What is Biopuncture?
Biopuncture is a therapy whereby specific locations are injected with biological products. The majority of the products are derived from plants. Most of these injections are given into the skin or into muscles.
What kinds of products are being injected?
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. Lymphomyosot is used for lymphatic drainage, Traumeel for inflammations and sports injuries, Spascupreel for muscular cramps. Injections with antiflogistics, hyaluronic acid, blood platelets, blood, procaine, ozon, cortisone or vitamin B are not considered as Biopuncture.
Are these products safe for me?
Yes, because the ampoules do not contain high concentrations of active substances. They usually contain diluted products. As a result, 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 held to very strict quality control regulations. Clinical studies on thousands of patients have confirmed the safety of ampoules such as Traumeel.
How can these dilutions actually have an effect on the body?
The fact that most ampoules only contain low concentrations of plant extracts is often a reason for conventional physicians to criticize the effects of these products. But it is important to know that the products used in Biopuncture are not diluted as much as in “real” homeopathy. That’s why we call them ultra-low doses.
How can such a small dose influence your body and stimulate healing? Scientists don’t have the final proof yet, but they postulate that these injections are working through the stimulation of the immune system (which is in fact your defense system). Let’s compare it with a vaccination. When you receive a tetanus vaccination, only small amounts of a particular product are necessary to stimulate the immune system against lockjaw. In other words, just a few injections can protect your body for years. 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 an important effect on the defense systems of your body. And that effect can last for months or years. And Biopuncture produces its clinical effects because it stimulates your immune system to restart its innate healing capacities.
Has it been proven that Biopuncture works by stimulating the immune system?
Biopuncturists have observed the effects of these injections for decades. But the problem was to convince other doctors how it really worked. Recent research on Biopuncture has given new insight on how these products seem to do the job. For example, scientific investigation has illustrated that Traumeel indeed works via the immune system. In June 2004, an article was published in an important medical journal, Clinical & Developmental Immunology, which is a highly respected journal in conventional medicine. 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. If your doctor really wants to know more about this study or is interested in other clinical studies on Biopuncture, he or she can find more information in the textbooks on Biopuncture.
But how does Biopuncture work to help me with my pain or inflammation
In conventional medicine, the 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 or inflammation. And usually it works immediately. But as soon as the medication stops working, you have to take another pill to “kill the pain” again.
However, in Biopuncture small doses of products are injected in order to stimulate the natural healing processes. These ultra-low 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 your body may be, for example, better local blood circulation, tissue repair, relaxation of muscles or local detoxification. During the reparation of tissue, your body is even more vulnerable and it is a good idea at this stage not to overuse the part which is treated because it is still in the process of repair.
Will Biopuncture help me as quickly as conventional therapies?
It’s obvious that injections of such tiny doses are less powerful than, for example, cortisone injections. The dose used is too small to suppress the inflammation immediately. But that’s not the goal of Biopuncture! We consider inflammation to be an important element of true and lasting healing. The goal of Biopuncture is to support the natural inflammatory processes in order to achieve a complete and natural healing of the injured tissues. So, we do exactly the opposite of conventional drugs. The pain may even get worse the next day (“reaction phase”). Sometimes the pain may shift to other areas because the body is adapting to the new situation (“adaptation phase”). Biopuncturists regard these phases as positive. As a result, the symptomatic relief may take a while, especially when the problem has been there for months or years. However, when dealing with fresh injuries, these injections can give results very quickly.
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 at 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. Most of them are given into or just under the skin, others are given into specific muscle points or into your ligaments (
= bands that hold bones together). Your doctor doesn’t give the injections arbitrarily, but they are administered in carefully chosen spots. The place where your doctor injects the product is as important as the product itself. It’s different for each patient.
How many injections will I receive each session?
Usually you will receive several injections each session. For example, if your doctor wants to work on your liver, he or she will give about seven little injections under the skin on your belly. 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 small injections in your elbow, neck or arm. So in most cases, several little 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 doctor must also look for deeper causes of your complaints and work on these. This may be the case when treating, for example, headaches or migraine with Biopuncture. Sometimes your hormonal system has to be regulated. Or you need a detoxification (“cleaning” of the body) first. As a result, you may need several sessions to feel the results of the treatment. Because these products do not cause 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.
What is a “detox” treatment?
An important issue in Biopuncture is the detoxification of the body. It literally means “cleaning the body” from all the toxins that have accumulated: for example from the environment (air pollution, smoking), from bad nutrition, or from medication (e.g., antibiotics and steroids you’ve taken). These toxins can block your defense system. Some injections work specifically on the liver and others on the kidneys. Cleaning up the lymphatic system with Lymphomyosot is considered very important in Biopuncture. It is like taking the leaves out of the gutter. The down side of such an approach is that old symptoms (which have been suppressed earlier on) may come to the surface again. But that is sometimes part of the healing strategy of the body.
Is there an element of risk with such injections?
It is clear that the doctor who decides to use Biopuncture, will always do so according to the latest technical standards which 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 or some pain at the site of injection the next day. You may also feel a bit tired the first 24 hours after a detox treatment because your body uses a lot of energy in order to repair tissue or to drain toxins.
When should my physician suggest Biopuncture?
Biopuncture can’t solve all your medical problems. It is not a miracle therapy. It is up to your physician to decide what can be treated, and what can't. A lot of patients choose to be treated with Biopuncture because they have experienced unwanted side effects 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 ‘remove it' but to look for the deeper cause. This means that if pain can be alleviated with Biopuncture - without prescribing painkillers or without surgery - there is good reason to conclude that the deeper cause of that particular pain has been eliminated. The treatment for inflammation is similar. Inflammation goes with pain and swelling and that is uncomfortable, but the inflammation is also a crucial part of tissue repair and healing. Instead of blocking the inflammation with medication (taking anti-inflammatories or receiving a series of local steroid injections), biopuncturists try to regulate the inflammation (if possible) in order to support the natural healing mechanisms.
Can I expect immediate improvement after an injection?
Sometimes you improve immediately after the first injection. 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. Such an immediate improvement is rather likely to happen when dealing with a fresh sports injury and when your immune system is working properly. But when dealing with complaints that have persisted for months or years, the injured tissues need some time to heal. Then you will need several sessions before you notice any improvement. Sometimes the doctor has to change the product or the place of injection before you start feeling better.
I’ve heard that things can get worse immediately after my first treatment.
Yes, that’s right. Especially the day after the injection, you may feel worse, experiencing more pain or discomfort. 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. In Biopuncture this is called the “reaction phase” and it means that real healing is on its way.
It is also important to give the body the opportunity to heal itself. Especially if it is an old or complicated injury, it may take a while before the tissues or functions get repaired. While the body repairs itself, the “reparation zone” may be extra fragile. During this “reparation phase” you should not overuse that zone. In other words, don’t go working in the garden the day after you received injections in your low back muscles.
Can there be a worsening in the course of the treatment?
When treating chronic complaints, there may be improvement after one or two sessions, which is then followed by a serious worsening of the condition. Sometimes the complaints may be even worse than before treatment. This is usually due to the fact that the doctor is now working on a deeper, underlying, layer. Both doctor and patient should understand that this is not a reason to stop the weekly Biopuncture sessions. This temporary worsening may last a while during the following weeks, before (lasting) improvement is finally achieved.
When should I consider Biopuncture?
Neck pain and back pain respond well to Biopuncture, but one can also treat ankle sprains, pain in the shoulder and Achilles tendonitis using these natural vaccinations. Biopuncture is also very successful in treating tennis elbow and golf elbow. However, Biopuncture is not just used for pain problems, osteoarthritis or sports injuries. 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, sciatica, and so on.
Who may benefit from Biopuncture?
The use of biological injections can benefit those patients who have tried conventional medicine but have had no success, or 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 surgery (for example, for sciatica or sinusitis). In some patients it may be advantageous to combine the conventional approach with Biopuncture. Each case should be taken into account individually, of course.
When is Biopuncture not appropriate?
Let us be clear: Biopuncture cannot heal you from cancer, diabetes, a heart attack or AIDS. Nor is it an appropriate treatment for high blood pressure, fibromyalgia, varicose veins, Parkinson, depression or epilepsy. In cases where the disease is too serious or too aggressive, it can only be treated through conventional medication or surgery. 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 airways problems. Biopuncture can help a lot here as long as there is no emphysema or lung cancer involved. That is why it is important to first have a conventional diagnosis before starting Biopuncture treatment.
Biopuncture is a safe and efficient technique in complementary medicine. It uses biological injections to stimulate the natural self-healing capacities of your body. Consult your medical professional for more information about Biopuncture.