health Insurance, where NTH is exclusively practiced.
Reischauer reports in an article from the year 1971 [on] the trouble-free application of 30 ml. 1% Novocaine each, within 8 years, for 77,000 paravertebral conduction blocks, of which ca. 40,000 [were] lumbar root blockages; 13,000, lumbar sympathetic strain blocks; 20,000, stellatum blocks; and 5,000, thoracic infiltrations. Together with the participants in the 3 day courses of my teacher, Reischauer, and the injections executed in their own practice, there is a total of 100,000 paravertebral blocks, among the, 30,000 stellatum blocks, which remained without any damage. With a constant increase of course participants in the period of the subsequent 20 years, how high these numbers are by now cannot even approximately be stated.
In the “Ambulance for Focus Diseases” in Vienna, the prototype of a pain ambulance with special attention on the focus-happening, 2½ million injections have been given during the 20 years under the author’s guidance. Among these, there was a high percentage of paravertebral sympathetic strain blocks, injections into the nerve root areas, injections on the diverse ganglia, and injections into all joints.
In the course of this long time, there was only once a quotable incident which required surgical intervention. The reason for it was bleeding due to a coagulations disturbance which was not included in the anamnesis.
For critique on the NTH, it must be principally said that, in view of decades and far-spread applications, surprisingly few incidents happen. The published warnings of neural therapy rest on entirely few cases, which are already known as “Standard Models” that have 4 points in common:
- They stem from circles which are well-known to have no own experience in this field. These critiques are not so much expert but principled-emotional in nature.
- Inquiries after the local anesthetica used in the quoted cases remained unanswered. In our opinion, on the basis of the described damages, alcohol-containing “depot remedies” must have been involved.
- Also, the question as to who conducted the therapy - doctors or unqualified other therapists - has remained unanswered.
- The logical conclusion of what has been said is that these incidents were the result of an untested or damaging medication, resp. of an insufficiently qualified therapist. They cannot be ascribed to the method as such. The numbers of incident-free applications which continued over decades simply speak against it.
Neural Therapy Is a Process Complementing the Clinical Methods
The NTH is to be seen as an extremely efficient complementary process to the clinical methods. Most of all it is suitable for solving many problem cases of the daily practice for which the medical doctor has not received corresponding guidance in his official training. With its assistance, many perceivable diagnostic and therapeutic gaps can be closed. Toward Teaching-Medicine, it is a practice-oriented, complementary method. Beyond that, there is no medications-risk connected with this process, a circumstance which cannot be valued highly enough.
A collective review over the 20 years in the Viennese Ambulance allows the conclusion that the NTH is not only a genuine alternative, but also often the last chance for many suffering patients.
In order to ensure an established development of doctors interested in this method, ongoing courses are held by the “International Medical Association for Neural Therapy According to Huneke e.V.” in the German Republic and daughter associations in Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, and Latin America, in sufficient numbers. There, the necessary theoretical knowledge, as well as the injections techniques, are transmitted and practiced under guidance of qualified course guides and with modern technologic assistance.
The elaborations are to be concluded with a saying by F. Huneke, which offers the idealistic attitude for the medical profession: “It is much simpler to leave the patient searching for a healing to their illness to secure oneself from fully unjustified demands. But a true doctor will always act according to his conscience, and precisely that will force him again and again toward the uncertain venture of healing.”
Originally published in German