02/10/13 First day at the clinic

You have probably already sussed out that I am not a very good writer (I am very well aware of it). In fact, I have never written anything longer or more interesting than my dissertation which was 7000 words on the topic of accounting frauds. However, I still wanted to share my experience (despite the embarrassment!) to other Dystonia patients in as much detail as possible so it can be of help, perhaps not to all but to at least some. From this post onwards I will write about my daily struggles during the treatment. I must say it was not an easy process; the battle with myself was possibly the most difficult part to overcome but after I went over enough hurdles it became easier and easier. I spoke to many other patients and they go through exactly the same, the only difference being the time it takes to overcome the obstacles. So here it goes – my diary from the first day at the clinic.

02/10/13 (First consultation)

I probably felt a little uneasy at the clinic at first as anxiety made it difficult to cope with an unfamiliar environment. Dr Lee and the staff at the clinic had kindly waited for us which I feel grateful for when thinking back although my mind was elsewhere at the time. He spent 20 minutes on explaining the importance of TMJ, how TMD is caused and how TMJ is connected to Dystonia and other disorders in a way that was easy to understand with diagrams and illustrations. He then went through various tests to identify whether I had TMJ imbalance and distortion of the first and second vertebrae. It was clear that I did in fact have both which was apparently causing Dystonia. After the tests, he gave me one of the intraoral balancing appliances called OBA (Occlusion Balancing Appliance) as I had Class 2 malocclusion. Immediately after wearing the appliance I was 70% free from pain and I also felt less anxious. I became excited that there was finally a ray of light.

20140211 OBA

OBA 2
   OBA (Occlusion Balancing Appliance) – a standard TMJ balancing device made of elastic (silicon) material.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dr Lee told us that he had arranged a studio flat next to the clinic for us to stay and to come back the next day to decide on treatment plan and proceed with the treatment. The flat was quite small but modern and fully equipped with air conditioning, washing machine, fridge and kitchenware. The time difference between the UK was 8 hours and I struggled to fall asleep. I did dose off for little while but most of the night was spent on regretting the past and blaming myself for being so arrogant. I also worried whether this treatment could lead to recovery or if I might have to face the possibility of living with Dystonia forever. During this time, worrying made the spasms worse and I spent the rest of the night wide awake.

4. Light at the end of the tunnel

* Scroll down to the bottom and start from the first post to read from the beginning

Light at the end of the tunnel

It occurred to me that these strange muscle movements must be related to TMD because the sensation and pain was mostly located around the jaw area when it reached the tipping point. I consider this as lucky because if the spasms happened somewhere else I would not have linked the two so quickly.

In desperation, while I was still in A&E, my mother decided to email Dr Lee asking advice on two important points: 1) whether the symptoms I was experiencing were related to TMD and 2) if so, whether it was possible to treat it here if we bought the available medical devices that he was using at his clinic. Within hours, he replied and said that he suspects Dystonia and advised to stop using the dental splints. He told us that for over 10 years when he first became a doctor he had used dental splints for treatments but he found that long term use led to negative effects. He said that for the last 10 years he has been using intraoral devices designed by himself. He also mentioned that the devices are helpful but recommended treatment at his clinic for a few months for faster recovery. It was the most helpful answer that anyone had given to me and what he said made sense. It was the first time I had ever heard of Dystonia but at least I now knew what the spasms were.

Unfortunately, even after finding out that Dystonia was not life threatening , my body and mental state was still on a rocky ride. My mum sent another email while I was in A&E saying that we will be going for treatment. Thankfully, he sent a reply listing temporary therapies (CRI and CV4 techniques of CST) that will relieve some symptoms. 1 October 2013, I was discharged from the hospital and we tried the suggested therapies using different equipment at home. Although it did not resolve the spasms completely, it improved a little.  The same day we booked flights for that evening and we headed to the airport with the help of my friends. The ten hour flight felt like the longest journey and what was worse than the pain was fear of the unknown. I told my mum that I was sorry for being so arrogant and thanked her for all her help in case something went wrong and I could never see her again. I think the fear had gotten the better of me.

Thankfully, we landed and I was still alive . We took a taxi from there and travelled 2 hours from Incheon airport to the clinic. It was about 7pm when we got there and although it was past closing time, Dr Lee had kindly waited for us. He had also arranged a studio flat for us to stay next to the clinic.

In our first consultation he began by explaining how TMJ Dysfunction leads to other disorders including Dystonia and various tests to diagnose TMD (other than xray) for 20 minutes. Then he spent a further 10 minutes to carry out the tests and it was clear my TMJ was out of balance. Afterwards, he gave me a type of mouth guard (made of flexible silicon material) called OBA (Occlusion balancing appliance) which is one of the standard type devices. As soon as I wore it, I noticed I felt some difference and immediately he asked me this question “Out of 10, how much has your pain decreased by?”. I answered “7”… Straight away, I had to double check because just seconds before wearing it I was in so much pain that I could not help myself from frowning. I had seen videos of other cases beforehand and I noticed that he asked every patient the same question immediately after wearing the device. In the videos they would always answer between 50 – 90%. My first thought after watching them was, they made the videos so they could advertise the clinic and must have edited them carefully to make it look convincing. But, when he actually asked me 7 out of 10 was my definite answer.

On that day, I finally saw a light at the end of the tunnel and I was about to embark on a journey towards hope.

(The rest of the story is carried on in ‘Diary during Treatment’)

Useful links and documents

Other supporting resources for TMJ link

http://www.holisticdentist.com/pdf/ddsquantified-fonder.pdf  http://www.slideshare.net/Iemplate/burns-tmj-pdf  http://healthydentistry.com/dd_syndrome.html  http://www.spasmodictorticollis.org/index.cfm?pid=350&pageTitle=A-Possible-Dental-Connection-for-Spasmodic-Torticollis   http://www.tmjconnection.com/dystonia.html

TMJ related articles and journals

Temporomandibular disorders in patients with craniocervical dystonia

occlusion-and-brain-function

Introduction

Cerebrospinal Functional Medicine

Cerebrospinal Functional Medicine (CFM) is a new medical specialty developed by Dr Young Jun Lee. Dr Lee is a Korean Medicine Doctor who was also the first doctor to receive a  Ph.D. in Integrative Medicine. Through persistent studies and research over many years he has found that balancing the TMJ (Temporomandibular joint) can recover structural distortions which leads to stablization of nerves. As a result, his findings have led to the formation of a new discipline of medicine which he termed ‘Cerebrospinal Functional Medicine (CFM)’ and he has published a number of materials within the field.

In CFM, it is viewed that many chronic and ‘intractable’ diseases are caused by structural imbalance which leads to problems in the nervous system. Therefore the treatment applied involves correcting structural imbalance thereby recovering  the nervous system and functions of organs to normality. Also, the principle within the field recognises that TMJ is the core component in controlling the function and structure of the cerebrospinal column and whole body balance.

The core theory of CFM is ‘through balance of TMJ the whole body balance is regulated’ – meaning that TMJ balance must be achieved in order to realign the upper cervical vertebrae which allows balance of the rest of body structure and stabilization of the nervous system. Based on this theory, many years of research and clinical experience has allowed Dr Lee to develop assertive and reliable methods of diagnosis, tests and treatments as a ‘holistic approach by manipulating the TMJ’. The treatment method, referred to as Functional Cerebrospinal Therapy (FCST) consists of using intraoral appliances to balance the TMJ, realignment of upper cervical vertebrae and the rest of body structure by manipulation.

For years he was ridiculed by other doctors as he emphasised importance of TMJ. However, he has also successfully collaborated with many medical doctors, including neurosurgeons, dentists and alternative medicine professions who have accepted his theory and actively supported him in advancing this new approach to cure diseases. The work is still ongoing and a growing number of people are now recognising the significance of his findings. His seminars and professional courses provided to doctors are also increasing in popularity.

What is FCST(Functional Cerebrospinal  Therapy)?

Functional Cerebrospinal Therapy (FCST) is a non-surgical treatment method currently widely applied in South Korea which normalises the nervous, hormonal and other body systems through resolving structural problems, based on CFM principles. It was developed by Dr. Lee who himself was a patient 30 years ago, suffering from paralysis in the left arm. According to Dr Lee, the cranium, spine and pelvis are core parts of our skeletal structures and distortion in any of them can affect related muscles, nervous and hormonal systems which can result in provoking a range of symptoms. FCST is a new form of treatment of 21st century which allows the core structures of our body (including cranium, spine and pelvis which can be classified as 3 points of distortion as well as TMJ) to regain balance thereby recovering normal function of nervous and other systems making it possible to cure chronic and ‘intractable’ diseases.

Conceptual Framework

In order to comprehend the full mechanism, it is important to understand the following concepts which are laid out in the ‘Framework’ drop down menu:

  • Importance of balanced body structure
  • Importance of TMJ
  • Cause of Dystonia

number of treatment casesLink to clinical cases

research of FCST

number of fcst course attendees

P1300335   P1300702

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number of fcst semina attendees

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