Neural Therapy, Health Insurance, and Dr. Black
An athlete pays a visit to our Family Healing Center in Portland, complaining of chronic pain as a result of a past sports injury. He has tried everything his other doctors have proposed to no avail. It turns out that he chose to visit our practice because he’s finally ready to try something he has only heard about. It’s called neural therapy.
This athlete’s story is not at all unusual. Our very own Dr. Jason Black is one of only a small number of doctors in the United States practicing neural therapy despite the fact that it is a mainstream chronic pain treatment in Germany, and has been since the early 20th century. Doctors here don’t practice it because it is not well received among practitioners of ‘traditional’ Western medicine.
A Definition of Neural Therapy
Neural therapy involves a combination of a safe anesthetic and natural medicines that are combined and injected just under the skin at the injury site. The anesthetic is a local anesthetic designed to mitigate any additional pain as a result of the microinjection. The natural medicines are used to encourage the body to repair itself, thus relieving chronic pain.
In contrast to Western medicine, neural therapy is based on the concept of energy that freely and continuously moves throughout the body by way of the autonomic nervous system (ANS). The ANS is that part of the nervous system that controls things you pay no attention to: breathing, heartbeat, regulation of body temperature, and so on. The original pioneers of neural therapy believed that the ANS could be tapped to promote natural healing.
By injecting a local anesthetic and natural medicines just under the surface of the skin, the naturopathic practitioner gets direct access to the ANS. Medicines can go directly to the site of the injury where they can get right to work to promote natural healing. The benefit of neural therapy is that it addresses the source of chronic pain without having any effect on the rest of the body. By contrast, giving a patient an opioid pain medication to control chronic pain affects many other systems, some of them quite negatively.
Insurance Company Positions
I did a quick perusal of a few insurance company policies to see if anything has changed regarding neural therapy in the recent past. Nothing has. Every insurance company I checked with classifies neural therapy as either investigational, experimental, or alternative. As a result, they do not cover treatments.
We find this truly unfortunate inasmuch as we know firsthand that people truly do benefit from this therapy. What’s even more puzzling to us is the fact that the treatment has been around since the 1920s. Not only that, it is one of the most used forms of alternative medicine in Germany. It is also practiced in South America as well.
While Jason and I do not promote neural therapy as a treatment for cancer and other potentially deadly diseases, we do highly recommend it for certain kinds of chronic pain – especially pain caused
by sports injuries, tendinitis, arthritis, and scar tissue. We have seen our patients enjoy remarkable symptom improvement and long-term pain relief through the use of this natural and effective therapy.
If you have questions about neural therapy, we would be more than happy to talk to you. We welcome your interest in naturopathic medicine and other alternatives to invasive procedures and prescription drugs.