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Alternate treatments for the nervous system?

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posted on Dec, 4 2014 @ 03:23 PM
Hi Everyone,

This is the first time I've ever visited the off-topic forums, I've never really gotten involved with the community side of ATS before, having taken a bit of a scattergun approach to my membership contributions, in terms of topics explored and threads started. It's been a chaotic journey to my current open-minded and somewhat more chilled out state of being, and I'm looking to make a fresh start here on ATS. I figured sharing a little about my health situation and asking whether anyone has any ideas for alternative treatment methods might be a good place to start.

With that in mind, I suffer a serious form of chronic pain syndrome which combines with incapacitating neuropathic spasms, leaving me unable to walk far (need crutches to visit a shop from my car, can only really visit one shop before I'm wasted and need to go home - longer excursions require a wheelchair). I experience what is known as hyperalgesia - sudden, horrendously painful 'electric shock' type nerve pain, which tracks in a radial fashion through the nerve roots in my lower back and down the legs via sciatic nerves, along with other nerves. This also affects my hips and sacroiliac regions, and combines with something called Allodynia (a hyper-sensitivity to stimuli causing pain which usually wouldn't cause pain - example, sitting upright in bed, turning over in bed, trying to walk) - those are the main aspects of my condition, though there are complex issues connected to these symptoms, and side effects from the ridiculous amount of different medications I have to take to manage even a vague semblance of life. I'm on high doses of gabapentin, amitryptiline, codeine, tramadol, morphine; also moderate doses of diazepam and paracetamol. My prescription has been monitored and modified over the past eighteen months, after I was hospitalised for ten weeks due to a major degeneration in my condition.

I've been under the care of a neurologist and an anaesthesiologist (pain management specialist) for those eighteen months, and have now been discharged on the basis that there is nothing further that modern medical science can do to help me. My prescription is signed off by both men as acceptable for ongoing use, and my general practitioners are very supportive, though naturally there is nothing further that they can do - they simply check to see how I'm getting on every now and then. I hope it's clear that the condition has left me disabled in the full sense of the word. The last efforts of the medical practitioners was a pain management course, where they taught us the science of pain, explained the reasons for various symptoms, told us all the requisite technical info of how the medications work, and gave us lessons in relaxation, guided visualisation and self-hypnosis. I was also provided with a TENs machine, which does sometimes help taking the edge off the neuropathic pain. I'm signed up for a 'mindfulness meditation' course in the new year, as apparently it's a good approach to coping with constant and unpredictable pain problems.

Has anyone heard anything about any medication, non-typical to western medicine, which has been reported to have a positive effect in relieving system-wide neuropathic pain? Some time ago I read a wonderful book by an excellent anthropologist named Jeremy Narby. The book was called: 'The Cosmic Serpent; DNA and the origins of knowledge'. In it, he describes how he spent time with Amazonian shamans and was exposed to their methods of gaining knowledge concerning the medicinal properties of various jungle flora. A brief mention was made of a plant which, when prepared properly, was able to have a regenerative effect upon damaged nerves, significantly reducing pain that has been chronic and irremovable to the time at which the plant-based medicine is used,

Trouble is, he doesn't mention in the book what the plant was called! I think this may have been because he had gained an understanding of and sympathy for the fate of the indigenous peoples of the Amazon basin - they were promised money by pharmaceutical companies for any indications of plants with healing properties that they could point out. When such advice was given to these very western snakes, the natives were not paid properly (a 'magic beans' payment type situation, but without the bonus of a mystical beanstalk) - often they were almost immediately kicked out of their ancestral homes/territories, so that the pharmaceutical giants could come to investigate en-masse.

My question to ATS is simple - do you know which plant he may have been talking about? I have relatives who live in South America, with access to Amazonian shamans literally a five hour car journey away. I just need the name of the plant, and I might have access to the possibility of significantly reduced pain problems; naturally, if I discover what it's called, I can possibly help others who suffer chronic pain, via the forums and support groups I'm involved with (I wouldn't tell big pharma). It may sound like a 'snake oil' promise, but the author is steadfastly scientific in his approach to his work, even though his methodology was a little unorthodox compared to standard 'sterile' anthropology, where the person simply observes and never participates. The author's methodology was based in solid logic, and he laid out a disclaimer about certain aspects of his subjective experiences whilst working with the shamans on their vision quests.

Thanks all, look forward to any and all discussions as they arise.

posted on Dec, 4 2014 @ 03:51 PM
What exactly started this pain? Did you take a fall or something? I had some of the similar symptoms when I was in a car accident. I had experienced it before from a fall off a scaffold but the doctors wouldn't listen to me. Finally got to see a chiropractor and after about three or four weeks of torture the boss was gone and his hired chiropractor got my occiput lined up. I had been asking every time when they were going to fix that. I never went back after that, I suppose the owner new I would quit coming after my problem was fixed so kept torturing me.

Thank you to the guy who fixed my problem, one that I and both of the chiropractors knew existed. It was so evident on the X-rays,

I won't interfere with a doctors work and medicine choices. I would guess that you are having some issues with the original meds though, it may have created a deficiency either in folate or some other necessary process like B12 metabolism.
edit on 4-12-2014 by rickymouse because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 4 2014 @ 03:56 PM
I feel for you mate, I could never imagine living with such pain but it seems like you still able to keep a good state about things.

I'm not trying to be a smart ass when I say this but maybe that secret plant was weed?
I'm not telling you to smoke it but like recent studies have shown that if you just extract the cannabinoids and ingest that you may just have your fix. I guess if you haven't tried it, what's there to lose?

Good like with your search!

posted on Dec, 4 2014 @ 05:11 PM
I have no idea of the plant, but I do remember about 20 years ago we had 5 times an hour long objective documentary about different alternative therapies on TV over here (3 different ones in one show).

I do remember clearly there was a patient with huge spasms who went every 2/3 months to an acupuncturist, and after treatment it was hugely reduced (you could see the effect without any question). It stayed a lot better for a certain amount of time after that. If you haven`t tried it, it`s an option to also see if it helps.

And for the plant itself, wouldn`t the shamans themselves not be the best source to ask?

posted on Dec, 4 2014 @ 05:30 PM
OP, I suffer from the same thing you do. I didn't even know it had a name. Scanning the internet I came across the website below. I have never done business with them. I just thought you may find this of interest.
edit on 4-12-2014 by Sanity Lost because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 4 2014 @ 05:51 PM
a reply to: FlyInTheOintment

Check these out:

Nerve pain

Heal damaged nerves

posted on Dec, 4 2014 @ 06:52 PM
a reply to: FlyInTheOintment

There was a thread a few months ago where a member with back injury was going to trial a procedure that used implants to bypass pain receptors. Like a pacemaker for your nerves.

My partner has peripheral neuropathy due to exposure to a neurotoxin. Her motor large fibers regenerated but she still struggles with sensory small fiber loss and falls due to loss of proprioception. We took her for nerve conduction studies 2 weeks ago and her large fibers are within normal range now. It all depends on the nature of the injury though I guess. She still has to take fist fulls of meds for her chronic pain, many of them that you have noted in the op. I wish you well.

edit on 4-12-2014 by weirdguy because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 4 2014 @ 06:58 PM
Thanks for the responses guys - I will have a look at the links provided, and the point about simply asking the question of the shamans is extremely pertinent; I couldn't see the forest for the trees..! I will be asking my relatives to book a weekend away in the mountainous regions within the borders of the forest for as little field trip at some time.

With regards to the weed, that's something that I have heard about as being quite a valid treatment for a number of conditions, and at one point I did use it; however, it turns out I'm one of the 5% of the Human Race who cannot use said plant because I suffer a form of bipolar affective disorder in addition to my physical health problems. With this condition and certain others within the 5% bracket, for example schizophrenia (which is way more extreme than what I have), the use of cannabis can greatly exacerbate the symptoms, and make life unbearably difficult, so in my case I can't consider using it.

Leading on from that point, here in the UK there's renewed debate about drugs policy, and in light of what I know about the merits of the compounds in the weed, as well as knowing what happens if you're one of the 5%, I would hope that whatever they decide, they educate people on the red flags which might indicate you'd be adversely affected by use of it as a medical treatment. Yes it can be excellent at treating certain conditions, but if you have a genetic predisposition towards, for example, bipolar disorder (which can stay dormant for ages, and manifest suddenly at any stage - perhaps due to a stress-related breakdown, or the use of hallucinogenic drugs, etc) then it's one to be avoided.

I will see how it goes in terms of getting the info from the shamans/links, and naturally I will come back and share any info I receive. Many thanks for your collective input.

posted on Dec, 4 2014 @ 07:03 PM
a reply to: Sanity Lost

Sorry to hear that you've gone under the medical radar - I wasn't properly diagnosed until I had the episode which led to being hospitalised in 2013. It was only when the neurologist got involved that anything actually happened, and it was like he waved a magic wand - suddenly everything about my experience changed. Until that point I had needed to change my general practitioner three times, because they all ended up accusing me of trying to jack up on meds for fun. Now, it's such a weight off my back to be taken seriously, treated fairly and with respect, and generally looked after by all the right sorts of professionals - instead of being treated like scum.

I would definitely recommend seeing your general practitioner and asking for a referral to a neurologist - I don't know how it works in the States, so I guess you might be up against some insurance hurdles if that's where you're based, but I hope you manage to get some clarification and relief.

posted on Dec, 4 2014 @ 07:17 PM
I was going to say B vitamins as well. And Alpha Lipoic Acid.

posted on Dec, 4 2014 @ 07:19 PM
a reply to: weirdguy

That looks great, thanks - I'll check it out. I ended up discussing my case in so much depth with the neurologist that it was decided I'd be a good candidate to volunteer in clinical research focusing on the various effects of long-term chronic pain.

With myself it started quite innocuously - I had a repetitive strain injury in the factory where I worked 0 just suddenly fell to the floor in agony after feeling a sharp crack in my lower back. For a long while I thought the GPs were conspiring with hospital staff to avoid doing surgery - my symptoms initially matched a ruptured disc precisely. Now, after all the information received and exchanged with various practitioners, the main theory is that a small ligament in my lower back snapped, irritating the L4/L5 nerve root.

For most people, such an injury would heal fairly quickly, with no adverse long-term effects; however, in a percentage of cases, the brain gets stuck in a closed loop of feedback with the local nerve clusters. My brain is basically continually searching for additional information on 'the threat' which the pain response is designed to caution us regarding. As the threat was minimal, but seemed major due to the action upon the nerve root, the brain just kept sending out requests for pain data, and this is what led to the Allodynia/ Hyperalgesia - my nervous system is now considered 'centrally sensitised' and is vulnerable to horrendous pain associated with innocuous movements and ordinary body processes.

It's been described as a tree putting down roots - the tree is searching for pain data (water), and so sends roots (signals along the nerve tracts) sprawling throughout the substance of the ground (the affected body region). It keeps on going until it's got a wonderful network of roots all supplying water in varying amounts - my brain is literally causing my pain through an operative malfunction. The different medications are taken for different types of pain, each one has a specific action on the nervous system which is slightly different from the rest (aside from codeine and morphine, which are nearly identical substances).

Di-hydro-codeine (Hydrocodone) is the only one I can't use, as it gives me palpitations after a week or so of use, but all the rest are pretty much manageable in terms of side effects - it's something daft like 40 tablets a day, plus a few swigs of morphine when it gets unbearable. I'm coming to terms with it, but dang I hope the shamans know a trick or two...!

posted on Dec, 4 2014 @ 07:23 PM
a reply to: BornAgainAlien

You just reminded me I have a friend who I went to school with who ended up studying Chinese medicine in Beijing, and she once offered to treat me with acupuncture. It was put on hold because at the time we weren't sure if I had any structural damage to the lower back, but now that it's understood that the problem is basically a brain/nervous system malfunction, then acupuncture is back on the table (no pun intended, but it works!)

I will give her a poke on Facebook and see when she's next round our way - she's got a fancy private clinic near London, but her parents are local to me, so I'm excited to have a go, see what happens. Thanks for the suggestion!

posted on Dec, 4 2014 @ 07:27 PM
Thanks also to those who suggested the various vitamins & compounds, I will have a look into that alongside the acupuncture in the first instance, and I'll send out feelers to South America to see if I can't get me a shaman on Skype!

I really do appreciate the input, and the friendliness you've all projected - it can be a lonely thing, I tend to remain isolated because I just can't get out and about like I once did. I have a feeling I might have missed a trick by sticking to the conspiracy side of the forum - the off topic side of things is much more relaxing.

posted on Dec, 4 2014 @ 07:38 PM
Alright the two I came up with most often for Neuropathic pain relief were

Cat's Claw

not in the amazon but a small case study (1200 patients) has said Acetylcarnitine is a viable candidate.

My dad suffers from severe nerve damage in his neck and arms. We live in WA state now and he's found considerable relief from C. Indica have you considered that. Once he found the right dosage it really seems to do wonders for the pain without impairing functions.

Good Luck

posted on Dec, 4 2014 @ 07:41 PM
a reply to: FlyInTheOintment

You should still have a talk to your neurologist about the implants, maybe you will be able to get off some of those meds long term. Send a private message to Rodinus and ask him about his experience with them, he's a good guy and smart too.

posted on Dec, 4 2014 @ 10:14 PM
We just had a severe warning about Vitamin B6 over here in The Netherlands, there were lots of supplements with too much in it, and a lot of them come out of the US. Also there were many supplements which had more in them as advertised 20/70%.

Too much Vitamin B6 causes nerve damage, and there`s also a lot in food. 25 mg is the max you should take on a daily base.

(post by markovian removed for a serious terms and conditions violation)

posted on Dec, 5 2014 @ 04:19 AM
Have you looked into CBD from marijuana or hemp. I've heard it can treat a variety of illnesses. I don't know enough to offer advice as I'm only staying now to do my research on this. I heard it can help with certain illnesses within a day or two.

posted on Dec, 5 2014 @ 10:36 AM
I would also suggest you look for marijuana growers that hybridize plants with mostly CBD and almost no THC.

I had some similar issues as you, but I manage my pain through specific targetted exercise and self-massage using a tennis ball (gentle rolling on troubled areas, akin to shiatsu massage). I also take vitamins occassionally, such as B, D, C and CoQ10 for a whole myriad of physical and mental health gains, which is in addition to a very healthy diet. I hope you find the perfect combination of pain relief and management that works for you. Keep well.

posted on Dec, 5 2014 @ 12:48 PM
To add about my post about Vitamin B6...

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