Neural Therapy – Treatment, Effect & Risks


Neural therapy is an effective method of relieving pain from a wide range of complaints . It is one of the naturopathic treatments and is not yet covered by statutory health insurance companies.

What is neural therapy?

Neural therapy is used in naturopathy to alleviate functional body disorders. For this purpose, a local anesthetic (local anesthetic) is injected into certain parts of the body. In 1925, physician Ferdinand Huneke discovered that injecting a local anesthetic into a specific area of ​​tissue not only numbs pain , but can actually cure it permanently. Together with his brother Walter, he researched this mode of action in more detail and found out that the drug worked on the vegetative nervous system .

Two assumptions form the basis of neural therapy: The interference field theory assumes that pathological events in the body (e.g. inflammation, injuries and scars ) as interference fields or centers can irritate and affect other parts of the body. If these interference fields are not treated in the long term, permanent irritation can cause problems elsewhere in the body.

The segment theory is based on nerve connections between the skin and the organs. Each segment of the body therefore causes reactions in certain areas of the skin, so-called head zones. If the skin reacts sensitively in a certain area, this can be an indication of a disease in the associated organ.

Function, effect & goals

The areas of application of neural therapy are very diverse. Doctors who use neural therapy mainly use it for these ailments:

At the beginning of the neural therapy there is a detailed anamnesis and a physical examination. Some neural therapists also use injections for diagnosis. If complaints disappear immediately after such an injection elsewhere, this is referred to as a second phenomenon. As a rule, the treatment takes place in two steps: the local treatment and the clean-up of the interference field. Before injecting the local anesthetic, the therapist will feel the skin with their fingers to identify painful areas.

A local anesthetic is injected into these skin areas. The treatment sometimes has to be repeated until the symptoms disappear completely. There are also deep lancing techniques, in which the anesthetic is injected into trigger points in the painful muscles .

interference fields, e.g. B. scars are treated by several injections around the interference field. If necessary, the injection can also be placed next to vertebral bodies or in the area of ​​larger nerve cords. The interference field search is like detective work. Many areas of interference or chronic foci of inflammation are in the area of ​​the paranasal sinuses , teeth , tonsils and ears , but also in the area of ​​the pelvis .

The effect of neural therapy has not been sufficiently researched so far, there are only a few studies that have found positive effects, but cannot make any general statements due to the small number of participants. Even doctors do not agree on the effectiveness, so the costs are not covered by the statutory health insurance companies and have to be paid privately.

We owe the discovery of neural therapy to an accidental malpractice that the doctor Ferdinand Huneke (1891 – 1966) made at his sister’s. He wanted to give her an injection of procaine, a topical anesthetic, to relieve her headache, but he accidentally hit a vein instead of a muscle. Her headache disappeared in just a few seconds afterwards. Through further experiments, he discovered that locally injected procaine also works. He injected a patient with the local anesthetic into a scar on her lower leg, after which her chronic shoulder problems disappeared in a matter of seconds. This phenomenon is named after him as the “second phenomenon after Huneke”. From these observations, Huneke concluded that ailments in certain areas of the body can be treated by injections in other areas.

Risks, side effects & dangers

In general, neural therapy is an effective method with few side effects. If the injection needle is inserted professionally, side effects such as irritation of nerves , organs and blood vessels are rare. At most, it can lead to a small bruise or a feeling of sore muscles . However, if the needle is placed incorrectly, it can cause nerve damage, including permanent nerve damage and circulatory collapse . Internal bleeding is also possible.

That is why the anesthetic can only be injected into the skin of people who have to take blood-thinning medication. The anesthetic used is procaine. but which can trigger allergic reactions, in the worst case an anaphylactic shock . In that case, an alternative agent must be injected. Milder side effects such as a feeling of lightheadedness, some dizziness and fluctuations in blood pressure and heart rate usually only last for a short time.

Neural therapy must not be used in the case of severe infectious diseases, immune diseases, corresponding allergies (especially to the anesthetic itself), skin inflammation in the affected skin area. Patients with low blood pressure (hypotension) and a tendency to circulatory collapse should discuss this with the treating physician before treatment. If you are looking for a good neural therapist, you should make sure that they have undergone thorough training, because doctors need to have sound anatomical knowledge in order to be able to inject the anesthetic in the right place.

Lisa Newlon
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Hello! I am Lisa Newlon, and I am a medical writer and researcher with over 10 years of experience in the healthcare industry. I have a Master’s degree in Medicine, and my deep understanding of medical terminology, practices, and procedures has made me a trusted source of information in the medical world.