03/10/13 (First treatment)
The morning after, deprived of sleep, I was feeling very exhausted and anxious about the treatment that I was about to receive. I had worn OBA throughout the night and the pain seemed to have decreased significantly. However, the strange movements of the muscles around the jaw (spasms were mostly around the jaw area with similar sensations in my limbs too) were still tormenting me. The clinic was right next to the flat but I still could not manage going to the clinic without my parents’ help.
I arrived at the clinic and the staff seemed very busy and occupied with their work. At first, I thought they were not very attentive but later I realised that it was because I was one of the patients with milder symptoms. They were used to having patients who struggle with walking, have shaking in different parts of the body, have seizures and make strange sounds.
The staff at the front desk kindly introduced the treatment procedure and available treatment package options. My situation was so desperate that we had not even given financial matter a priority. In all honesty, it was not small amounts of money but my parents decided it was worth paying considering the length of time already wasted on other treatments. I chose the 3 month package which consisted of 30 treatments (* we did not realise until later that it meant 30 treatments to be used within 3 months; I used all the 30 treatments in 20 days as I was staying near by the clinic and was able to receive several treatments in a day). That day, we also bought a CST pillow so I could use it in the flat too.
After choosing the package, I was asked to fill out a form for personal details and medical history. Before the signature at the end of the form it also stated that I permit the clinic to use my data for clinical data collection (this is an option but the price of the treatment is higher if one chooses not to). Then, they measured my pulse and blood pressure. During this time, the muscles around the jaw were still moving uncontrollably and I had to control my mind as I was becoming slightly impatient. Afterwards, a member of staff later led me to a room with a computer and politely asked me to tick all the symptoms that related to me (by this point I was probably looking quite irritated… but I couldn’t help it). I had to score each of the 200 or so symptoms from 0 – 10, 0 being none and 10 being the most severe. I had 63 symptoms and for many of them I gave 10s. The list of symptoms was printed out and was given to Dr Lee. This list was also used for monitoring my progress – I was asked to to give each of them a score everyday (by the time I had last treatment most of them were down to either 0 or 1). It was also useful to discuss with the doctor about certain symptoms which effected me on particular days.
There were more patients than expected who arrived at similar times and waited in the waiting area. Then we were called by the nurse and we all entered the room at the same time. It was quite strange for me but other patients seemed to be used to it. It made me quite nervous but I sat down and watched other patients receiving the treatments.
The age of patients varied from as young as 5 to elderly in the 70s and they all suffered from chronic disorders. There were quite a lot of kids with Tourette’s (also known as Tic disorder) and ADHD. I also saw a guy in his 20s suffering from schizophrenia. I did not understand at first why all of us went in the treatment room at the same time but it soon became clear; although the symptoms were different, the treatment method was the same. Dr Lee asks each patient what has improved and how the patient has been feeling since the last treatment. One patient in the same room was suffering from Parkinson’s and when she was asked, she said she now walks without falling over. She still had mild shaking on her hands but she said a month ago she had shaking on her legs too which prevented her from walking. Dr Lee asked her to walk to the back of the room and she did so like a normal person.
The first part of treatment consisted of balancing the TMJ at ‘zero point’ (which means at precision; Dr Lee aims to balance TMJ as precise as possible going down to the 0.05mm range – This method is unique to the clinic and will explain in detail in upcoming articles in the blog). He does this by putting in very thin pieces of paper which the patient bites on both left and right side. As soon as the TMJ is balanced at ‘zero point’ I noticed that immediately, the pain disappeared and muscle spasms stopped. Subsequently, I lied down on the treatment table to proceed with alignment of upper cervical vertebrae.
Before he proceeded with alignment he checked again to see whether the TMJ was at zero point with restricted cervical rotation test. He rotated the neck left and right but on the right side the turning was limited which meant that TMJ was not quite at zero point. He then put another sheet of paper (0.05mm thick) on the right side and when he tested again the rotation both to the left and right became smooth (meaning the TMJ is balanced at zero point). Next, he went ahead with alignment of C1 and C2. With the pile of papers at both sides still he went ahead with creating CBA (Cervical Balancing Appliance) using putty material which clearly needed to be handled by an experienced practitioner. After that, Dr Lee told me that the procedure he had just gone through was FCST which was developed by him. Then, I was told to follow the nurses for 7 other therapies (too long to explain in detail here but the rest are described in the Treatment dropdown menu).
Although I now understand what he was trying to explain, at the time I was so preoccupied with the symptoms that I was experiencing, I was still sceptic and doubtful as I did not comprehend fully. After the first day of treatment, pain decreased but the right side of my jaw was still moving quite intensely and spent the night awake again. Anxiety was still at its peak and I could not help thinking that maybe the treatment would not work on me.