NAET Treatment of BACKPAIN
by Gérard Becker
This article is based on my personal experience and failures, as well as the way I have tried to avoid reproducing these failures, during the 25 years that I have been practicing osteopathy. It aims in no way at providing a thorough review of publications and research in this field.
In fact, I have limited myself to studying my personal observations, while striving to solve the problems they raised, in the most effective way possible for my patients. This explains the lack of extensive references to works or quotations of articles on these issues.
I do however refer to Mr. Guilani’s diagram (see Appendix) of the vertebral column and corresponding points, but merely as a teaching package provided by the school during my training, and which he authored.
Please consider the Yu points corresponding to each vertebra which are shown on the diagram herein below, with the usual abbreviations : Lung as Lu, Large intestine as LI, Kidney as Ki, Urinary Bladder as UB, Liver as Li, Gall Bladder as GB, Heart as Ht, Small Intestine as SI, Spleen as SP (Pancreas), Stomach as St, Pericardium as Pe, Triple Warmer as TW.
Notice on the diagram that Red letters indicate the points corresponding to an organ, while Black letters indicate the points corresponding to its function.
The points on the second bladder line refer to the previous nomenclature, revised several years ago. Only the "No" of the points have changed, but their names remain the same.
This work itself refers to the traditional writings on the Chinese Energetic System : the So Ouenn, the Ta Tchreng [Soulié de Morant, Georges. 1955], the Yi King [Wilhelm, Richard. 1973]… as well as to the French writings which brought this tradition to the modern world, from East to West through the Middle-east : Soulié de Morand, Georges , Faubert and Crepon …, as many authors whom American acupuncturists may not be familiar with, if they have been brought this traditional knowledge from West to East through the Pacific Ocean.
I. Classical treatment of Vertebral Pain
Before the arrival of osteopathy in Europe, a direct and simple form of treatment was available, which consisted of ‘cracking’ the painful vertebra as one would ‘crack’ a finger ; in a sharp measured movement, thus forcing its mobility in the direction in which the restriction manifests itself, in a manner brisk, fast and controlled.
The articulation treated by this manipulation regained its mobility and the pain ceased. As long as the relief was complete and immediate, this technique was used by numerous practitioners, and is still used by some of those who are not acquainted with osteopathy and energetics.
This method presents two limiting drawbacks :
1) Manipulations which force the mobility are not without danger, and have been known to cause considerable damage, particularly in the case of osteopathically fragile patients or conversely of patients who are unable to relax – the effort required to force the mobility can lead to causing other lesions, sometimes serious (fractures).
Gentle and harmless, osteopathy provided a satisfactory solution to this drawback. The releasing movements used by the osteopath are designed to intervene without violence nor surprise effect, thanks to what, they are completely safe while perfectly effective.
2) The effectiveness of this type of treatment over the course of time is relatively limited, and repeat treatments are necessary, at first widely spaced – one or two times a year, then gradually the pain returns more and more rapidly, the treatments are closer and closer together, until the day when they bring no more relief to the patient. The practitioner then states : ‘It doesn’t hold anymore’.
Having practiced osteopathy for 25 years, I can no longer doubt this acknowledgement. The patients who come to me after numerous treatments for recurring back-pains, confirm it.
My observations and the results of my practice confirm it as well.
To ensure stability of the treatment over the course of time, numerous paths have been investigated with more or less success, the most promising being the study of how man is able to bear his own weight effortlessly, while standing. This led to the question : "Why ?" in the practitioner’s approach.
Pathological disturbances in the lines of gravity, and the adaptations which they require throughout the vertebral column in order to nonetheless maintain the balance of the body and a horizontal regard, constitute the beginning of the answer to this obsessional question : "Why ?"
Unfortunately, although they are quite operational, in some cases, the answers provided by this approach still leave recurrent back-pain without any efficient and lasting treatment.
As long as we do not have a satisfactory answer to the question : ‘Why back pain ?’ we can only treat the symptoms and not the cause. Thus, sooner or later the symptoms will reappear. Whether we try to treat back pain using forceful or gentle techniques, does not change the result.
The classical osteopathic treatment could be qualified as "mechanistic", as it treats adaptations or adaptive conflicts resulting from trauma governed by mechanical laws. It cannot usually be used to treat back-pain because vertebral traumatisms are not common. Back-pain most of the time appears slowly and insidiously after the body has been at rest !! or following some slight movement (e.g. while tying up one’s shoelaces). This leads us to searching elsewhere for the cause.
II. Another path of investigation
Another path of investigation was brought to us in the eighties (Guiliani, Jean-Pierre, 1996), by this energetician osteopath and founder of the SFERE (French Society for the Study and Research of Energetics) within which he has been teaching this topics for the past 25 years. He was the architect of the harmonious and fruitful marriage of Osteopathy and Energetics (science of the fabrication, distribution and usage of energy within the body), improperly called acupuncture.
The most beautiful outcome of this marriage is to have brought to the fore and decoded, with accuracy and effectiveness, the relationships between vertebrae and organs or vertebrae and energy.
The diagram reproduced here is part of the teaching material used by the school since its start.
n Each dorsal and lumbar vertebra supports on its transverse apophysis the Yu points or somatic assent points corresponding to each organ or its function – this constitutes Spinal Set 1, according to the NAET protocol.
n The Yu points or emotional assent points are on the corresponding ribs, which constitute the Spinal Set 2.
The first bladder line and the points outside the meridian Huato Jiagi are both situated on each vertebra the length of the column, they are very close together and have the same relationships with the same organs.
This makes it difficult to attribute the information received to one or the other. In fact this has only a theoretical importance has no effect on either the method or the results. Let us remain pragmatic, and tolerate this minor confusion until such time as we can clarify it.
In order to facilitate the understanding and usage of the present contribution, a clear and brief presentation of Chinese Energetics seems mandatory.
The human body could be described as a factory which, starting from external inputs : air and nutriments, and internal inputs : genetic energy and transcendental energy, ensures the production and distribution of the energy needed for its functioning and its maintenance.
This factory is comprised of three flight levels :
1st Fabrication : the receipt of the external input is performed at the level of the Triple Warmer which condition this external input, prepare it to be transformed, and of the Triple Hearth, which ensure the realization and the control of this transformation.
2nd Distribution : Once the transformation performed, this energy is distributed to the organs. The Marvelous Vessels are in charge of this distribution.
The flavor d’un nutriment is going to determine the organ which shall receive the energy resulting from its transformation :
Acidic for the Liver
Sour pour le Heart
Pungent for the Lung
Salty for the kidney
Sweet for the Spleen Pancreas
3rd Exploitation : This usage is going to involve two domains, two cycles :
- The circadian cycle (24 hours), which is traditionally named "the Six
Qualities of the Sky",
- and the seasonal cycle, named "The five Elements" :
Wood = Liver = Acidic
Fire = Heart = Sour
Metal = Lung = Pungent
Water = Kidney = Salty
Earth = Spleen Pancreas = Sweet
* The Six Qualities of the Sky shall enable to understand and intervene essentially on severe troubles, in relation with the variations of the sky, that is to say the environment, the climate :
Cold - Heat
Wet - Dry
Pressure - Depression
These Six Qualities of the Sky are imprinted upon a circadian cycle, i.e. a 24 hour cycle : there are 12 meridians and 12 organs or entrails. Each of them receives its maximum of energy during 2 hours (2 h x 12 meridians = 24 h). When an organ is disturbed, the 2 hours when it receives its energy are going to be conveying troubles for the person : insomnia at certain hours at night, somnolence during the day, digestive troubles, respiratory, etc… at certain hours. (The 25 avoidance hours after an NAET treatment are the consequence of this circadian cycle when each organ in its turn is going to receive the information provided by the treatment upon the points in the back).
The Six Qualities of the Sky are going to enable to intervene on severe pathologies, of recent appearance, in relationship with les changes of the Qualities of the Sky mentioned above.
* The five Elements partake in a seasonal cycle, that is to say yearly. They concern essentially health troubles which are ancient, chronic and recurrent, seasonal of course, but also those which are constant or unrelated to a specific season.
Contrary to us, the Chinese do not count four seasons in one year but five ! The fifth is a transition of between 15 and 20 days between each season.
Moreover the Chinese tradition locates the seasons much more logically than we do on the calendar, in function of light : solstices and equinoxes being considered not like the beginning but like the middle of the season. Each season corresponds to a couple y, to an element, to a flavor, to a sense, to an emotion, etc… All these data are gathered as well as even others on Figure 4.
Figure 4. The 5 elements
The five elements are linked energetically by two cycles : le cycle TCHENG or cycle of generation, of construction and the cycle KO or cycle de domination submission, de destruction.
Each element occupies a specific place in the energetic hierarchy and fulfills a role in function of the season. The Chinese who master the art of giving to things poetical names with strong evocation, have granted the 5 elements with names of characters of the Court, the function of which corresponded to that of the element :
n The Emperor is the element of the current season, when it receives its maximum of energy, it is the dominating one. For instance : in the Spring, the Emperor shall be the LIVER, the element WOOD.
n The Mother of the Emperor shall be the preceding element, he who feeds the Emperor ; in the instance, the Mother of the Emperor shall be the KIDNEY, the element WATER.
n The Son of the Emperor is he who shall succeed to him at the next season, in our instance, it is the HEART, the element FIRE.
n The Counselor to the Court, he whom the Emperor consults, who has an influence over him. In the Spring it will be the LUNG, the element METAL.
n and the Defeated Enemy, he who must efface himself humbly, it shall be the SPLEEN, the element EARTH.
During the current season, the Emperor, feeds, supported by the Mother, prepares the Son to succeed to him, manages business, helped by the Counselor to the Court, and sees to it that the defeated enemy duly remains in its place.
Figure 5. Tcheng cycle
At each change of season, the element of the previous season leaves its place as Emperor to the next element.
It generates the next element :
The Wood feeds the Fire
The Fire feeds the Earth
The Earth feeds (produce) the Metal
The Metal feeds (compose) the Water
The Water feeds the Wood
Figure 6. Ko Cycle and Ko inverted
For harmony to reign, for everyone to play its role properly, le cycle KO enters in action. It comes to provide domination-submission where it is necessary for balancing the cycle of generation, enable it to exist, like death for life, or the night for the day, the Yin for the Yang.
The Wood impoverishes the Earth
The Earth dries the Water
The Water extinguishes the Fire
The Fire melts the Metal
The Metal splits the Wood
The Mother for the Emperor, or the Emperor for the Son, are in the Tcheng cycle, as opposed to the Counselor to the Court and the Defeated Enemy which are in the Ko cycle : too powerful an Emperor can become a dictator if his Counselor to the Court does not come to moderate its ardors and if the Defeated Enemy does not absorb his forces in excess. Similarly, in face of a weak Emperor, the Counselor to the Court can become dominant et take its place, or the Defeated Enemy to become the Winner.
When everyone plays one’s role properly, the balance settles-in, homeostasis operates : the body is able to preserve its health balance and to reset it if a disturbance occurs. Health is lastingly in place.
When a patient is allergic (or intolerant) to a nutriment, consumption of this nutriment leads to an excess of energy on the element and the organ corresponding to the flavor of this nutriment. There is an inverse relationship between energy and physiology : the more the organ receive energy, the more its physiology is disturbed or deficient.
Through the imbalances which they generate, nutritional allergies may trigger numerous pathologies ranging from the slightest and superficial to the deepest and from acute problems to chronic and ancient troubles, through organ deficiencies.
By taking into account the large undesirable energetic inputs provoked by allergies, the law of the Five Elements, with the Tchenn and Ko cycles, is going to enable understanding and undoing the lesional mechanisms which result from them. The cause of the symptom this way is reached. Once the cause is treated (the allergy), the symptom disappears by itself, the balance settles-in anew, the homeostasis can function and the stable health be reestablished, without any heavy means (medication… surgery…)
When an organ receives inadequate or perturbed energy, it is unable to function correctly, its assent point will become painful and the corresponding vertebra loses its mobility and blocks.
This deciphering brings the first complete and satisfactory reply to the question "Why back-pain ?", thus allowing us, by treating the cause (the malfunction of an organ), to eliminate the symptom (vertebral and sometimes costal pain), without touching the vertebrae or ribs !!!
Moreover, a detailed examination of the mobility and pain within the vertebral column constitutes an indicator of the energetic state of an individual, which is as reliable as the radial pulses and compliments perfectly this system.
If we refer to Figure 1 (deciphering table perfected by Jean-Pierre Guiliani), we can establish a link between pain in a vertebra and possibly in one or both of the corresponding ribs, and an excess, or a disturbance of the energy in the corresponding organ (the more the energy is in excess or perturbed, the more the corresponding vertebra and one or both of the associated ribs will be blocked or painful).
In the case of a blocked vertebra causing the ribs to block, the cause will be of somatic origin, or provoked by the body.
In the case of blocked ribs causing a blocked vertebra, the origin is usually psychological or rather emotional.
If the presumed cause of the blockage or vertebral pain is the right one, an intolerance or allergy to a foodstuff from the savor of the corresponding organ, the temporary withdrawal of this foodstuff should bring about an improvement followed by the disappearance of the problems.
Indeed the above practice brings about a marked improvement, followed by the disappearance of pain within a few days, once the foodstuff which causes the reaction has been eliminated.
By eliminating the allergy itself, the NAET Method provides a definitive treatment for pain and the diverse problems which may accompany it (digestive, respiratory or other …) without the need for cumbersome alimentary restrictions which the patient is often unable to accept .
Thanks to the NAET Method, it is possible to trace the ultimate cause of the problem and to provide a lasting treatment.
Thus recurrent back-pain can be avoided and above all the resulting inflammation and arthrosic phenomena - calcium deposits in the joints, which are the scars of this inflammation and eventually disable the patient.
III. Treatment of Back Pain Using the NAET Method
In order to bring the most complete reply to the question "Why ?", and to tackle the ultimate cause of the pain, the treatment begins with several assessments.
1) Assessment of pain and of the vertebra and ribs concerned. Questioning the patient and palpation.
2) Assessment of the energies, by taking the radial pulses. This assessment enables the practitioner to discover which of the 5 elements is in excess, insufficient or perturbed.
3) Assessment of intolerances (allergies) : This assessment is carried out using certain tests. Amongst the numerous tests available, some are of uncertain sensitivity and not very reliable, such as the intradermal tests. Other tests although not ‘scientific’ are much more reliable and sensitive.
Below are three testing methods based on the principle of questioning the body and giving it a means by which to reply :
i. The kinesiological test, using variations in the strength of a group of muscles in the presence of an allergen.
ii. The Auriculo-Cardiac Reflex, perfected by Dr. Nogier (1973) in Auriculotherapy, which uses variations in the radial pulse when the patient is in contact with the substance being tested.
iii. The MRP test which uses variations in the Primary Respiratory Movement when the substance being tested touches the patient’s body.
(In English, the MRP is named CSM or Cranio-Sacral Movement, known to all osteopaths).
The assessment enables us to determine the foodstuffs responsible for the imbalances and energetic conflicts which cause back pain.
We now have only to treat the allergies discovered using the NAET Method.
For maximum effectiveness, we must follow certain rules :
Rule No 1 : Treat the basic allergens first = treat the contents before the container.
Rule No 2 : Classify the allergens according to the 5 savours/5 elements and treat the dominant elements first.
The main benefit of these three assessments is to provide an overview of the whole situation, so as to organize the treatment in the most logical way possible to obtain complete, rapid and lasting results, whilst the patient returns to a varied and perfectly tolerated diet.
As we may only treat the allergies one by one, the complete treatment may take some time, but as long as the patient avoids the foodstuffs to which he is allergic until they have been treated, the osteopath can free the related vertebra and it will not block again.
The allergy assessment enables us to determine the obstacles. To put an end to the problems (pain), we need to avoid these obstacles until they can be removed by treatment.
IV. Illustration of a Treatment
One Monday morning, an urgent case – a patient whose back is completely blocked and very painful. The pains began in the morning, when he awoke, after a weekend spent playing music with friends.
Over the weekend he had drunk large quantities of coffee and hastily prepared food consisting mainly of spicy salads and fruits.
First of all I carried out a vertebral assessment to clearly identify the painful areas. I found :
T2 (lung function), T3 (lung organ), T4 (liver function) and T6 (heart function) blocked and very painful, as were the 3rd, 4th and 6th left hand side ribs.
Then I carried out an energetic assessment (by taking the radial pulses). I found :
o Liver very much in excess.
o Heart very much in excess.
o Lungs in excess and perturbed (pulse vibrating).
Last of all an assessment of the acute allergies which were causing him problems :
o Liver in excess = acid savor, he was seriously allergic to vinegar and fruit.
o Heart in excess = bitter savor, he was seriously allergic to coffee and green salad.
o Lungs in excess = spices, he was allergic to hot spices.
o Lungs perturbed = overpowered by the liver and heart in excess (the cycles of Ko and Ko inverted according to the Chinese theory of 5 elements).
1. The first task has been to rebalance the energies, using the appropriate acupuncture points in order to free the four blocked vertebra and corresponding ribs.
The theory of vertebra-organ-energy enabled me to understand what was causing the blockages and to remove them, and then to free the whole back.
If the patient were to eliminate definitely the foodstuffs to which he was allergic, this first treatment could be said to be sufficient. Indeed, eliminating the allergens from the patient’s diet would have had the same result, but would have taken several days… The osteopathic treatment simply allowed us to gain time and comfort.
2. A follow-up is necessary if we wish to stabilize the results. Having carried-out a complete assessment of the basic allergies during the following session, we started to treat the serious allergies discovered during the previous session..
First of all : vitamin C, vinegar, fruits, citrus fruits and also tomatoes.
During the next session : coffee, green salad and some of the green vegetables.
Then we treated hot spices (spice mix 2), and during the following sessions we treated all the basic allergies found during his assessment.
The results which we obtained during the first session were stabilized by the NAET treatment and since then, all is well. The foodstuffs which were not tolerated by the patient can now be consumed without problems. As the remaining specific allergies do not bother the patient too much, he has decided to wait until they become troublesome before treating them.
Some general remarks
* Upon arriving to our office, the first comments which the patient expresses are about his symptoms, what he is suffering from, the purpose of his visit. Up to us to find-out how to exploit this source of information to attempt, through the law of 5 elements, starting to understand how and why these troubles started. Such an understanding enables to decompose the lesion mechanism and to know where and why to intervene in an efficient manner. It shall be confirmed and refined, once the patient is lying down on the table, through pulses and palpation.
* Interdependence is the key which shall enable to understand how the law of 5 elements organizes and determines the troubles and their manifestations.
* When an nutrient is poorly tolerated (allergic manifestation), the element corresponding to its flavor automatically is in excess. But elements being in balance with respect to each other, an excess of ones translates into a lack or a disturbance of the other, or possibly is being masked, if the excess of the other is more important, which always shall result in disturbances for the dominated one.
* When an element is disturbed, it is always expressed firstly by the organ (alternately the entrails) through a more or less important malfunction or pains along its meridian, or else diverse troubles at the time when it receives its energy (sleepiness in daytime, insomnia at night, pains at regular hours, etc.)
* Lateralization of the meridian expressing the trouble shall be determined by the losses of mobility of a limb with respect to the other, consequences of unhealed old trauma, which have ceased being painful but remain disturbing.
* For an organ, physiology and energy are in inverse relationship. An organ in excess of energy shall manifest a defective physiology. For instance : a kidney in excess shall poorly use the water of blood for filtering it ; water shall accumulate in tissues and cause water retention, or shall stay in the blood and create hypertension, by augmenting the volume in circulation.
* But at the same time, this excess on element water (kidney) is going to lead to the domination of one or both elements which balance it, namely spleen (earth) and heart (fire), and troubles shall appear on the yang viscera of these elements (stomach, small intestine). These troubles shall appear on the weakest element, even if it also is subject to an allergy. Sometimes the allergies on the two elements are of the same force. A situation of "cold war" then settles where nothing happens, but where anything may happen at the least weakness of one of the protagonists.
Using a new example, let us now see how to analyze the symptoms brought by the patient.
She is a 35 years old lady with the following troubles :
- Very frequent pain between the shoulders, at the base of the neck, like a wryneck,
- Pain in the middle of the back, which occasionally halts her breathing,
- High lumbar pain,
- Pain in the right arm, in the shoulder blade, behind the elbow, and in the little finger,
- Impossibility to fall asleep before one o’clock in the morning, sometimes even three o’clock.
I first of all proceed through a vertical assessment, for specifying correctly the painful zones. I find :
- T1 (Kidney function) very painful + the first right rib,
- T5 (Heart organ) sensitive,
- T7 (Spleen pancreas) very painful + the seventh left rib,
- T8 (Stomach function) painful,
- L2 (Kidney organ) very painful on the left and hardly mobile,
- L5 (Small intestine) sensitive.
I then perform an energetic assessment, by means of the radial pulses. I find :
- Kidney : very strong and vibrating,
- Heart : weak and vibrating,
- Spleen : very strong and crisp,
- Liver : hardly sensitive and very vibrating,
- Lung : hardly disturbed.
The observations made at this point reveal :
- Spleen very dominating, which explains the pains T7-T8 and the seventh rib, which explains the pains T7-T8 and seventh rib, and which lets suspect a strong allergy to wheat gluten, or maybe sugars.
- Strong kidney explains the pains at the basis of the neck between the shoulders, and lets suspect an allergy to milk products and maybe eggs and salt. Its vibrating character indicates that it is dominated by the Spleen (Ko cycle).
- Weak and vibrating heart lets suppose a domination by the kidney (Ko cycle). The small intestine expresses this conflict through pains on the path of its meridian (little finger, behind the elbow, shoulder blade). Right lateralization indicates a traumatic problem on this arm.
- Hardly marked and vibrating liver indicates an important domination by the spleen (inverted Ko cycle).
If the Chinese clock is considered, it reveals that Gall Bladder receives its energy from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m. and the liver from 1 a.m. to 3 a.m., hence the inability to fall asleep before that hour, and in case of more intense domination, wakefulness until 3 a.m.
Finally, the assessment of energies :
Among the basic allergies, the "15", the major trouble factors evoked above are going to emerge :
- milk products +++ and egg for the kidney (salty flavor),
- Wheat and all its family +++, corn and some sugars (honey, beat sugar, lactose for the spleen (sweet flavor).
Other allergies are involved, but their symptoms are more or less masked by the domination without recourse of the Spleen upon the kidney and of both over all others. Also to be found :
- Vitamin C for the liver (acid flavor)
- Vitamin A, with carrots for the Lung (pungent flavor, roots)
- Vitamin B
- etc. (the rest of the assessment is not relevant for the current explanations).
To ease the patient’s pains, the treatment is going to be started with :
• Temporary, but rigorous, deprivation from all nutriments involved in the excesses of energy (awaiting to be treated) :
- Wheat and its whole family, but replaced by what is tolerated from the same flavor (rice, buckwheat, quinoa, rice paste…)
- Milk products, eggs (meat being well tolerated needs to be consumed for feeding the kidney)
• Dispersing the spleen and the kidney, with help from the seasonal points (Ting points)
• Treating with NAET, grain mix, to ease the pressure on the spleen (at the risk of having to redo it as soon as the basics, which it contains, shall have been treated).
Watch-out, that it would be a severe error to treat Milk products first, as there is then a risk to aggravate the pains by weakening further the kidney versus the spleen.
• Finally during the 20 minutes of NAET treatment, freeing the painful vertebrae and ribs. The dispersion of energy in excess through the Ting points makes the process feasible, with good chances of a stable result.
Then along the NAET sessions all the basic allergies shall be treated, while giving as soon as possible priority to Milk products, to sugars, and possibly to treat again wheat.
It is likely that, in view of their importance, these allergies shall necessitate numerous combinations to be definitely eliminated.
As this communication demonstrates, the use of the Theory of Five Elements contributes a better understanding of the patient’s situation and a higher accuracy in the interventions of the practitioner, while noticeably broadening their field of application.
Cannelle, Yves. "Traité familial des cinq éléments : retour aux sources". Guy Trédaniel. 1996
Houang-Ti et Lavier, Jacques-André. "Nei Tching Sou Wen". 1999
Faubert, Gabriel et Crépon, Pierre. "La chronobiologie Chinoise". Albin Michel. 1998
Guiliani, Jean-Pierre. "L’alphabet du corps humain". SFERE. 1996
Nogier, Paul François-Marie. "Traité d’Auriculothérapie". Maisonneuve. Sainte-Ruffine. 1973
Soulié de Morant, Georges. "L’acupuncture chinoise", texts and atlas in 2 volumes, Ed. Maloine. 1939 ; "Ta Tchreng : Le livre des compilations", in third volume. 1955
Wilhelm, Richard. "Yi king : le livre des Transformations". Médicis. 1973