Pain Relief and Exploding Dinosaurs

 Gary Piscopo, ND, LAc

A recently excavated Internet meme announces, “I used to think gas was expensive. Then I realized I’m buying liquid exploding dinosaurs.” Surprising? So is the recent discovery that injections of liquid dilute natural extracts can have impressive pain control properties. This intriguing approach, called biopuncture, is a provocative new technique that uses targeted doses of natural substances to relieve pain, dysfunction, and inflammation.

What Is Biopuncture?

Biopuncture is an exciting new injection technique that uses natural substances for pain management. These sterile solutions, which are FDA-approved and derived mainly from plants and minerals, are selected by trained, licensed practitioners like Dr. Piscopo to stimulate the body’s healing mechanisms in specific ways.

The most popular use is for biopuncture is for musculoskeletal problems including sprains, muscle spasm, arthritis, neck or back pain, sciatica, tendonitis, sports injuries, joint pain or degeneration, bursitis, muscle tension headaches and so on. But biopuncture can also assist with stress or psycho-emotional issues as well.

Dr. Kersschot himself defines biopuncture as, “the use of biotherapeutics for injection into specific zones or points to support bioregulation.” 1 This definition is a bit more complex, but it is worth breaking down because it covers many important points about this therapy.

How Does Biopuncture Work?

Biotherapeutics are therapies derived from living organisms. Some examples are herbs such as arnica, echinacea, and chamomile. These are diluted through a process similar to homeopathy. For this reason, the biotherapeutics used in biopuncture are sometimes called “ultra-low doses” or ULDs.

Bioregulation [bio – life; regulation – law or rule] touches on both the goal of biopuncture and the way it works. At its most basic level, bioregulation is simply the process that the body uses to adjust to internal and external stimulation. While researchers are still in the process of figuring out the exact mechanism the makes biopuncture so effective, there are two pathways currently proposed. The first is that these injections assist the bioregulation of the immune system. For example Traumeel, one of the main ULDs used, was found in a 2004 research study to inhibit inflammatory cells.5 Other biotherapeutics used in biopuncture include:

  • Lymphomyosot for lymphatic drainage
  • Spascupreel for muscular cramps
  • Zeel for arthritis and joint pain

According to Dr. Kersschott, unlike conventional pain medications that tend to suppress pain without encouraging actual healing and that require constant use, “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.”

The second pathway through which biopuncture is thought to work involves the material around and between cells known as the extracellular matrix or ECM. Through its connections to the ECM, cells are able to sense changes in their environment and this information can then influence cellular operations. It is not unlike a wedding celebration where the bride and groom are surrounded by their wedding party, who help them to adjust to changes and make sure important tasks are completed.

Both the action of puncturing the ECM with a needle in a specific way, as well as the activity of biotherapeutics themselves, appears to impact the flow of information from the ECM to the cell. The types of changes that can be influenced in this way include changing the way that genes in the nucleus are expressed.2,3 Dr. Mina Bissell, director of life sciences at the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab in California (LBNL), has spearheaded compelling research that shows how the ECM is critical to the formation of cancer, to give one pivotal example of this dynamic.7

Why do Biopuncture?

Finding lasting pain relief often means thinking outside the box. In this case, the “box” is conventional approaches to pain management. It is true that conventional drug therapies like corticosteroids or morphine work very quickly and can profoundly suppress pain. There are times when this is exactly what is needed. However, this is not always the case.

In one recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, research subjects who were injected with corticosteroids for tennis elbow were worse after one year than another group of research subjects who only had a placebo.5 In other words, for some people it was better to do nothing than to have a corticosteroid injection.

Biopuncture is useful as a first line approach, when other approaches have not worked, or when someone wants to try something more conservative before doing drugs and surgery. The advantages of biopuncture are that it has a high safety profile, that is can be as effective (if not more so) than drug therapy, and that it can produce long lasting results without the need to continually take medications. Biopuncture also works well with the many other natural therapies that Dr. Piscopo employs. In fact, the use of biopuncture with electrotherapy or acupuncture is highly synergistic, resulting in superior pain resolution in many cases.

Safety

All biopuncture biotherapeutics are manufactured in pharmaceutical-quality labs, ensuring the absolute sterility and stability of the product. Because these solutions use dilutions of the active ingredients, they have a high safety profile and toxic side effects are unlikely. As a recent research study notes, “Traumeel has been on the market for approximately 80 years, and has a long record of use in millions of patients.” 4

Speed of Improvement

How quickly a patient responds to biopuncture depends on several factors, including how long the problem has been present, if other major diseases are present (diabetes, obesity, organ dysfunction, etc.), sleep quality, diet, immune status, and how compliant the patient is with treatment. At our clinic, biopuncture is not done in isolation – obstacles to improvement are addressed as part of the intervention. Because of the comprehensive approach used, results are far better than simply suppressing symptoms.

How many Biopuncture sessions will I need?

Because biopuncture protocols involve injections of small doses of biotherapeutics in a layered fashion, the process does take time. As Dr. Kersschot notes, “It’s obvious that injections of such tiny doses are less powerful than, for example, cortisone injections… 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.” 6

Summary

Treating chronic pain requires a comprehensive approach that is tailored specifically to you. Is stress, physical pain, or psycho-emotional distress making you feel like a dinosaur about to explode? Then liquid dilute natural extracts may be just the right remedy for you.

If you are interested in learning more about biopuncture at the Alpine Valley Wellness Center, please call us at (509) 886-9355.

  1. Jan Kersschot, The Clinical Guide to Biopuncture, (Aartselaar, Belgium : Inspiration, 2010).
  2. Langevin, Helene M. “The Science of Stretch.” The Scientist. (2013). http://www.the-scientist.com/?articles.view/articleNo/35301/title/The-Science-of-Stretch/ (accessed June 1, 2013).
  3. Hubmacher , Dirk, and Suneel S. Apte. “The biology of the extracellular matrix: novel insights.” Curr Opin Rheumatol. no. 25(1) (2013 ): 65–70. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3560377/ (accessed June 1, 2013).
  4. Porozov, Svetlana, and Liora Cahalon et al. “Inhibition of IL-1β and TNF-α Secretion from Resting and Activated Human Immunocytes by the Homeopathic Medication Traumeel® S.” Clinical and Developmental Immunology. Volume 11, Issue 2 (2004): 143-149.
  5. Coombes, Brooke K., Bisset, Leanne; et al. “Effect of Corticosteroid Injection, Physiotherapy, or Both on Clinical Outcomes in Patients With Unilateral Lateral Epicondylalgia A Randomized Controlled Trial.” JAMA. . (2013) 2013; 309(5):461-469
  6. Kersschot, Jan. Accessed June 1, 2013. http://www.kersschot.com/Biopuncture.html.
  7. Bissell, Mina. Bissell Lab Research Focus. Accessed June 6, 2013. http://www.lbl.gov/LBL-Programs/lifesciences/BissellLab/research.html