On this page I list the alternative treatments that I have come across and that appear to have had a significant impact.
So you won’t see anything on Botox (botulinum toxin) injections, selective peripheral denervation, or deep-brain stimulation (DBS) here.
Let me know if you have found another alternative therapy that looks really effective. And if you happen to try one of these treatments with good results, kindly report back!
Another thing I would like to mention here is that this page is by far the most popular page of this blog. Although I understand the reason for that – people want to find a clear method to heal – I personally consider the information on this page to be marginally interesting. The really interesting pages of this blog – which are hardly ever read, according to the web-traffic statistics – are: Phenomena and Perspectives. Basically, on these two pages I explain the cause(s) of CD. So far, all people who read those two pages, were shocked to recognize themselves and to understand the real cause of their suffering…
Natural non-medical self-treatment
This method is developed by Abigail Brown. Among other things, it consists of specific exercises and massage techniques, diet, and correct posture. See the below video.
(From my own experience I can say that this therapy definitely works and brings significant relief.)
More all-natural treatments 1: Proprioceptive exercise
Jordi from Barcelona developed his own recovery program, consisting of different elements. One element is therapy to address the anxiety and psychological issues that CD sufferers normally have. Another element is the intensive training and re-education of the neck muscles through specific proprioceptive exercises. He has spent several years to recover, in the beginning with 6 hours of exercise per day. He is now 99% symptom free and only does 5-10 minutes of exercise per day.
More all-natural treatments 2: Cross therapy
This German clinic, founded by Ms. Cross, is specialized in straightening out spinal imbalances without surgery and medication. According to Ms. Cross, the root cause of most spinal problems is pelvic distortion. During the past 25 years, the clinic has been treating over 750 CD patients from various countries and many have completely recovered. Apart from physical therapy to realign the pelvis and entire spine, the patients also need to do repetitive exercises with their head/neck.
There is a testimonial on the German Dystonia Forum of a man who has greatly benefited from Cross therapy and whose brother (also with CD) was completely healed thanks to Cross therapy.
More all-natural treatments 3: Light running
This German man reports to have cured his CD/ST by ‘light running’. With a searchlight attached to his forehead, he used to go to the woods in the dark and run after the dot of light on the ground. Every day, thousands of times. And he used to do spinning in the gym very frequently. At some point, his CD had gone and his head was straight.
More all-natural treatments 4: Rebirthing
This French woman has suffered from severe CD symptoms until she decided to take a crash course in Rebirthing deep-relaxation techniques. She says that after 3 months her symptoms were 95% gone, and what remained was invisible to others and perfectly controllable. In conjunction with positive thinking, it has allowed her to live almost symptom free for over 30 years now.
More all-natural treatments 5: Indian approach
The man in the below video has been to a clinic in India, where he got an all-natural treatment consisting of exercise, massage, diet, physiotherapy, some manipulations, yoga, meditation, and a bit of panchkarma. The clinic claims that the results are long-term.
And even if they aren’t it’s still an attractive option for CD/ST patients, since the place looks gorgeous and costs are nominal (starting at 500 euros for 21 days, all inclusive, i.e., food, stay, and treatment).
Functional CerebroSpinal Therapy (FCST)
This method has been developed by Dr. Young-Jun Lee. He adds several alternative treatment methods to his approach (such as acupuncture, cupping therapy, Korean herbal medicine), but the key ingredient of the treatment is about balancing the joints of the jaw, and therewith the upper vertebrae of the neck. In Dr. Lee’s view, TMD (temporomandibular joint disorder) is the main physical cause for CD. See the below videos.
In May and June, 2012, I have been at the clinic for treatment. After an initial improvement, I was still bothered by symptoms, getting even worse by the end of my stay. In hindsight, I had put too much pressure on my healing process, getting too many (heavy) treatments every day, retraumatizing my body.
However, I have seen several people with CD getting completely healed in the clinic! The main difference between them and me was that they had no time pressure, taking many months to recover, and they did not get as many subsequent treatments as I did, allowing for recovery periods in between treatments.
More TMD treatments
TMD = Temporomandibular joint disorder. In the USA, there are several doctors / orthodontists who have started treating CD/ST by jaw alignment. Their approach is predominantly based on trial and error, using an appliance/splint in the mouth. Also, it seems that they need to make permanent adjustments to the teeth in order to make the positive effect last.
Hypnotherapist Jacqueline van der Voort deploys hypnotherapy to get the head and neck aligned. I have heard though that it took dozens of sessions to achieve the results as shown in the below video.
The young Colombian man in the below video claims that his CD/ST disappeared after taking Ganoderma Lucidum (traditional Chinese: Língzhī, 灵芝; Japanese: reishi, 靈芝; Korean: yeongji, 영지) for several months, 6 caps a day. The video is in Spanish, and is obviously meant as an advertisement for the manufacturer (and the man now actually started selling the products himself). But who knows, somehow it looks genuine, and there are more serious testimonials of Colombians on Youtube, recommending the use of Ganoderma for various health problems. I have recently (July 2012) been in touch with this man, asking for more details. He told me that since making the Youtube video, he has experienced a slight relapse of his CD, but then continued to take Ganoderma and is still symptom free. At this stage he doesn’t need to take the capsules anymore, but only a chocolate drink that contains some Ganoderma. He also told me that, to date, he knows no other CD patient who has tried Ganoderma…
By the way, Ganoderma Lucidum can be purchased in multiple places, even via online pharmacies.
AFA blue-green algae
Steve Zarren says he fixed his blepharospasm with AFA blue-green algae. He has started to market the supplement, that apparently provides great relief to CD sufferers as well. I have the impression that he works with probiotics and enzymes to cleanse the body prior to the AFA algae. This treatment doesn’t provide a cure, but an alternative to Botox. Steve has submitted some (commercial) comments to this blog, but didn’t reply when I asked him to provide more details about this treatment and more information regarding the CD patients he claims to have helped.
Personally I have taken AFA blue-green algae during one year. Then I stopped. During the time I was taking the algae, my CD was gradually improving, but it continued to do so after I stopped taking them! So I think that for me it hasn’t done much, if anything.
Valtrex / Acyclovir
Throughout the past years, CD sufferers have reported significant relief from taking anti-herpes drug Valtrex or Acyclovir. The finding/invention has also been genuinely patented! This doesn’t provide a cure either, but apparently a good alternative to Botox.
Although there is no in-depth study into the effect of marijuana/cannabis on dystonia, there are several reports of CD sufferers who find great relief from the use of this substance.
Removal of mercury amalgam dental fillings
It is known that heavy metal poisoning can cause dystonia. Removing multiple mercury amalgam fillings has helped this woman to get rid of her dystonia.
Dr.Arthur Yin Fan uses acupunture to alleviate the symptoms of CD/ST. See the below video.
Trigger point dry needling (TDN)
TDN is a technique that uses a very fine acupuncture needles to deactivate painful or knotted areas in the muscles. There is a woman who gets a TDN treatment every two weeks, as a natural alternative to Botox. This allows her to live free of pain and CD/ST symptoms.
Dr. Joseph Lawrence, Chiropractic Neurologist, uses eye movements, chiropractic ajustments, and nutritional testing, to alleviate the symptoms of CD/ST. See the below video.
Deep-tissue massage (NMT)
On the below forum, several CD/ST patients claim that deep-tissue massage (or more specific: neuromuscular therapy, NMT) has put their CD/ST into remission for multiple years.
Other treatments I tried personally
Immediately after falling ill, I stumbled upon a testimonial of a woman with CD/ST, who had greatly benefited from neurofeedback (http://www.brainstatetech.com/). Before the treatment she couldn’t walk. When the treatment was completed, she literally skipped away.
I did 10 (expensive) treatments. After that, my brain patterns were perceivably more balanced indeed. And I did feel better, less stressed. However, this wasn’t the breakthrough I had hoped for. I might have achieved more with more treatments, but that option had become prohibitive by that time.
A few months later I tried radon therapy, deep inside the Austrian mountains (Gasteiner Heilstollen: http://http://www.gasteiner-heilstollen.com/). A handful of fellow CD/STers appears to benefit from this treatment. The treating physicians told me that the therapy should have a very good effect on muscle spasms.
I went into the mountain 10 times. It wasn’t recommended to go more often, due to the accumulating dose of radioactivity. I felt it didn’t do much for me. The spasms didn’t go away within the predicted time window of 6 weeks. It was a wonderful experience though, and a very relaxing one as well.
Another few months later I tried EMDR in order to solve issues from my past. This didn’t work very well in my case. Probably because EMDR works best for one-off traumatic events, not for the more complex situations. The idea behind EMDR still is very appealing, but there are alternatives better suited for CD/ST, which I will mention elsewhere on this blog.