It's Only Natural - Chapter VI
You And Your Sinuses
The most common ailment seen by physicians is what is generally referred to as an upper respiratory infection. In this category are such things as colds, blocked stuffy noses, congestive deafness, sinus problems, and what in the old days used to be called "catarrh of the head."
I have a personal affinity for this problem, because as a child, I was personally plagued by sinusitis (inflammation of the sinuses). My doting grandmother was greatly pained at seeing her favorite grandson thus afflicted, so beginning at a tender age I was toted from one physician to another. I was washed, drained, injected and baked; and this vaccine and that serum was used on my poor unsuspecting body-all, I might add, to no lasting benefit except to the soothing of my grandmother's conscience.
I remember one physician in particular who was a great favorite of my grandmother. She kept insisting he must know all there was to know about sinus trouble because "he had it all his life." I must have been only ten or so at the time, but I remember thinking even then that if she wanted to take me to a doctor, I'd rather she found one who had cured himself of sinus trouble rather than one who had suffered from it all his life.
My grandmother never gave up; but unfortunately, neither did my sinus trouble. In my late teens, I met my future wife, and she exposed me to a new idea of treatment for my ailment. It was through her and her family that I first became acquainted with natural healing. She suggested that I see a naturopath. Although I wasn't exactly eager at first, I finally consented, assuring myself that he couldn't do much more damage than had already been done by the legion of previous medical practitioners.
His approach was refreshingly new. He spoke of congestion and non-congestive food elements. He talked of constipation problems causing mucosity. We discussed certain treatments designed to build up the integrity of the inflamed and swollen tissues themselves. Through his treatments and the diet he suggested, (Which I have followed with certain modifications ever since) my sinus problems soon vanished and they haven't returned in more than fifty years.
Having suffered from this agonizing condition, it has been easy for me to empathize with my sinus patients, and much of our work at our Healing Research Center is devoted to correcting these cantankerous respiratory difficulties. More patients come to us from great distances for this type of work than for any other we do at our Center with the possible exception of the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
I personally was very fortunate in my medical training to have studied under Dr. Frank Finell of Portland, Oregon, who was the only practitioner in the natural healing field to devote his entire practice to eye, ear, nose and throat work. Dr. Finell treated the whole gamut of these cases using only natural methods of therapy. Some of the methods he used were classic in our field; some were developed by colleagues of Dr. Finell, but many were personal discoveries and developments of this devoted man himself. Few of the students he taught really appreciated the uniqueness of his work and, only later, after extensive discussions with our contemporaries, did we, who were his disciples, discover that the methods taught so freely by Dr. Finell were almost unheard of elsewhere. To my knowledge, this is the first time that this important subject has been presented in a publication for the laity. Although it isn't my purpose to present an exhaustive treatise on all the natural treatments for the eye, ear, nose and throat, I will attempt to describe the methods that are most often used at our Center.
Chronic Congestion of the Head
Most chronic catarrh (inflammation of mucous membranes) is manifested as congestion and infection of the sinuses, Eustachian tubes, and nasal and throat membranes. This condition may go under many names: sinusitis, pharyngitis, laryngitis otitis media, and blocked Eustachian tubes, to name a few. The symptoms presented by these difficulties can also be numerous, such as headaches, breathing difficulties, irritations in the nose, sore throats of all sorts, pressure on the ears, tinnitus (ringing in the ears), and pains in the ears.
This problem can occur at any age. We have treated patients two months old, and we've also done endonasal work on some in their late nineties. The condition can be acute, such as a cold with its attendant after effects; or chronic, in which the symptoms, though perhaps not as extreme as in the acute form, do not abate but persist for weeks, months and even years.
The various anti-allergy agents and decongestants may prove useful to patients in the early stages of the acute form, but once the condition has become chronic, which it does all too often, medical science has little to offer in the way of a true cure. This last statement is not mere opinion but is admitted by many physicians in this field. Sam E. Roberts, M.D., associate professor of otolaryngology at the University of Kansas School of Medicine, (Roberts. S. E.: Ear. Nose and Throat Dysfunctions due to Deficiencies and Imbalances.) says this:
"I have practiced medicine for almost half a century. For twenty-five years my methods were strictly orthodox, just as I was taught. During that quarter of a century, I viewed each patient as a candidate for surgery of some sort; my thinking stopped just there." (There are many well-meaning, sincere surgeons whose thinking still stops just there! It means one thing-faulty teaching.)
"At the end of this twenty-five year period, I weighed my accomplishments and found them wanting. For months I kept a daily tabulation of my patients' progress. The observations were recorded under four headings: (1) those really helped, (2) those for whom I did little to relieve their troubles, (3) those for whom nothing could be done with our present store of knowledge and (4) those who were made worse by surgery.
"There were far too many patients in the last three classifications. The foregoing critical self-analysis is suggested for all branches of medicine and surgery.
"If it were positively known how many surgical procedures could have been avoided had all physiologic dysfunctions been carefully investigated and given adequate therapy, the revelation would be shocking. Equally shocking would be the facts as to how many patients are now in hospitals and mental institutions who in the beginning had only physiologic and easily correctable dysfunctions."
Dr. Roberts, although not the first, was probably one of the most thorough men of the orthodox medical profession to study the nonsurgical methods of correcting ear, nose, and throat difficulties. He goes on to say:
"Many patients with acoustic, ocular, cardiac, and scores of other dysfunctions-including nervous and even mental disorders-with negative laboratory findings, are too frequently categorically classified as 'Irreversible.' Little thought is given to the possibility of arresting or reversing these dysfunctions, thereby preventing further degenerative tissue changes.
"Since I have frequently been profoundly astonished by finding dysfunctions somewhat reversible which I had previously considered irreversible, I now hesitate to give a dour prognosis without a vigorous therapeutic effort to help the patient."
Chronic Upper Respiratory Difficulties
In treating both acute and chronic ear, nose, and throat (ENT) cases, we usually divide treatment into two basic areas- first, treatment the patient must do himself, and second, treatment that can be given only by a knowledgeable natural healer with the proper equipment. In the long run, the first type of treatment is just as important or even more important than the treatment he receives from the physician. No matter how skillfully the physician does his work, unless the patient does his part, the condition will return. After healing the sick, Jesus would leave them with this admonition: "Go thy way and sin no more lest a worse thing come upon thee." It is possible for us at the Healing Research Center to correct almost any form of ENT difficulty; however, if the patient doesn't stick to the maintenance program we outline (to go his way and sin no more), the same or a similar problem will usually appear in the future.
What the Patient Must Do
The most important factor the patient can use to correct or control these problems is diet. Most ENT problems stem from a diet consisting of too many sugars and carbohydrates and an insufficient amount of fruits, vegetables and protein of high biologic quality. In the beginning of our treatment, we also restrict dairy products because these tend to produce mucous and congestion. Cottage cheese, yogurt and to some extent, buttermilk seem to have less of a tendency than the other dairy products and, therefore, are allowed to patients in limited quantities after the more congestive stages of the disability are corrected. Egg yolks also have a low congestive tendency in comparison with the white and they are allowed at this later stage as well. Dairy products that combine milk and sugar, such as ice cream, are particularly bad for these conditions, as are most hard cheeses, because of their concentrated food elements. The food allotment should consist of fruits, vegetables (both raw and cooked) lean meat, fish, seafood, herb teas, and small amounts of yogurt and cottage cheese.
Dairy products are allowed in small amounts after the severe symptoms are controlled in patients who aren't sensitive to them; even here it is important that the patient attempt to obtain milk that is raw, preferably certified, and also to use other dairy products that are as natural as possible. Even though I can't give specific scientific evidence to prove that refined and processed dairy products are more congesting, forty years of private practice has satisfied me on this subject.
As the patient improves with treatment, some of the more healthful starches can be brought back into his diet. Products such as natural brown rice, baked potato, small amounts of whole-grain breads, whole-grain cereals, honey and natural raw sugar may be added. These must, however, be regulated in amounts and, even with the most successful case, should not be allowed to exceed the recommendations in our Basic Maintenance Diet. It is nearly impossible to correct these ailments without attention to a corrective diet, though only rarely is diet sufficient to elicit a cure by itself.
Almost all such problems require a specific amount of local treatment and nutritional supplementation to bring about their proper resolution. The main function of the diet is to prevent a recurrence of the inflammatory congestive process once it has been removed by specific natural therapeutic treatments.
What the Physician Must Do
The most useful single form of local treatment for these catarrh problems is endonasal therapy. This is the basic treatment used to initiate the draining and cleansing processes necessary to remove the congestion common to all these difficulties. With a twinkle in his eye Dr. Finell used to refer to this procedure as "finger technique." In a moment you will see why this truly heroic therapy goes by such a rather plain and ignoble title.
Behind the nose and up above the tonsils is a small indentation called the "fossa of Rosenmuller" (Fig. 5). In this area the proximal end of the Eustachian tube opens into the throat. The Eustachian tube begins in the middle ear, passing downward, to come to an end in this fossa (Fig. 6). Owing to the nature of the surface anatomy and of the draining pathways of the mucus, the fossa of Rosenmuller invariably becomes clogged with this draining fluid in catarrhal conditions. Fossa%20of%20Rose Eustation
With the passage of time, the material that accumulates in this small cavity solidifies and becomes jelly-like. In this stage, it may clog the opening of the Eustachian tube and even some of the sinus drain tubes. In time the accumulated material becomes harder; both small capillaries and adhesions may form in this mass as time goes on. I find the accumulation of this material in this vital area of the nasal pharynx is one of the most consistent causes of ENT difficulties. Until this deposit is removed, no case of sinus or related disease will be corrected permanently. Such disorders may be alleviated by other therapies, but they will return again and again until this accumulation is eliminated.
Because of this material's placement at the end of the Eustachian tube, its persistent pressure can cause catarrhal afflictions of the ear. Many cases of partial deafness and tinnitus can be corrected only by the removal of this material. Many cases of recurring earaches in children and others are immediately alleviated by attention to this deposit. The procedure for its removal takes less than three minutes. Often the improvement is immediate and if a patient follows the proper dietary instructions, the procedure almost never needs to be repeated. If sinus sufferers knew what help is available to them through this method, I would never have time for any other therapy. I know of no other therapy that is so quickly done and yet so thorough and long-lasting.
This therapy has been around for some time, but unfortunately it is little used, even by those trained in its techniques. Perhaps, like some other good therapies (colonic irrigations, for example), it is considered messy and troublesome in execution and for this reason many physicians have avoided it. A second reason for its rare use may be that a certain amount of skill and dexterity is needed in its proper execution, but not more than that required by many other medical procedures
The mechanics of the treatment consist of passing into the open mouth a rubber-cotted forefinger, which is carefully advanced between the uvula and the tonsil, passing up behind the soft palate. By turning the hand to the side, the fossa of Rosenmuller is found. A careful but rapid examination of the area is made with the finger. If deposits of mucoid material are found, they are removed with an agile sweep of the fingertip. As the hand is removed, the adjoining areas are gently massaged and the soft palate is pulled, or "sprung" as Dr. Finell like to refer to it. The hand is then removed, and the procedure for that side is complete. The patient is given some time to enable the freed material to drain from this side and then the other side is done. The entire procedure is finished in just under three minutes. The actual time the finger is within the nasal pharynx is about six seconds. In addition to this basic technique, we use many modifications at our Healing Research Center that make the procedure more effective and comfortable. To best show these nuances, let me describe the procedure exactly as we give it in our Center.
The patient is first given chlorophyll nebulization-a therapy in which water-soluble chlorophyll is placed in a standard glass nebulizer, which in turn is activated by a tank of oxygen. For about ten minutes the patient breathes in this aerosol through the nose. This chlorophyll-oxygen compound is very healing and helps decongest the tissues without using the usual decongesting drugs, which tend to have a rebound congesting effect after their primary use is finished.
After chlorophyll-oxygen nebulization, the patient is prepared for surgery. He is given a plastic pan to hold containing a small amount of water and beside him two glasses of hot water are placed-one salted and one plain. If the patient wears artificial dentures or elaborate removable bridgework, these are removed before the operative procedure begins. The physician then wets his cotted finger in the glass of plain water, gently enfolds the patient's head with his free arm and proceeds with removal of the congested material as previously described. As soon as he is finished, the patient is given the glass of hot salt water to gargle.
In some patients, large amounts of accumulated mucoid material will come out almost immediately; in others, who will benefit just as much by the treatment, almost no discharge is immediately evident. Some of these eliminate the material later and in a few it passes out the nasal passages.
After a short wait, the other side is also corrected, with the foregoing procedure repeated. After this therapy, the patient is again given the chlorophyll-oxygen nebulization, which now helps allay any minor irritation caused by the procedure. After nebulization, the patient is given a cleansing diet and specific nutritional products to help return his chronic inflamed mucous membrane to normal. He is then discharged with the admonition to gargle with hot salted water if there is any soreness in the throat following the procedure.
Although not exactly pleasant, the procedure is not particularly painful. It is over in a few seconds and there is little discomfort afterwards. There is less distress to endonasal work than there is to filling a tooth. A few moments of discomfort in a properly executed endonasal procedure can mean months and years of freedom from severe pain and suffering. All too often we are offered situations that subject us to years of regret and suffering for a few moments of pleasure. It is refreshing to find something that gives us a reverse choice.
The Character of the Endonasal Procedure
When Dr. Finell discoursed enthusiastically on this procedure in class, most of us considered it the ravings of a near-senile old man. Only years of experience and my own medical maturity have proven to me that, if anything, Finell was conservative in his praise. It is difficult to estimate the full beneficial ramifications of this therapeutic measure. Besides cleaning out the congestion in the fossa of Rosenmuller, this treatment revitalizes all the tissues of the nasal pharynx. Many congestions and inflammations of the upper respiratory tract not directly connected with the Eustachian tube or the fossa often respond to this therapy. Even eye problems are often improved when congestive orbital pressure is removed by its use.
I originally used endonasal therapy only on a select group of sinus problems. Other upper respiratory conditions were treated by more traditional natural means. A reappraisal of my work showed, however, that disorders for which the "finger technique" was not used very commonly recurred and an honest cure could not be claimed. In recent years, endonasal therapy has become almost routine for ENT cases in our Center, and the rate of satisfactory recovery has been higher than at any previous time.
The endonasal procedure is only the beginning of the curative process in chronic ENT problems. Once these vital passages are cleared, they must be drained and kept open, and the tissues returned to their normal tone and vitality. This work should begin a day or two after the original surgery. At this time, the patient is once again given chlorophyll nebulization, after which a special form of oxygen called Octozone is instilled via the nostrils up into the nasal pharynx and sinus areas. After Octozone instillation into the nasal pharynx, there is a mild burning sensation from the membranes, similar to that caused by placing a weak antiseptic on a wound. The action is very similar, for in this type of a concentration, the oxygen released from the Octozone acts as an effective stimulant and antiseptic. The main purpose of the Octozone, however, is to liquefy old accumulated mucus so that the body can more easily eliminate it. Sometimes the patient may appear to be catching a cold. He is not, the Octozone has merely produced a healing crisis in his nasal passages. A healing crisis is an acute reaction created in a chronic condition to stimulate the body's inflammatory mechanism to heal the old ailment.
The common cold is an example of a disease crisis. We have here a virus infection in which the body reacts to an inflammatory state to such an extent that the inflamed tissues involved are rapidly and completely regenerated. Therefore, at the end of a properly handled cold, one is just as healthy or perhaps even healthier (if naturopathic theory is correct) than he was at the beginning of the acute episode. In a chronic ailment, however, a low-grade inflammatory or degenerative state is present that the body is not able to correct unaided. And therefore a sort of cold war is established between the body and this offending pathologic condition. The condition is not strong enough to destroy the body, but the body is not strong enough to cast off the offending ailment.
We in natural healing believe it possible to stimulate the body to produce a healing inflammatory reaction in chronic ailments that enables the inflamed tissues to return to a normal state. It is difficult to do this with all conditions, but it is accomplished in many and in ENT congestion our batting average is near a thousand.
After the Octozone has worked a few minutes, the patient is again given chlorophyll nebulization to act as a soothing agent. At this time in our treatment, we often use a special diathermy (Magnatherm) treatment to stimulate tissue regeneration.
Now that we have the MicroLight 830 low level laser this treatment is also use to help reduce the inflammation of these conditions. As in all the other things treated by this modality the results have been very rewarding.
Manipulative therapy (chiropractic and osteopathic) is also helpful, as is selective massage therapy over the affected sinuses. This last therapy is not well known but has proven most effective at our Center. In performing this treatment, a thin layer of olive oil is first put over the cheeks and forehead. The physician then uses the tips of his thumbs to gently but thoroughly massage these surfaces. Of particular interest is the area just below the eyes, for nerve centers there help drain the maxillary sinuses (in the cheek bones). Many sinus difficulties are centered in this area, and drainage and resolution can be greatly encouraged by correct massage treatments.
Endonasal therapy is usually performed only once but the other treatments are continued until the membranes are no longer sensitive to the Octozone and the patient is basically symptom-free. When he is finally discharged, he is encouraged to follow a rational low-stress, low-congestion diet to avoid recurrence. Where patients have been even moderately faithful in this admonition, most have remained symptom-free for many years.
Some patients may require variations of this fundamental endonasal therapy because of the specific manifestation of their problems or coexisting problems unrelated to the ENT condition.
The endonasal procedure may be used successfully for hearing difficulties and ear noises. In these cases, the basic therapy is accompanied by regular Magnatherm treatments to the ears and tissues of the repair system. Also we now are using the Low Level Laser on these conditions as well. Specific herbal and homeopathic remedies designed to help the regeneration of the Eustachian tube, middle ear and tympanic membrane (eardrum) are also prescribed. Both deafness and ear noises may come from a variety of causes; however, we have a sufficiently high percentage of response to the endonasal therapy to make its use worthwhile in most cases. Even though we can't guarantee success in these conditions by the use of this therapy, I can not remember one case in which the patient was not helped to some degree. This is also true in cases diagnosed specifically as nerve deafness. I don't want to imply that the diagnosing physician has been incorrect, but we find in most cases of nerve deafness that some congestive deafness aggravates the condition. By the use of our basic treatment, this congestive component can be diminished and the patient thereby improved.
This same multiple cause may also exist in tinnitus. Almost any injury to the eardrum or auditory nerve can cause forms of tinnitus. However, many of these are complicated by congestive pathologic conditions; when these are corrected, the tinnitus improves, even though its primary cause may not have been overcome.
Our success in such cases, however, suggests another possible reason for the improvements. The effects of endonasal treatment are far more widespread than can be accounted for by the simple mechanical congestion removal. It is my personal feeling, after many years of using this therapy, that there may ensue a revitalization of the auditory nerve itself, plus other nerves in this area, which may account for the success we find in many of our patients. I know that it is a medical axiom that nerves, once damaged, do not readily regenerate, but I remember what Dr. Roberts said in his book on ear, nose and throat work. He found, as have others, that many things that supposedly can't be regenerated do regenerate. Dr. Clymer said to me many years ago, "There is only one sure road to failure, only one sure way to not help a patient and that is to never try." So I sincerely suggest that those readers who may be troubled with hearing and tinnitus problems look into constructive endonasal treatment. I have never yet known a case made worse by this therapy and I have known thousands made better.
Polyps and Allergies
Allergies of all forms are common in our practice, and many allergies produce symptoms of the ear, nose and throat (ENT) system. Although many allergies respond well to endonasal therapy, most of these patients also have the hypoadrenal syndrome or hypoglycemia. Unless this systemic defect is treated (see Chapter II), no permanent improvement of the allergy can be expected.
At Woodlands Medical Center they have developed procedures for ascertaining and correcting specific allergies and this work is often essential to help some of these patients.
Nasal polyps is a rather common and resistant condition. The polyps usually result from an allergy that weakens the wall of the nasal mucous membrane causing ballooning of this wall followed by a filling of the sack with a clear liquid. These polyps sometimes become large enough to completely occlude the nasal passages, making nose breathing almost impossible.
Although polyps are generally easily removed surgically, they have a nasty habit of returning rapidly because the cause hasn't been found and removed. We have had patients whose polyps have been removed twelve or more times with no real curative results.
Polyps usually should be treated somewhat similarly to regular allergies, with a careful check of the adrenal and sugar levels. We have found, however, that even when all known methods of therapy are utilized, the polyps are often resistant to treatment. We have had extremely good results with the use of certain specific homeopathic remedies in these cases. Thuja, in the proper dosage, has proven invaluable in preventing polyp recurrence after surgery and even ill causing polyps to regress in many patients who haven't required surgery.
We are now beginning to see what the MicroLight 830 will do for polyps. As this is written we have not enough experience to say whether this therapy will help or not. If you have polyps ask your physician at our Centers, by the time you read this we should have more information on the Laser treatment of this condition.
A rather enigmatic problem often encountered is that of the patient who complains of chronic sensitive, swollen glands. We have found many diverse reasons for this condition, from the patient who had cat-scratch fever and nearly died, to one with a salivary stone caught in one of the ducts. Most cases, however, are due to a toxic condition of the general system, which responds to an eliminative diet such as suggested for endonasal conditions. Herbal therapy using our special herbal remedy known as EMP-Plus and specific nutritional support, particularly that with elements of the RNA and DNA factors from the various lymphatic substances, is usually very helpful in these patients.
These swollen glands are inflamed lymph glands. The lymphatic system is one of the most outrageously disregarded functioning systems in our body. The lymph is a very important substance that helps keep our body in a healthy, normal state, yet it has been almost entirely ignored by the medical orthodoxy. I believe that some day a bright-eyed medical researcher will suddenly discover the lymphatic system and through his discoveries a whole new form of therapy will be instituted. But even then, this man-so far ahead of his time-will still be about seventy-five years behind the natural therapist.
Other specific therapies are used in our Clinic for treating ailments of the ear, nose and throat, but because each is specific for the patient involved, it is not practical to discuss them here. I can say, however, that natural therapy has great hope to offer sufferers of ENT difficulties, so don't let a discouraging medical prognosis keep you from investigating the possibility of natural therapy. In the whole field of medicine, no other group of disorders seems to respond so poorly to orthodox treatment and yet so well to natural therapeutics as does this group.
Dr. Finell devoted many years of his life to the treatment of eye conditions. He would travel across the country to see a man purported to have a new treatment for glaucoma or cataract. He also did much work using the Bates method of eye care, in which use of eyeglasses was replaced with eye exercises and visual training. We have attempted to carry on his work in this field at the Healing Research Center. We don't say that we have a specific cure for cataracts, although we have many patients with this condition who seem most satisfied with our care. Many local eye specialists can't understand why some of their patients are doing as well as they are. They can't explain why some patients' cataracts that are supposed to get progressively worse are getting better. These patients, of course, don't tell their physicians they are also visiting us at the same time they are under their care.
Sight Without Glasses
The Bates method of sight without glasses has been utilized by our Center since its inception. We use it not so much to encourage people to get rid of eyeglasses but rather to correct the basic eye strain that often precipitates need for them. We endeavor to remove the strain, not the glasses. We teach various exercises to relax the whole ocular mechanism, and the results have been most encouraging. Such treatment has proven useful, not only for eye difficulties, but also for many other apparently unrelated nervous problems. The eye, because of its natural sensitivity, is one of the first organs to show signs of bodily strain and stress. If we take this as a warning signal and begin to treat the nervous condition at the first sign of these early warnings, it is possible to prevent many far more dangerous problems. Chapter XVIII is entirely devoted to the Bates method of eye care, and the system is explained in detail there.
In summary, I wish to reiterate the success of natural therapies in eye, ear, nose and throat problems. The orthodox treatment for most chronic ailments in this area has been surgery, but it has only rarely produced satisfactory long term results. Patients willing to give natural therapy a fair trial very rarely must go for surgery. So I leave you with this optimistic note. Nearly 95 per cent of eye, ear, nose and throat patients respond successfully to natural therapy. The odds are in your favor. Why not try it.