A New Treatment

People are always sending me their “home remedies” for Peripheral Neuropathy. Today is no different – but, this is one of the strangest!

“Climatize your feet to be rid of pain!”

All I can say to this one is, “Oh, my!” and shake my head.  Apparently, a new “Myth” is to mix “local dirt, dust from one’s home, pet fur and locally made honey” together and ingest. This will make one’s feet feel better, as any contaminants which are working like toxins to the body, will be absorbed and “gotten used to” by the cells; thus, helping to remyelinate the nerves and reduce pain.  How much should one take? Just a tablespoon or two of “crud” should do it!

Sorry, but this is utter nonsense.  Yes, there is something to eating raw, local honey for allergies, but eating dirt…? I’m afraid not. Same thing with pet fur and house dust.

I’m sure some people will argue this point with me, but for my advice… stick with the honey, maybe… and forget the rest. Even then, the honey isn’t going to help ones Peripheral Neuropathy… especially, if one is diabetic!

As with most “old sayings” or “home remedies…”  if something sounds too good to be true, chances are… it is!


After Months Of Waiting….

My book, “Peripheral Neuropathy: Case Histories, Myths and Treatments That Work!” is available on Amazon – with free shipping with Amazon Prime. Its too big for Kindle; but my next book: “Peripheral Neuropathy: How to Treat Yourself” will be much smaller and available in both paperback and on Kindle – probably, for $9.99!41FsYsRrqZL

What is a Neuropathist?

I have been asked a lot lately, (mostly, I guess, since the formation of the “Ask the Neuropathist” blog) “What is a Neuropathist?”

People, additionally, ask: “Are you a Naturopath?”  The answer is, “no;” but, I do have naturopathic training.”Are you a Medical Doctor?” “No;” but I study and have been professionally trained in a lot of disorders. “Are you a Homeopath?” Once again, the answer is “No;” but again, but I hold certifications in Homeopathic medicines and training. “What about a Physical Therapist?”  Well, “no…” but again; but, I have training in various forms of physical therapy. “What about a Nutritionist or Dietitian?” “No;” but, I am trained in diet and nutrition for certain disorders! “What about a Physiatrist, Chiropractor, Psychiatrist, Psychologist or Veterinarian? “No… I am not any of those;” and, “No,” I cannot write a 420 prescription or give “sports” examinations – as I, also, get asked a lot. One more, of which I was just asked, is “Are you a Urologist?” Nope. I’m not that either!

I am a Neuropathist; which, is a $2 word for a “Certified, Neuromuscular Stimulation Technician;” and, from what people tell me, I may have been the very first in the nation (as any research of the word “neuropathist,” generally, leads to me, I am told!

Yes, I do hold degrees in Social Science, am a Doctor of Metaphysics and hold an honorary doctorate; as well as, certifications from such agencies and schools as: The Neuropathy Treatment Centers of America™, ReBuilder Medical™, Chico Therapy and Wellness, The School of Alternative Healthcare, Boiron™, Alternative Healing, Alternatives at Homeopathy, The Healing Arts Institute and multiple other agencies; in various modalities of Neuromuscular stimulation, vibrational therapies, aroma and oxygen therapies, sensorimotor therapies, anodyne therapy, far wave infrared therapy, Toronto and Berg testing, associated neuropathies, sports injuries, massage and USUI REIKI! I am, even, certified to work on Canines! 

But, what I do, is to treat pain, numbness, burning, tingling, cramping and edema due to various injuries or medical conditions; such as MS, Parkinson’s, Diabetes and more – but, specializing in various forms of Peripheral, Autonomic, Proximal, Focal, Sensorimotor and other neuropathies.

However, the other modalities of treatment, such as Homeopathic or Nutrition, even Massage, all play a role in treating pain, injury and neuropathy issues too – that, is why I am well versed in them!

So, “What is a Neuropathist?”

A clinician; who treats pain, and primarily, Neuropathy associated issues, in a NATURAL or NON-INVASIVE manner with various forms of treatment modalities!

Lower Back Pain… is it just the back?


Speaking as someone who has had severe and multiple back injuries, I’m no stranger to back pain.  In fact, for the better part of 23 years, I have had, what is considered, chronic back pain… even after surgery to correct the issues.

But, when is back pain, NOT, true back pain? When it is caused by something like the Kidneys! Located against the back muscles in the upper abdominal area, the right and left kidney sit opposite each other on each side of the back; however, the right kidney tends to sit a little lower than the left so the abdominal cavity can accommodate the liver.

One way to, sometimes, tell the difference between a normal backache and kidney pain is, backache pain will be, generally, dull and constant;  while kidney pain can be sharp, severe and comes and goes with activity or hydration. That’s right, a lack of ingesting enough water can cause significant kidney pain; and help produce painful kidney stones.  The pain, only one side or the other, can mean that the kidney is not functioning because of the formation of the stones.  Often, this acutely felt on the right kidney; or the right side of the back or side.  But, kidney stones aren’t always the reason for the back pain.

What can cause this pain? A number of things; all of which, need to be checked out ASAP by a physician. Kidney stones are often the root of the problem, but sometimes they become just part of the issue. The most common symptom, is a blockage of the urine.  A kidney stone can block the flow of urine by becoming stuck while passing or by blocking the Ureter.  This, often, happens when the kidney swells; and can lead to other sharp pain in the right side of the abdomen and/or back.

Kidney Infection can also be a cause.  Inflammation of the kidney may result in pain and other issues.  Of course, intake of more water is, generally, but not always, advised; especially, when an antibiotic is prescribed.  The water will help to flush out toxins and reduce the inflammation. Again, one needs to see their physician for guidance.  Sometimes with this swelling and/or inflammation, bleeding might occur; and again, cause sharp pain. However, an injury to the kidney, such as a fall or a fight, could be a cause of the bleeding as well.  Again, more reason to see ones doctor.  Again, however, those pesky kidney stones can cause bleeding as well.

What else?  An interrupted blood supply to the kidney due to a blocked artery can lead to severe pain or kidney damage. This blocked artery can stem from arterial disease, diabetes, cholesterol, or other issues, such as cancer.

Even heredity can play a part in kidney pain, in the form of enlargement of the kidneys due to a Poly-cystic condition. This can lead to more symptoms, such as, spasms in the bladder as well.

What are some of the things NOT to do, or continue to do, with Kidney issues?  The list can be quite extensive; and, I would suggest looking things up on the internet to educate oneself while waiting to see the doctor.  But, if one is sure that the lower back is not the cause, then until seeing a doctor, limit activities, such as drinking soda pop, alcohol or other harsh fluids, which might antagonize the kidney condition.  Water, should be drunk to help flush out toxins from the kidneys; but again, I have to stress that one should be seeing a doctor ASAP.  If one cannot get into a their doctor immediately, then go to an Urgent Care for evaluation!

Other issues, might be limiting activity which can exacerbate the kidney condition or “move” the kidney stones. For example, if one knows they have kidney stones, then activity such as running/jugging or Whole Body Vibration may “move” a stone where it may block urine or even “tear” tissue by trying to pass.  In rare cases, however, and I can speak of this first hand, Whole Body Vibration can actually be used to “help pass” small, common stones, before they become large ones requiring surgery.

So, what is the moral of this story? Just about everybody experiences back pain at some time in their life.  The trick, is knowing if it is a muscle issue, bone issue – such as with an injury – or a kidney issue.  If pain comes on suddenly and is intense on one side of the back, but goes away just as fast… then returns some other time, perhaps, it is a kidney issue which needs to be checked out!  However, if pain radiates across the entire back (or even just on one side) and you have done something like “bending or lifting” which resulted in a sharp and steady pain which seems to last… it is more likely to be an injury from “lifting” or “bending” wrong; and the muscles are letting you know it!  Or, if you have had an accident of some kind which results in back pain; again, chances are, it is not a kidney issue; unless, the accident resulted in a “blow” to the kidney area of the back.

In any event, whenever there is acute pain which lasts more than just a momentary amount of time, it is generally best to see a doctor as soon as possible – especially, the older we get!

More about Myths!

Lets get back on topic, when it comes to “Myths” about peripheral neuropathy.

it’s amazing what people will try, before settling on a modality which works; such as neuromuscular therapy. We like to call them “Grandmas Remedies” in our office. Surprisingly, there is a bit of truth in many “home remedies;” but, there are a lot more “placebos” than most people care to admit.

The first and foremost “myth” that I hear, when a new patient comes into my office, is the fact that the patient has tried placing a bar of Ivory Soap in the foot of their bed, under the covers. Frankly, I can’t image how this one came about; as it is so strange. But, it is probably started as many of my patients have told me: “a friend of a friend tried it, and it works every time!” Well, it doesn’t work every time; in fact, I have never heard of anyone that it actually worked for!

My dad, as a suggestive child, was a prime example of taking a note of nonsense, and following through with it; “while I am gone, don’t shove beans up your nose,” she once told him, before going into town. When she came back, she found him sitting there on the floor… with a nose full of beans!  Most neuropathy patients fall into this ‘suggestive’ category as well. “If you want to bring feeling back to your feet… sleep wearing socks with a slice of purple onion in them.”  Some people will hear this, and in, what I think, is an act of desperation, go to bed with sliced onion in their socks. (Perhaps, this is where the Ivory Soap comes in… to help take the smell away.)  And, I have had a small amount of people say that they DID achieve some results doing this.  But, in actuality, this is just a placebo effect; people will be so desperate, that if they were told to shove beans up their nose for relief, a certain number of people would try!

Luckily, most “myth” remedies, aren’t as “desperate” as shoving  beans up ones nose; but people will try just about anything.  “Gin soaked white raisins,” is another “myth” I hear a lot about.  Whereas, one might enjoy these as a treat, or they would go great on a salad, they would do very little to relieve neuropathy remedies.  Of course, I have patients who argue with me, that “raisins have a lot of vitamins that can help neuropathy,” bit frankly, eating a few raisin would be like spitting on a fire to put it out! Variations of this use Vodka or even add dark chocolate to the mixture.  All, perhaps, good or good for you; but, really won’t do anything for a neuropathy.

How about this one: rub gasoline or motor oil into the feet to reduce pain, edema and burning.  Who in their right mind, would ever try such a thing… the desperate, that’s who!  In fact, when my own neuropathy was at its worse, I might have considered this (or beans up my nose).  Luckily, I was already treating neuropathy, when I developed it myself, so I knew better!

There are a lot more “myths” regarding neuropathy; and, over the coming months, we’ll discuss them more. We’ll even cover the ones which have a certain amount of truth involved in them!


Service dogs are defined by law as: “dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities.  Examples of such work or tasks include guiding people who are blind, alerting people who are deaf, pulling a wheelchair, alerting and protecting a person who is having a seizure, reminding a person with mental illness to take prescribed medications, *calming a person with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) during an anxiety attack, or performing other duties.”  *Unfortunately, there are still many agencies who don’t believe or follow this definition, as PTSD dogs come, more, under the heading of “Therapy” Dogs.  The law even makes it sound like it is impossible for a dog to serve more than one person; or, perhaps, it could even be illegal if they do!  Or, maybe, if they are serving more than one, particular person, they are “NOT” a true Service Dog.

However, the law, also, says that “Service animals are working animals, not pets!”  This can be a pretty ‘gray’ area; especially, when the Service Dog is more of a “Therapy or Comfort” dog.  Even in the above definition, regarding PTSD, many doctors, buildings, business owners, or so-called “Experts” can’t decide if the person with Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome is receiving, “Comfort, Therapy, Service or Companionship” from the animal!  To reiterate the law: “The work or task a dog has been trained to provide must be directly related to the person’s disability.  Dogs whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals under the ADA.”  So, where does PTSD come in?  And, if a dog is trained to aid PTSD, are they ONLY allowed to treat/comfort ONLY their owner?  The law doesn’t say if the Service Dog ONLY has to be for one person or not; but, it sounds like it can’t!  But then, what about people like myself; who has, not only, a personal Service Dog, but the same dog being an “Office Service Dog”… who helps patients who come in? She is, also, a “Therapy” and “Comfort” dog for certain patients! The law (and people pushing the issue) makes it sound like a dog can do “one thing only;” and, I have had certain restaurants argue the fact with me!  But, with an Office Service Dog, this, certainly, cannot be the case.  One can argue that “Yes,” this is MY dog, but how do I tell or teach the dog not to treat, comfort or care for someone who is in need of her services?

Let’s start off with a little story.  Recently, I had someone come into my office for foot treatment; but, during that time a passing car ‘backfired’ and that patient began to have an anxiety attack and cry; as they have severe PTSD from serving in both Afghanistan and Iraq.  My own, personal, Service Dog, Hershey, is trained to detect dangerous blood sugar levels.  However, she also is trained to be a “Therapy Dog;” not that I need it so much, but I wanted her trained for my patients.

Noticing this man crying, (and just sensing, that he had high levels of anxiey) she came out from under my desk (where she likes to stay out of the way) and went over to this person to provided “support/service” by offering them love, sympathy and “someone/something” to hold until their anxiety had reduced to a manageable level.  Below, is a photo, similar, to what happened.  But, as with most dogs, Hershey’s behavior, when it comes to seeing someone upset, is more instinctive than trained.


Of course, my patient needs, perhaps, medications, talk therapy, support groups and/or other therapies to help deal with this disorder.  But, when a dog comes up and ’empathically’ helps someone (in the case, a total stranger) in distress, I call that “SERVICE!” And, a good Service Dog, will instinctively know when to help someone!  I don’t see any more difference between my dog helping to calm down an emotionally distraught person than I do her helping someone up out of a chair, of which she was trained, or to lead someone to the bathroom!  Again, “OK,” yes, she is MY Service dog; but, she is, also, the “OFFICE” Service Dog as well; meaning, that if someone needs help she can provide, she offers it!  She is not fitting the “Letter of the Law,” by helping only one person; and some, unfortunately, would take exception to that!

Fortunately or unfortunately, nobody has ever explained the difference between being a Service, Comfort, Therapy or even Pet, to Hershey!  She just sees if someone has a problem – either by recognizing it through training, such as with Low Blood Sugar, or being naturally sympathetic; and thus, naturally, going to help them.

Here is another example – I wrote about on Facebook sometime back; we were in a very public situation (petstore) for some additional training in walking on/off leash.  The trainer was teaching Hershey better skills, when the two of them were approached by a woman.  She stated “how cute” Hershey was in her purple Service vest and asked if she could pet her?  The trainer told her “No,” as Hershey was “working and part of her training was not to be petted or distracted while working.”  The woman understood, but Hershey seem determined she meet the woman. (And, Hershey is not the most social animal when meeting strangers on the street).  I gave permission for the woman to meet Hershey, and surprisingly, Hershey went to great lengths to put her face in the woman’s face… sniffing.  The woman said, “she must be able to smell what I ate for lunch.”  “Or,” the trainer said, “she has been trained to detect low blood sugar.” The woman stated, “Well, I am diabetic!”  The trainer replied, “Perhaps, you should go check your blood sugar, then;” which the woman, quickly, left to do!

Was Hershey being MY “Service Dog?”  Not by some business standards, because she didn’t ONLY detect MY blood sugar!  Was she a “Comfort Dog?”  She made the woman feel better, by her knowing that she might have a blood sugar problem which needed to be addressed.  Did she offer “Therapy?” Well, no… but, sort of?  Or, was she being a “Pet;” as she was not undergoing Service Dog Training at the time, but general behavior training?  Ask ten different people what happened, and they will give you ten different answers!

Once again, the law says; “A service animal is a dog or other animal, that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for a person with a disability.”   It doesn’t say “Person’s or People.”  I have diabetes.  Am I disabled?  No… just diabetic?  Then, why do I need a dog to help me detect low blood sugar BEFORE I am ready to pass out and go into a diabetic coma?  And, exactly “how” do I teach Hershey to “ignore” any and all detections of Low Blood Sugar, except mine?  If she is in my office, and performs this task on a patient, is she performing a Service to me or that person with the Low Blood Sugar?  This area is becoming more and more “gray!”

Let’s look at one more example and YOU make the determination (or, at least find the gray area)!  Another patient of mine has a granddaughter with severe autism.  She is 5 years old and has never spoken a word.  She recently met Hershey, while sitting on the floor, holding her “baby doll.”  I introduced her to the little girl and her grandmother, while saying “This is MY baby!” (You see, Hershey is more than just a work associate, and  she is more than just MY Service Dog… she is a member of the family!  Pet?  OK!) The little girl, smiled, at Hershey, and said “Baby!”  It was her first word!  Her thrilled mother, pointed to Hershey’s eyes, and said “Eyes?”  And the little girl repeated the word, “Eyes!”  The little girl saw something in Hershey, that brought out enough attention to say her first words!  Had this been just someone’s pet?  Who knows?  Perhaps, it would have had the same outcome; although, the little girls grandmother has a small dog that the little girl appears terrified of.  Was it Hershey’s training to be sympathetic? Again, who knows? Did Hershey see someone who needed her attention?  I, at least, like to think so!  So, what type of dog was Hershey?  She wasn’t “working” for me at that moment!  And, again, she didn’t fit the “Letter of the Law!”

I should think this little girl will be getting her own Service/Comfort/Therapy/Pet… soon! 

Service animals can take the form of ANYTHING; companion to someone with Asperger’s,  a shoulder to cry on to someone with Depression, a Therapist to help relieve stress and anxiety, a helper or guide for the sightless, ears for the hearing impaired, something to offer protection, someone to sleep with or even just a friend or companion to the lonely and someone to love! And, they don’t have to do it for just one person! 

Even if it is something as simple as having a guest or patient ask to use our bathroom, Hershey is providing A Service for them, just by leading them to the appropriate door… and she doesn’t have to be their own, personally trained, Service Animal!

Perhaps, it is time to “update” the law to define function better, and to help the general public understand it better!