Saturday, March 14, 2009

Body reprogramming

Blood pressure has remained at a fairly good level lately. Not sure if it's the medicine (Cozaar) or the healthy eating. I haven't kept up the meditation, so it can't be that!

Talking of eating, cutting out dairy, and reducing wheat, has been harder than I thought. I feel very hungry with cravings for pizza, or something, and no desire for fruit or vegetables at all. After I eat these things, though, I do feel satisfied... for a while at least.

Today I had my first appointment with an "alternative" doctor. He is a medical doctor who now uses a technique called "Total Body Modification" or TBM. He told me he had success with a four other patients with chronic kidney disease (worse than me), so he thought the chances were good that he would be able to help. I neglected to ask how many (if any) patients _hadn't_ responded to his treatment!

His diagnosis technique was very interesting and left me wondering whether he has a special gift or whether it's just training:
  • He asked me to raise my arm and resist his trying to lower it.
  • He than proceeded to touch different parts of my body, which he said corresponded to different organs, and tried to lower my arm.
  • When touching a healthy "organ" he had trouble lowering my arm. When touching a sick organ he was able to lower my arm easily
While I have no idea of the validity of this techique as a diagnosis, what was very interesting is that there was a definite difference in my ability to resist him moving my arm, depending on where he was (lightly) touching my torso. Fascinating.

The technique also reminded me of "ki" exercises I've read about. "Ki" is an eastern concept describing a "universal energy" that flows through all living things. In these exercises someone who can control and "extend" their ki can extend their relaxed arm and noone can move it. I've heard of similar things with hypnosis. All very interesting and a great treat to experience something like that first hand.

It's not the first time I've had "unusual" experiences like this with "alternative" healers, so it seems clear to me that there is more to the working of the human body than is covered by the Western medical system. If there are such clear, scientifically unexplained, effects (in me at least) I wonder why the research doesn't seem to have been done to explain them and therefore use that knowledge in medicine. Then it occurs to me that perhaps it doesn't work with everyone and perhaps that is a big flaw in medical research: for something to be proven to work, it has to work in everyone, with the implicit assumption that all human beings are identical, mechanical, beings. I somehow instinctively believe, however, that many illnesses are caused by the mind and I don't think anyone would claim that any two minds are necessarily alike!

The doctor made a possible diagnosis that made a lot sense. Perhaps something I ate once had triggered an immune response from my body and that same immune response was attacking my kidneys. For whatever reason, the immune response never "turned off". This possibility seems consistent with a non-painful intestinal condition I've had on and off for seven years (the same time period that protein was first detected in my urine). It may also be consistent with a "gas" problem I've had for the last four months or so (about the same time period as my blood pressure got higher).

After the diagnosis, he proceeded to stimulate certain points of my body with some kind of mechanical hammer. This was a tool with the same form as an electric drill but instead of a drill bit it had two plastic rounded hammer heads that move back and forth alternatively, contacting the body. He also put pressure on other areas by placing some hard foam wedges under my body.

He asked about my medicines and recommended that I stay on Cozaar and Aspirin but didn't recommend that I start taking the Calcort (that the nefrologist prescribed), unless I didn't get better with his treatment. Calcort is a steriod that supresses the body's own immune system. What scares me about Calcort is that it can have a permanent debiliting effect on the immune system, and if I depend on it to protect my kidneys it probably means taking it for the rest of my life. That's why I would like to find a "non-drug" solution to the problem.

He reviewed my diet and made it even stricter (!) cutting out sugar and honey, boxed cereals, and wheat.

Next steps
The doctor recommend two sessions a week until my blood creatinine levels start to go down, and one session a week thereafter. It will be a bit of a commitment as his clinic is about one-and-a-half hours journey away but if it works it will be more than worth it!

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