ABOUT

Introduction:

Welcome to the Cure for Dystonia blog. I am 24 years old, living in the UK with a full time job and was sadly diagnosed with Generalised Dystonia October 2013. However, I was fortunate enough to find a cure and by January 2014 I was able to return home to the UK having fully recovered. Through this blog I aim to provide and share  as much information as possible with other Dystonia patients. Here is a guide to get the most out of this blog:

Blog Navigation:

  • My story – two subsections:  my story and diary during treatment. ‘My Story’ describes the development of TMD and Dystonia and the struggles I had experienced up until the treatments. ‘Diary during treatment’ then follows but I suggest that you first have a read of the Framework and Treatment sections to aid your understanding. It is still a work in progress but I will be uploading regularly so readers can find out about my ups and downs up until the end of my treatment process. I appreciate that sequencing may be a problem for some readers (i.e. the first post seen is the latest post) but I recommend reading from the earliest date which can be done by scrolling down to the end of the page and navigating to the oldest post.
  • Framework – explains concepts and theories behind FCST (Functional Cerebrospinal Therapy). It is recommended to read the subsections in chronological order.
  • Treatment – explains all the available treatments at Dr Lee’s private medical practice (also known as FCST clinic)
  • Pigeon Hole – miscellaneous information, tips and resources
  • Clinical Cases – videos of successful treatments at FCST clinic

Brief history about myself:

  • April 2012 – Discovery of TMD (self-diagnosis)
  • March 2013 – Medical Diagnosis of TMD
  • April 2013 – September 2013 – Dental Treatment for TMD
  • June 2013 – Symptoms of Generalised Dystonia start
  • October 2013 – Diagnosed with Generalised Dystonia and dental treatment discontinued
  • October 2013 – FCST (Functional Cerebrospinal Therapy) started
  • January 2014 – Full recovery from Generalised Dystonia and relief of TMD symptoms

Purpose of this blog:

It is common for patients suffering from chronic disorders to try many different types of allopathic and other alternative treatments. However, they are often let down after finding out that they do not have great or long lasting effects. I too have been through this – for years I had symptoms of TMD, which I didn’t identify until 2012, and I had tried most treatments available from medication, physiotherapy, acupuncture, chiropractic to sports therapy. Although some of these attempts were helpful, the symptoms would always return and I would soon be looking for the next best option to prevent the deterioration of my condition.

Consequently, I became aware and saddened by the fact that my life was all about consuming time and energy on finding effective (and sometimes expensive) treatments while my friends seemed to enjoy their youthful and passionate lives. Then, when Dystonia started, everything took a turn for the worst and my chance of living a normal life became slim. However, after 4 months of intense treatment, I finally have something to look forward to; a life without pain and limitations.

I would introduce FCST, as ‘clinically proven with sufficient scientific backing but one which lacks acknowledgement by the majority due to domination of existing ‘mainstream’ medicine’. At first, it was my mother who trusted in this treatment and convinced me to consider it as a final resort. I was sceptical but as the therapy progressed I came to realise that this was potentially the final treatment that would rule out the need for any further treatment.

Dr Lee, who treated me, developed this method of treatment. He was actually a patient himself over 30 years ago suffering from paralysis of his left arm. From seeking ways to treat the malfunctioning limb he found that the root cause of the problem with the nerves was structural distortion. But then he had to face another obstacle – an effective way to resolve the structural imbalance permanently. However, he did not give up and after years of extensive research and clinical trial and error; he was finally successful in developing a cure and he named it FCST (which in essence, focuses on TMJ balance). Over the past decade, Dr Lee has been able to actively gather hundreds of clinical evidence which has made it possible to be widespread in South Korea. Today, a substantial number of patients suffering from different symptoms are being treated his clinic every day.

Some readers may misapprehend my intention for this blog perhaps with the idea of promoting the clinic. However, I hope the readers understand that as a former Dystonia patient who has been through the difficulties, experienced the whole treatment process and now regained normality in life, it would be wrong for me to not attempt informing others in need. In fact, I realised it would be difficult to carry on with life without feeling guilty if I decided to sit back because I know only too well the frustration that other sufferers must be experiencing and the feeling of being alone with no one fully understanding what they are going through. For that reason, I am merely endeavouring to introduce this treatment as one of the options that may want to be tried by those who are desperate to live a ‘normal’ life.

Importance of TMJ

This section explains how TMJ affects the spine structure and the nervous system. Subsequently, explanation of how FCST is unique in treating TMJ to other treatments available is provided.

i)              TMJ and structure

Movement of the TMJ is very closely related to the second cervical vertebra, C2 or also known as Axis. One might think that when the mandible opens and closes, its movement is centered around the condyle in the TMJ itself. However, this is not the case. According to the Quadrant Theorem of Guzay, the axis of rotation of the mandible lies exactly at the odontoid of C2. (The odontoid is the upward, toothlike protuberance from the second vertebra, around which the first vertebra rotates.) When the mandible moves downwards, this generates a pulling force, loosening the muscles around C2. Likewise, when moving up (i.e., when closing the mouth), it generates a pressure, which tightens the muscles around C2. This means that in an occlusion with decreased vertical dimension will aggravate muscle tension around C2 when the mouth is closed. Therefore, it is clear that distortion in TMJ will affect the position of the Axis too.

WHY TMJ

Of all 24 vertebrae in the spine (7 cervical, 12 thoracic, 5 lumbar), there is only one vertebra with an odontoid/axis, which is C2. Therefore, the Axis plays a key role in the balance of the entire spine. Together with the TMJ, C2 is the most significant variable affecting the entire spine structure.

TMJ ATLAS AXIS

So what happens next after subluxation of Axis? The rest of the spine collapses like in the domino effect even affecting position of the cranial bones and pelvis. This is explained by Lovetts reactor relationship.

LOVETT REACTOR
Source : Neurosomatic Educators INC.

According to Lovett Reactor relationship, each vertebra is coupled in motion with another vertebra and the pelvis is coupled in motion to the cranium. C1 + L5, C2 + L4 and C3 + L5 automatically move in the same direction (also known as coupling movement). The other vertebrae pairs, for example C4 + L2 move in the opposite direction. Therefore, impact on one vertebra influences other vertebrae in the spine.

Therefore, TMJ distortion causes subluxation of C2 (Axis) which leads to the collapse of the rest of the body structure.

IMPACT OF DISORDER TMJ AND AXIS
Source : http://www.upcspine.com/anatomy2.htm

collapsed structure

ii)                    TMJ and nerves

Nine of the 12 cranial nerves are found near the temporal bones from which the mandible is suspended. Particularly, the 5th cranial nerve (also known as trigeminal nerve) innervates the TMJ and are coupled to C1 and C2 (Atlas and Axis). The cranial nerves together control 136 different muscles (or 68 pairs of “dental muscles”) connecting the entire spine. According to Dr Lee, misalignment of TMJ disturbs the trigeminal nerve and it can lead to problems in the rest of the nervous system. Problems in the nervous system may cause abnormal muscle contractions and pain due to central sensitization and wider range of brain plasticity.

BLOG3

Not only this, TMJ distortion which causes subluxation of C1 and C2 can limit the space of foramen magnum (which is an opening at the base of the skull) through which the cerebrospinal fluid circulates. This can negatively impact the body-brain communication and also cause restriction of the jugular foramen, another opening in the base of the skull transmitting veins, arteries, and nerves. Restriction in these openings can mean less efficient brain respiration due to decrease in the cerebrospinal fluid circulation and can also limit proper flow of blood to the brain.

foramen magnum

The link below is a demonstration of how subluxation of upper cervical vertebrae restricts the jugular foramen. (Click slideshow in the file)

jugular foramen demo.

In conclusion, TMJ is the most important factor which contributes to collapse of spine structure and disruption of the nervous system.

STRUCTURAL CHANGES

iii)                    What causes TMJ imbalance?

Many people think that TMD (TMJ Dysfunction) is mostly caused by trauma (i.e. injury) to the jaw. However, there are many other causes of TMD including the following:

  • Chewing on one side consistently
  • Malocclusion
  • Neglect of missing tooth
  • Trauma due to complications of head and neck injury and traffic accident
  • Bad oral habits
  • Genetic or congenital problems
  • Solid foods and chewing gum
  • Mental stress
  • Teeth grinding (Bruxism)
  • Bad habits such as poor posture

When patients first experience TMJ problems, they may feel pain around the jaw area, develop headache or problems chewing. However, once TMD becomes chronic the symptoms are not only concentrated on the facial area but patients start suffering variety of symptoms including pains going down to the neck and back and psychological disorders such as depression and anxiety.

Chronic TMD symptoms_Page_1

Below is another study carried out where one TMD patient was sent to different specialists and the following were her diagnosis from each of them:

Chronic TMD symptoms_Page_2

It can be said that TMJ is the only joint in our body which causes such different symptoms between acute and chronic patients. Usually, for other joint related illnesses, the symptoms do not involve much more than pains around the affected joint area. However, studies have found that many chronic TMD sufferers not only experience pains and depression but also indigestion, allergies, chronic fatigue, dry/soar eyes, eczema, difficulties in hearing, loss of coordination, numbness in the limbs and fingers, tinnitus, asthma, cold hands and feet, apnoea, vertigo and many others. This can be explained by the impact TMJ imbalance has on the rest of our body structure and the nervous system as described above.

iv)                    How can TMJ imbalance be resolved?

There are various dental treatments, surgeries and other practices in both medical field and alternative medicine today but it may be very difficult to find treatments that are effective for all sufferers. So how is FCST different?

Dr Lee’s holistic approach is unique in that he treats TMD taking into account all of the following factors:

  • Freeway space* (see below)
  • Occlusion
  • Position of the Cranium, TMJ, Spine and Sacrum

Ultimately, this treatment aims to achieve the optimal balance (left, right, front and back) from top to bottom of our entire body. Once this optimal balance is achieved in the entire body and patients no longer experience Deflections it is viewed that patients do not require further treatment.

* Freeway space

A freeway space is the space that exists between the upper and lower articulatory members at rest. It is only when we swallow that the teeth make contact in order to create pressure.  The space varies from 1-8 mm but most people tolerate a space in the 2-3 mm region. According to Dr Lee, even 1/10 of a mm defect in the freeway space can distort the TMJ (and therefore causing problems with the nervous system). A splint made of hard material, although custom made, does not allow flexibility when there are muscular and/or structural changes in the individuals as a result of wearing the device, making it difficult to settle at the precise freeway space. Therefore, his intraoral balancing appliances are designed to fix this flaw. During treatments he uses special thin sheets of paper for optimal balance (sometimes referred to as zero point).

 

Distortion and disease

1. 1    Tics and Tourette’s Syndrome

Like in the case of dystonia, tics and Tourette’s Syndrome are considered to be caused by imbalance of the TMJ, leading to subluxation of the upper cervical vertebrae as well as abnormality of the brain-nerve system.

Imbalance of the TMJ induces distortion of the Sphenoid bone, which in turn causes errors in the brain-nerve system including abnormality in the circulation of the cerebrospinal fluid. This then triggers abnormality in neurotransmitters, which will generate an interference signal that eventually gives rise to tics and/or Tourette’s Syndrome.
(Tourette’s Syndrome is diagnosed when both motor and phonic tics are present for more than one year.)

1. 2   TMD and Facial asymmetry

Asymmetry, i.e., misalignment, of the TMJ can cause temporomandibular-joint disk displacement, one-sided abrasion of the teeth, and skewing of the mandible. This can lead to temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMD) and facial asymmetry.

The mandible is connected to ligaments, muscles, fascia, and the sphenoid bone that together form the skull, and is also linked with the temporal, occipital, and hyoid bones, as well as indirectly with the upper cervical spine through the neuromuscular system. To be specific, there are 9 cranial nerves and 136 muscles (68 pairs) around the TMJ that can hypercontract and become strained due to imbalance of the TMJ. This directly influences the face and the structure of the skull. Therefore, TMD and facial asymmetry are closely related and generally occur simultaneously.

Symptoms include: TMJ pian, trismus, TMJ noise, habitual dislocation of jaw, and bruxism. Most of facial asymmetry, mandibular deviation class 2&3 malocclusions, partial cross bite, and facial asymmetry due to open bite, deep bite.

1. 3   Other disorders

FCST has also proven to be highly effective for treatment of disorders such as depression, anxiety, insomnia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, hallucination and auditory disorders, chronic fatigue, migraine, and failure to thrive.

1. 4   Underlying causes

Apart from the distorted cerebro spinal structure that all of the above diseases have in common, there also appears to be a commonality in their underlying causes. The following list of causes is drawn up based on the anamnesis of hundreds of patients.

  • Trauma to head and/or neck
  • Mental stress
  • Wrong eating habits
  • Untreated dental problems, including malocclusions
  • Teeth grinding
  • Genetic or congenital problems

Cervical Dystonia

The previous chapter shows the delicate connections in the cerebrospinal structure. Once the TMJ and/or C2 are distorted, the entire structure will follow and collapse. And this will negatively impact the body-brain communication through restriction of the foramen magnum as well as restriction of the jugular foramen, another opening in the base of the skull transmitting veins, arteries, and nerves.

This can lead to a variety of problems. The mechanical consequences are of course obvious. When the spinal balance is broken, the head and neck will start to drop forward and tilt, the spine will be bent (scoliosis, kyphosis), the pelvis will be tipped, etc.

Due to the malfunction in body-brain communication, various other neurological problems may arise. In the below sections, a summary and classification is given of the most common disorders which – in FCST – are associated with spinal collapse.

This can lead to a variety of problems. The mechanical consequences are of course obvious. When the spinal balance is broken, the head and neck will start to drop forward and tilt, the spine will be bent (scoliosis, kyphosis), the pelvis will be tipped, etc.

Due to the malfunction in body-brain communication, various other neurological problems may arise. In the below sections, a summary and classification is given of the most common disorders which – in FCST – are associated with spinal collapse.

 Cervical Dystonia (spasmodic torticollis)

Within the framework of FCST, the main cause of cervical dystonia is considered to be subluxation of the upper cervical vertebrae, as well abnormality of the brain-nerve system due to imbalance of the TMJ. Tertiary nerves around the TMJ area are concatenated to the Atlas and the Axis along the brainstem. Abnormalities in TMJ thus cause subluxation in the occipito atlantoaxial joint, which in turn generates a distorted signal to the brain-nerve system. This leads to errors in the brain-nerve system that cause involuntary cramps, spasms, and pain in the cervical area. As a consequence, the head will move away from its centered position. The symptoms generally worsen over time.

Other disorders associated with brain-nerve (CNS) damage

Writer’s Cramp (Focal Hand Dystonia), Blepharospasm, Meige’s Syndrome, Oromandibular Dystonia (Cranial Dystonia), Spasmodic Dysphonia (Laryngeal Dystonia), Generalized Dystonia, Parkinson’s Disease, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, Tourette’s Syndrome, Alzheimer’s Disease, Spinocerebellar Degeneration, Stroke Sequelae, Myasthenia Gravis, Unidentified Paralysis, Epilepsy, Convulsive Disease, Stroke Sequelae, Autism.

Importance of balanced body structure

Our body has the ability to heal itself and maintain a healthy state. Also, our body is designed so that systems work together to sustain symmetry and balance which in turn enables normal function of systems. There are many research findings which link biological fitness and balanced body structure.  In essence, balance and control define a healthy body.

davincibalance

It can be said that all our body systems are interlinked and abnormality in one system can lead to the failure of another. This is also the case for our structure and communication function; they are closely linked. Below is a diagram of our spinal nervous system which shows how the spine, nerves, muscles and organs are connected.

Spinal Autonomic Nerves

Our central nervous system consists of the brain and the spinal cord which as the word suggests is inside the spine.

anatomical organisation of nervous system

Therefore, normal function of these nerves may be disturbed by misalignment of the vertebrae (also known as subluxation) in our spine. Below shows each vertebra and related parts as well as possible symptoms from subluxation.

spinechart
Source: http://www.drpittson.net/back.html

As the diagram above demonstrates, it can be said that problems with structure and nervous system co exist in many patients suffering from chronic conditions. Therefore, stabilization of the nervous system cannot be permanent unless the structural problem is resolved.

Before proceeding to understand the importance of TMJ and how it impacts body structure, it is useful to comprehend the role of TMJ and the following key components which Dr Lee refers to as 3 balance points in our body.

1. Cranium

In a healthy cranial structure, there is a contracting and expanding movement, called cranial rhythmic impulse (or primary respiratory mechanism). This impulse consists of a number of simultaneous motions:

  • Expansion and contraction of the cranial bones and the meninges surrounding them.
  • Pressure changes in the cerebrospinal fluid system, which moves back and forth within the central nervous system, i.e. from the cranium to sacrum and back.
  • And the cranial motion works together with a contrary motion in the sacrum.

Cranial rhythmic impulse is coupled with our diaphragmatic respiration and is vital in proper brain-body communication.

CRI

2. Pelvis (Sacrum)

The pelvis (or pelvic girdle) is a bilaterally symmetrical structure of bonus (sacrum, os coxa, and coccyx), muscles, and interconnecting tissue.

  • It supports and protects the abdomen as well as several organs in the abdomen.
  • The pelvis provides a foundation for the legs.
  • It also supports the trunk of the body via the sacrum, which is connected to the spine.

PELVIS

Understanding of our spine is also important and Dr Lee puts most emphasis on the first two vertebrae of the spine:

3. Spine

3.1 Occipito atlantoaxial joint = C1 & C2

The occipito atlantoaxial joint consists of the occiput, the Atlas (C1) and Axis (C2). In other words: the upper cervical vertebrae connecting with the cranium.

  • In the normal situation, these are neatly stacked on top of one another, in perfect symmetry, allowing unobstructed movement of the head and neck in all directions.
  • Also, in the normal situation, the brain-body communication will function perfectly via the vertebral and carotid arteries, the lymphatic system, the cerebrospinal fluid, the meningeal system and the spinal cord.

OCCIPITOATLANTOAXIAL JOINT

Especially the second vertebra C2, is a pivotal point since all muscles in head and neck are focused towards it.

AXIS 1<Picture Axis + muscles>

3.2 Rest of the spine

In a healthy body, cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine are well aligned with two typical curvatures as can seen from the side, giving the spine an S-shape.

  • The correct structure allows for flexible movement and optimal support of the entire upper body, as well as maximum shock absorption power.
  • Another very important function of the spine is protection of the spinal cord and spinal nerves.

SPINE

Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ)

There are two temporomandibular joints (TMJ), one on either side. A healthy TMJ  is mainly recognized as follows:

  • The mandible is aligned in all directions. i.e., there is no shift in the horizontal plane, and no shift in vertical direction.
  • The disk in the TMJ is in place and has not been deformed, thus allowing optimal function of the nerves, arteries and veins passing at the joint.
  • When the mandible opens and closes, the TMJ disk stays in place, allowing smooth motion, without the ball and socket of the joint touching, so that there are no clicking and/or grinding sounds.

TMJ + TMJ DISK

The following are reasons why Dr Lee puts so much importance on the joint:

1. General role of TMJ

TMJ is part of the masticatory system and is responsible for the following three functions: 1) mastication (chewing), phagia (swallowing) and speech. The masticatory system generally includes teeth, periodontal ligament, lips and tongue, cheeks, palate, TMJ and other related tissues.

2. Distinctive function of TMJ

TMJ is a joint which works 24 hours a day. Even during sleep, TMJ is the only joint which is in motion constantly. Therefore, the continuous movement of TMJ is not just a simple exercise but is necessary in maintaining life. It can be said that body organs which work persistently even during sleep are brain, heart, lungs and TMJ. Other organs such as trachea (airway), joints, spine and muscles all rest during sleep and there is a distinctive reason for why the four organs (brain, heart, lungs and TMJ) have to work throughout day and night. Firstly, the heart has to pump without a break to supply blood to the rest of the body which is essential in sustaining life. The lungs also are required to move consistently to maintain breathing. If the lungs stop and prevent breathing, the brain also stops functioning within minutes. The brain has to keep vigilant of the functions of the rest of the body even while we sleep.

So what is the reason for consistent movement of TMJ? During sleep, we swallow every minute (on average). Even though we are sleeping, the molar teeth on the upper and lower mandible are in contact every time we swallow which creates around 3.5 lb worth of biting force. This biting force is transported to the core part of the brain and supplies energy allowing normal function of the brain. Also, it is assumed that the force creates motility to sphenoid bone (located at the bottom of the brain) which is connected to the lower mandible and allows circulation of cerebrospinal fluid. The brain respires orderly only when the cerebrospinal fluid flows properly.