What is Biopuncture?
Biopuncture is a therapy whereby specific locations are injected with biological products. Most of these injections are given under the skin or into the muscles.
What kind of products are being injected?
Most ampoules contain low doses of plant extracts. Products commonly used in Biopuncture are, for example, arnica, echinacea, nux vomica and chamomile. Arnica is used for muscle pain, nux vomica is injected for digestive problems, echinacea is used to increase the natural defense system of the body. Biopuncturists always inject cocktails of natural products. Traumeel for example is used for inflammations and sports injuries, Spascupreel is used for muscular cramps and Lymphomyosot for lymphatic drainage. Hundreds of different cocktails are available these days.
Are these products safe for me?
The ampoules do not contain high concentrations of the active substances. As only low doses are injected, toxic side effects are very unlikely. Additionally, the ampoules used in Biopuncture are manufactured by companies that guarantee the production quality of their products. Most of the ampoules used for injection are made in Germany and are submitted to very strict quality control regulations and systems. Clinical studies on thousands of patients have confirmed the safety of ampoules like for example Traumeel.
How can these dilutions actually have an effect on my body?
The fact that most ampoules only contain very low concentrations of plant extracts is often a reason for conventional physicians to criticize the possible effects of these products. But one has to add here that the products used in Biopuncture are not diluted to the extent that an ampoule contains no active products any more (as in "real" homeopathy). That's why we call them micro-doses. So, it is more than just injecting water.
How does this small dose influence the body then? When you receive a tetanus vaccination, only small amounts of a product are necessary to stimulate the immune system (= your defense system) against lockjaw. A few injections can protect your body for several years against such a serious disease! Biopuncture injections are not real vaccinations, of course, but the idea of the mechanism of action is similar: small doses of the right product can have a huge effect. And Biopuncture produces its clinical effects because it stimulates your immune system to restart its healing capacities.
Has it been proven that Biopuncture works by stimulating my immune system?
Physicians around the world have experienced the effects of these injections for decades. But the problem was to prove to other colleagues how it really worked. Recent research on Biopuncture has given new insights as to how these products seem to do the job. A scientific investigation has illustrated that Traumeel indeed works via the immune system. (Your physician will be surprised to hear that the mechanisms of action of Traumeel include both inhibition of IL-1ß and inhibition of TNF-alpha Secretion.) In June 2004 an article about Traumeel was published in an important medical journal "Clinical & Developmental Immunology" which is a highly respected journal in conventional medicine. If your doctor really wants to know more about this study or is interested in other clinical studies about Biopuncture, he or she can find more information in the textbooks on Biopuncture".
But how does Biopuncture work then to help me with my pain or inflammations?
In conventional medicine, the actual drug you take suppresses your symptoms immediately. That is why you need to take high doses of chemical substances in order to suppress for example pain. And as soon as the medication stops working, you have to take another pill to kill the pain again. The same goes for anti-inflammatories, medication to control your blood pressure or pills for high cholesterol. That's how these drugs are designed. However, in Biopuncture small doses of products are injected in order to stimulate the natural healing processes. These micro doses "wake up" mechanisms which are available anyway. So, the healing effect comes from "inside" your body - not from the products themselves. It's the reaction of your immune system which will produce the proper reactions to regain natural healing. The reaction of the body may vary from better local blood circulation to relaxation of muscles or a local detoxification of tissues.
Will Biopuncture help me as quickly as conventional therapies?
It is obvious that injections of micro-doses are less powerful than for example cortisone injections. The dose used is too small to immediately suppress the inflammation. But that's not the goal of Biopuncture! We consider an inflammation as an important element of true and lasting healing. The goal of Biopuncture is to stimulate the natural inflammatory processes in order to get complete and natural healing of the injured tissues - not to suppress them. So, we do exactly the opposite of conventional drugs. As a result, the symptomatic relief may take a while, especially for chronic cases. But when dealing with acute injuries, the effects of the injections are apparent almost immediately.
Where are these injections given?
Most people - especially those who are apprehensive about injections because they may have had bad experiences with injections in their childhood - are surprised how easily and quickly these injections are given. In fact, these injections cannot be compared to the 'usual' injections given in conventional medicine. They are not as painful as an injection in for example a hospital because the needle used is very fine and the quantity injected is very small. Indeed, they look more like little pinpricks. Most of them are given into or just under the skin, others are given into specific muscle points or into your ligaments. Your doctor doesn't give the injections in the buttock or arm, but they are administered in carefully chosen zones. The place where the doctor injects the product is as important as the product itself. It's different for each patient. During the Biopuncture course, doctors are instructed what techniques to use and what products to inject.
How many injections will I receive each session?
A lot of these injections are given at more than one spot during each session. For example, if your doctor wants to work on your liver, he or she will give about 7 little injections under the skin on your abdomen. When you have pain in your elbow, your physician will look for several painful spots in your arm muscles or elbow ligaments, and inject each of them in one session. In such a case, you may receive anything from three to ten little injections in your elbow, neck or arm. So in most cases, several injections are given in a specific zone (or in several areas) of the body at each session.
How many sessions of Biopuncture will be necessary?
The fact that your doctor uses small doses of natural products instead of cortisone injections means that you have to be more patient. If you have had problems for several months or even years, your doctor must work on different layers. If it is a complicated case, your health care provider must sometimes also look for deeper causes of your complaints and work on these. Sometimes your hormonal system has to be regulated. Or he or she must do a detoxification first before even starting to work on your symptoms. As a result, you may need five sessions or even more to feel better. When you realize that these products are natural products that do not show any major side effects, you may be motivated to be more patient than usual. In the long run, however, the results of Biopuncture are longer lasting because the healing comes from within and does not depend on the pills you take every day to take away the symptoms.
Is there an element of risk with such injections?
It is clear that the physician who decides to use Biopuncture, will always do so according to the latest technical standards. That is his or her duty as a medical professional. This includes a correct injection technique, and of course the use of sterile disposable material. The latter means that the needle has never been in contact with any other patient and that any transmission of disease (e.g. hepatitis, AIDS) is impossible. This should give you confidence in the safety of the technique. But you may end up with a blue spot at the site of injection the next day.
What is a "detox" treatment?
An important issue in Biopuncture is the detoxification of the body. It literally means "cleaning the body." All the toxins that have accumulated in your body, for example from the environment (air pollution), from bad nutrition, or from medication (e.g. antibiotics and steroids you've taken) can block your immune defense system. They can also disturb the reflex responses of your nervous system. All these toxins in your body are the reason why your body may not be functioning optimally as it did when you were younger. Eliminating all these toxins is an important strategy in Biopuncture, especially when dealing with chronic diseases. Some injections work specifically on the liver and others on the kidneys or on the lymphatic system. Especially, the cleaning up of the lymphatic system with Lymphomyosot is considered very important in Biopuncture.
When should my physician suggest Biopuncture?
Biopuncture cannot heal all your medical problems. This is not a miracle therapy. It is up to your family physician to decide what can be treated, and what can't. The majority of patients choose to be treated with Biopuncture because they are in pain and do not support the use of conventional painkillers. However, it is important to realize that Biopuncture isn't designed to 'take away' the pain as with conventional medication. Pain is seen as an important 'signal' from your body that something is going wrong. It is similar to a red light on the dashboard of your car: the aim is not to just 'take it away' but to look for the deeper cause. This means that if pain can be alleviated with Biopuncture - without prescribing painkillers - there is good reason to conclude that the deeper cause of that particular pain has been eliminated.
I''ve heard that things can get worse immediately after my first treatment. Is that correct?
It all depends. Every case is different. Sometimes you improve immediately after the injection. It means you really feel better within minutes after the injections. Critics might describe such a phenomenon as a "placebo effect" by saying that you feel better because you believe you're going to be feeling better. In Biopuncture, such an immediate improvement is rather likely to happen when dealing with a fresh sports injury for example. But as stated before, when dealing with complaints that have persisted for months or years, things need some time to heal. In the beginning the pain may shift from one area to another when the body starts to react to the treatment. This is not a bad sign but the first step of natural healing. It is called the "adaptation phase." You may even notice that - especially the day after the injection - you feel a little worse, experiencing more pain or discomfort after the first session. This is exactly the opposite of the so-called placebo effect! This temporary worsening of complaints usually means that the healing processes are being activated. The body is working on the problem, and that is exactly what we want. In Biopuncture it is called the "reaction phase". But when you understand that this means that real healing is on its way, you will be willing to accept these minor reactions in the beginning of the treatment.
When should I consider Biopuncture?
Most physicians use Biopuncture for minor orthopedic problems. Neck pain and back pain are good indications for Biopuncture, but one can also treat sciatica, ankle sprain, pain in the shoulder and Achilles tendonitis using these natural vaccinations. Biopuncture is also very successful in treating sports injuries, tennis elbow, golf elbow, and so on. However, Biopuncture is not just used for pain problems. An area of treatment worth noting is that of allergies and inflammations. For example, one can treat asthma, eczema and hay fever. And even patients with bronchitis, cystitis and sinusitis can be treated with this technique. When a physician is experienced in the technique, he or she can also treat you for migraine, tension headache, Crohn's disease, colitis, Cluster headache, neuralgia, and so on.
Who may benefit from Biopuncture?
The use of biotherapeutic injections can benefit those patients who have tried conventional medicine but have had no success, or for those who have had to stop taking conventional medication because of side effects. It is an interesting healing technique for those patients who want to avoid an operation (for example for sciatica or sinusitis). In some patients it may be advantageous to combine the conventional approach together with Biopuncture. Many people still believe that one has to stop conventional treatments when choosing Biopuncture. This is not true. When you are being treated with Biopuncture, you just continue the medication you were already taking. In case of doubt, always contact your physician first for professional advice. Each case should be taken into account individually, of course.
When is Biopuncture not appropriate?
Let us be clear about it: Biopuncture cannot heal you from cancer, diabetes, a heart attack or AIDS. Nor is it an appropriate treatment for high blood pressure, fibromyalgia, Parkinson, depression or epilepsy. In some cases, the disease is too serious or too aggressive, and can only be stopped through conventional medication or surgery. Your family physician will confirm this. When serious damage has already occurred, Biopuncture will be simply too late to reverse the damage and bring the body back into balance again. For example, a viral hepatitis can be treated with Biopuncture in order to support the healing mechanism of the body, but liver cirrhosis is a phase where cells are damaged beyond repair and healing is impossible. The same goes for chronic problems with the airways. Biopuncture can help a lot here as long as there is no emphysema or lung cancer involved. That is why it is so important to first have a conventional diagnosis before starting with Biopuncture. I advise you to ask your family physician for advice in case of doubt.
Biopuncture is a safe and efficient technique in complementary medicine. It uses biotherapeutic injections to stimulate the natural self-healing capacities of your body. It is worth considering if it can help you with your personal health problems. Consult your medical professional for more information about Biopuncture.