Open heart surgery, collapsed diaphragm

Following open heart or bi-pass surgery it is fairly common for patients to note problems with breathing. Often this is due to one or more sides of the diaphragm, the major muscle of respiration, being collapsed. The surgeons say that nothing can be done to remedy this.

They are wrong.

Today I saw a patient who has this procedure done about a month ago. He has had a lot of breathing problems since then as well as being in pain from the surgery. I found that the surgery had created a pull in the ligaments and connective tissues in his chest, down to the diaphragm, as well as all the way into the pelvis.

In addition, since the breast bone is broken to gain access to the heart for the surgery and pried back like a claim shell, what commonly happens is that the heads of the ribs in the back are jammed. This will result in back pain as well as other problems in the years to come.

All of this can be permanently corrected with osteopathic treatment based on a specific diagnosis by a trained physician.

Today’s patient remarked that not only was he breathing a lot better following this initial visit but that also he was in less pain.

I had this procedure years ago. My right diaphragm was collapsed. I had an x ray to prove it. Two cardiologists who saw the x ray confirmed that as a result of the surgery my right diaphragm was collapsed. When I showed this to the surgeon he told me that I was mistaken and offered me an inhaler for asthma medicine to help with my breathing.

I never saw him again.

And neither should you.

Come get treated if you have had open-heart surgery. You will save yourself years of suffering and medical run arounds.

Comment on Hitting a medical wall, and turning to unproven treatments

The online NY Times published the following comment I wrote regarding their article, Hitting a medical wall, and turning to unproven treatments, by Jane Brody on 1 May 2017.

While I was doing my residency training in Washington, DC in the late 80s, I daily saw proof that much of the current medical approach to patient care is not only misguided but profoundly unscientific. Patients were ignored;their symptoms became the focus of their physicians.
For the past 27 years I have focused on meticulous physical examination of patients, figuring out why their bodies produce the symptoms they do. I do this using ever more refined palpation of physiology via the musculoskeletal system which is a reflection of the autonomic nervous system. The ANS, the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems, is often out of balance in our patients. Most patients are in a hypersympathetic state.

Using osteopathic examination and treatment it is possible to change this. In addition, using classical homeopathy and acupuncture, patients may be guided to their natural state of health. I rarely prescribe drugs.

As Andrew Taylor Still, MD, the man who discovered osteopathy wrote, To find health should be the object of the doctor. Anyone can find disease.

Our current medical model is focused on disease. This results in the treatment of symptoms which, while not always bad ( ex. stabilization of patients in the ER or other emergency and acute situations), does not seem to be the answer to most chronic problems.

When we truly treat the person versus their symptoms and focus on changing their physiology, then we may help them return to their natural state of Health.

Here is the link to the NY Times article:


Pink eye treated with osteopathy

Recently my husband developed pink eye. He went to his allopathic physician who prescribed an antibiotic solution. The entire area became so swollen and inflamed that he could hardly see out of the eye.

At this point he turned to me for help. I examined him and determined that the drainage to the eye had become impaired. The lymphatic  and arterial-venous systems to the eye and adjacent areas were treated. Within one day this resulted in marked improvement in symptoms. After three more such treatments, the swelling and most of the redness on the eye was gone.

However, a stye had developed on the upper lid. This was treated homeopathically with a single dose of Pulsatilla 200C. Within two days the stye was gone.

I only use antibiotics for infectious disease in my practice averaging about 1 -2 prescriptions a year. Using osteopathy and homeopathy even the most aggressive and serious infectious conditions may be successfully treated without antibiotics.

Sarcoidosis disappears with bee venom treatment.

Sarcoid or sarcoidosis is a systemic inflammatory disease.  It consists of the development of fibrotic or granulomatous tissues which interfere with the functioning of the system. Most commonly it develops in the lungs and also frequently in the heart as well as other parts of the body.

In many patients it may be asymptomatic but some people the symptoms are so bad that they interfere with normal life functions.

There is no treatment to cure sarcoid. The most serious complications are treated with oral steroids.

I am one of the few physicians I know of who uses apitherapy or the injection of honey bee venom in small amounts as treatment for inflammatory conditions like bursitis and rheumatoid arthritis. This form of therapy, which produces systemic inflammation and thus stimulates the body to remove it and the chronic inflammation, is not new. It has been in use for over 1,000 years according to historical records. I buy the venom from a supplier whom I trust and inject it using a syringe subcutaneously.

Multiple treatments are necessary for chronic conditions though usually the patient will notice an immediate positive response after the injections. However, after about 2 or so days, the effect disappears so more injections must follow. With many conditions this can result in the elimination of the systemic inflammation.

Honey bees produce many products ( pollen, propolis, venom, honey) which have salutary effects on our function especially to decrease inflammation. For example, raw, untreated honey put on an open wound will usually heal it much faster than conventional medical means. Pollen can be used in honey to treat patients who are sensitive to pollen ( ex. ragweed, hayfever). If the bees pollinate such plants locally, such raw, unprocessed honey will often be of help in desensitizing the patient to the local pollens if taken early on.

Back to sarcoid.

Several years ago, within a few months, three patients with pulmonary and cardiac sarcoid walked into my office.

All were in serious condition. One was unable to carry her child up a flight of stairs due to the cardiac and pulmonary involvement. All had refused steroids which their physicians offered in lieu of treatment.

Since I know that honey bee venom (apitherapy) has been long used successfully to treat systemic inflammation, I offered to inject these patients with it.

All three of them responded over time with elimination of symptoms and, in the case of the woman who could not carry her child up the stairs, a normal biopsy of the diseased tissue in the lung.

All three were able to return to a regular life.

I contacted one of the national sarcoid groups but did not receive a response. I also posted on one of the patient support sites but there seemed to be little interest.

Recently, I have signed up for a course in beekeeping since I find these creatures fascinating. While I do not look forward to being stung, at least I know it will be therapeutic. And with the local, untreated honey, pollen, propolis and related bee products, what’s not to like?

Head injury, loss of smell and osteopathy

Anosmia or loss of smell is common with concussions, closed head injury or traumatic brain injury. Osteopathic treatment can relieve it.

Not too long ago I began treating a young man who had undergone a severe head injury which resulted in a total loss of smell, headaches, problems sleeping, and pain in other areas of his body. He had been crossing the street when a bicyclist hit him, knocked him off his feet, and left him on the ground. He sustained loss of consciousness and a major laceration to the back of his head. He was taken to a local university hospital, the laceration sewn up, and kept for two days for observation.  He was then released.

He came home and shortly thereafter came to me for evaluation and treatment. From 1988 to 1991 I was a resident in training at the National Rehabilitation Hospital, Washington, DC. My residency was in PMR ( Physical medicine and rehabilitation). As part of my training I spent three months working on the brain injury unit which was staffed by neurologists. I was trained in the most current methods of treating head and brain trauma.

However, none of them seemed to really make a marked difference in the outcomes for these patients. Many of these patients were left with lifelong problems related to their traumatic brain injuries.

I used my osteopathic skills in diagnosing and treating my patient and after four visits he has made progress which I would like to report on.

He no longer has any headaches. He sleeps well. He has no cognitive issues reported. He is soon due to return to work full time.

But what is most remarkable is that, according to his conservative estimate, at least 50% of his sense of smell has returned. And it is continuing to return with each visit.

He went to see three neurosurgeons to follow him after his accident.

All three told him that he would never again be able to smell following such a trauma. They based this on his imaging studies and the clinical literature. The cranial nerve responsible for smell, the olfactory nerve, sends tiny roots through a bone at the front of the skull called the ethmoid. This bone was traumatized during the accident. So according to the neurosurgeons it would never again permit the olfactory nerve to normally function and the patient would no longer be able to smell.

During the initial osteopathic exam I found that the ethmoid bone had been traumatized and the membranous tissues around it severely strained. This resulted, in part, in the loss of smell.

I treated his diaphragm which had gone into spasm with the accident. This began to restore normalized respiration. I treated the major sprains and strains to the fascia of the chest and left side of the cranium where the most severe injuries were to be palpated. And I worked especially to get the ethmoid functioning as best as possible.

Many more dysfunctions were palpated and successfully treated with function normalized. This all resulted in improved function and less symptoms.

The neurosurgeons told him that he was just imagining the return of smell. It was technically impossible for him to be able to smell. But he insisted that not only was he able to smell but each visit he could smell more and more. At first ground coffee. Then chocolate. Then finally unpleasant smells like urine and feces from his young child. The progress continues on all fronts.

And the neurosurgeons continue to deny that he is experiencing what he says he does.

It is impossible they say.

But my patient knows differently.

What a blessing.

Sometimes I just stop and reflect on all the years that have passed since I began my journey to become an osteopathic physician in 1981.

Many thousands of patients from every conceivable background, from a few days old to almost 100, have come to ask for help with very real problems.

Like most medical students I initially believed that I would receive the tools and instructions that would enable me to cure my patients.

What a fool I was.

The first day of school an old doctor addressed our class. No one whom I later spoke with knew who he was or where he came from. He was a total mystery.

He stood quietly before the 135 assembled freshmen students of the Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine, Class of 1985 ( I graduated in 1987 because I was awarded a two year Fellowship in Osteopathic Diagnosis and Treatment). Then he opened his mouth and said, None of you will ever cure anyone. We all work with the Great Healer, the Real Doctor. Never forget it.

Then he turned and walked away.

A few students looked at each other and said, What was that all about?

Well, I now know a little bit of what the Old Doctor was talking about.

It has taken me about twenty plus years to be humbled enough, beaten down enough, crushed enough by life, by cancer, heart attacks, major depression, having lost my practice three times and built it back up after devastating illnesses, to begin to realize that the man was telling us all what we really needed to know to become real doctors.

But at the time I had no idea what he was talking about.

I thank God daily that I am doing this Holy Work and that He is leading me in His Work.

And I am not ashamed to say that to anyone, anywhere, at anytime.

Andrew Taylor Still, MD, the man who discovered osteopathy, once said, I love my patients because when I look in their eyes I see God.

I couldn’t agree more.