Thursday, May 8, 2014

When A Doctor Says "I Can Cure Your Cervical Spondylosis"

As a result of my wife being featured on TV in Thailand, she was contacted completely out of the blue, by a Doctor in Phuket - Thailand.
This Doctor who will remain anonymous for the moment, was very sympathetic and fully understood my wife's suffering and wanted to help. He told my wife that he is certain he can help he can cure her Spondylosis and would like her to visit him at his clinic in Phuket and he would in no way make any charge for his services, but simply asked that my wife " Makes Merit" at a temple when she next visits Chiang Mai. If you are not familiar with Thailand, Thailand is a predominantly Buddhist Country and "Making Merit" is a way of offering prayers and thanks to Buddha and the monks in the various Temples. Chiang Mai is in the North of Thailand and has more temples than any other province in Thailand.
Needless to say, both my wife and myself were very skeptical about his claims, but could not ignore the fact that he said he can help and would not charge. This obviously led to us trying to research the Doctor to see if in fact he was reputable or not. As it happens, we have a friend who lives in Phuket and she was able to do some research on our behalf. We were very pleased to learn that this Doctor has a very good reputation and he treats many foreigners from around the world in his clinic for a variety of ailments.
We decided that we would take him up on his offer and contacted him to discuss both mine and my wife's symptoms and to assist him, we forwarded copies of both MRI scans (which we have on CD) prior to visiting him.
Due to my wife being a government officer in Thailand, it was a few weeks until we could find the time to visit him.. we live in the North East and Phuket is South - a 2 hour flight away and because of my wife's commitments, we could only manage 3 nights away. We were concerned that this would not be enough time for the treatment the doctor however, assured us one treatment would be enough..and this was after he had seen the MRI scans!!
The day Of The Treatment
When we arrived, we were surprised to see that the Doctor is a practitioner in Complementary Therapies - Alternative Therapies Combined, something our friend had neglected to tell us. None the less, we both had open minds given his claims, even though we had tried many therapies beforehand.
After the niceties of introductions etc, we both sat down together with the Doctor and discussed at length how the Doctor proposed to treat not only my wife, but myself as well (which was a surprise to me). We both have cervical spondylosis, but to differing degrees and the Doctor acknowledged this by telling us there would be slight variations within the treatment.
When asked why he will treat us free of charge, the Doctor explained that he gets a great many patients from around the world with varying ailments etc. including similar to ourselves but usually, it is a trial and error process based on his 20 years experience of diagnosis and treatment. With us, it is apparently different, we have a confirmed medical condition with an MRI scan to help in his treatment. At this point, it is worth noting that he had no knowledge of the MY Neck Hurts website.
The Treatment
Armed with our MRI scans, the Doctor could see precisely where he needed to treat us. He produced a flow chart - or a schematic chart of the human body showing the spinal chord and the nervous system. By following this chart, he could see the exact locations of the body he needed to treat (Not just the neck). He also produced a couple of other charts which he did in turn explain, but I neglected to take mental notes of these. (sorry)
The first thing he said which I found very surprising, was that he has ruled out using acupuncture as there would be no benefit! Given that almost all the therapists we have seen before, have advocated using acupuncture, we could see immediately, that this Doctor was using a different approach.
The following alternative therapies were applied in the order they are listed:
  • Manual Neck Traction
  • Manipulation (Likened to Chiropractic Therapy)
  • Neck Muscle Relaxant (a series of 6 non steroid injections into acupoints in the neck)
  • Cupping
  • Herbal medicine
All the above apart from the Herbal Medicine, were applied when treating both my wife and myself, but to differing degrees and the whole treatment process lasted about 1 hour for each of us. We were told that we should not require any further treatment and it will be about seven to ten days before we start feeling the benefits. We were then asked to return to the clinic before our flight home if at all possible, so that
  1. He can give us some herbal medicine and
  2. He can see how we have reacted to the treatment.
We did return to the clinic as requested two days later before our flight and received a further treatment of "Neck traction" - "Manipulation" and "Neck Muscle Relaxant" and my wife was given a course of herbal medicine to take.
On leaving, the Doctor again reassured us that we will see amazing benefits in time and recommended that we continue with neck traction once per week.
It is 3 days since our last treatment and the soreness from the cupping therapy has abated but the general pain associated with cervical spondylosis still remains.


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