Here Thar Be Monsters!

From the other side of the argument to the other side of the planet, read in over 149 countries and 17 languages. We bring you news and opinion with an IndoTex® flavor. Be sure to check out the Home Site. Send thoughts and comments to, and tell all your friends. Sampai jumpa, y'all.


Adventures in Acupuncture VIII

UPDATE: One of our great readers sent me a link to Dr. Paolo Zamboni, in Italy, who has been making headlines for a while with an apparently successful new MS treatment.  If any of our Italian readers can provide further info, we'd be happy to share it around.  Thanks Larry!

Well, we're back again.  I took a little break to do some research, and also because I had hit a plateau in the treatments.  I wasn't getting any additional benefit, but I wasn't losing ground either.

I stopped the treatments a couple of weeks ago for several reasons, but the two biggest being the lack of advancement and the desire to see if the benefits I had gotten were permanent, or dependent on on-going treatment.

I've also found some new options to pursue.  One might be quite interesting to those looking for alternative health care options.  But first...

On the benefit side, I have regained some vision in my right eye, which is remarkable in itself.  I've also regained a good amount of red/green vision, which has applications for folks who are red/green color blind.  Might want to try it.  I've also regained brightness and some contrast and depth perception.  Not a lot, but a noticeable amount.  That helps with navigation, especially when facing my nemesis -- going down stairs.

Drawbacks?  It's played hell with my focus ability.  Before,

I had one spot in the center of my left field of vision that was sharp as a pin, though black and white.  It was very small, allowing me to read signs at a distance or focus on vehicles coming my way.  Now, I have several small spots like that, with color, that cause me to constantly move my eyes to try to bring something into the clear area.  It's hard to curse this, since having more is better, one supposes, but my eyes tend to be very tired at the end of the day for all the moving and focusing.

Overall, I am very pleased with the results, and I haven't abandoned acupuncture, by any means.  I have gotten the name of a local doctor/sin she who is trained in Western medicine, so is familiar with the effects of MS.  I hope that his better understanding of the disease will allow him to focus the treatments for better effect.

Of course, I'm still maintaining my daily supplements and I attribute the goji berry juice with enhancing my eyesight and helping me focus my mind more.

One drawback I need to mention, though, is that the leg spasms have returned since stopping the acupuncture.  Applying a certain natural herb to the problem is very effective, but only lasts for about an hour or so, requiring a re-application if I haven't managed to get to sound sleep by that time.

As for new courses to explore, about a year ago, I got word of a woman here in Jakarta who was having miraculous success treating cancers and various other ailments.  At that time, she had a fairly wide-spread reputation among the expats here.  Her name is Dr. Griya Balur, but a lot of folks call her Dr. Cigarettes.  She made international headlines a few months back with claims of stunning cures, but what got the attention was her method.

Dr. Balur uses tobacco in her treatments.  Pure, unadulterated leaf straight from the field.  To read some of the articles, it's a bit misleading.  She doesn't actually use the tobacco as a cure.  Rather, it's a diagnostic tool.

What she does is coat a table with a proprietary mixture of herbs and such.  The patient then lies on the table and she proceeds to blow tobacco smoke into every orifice of the body.  She quite literally blows smoke up your [blessed assurance].

The tobacco suffuses the body and leeches out through the skin.  In turn, the residue mixes with the coating on the table forming a pattern.  She reads this pattern to show which areas of the body are healthy and which are not.  From that information, she can determine a course of treatment, which involves targeting selected organs and systems with minerals and herbs.

Basically, it's not unlike Western medicine, which sometimes uses a blue dye injected into a tumor to see which lymph nodes are feeding it.  They then surgically remove those nodes.

Dr. Balur, however, approaches it from the standpoint that the cancers are the result of improper flows and balances in the body's minerals and vitamins.  It's a very sensical approach and not unlike the treatments used by vets on large farm animals.

At any rate, I am intrigued by the process and the anecdotal stories I've heard second-hand about cures for cancers, diabetes, stroke, and various wasting diseases.  Though I haven't heard directly about MS, it is similar to other auto-immune disorders she has reportedly cured without trace.  By trace, I mean using standard assays recognized in Western medicine, such as blood tests, X-rays, etc.

As your faithful reporter in these matters, I will consult with Dr. Balur, and if possible, undergo her treatment and report anything I find.

As for other lines of investigation, I have started following tai chi.  I have never pursued any of the Eastern martial arts, so I am literally starting from ground zero.  I chose this route because it is a very low impact form of exercise, and because it promotes two things above all: relaxation and balance.  The motions are both fluid and slow.  There is no emphasis on power.  All strength comes from simply being and maintaining balance.

Every Saturday and Sunday, I meet with a group and have a trainer.  The rest of the week, I simply practice on the front porch in the early mornings.  I found it through the local Buddhist temple and there is no charge for it.  You may want to investigate this route if interested.  The masters are all between 70 and 80 years old, and strong as oxen.  I weight fully 200#/100 kilo and I can hang on their shoulders and cannot budge them when pushing on them.  They all promote tai chi as a means to achieving a long and healthy life.  At 50, they still consider me a youngster.

At any rate, because the MS attacks the neuro-muscular control, I figured this was a good route to go that focused on the very things I am having the most trouble with.  I've developed this old-man stoop both as a way to see the ground in front of me, and to compensate for my balance problems.  I'm hoping the tai chi will help correct that and give me more confidence in my movement and balance.  Plus, as a form of exercise, it can be done well into the old age, but unlike golf, requires no equipment or even special clothing.

So, I continue my two-pronged approach to the MS situation.  The first approach is to relieve the symptoms that I have.  These include the twitching leg muscles, lower back pains and blindness.  The second approach is to investigate possible cures, based on both my own theories regarding the genesis of MS, and the various alternative cures offered by Asian traditional medicine.

I have chosen the alternative path because I live in Asia and have access to these various traditions, and because Western medicine required me to surrender far too much of my quality of life for a bunch of legal weasel words.

My first, and so far only attack occurred two and a half years ago, which from what I've read means that I've already beaten the odds, which say the average MS patient will get hit once a year or so after the first attack. Whether I'm a statistical aberration or the things I've been doing are beneficial is still up in the air.  Certainly, nothing I am doing can be anything but beneficial, as they involve vitamins, minerals, herbs, exercise, and healthy eating.  Combined with the mental attitude that I will not be a victim nor surrender the fight (which is probably more attributable to being a hard-headed Irish Texan).

At any rate, I will continue to keep interested parties abreast of my findings.  I also wish to thank the readers who have been sending in scads of information.  I am still parsing it all, but will post more of the links and files in future reports.  Though my personal Odyssey involves MS, these things may have broad implications not only for other maladies, but also for general well-being.  I am sharing any and all observations and information that may be beneficial to others.

In an age when health care costs are soaring and Western medicine is dominated by a pharmacological beast that mucks around with the chemical balances of the body and brain, I want to find cheap and easy alternatives that are just as effective, if not more so.  Food supplements, exercise, fresh fruit and vegetable juices, and things like acupuncture and Dr. Balur's approach are all worthy of investigation.  There is no reason why popping pills and going under the knife are the only alternatives.

Certainly, as far as costs go, everything I've spent in two and a half years on alternatives have added up to about three days in an American hospital, and far more sanitary.  That I have so far beaten the odds on MS attacks at least gives me hope that I am on the right track.

Above all, it's the mind.  By maintaining the attitude that I will make lemonade from life's lemons is probably the most important weapon I have against anything that befalls me.  Like the old maxim says:

First, know thyself.

A loving, caring spouse doesn't hurt, either.  :)

This is part 8 of an on-going series of articles about the use of acupuncture in treating the effects of multiple sclerosis, especially blindness.  See Part 1 herePart 2 herePart 3 herepart 4 herePart 5 here, Part 6 here, and Part 7 here. The standard Western medical approach gave no hope for recovery, and the use of life-long drugs (with distasteful side-effects) offered a ‘possible’ protection from further attacks.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Feel free to leave your own view of The Far Side.