Case Study 4: TMJ/Jaw Pain0

Case Study 5 TMJ/Jaw Pain

Joan is a 63-year-old female that presented with Jaw (TMJ) pain. There was no previous history of a jaw problem, and no injury she was aware of. Joan was unable to open her jaw more than one inch, and had been unable to chew any solid food for four weeks.

Her first few visits were comprised of a combination of acupuncture, Ultrasound/muscle stimulation and cranial adjustments. I used the acupuncture to reduce muscle spasm and decrease inflammation. The ultrasound/mm stim was used to heat/relax the spasm, and the cranial work involved gentle release of the muscles inside the jaw. Joan returned a week later for follow-up, where she informed me the pain had begun to subside and her ability to open her mouth was improving. I repeated the treatment a few more times, with some variation of the acupuncture points.

After about 4 treatments, it seemed we were at a standstill. Her pain was diminishing and her ability to chew was increasing, but not fully, and she was still experiencing discomfort while eating. I knew there was something missing. TMJ problems usually respond much quicker than this. After a brief discussion, I discovered that she was clenching her jaw at night, which made it very stiff and sore in the morning. People who clench their teeth at night, often times have an underlying Candida (yeast) problem in their gut. Candida feeds on sugar and carbohydrates, including those in saliva. When you sleep, the Candida ‘makes’ you clench your teeth to produce more saliva, so it can feed and grow. This is why when treating a Candida problem; one must eliminate sugar and carbohydrates from the diet.

I put Joan on a Candida elimination diet, and gave her a nutraceuticals containing Caprylic Acid, which kills off yeast. She returned a week later and had marked improvement, although she was far from cured. It was amazing to her that when she ‘cheated’ on her Candida elimination diet, the next day her jaw pain increased exponentially. I knew we were onto something. Over the next few weeks of the treatment and diet, she improved, but once again came to a standstill. What was I missing?? We had another conversation about her health and body systems to see if I could uncover anything.

She mentioned that she had been experimenting with her primary care doctor to find a cholesterol medication. She told me that she had been on a new drug for the last 6 months. When I asked her how long she had been experiencing the jaw pain, her eyes widened and she smiled. “Six months!” I knew we found the missing piece of the puzzle. I advised her to contact the prescribing doctor and either get off the drug, or try another one (the last 3 had also caused problems).

Sometimes people need cholesterol-lowering drugs. I find them overly prescribed though. Allopathic physicians usually want ones cholesterol below 200. ‘Natural’ physicians like the cholesterol range to be around 230. Adequate levels of cholesterol are not only important, they are a necessity! All of your hormones are derived from cholesterol. If you are having problems with you hormones (menopause etc), you may want to look at your cholesterol, and any cholesterol-lowering drugs (statins). A large percentage of women who come to me for help with menopause are taking a statin. Often times their cholesterol levels are just fine. The doctor just put them on a statin ‘just in case’. Statins are harmful to your body, especially to the liver. This is why periodic blood tests are required. They are checking for liver damage.

In the acupuncture world, your muscles and joints are affected by the liver. For example; if you are experiencing muscle problems/spasms etc, or are starting to feel arthritis symptoms, we check the liver function. Pain in the thumbs, carpal tunnel syndrome, joint pain and morning stiffness are common initial symptoms.

As for Joan, she is doing great.


Case Study 3: Childs Earache1

Case Study 3

Earache (Otitis Media)

Joe: 4 year old male

Joe’s father is a patient who I had treated for shoulder pain. Joe started getting earaches when he was 2 years old. He had myringotomy (ear tubes) when he was two. He had been placed on antibiotics over 6 times.

Joe presented with right-sided jaw and ear pain. He had once again been to his primary care physician who recommended another course of antibiotics. Surgery was next on his list. Needless to say, his father wanted to avoid that.

There are two main reasons I find kids get earaches and ear infections. First is a misalignment of the top vertebra in the neck. Second is what is known as dysbiosis.

Let’s start with number 1.

There are lymphatic vessels all over your body. They collect the waste in our bodies that need to be eliminated. Most people are familiar with the ones in our necks that swell when we are getting sick. If the junk in the head is coming out faster than the lymph vessels can eliminate it, our glands swell.

What often happens in kids is a very common condition called Childbirth. You say that childbirth is a beautiful thing right? Well, it’s not so beautiful for the fragile neck of an infant. I have seen research showing that up to 90 pounds of force is put onto the infant’s neck when the doctor is trying to extract them vaginally with forceps. It is only slightly less for Cesarean born babies.

Can you imagine all the twisting and pulling on the baby’s head may be traumatic to the neck? If (more likely, when) this trauma misaligns a bone in their neck, that can stop the lymphatic drainage of the head. It is directly related to the Eustachian tube’s ability to drain infection out of the ear. Voila! Ear infection. With a very gentle and simple adjustment of that bone, the ears are allowed to once again drain, and the earaches go away. There is often a second part to fixing this, which we will now discuss.

Dysbiosis is the second most common cause of ear infections. Dysbiosis essentially means that you have too much garbage in your intestines. If you are eating things you shouldn’t, the toxins are backing up in your bowels. Eventually that stuff leaks into your bloodstream and causes terrible things to happen: earaches, infections, allergies, Fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, headaches… and the list goes on. The buildup of toxins in your bowels changes its pH, and yeast (Candida) starts to grow. Candida thrives on the carbohydrates in your saliva. So when you sleep, the Candida clenches your jaw to produce more saliva, so they can eat. People who wake up with a tight jaw, jaw clenchers and people who wear night guards/splints often have Candida as an underlying cause.

I asked Joe’s dad if he clenched his teeth at night. Sure enough the boy had been complaining of the very thing. The first thing that needs to be done to fix an earache/infection is to eliminate all wheat and dairy from the diet! I adjusted the bone in Joe’s neck, advised him of the foods he shouldn’t be eating (especially wheat/dairy), and gave him a special probiotic for kids.

I spoke with Joe’s dad a few days later. The ear and jaw pain were gone, and the infection had cleared.


This is such a common problem, and typically very simple to fix. People get caught up going to their pediatricians for tubes and antibiotics. It is quite frankly, stupid. Antibiotics are not supposed to be given for ear infections. They don’t work! The pediatric governing board does not recommend using antibiotics for ear infections! Some people continue to insist, so what is a doctor to do?

The first thing I do for kids that keep getting sick or have bad allergies/colic etc., is pull them all wheat and dairy. None at all! Wheat has a similar genetic sequence to the Influenza Virus. Every time you eat it, your body things it’s getting hit with the flu. Dairy is just awful for humans. The dairy council has a fabulous marketing team, that’s all. Milk is an allergen to humans. Very little calcium is absorbable from milk. Milk is full of growth hormone and pesticides. All it does is clog up your intestines and set off inflammatory reactions all over the body.Stop feeding it to your kids! Use rice/almond and soy milk as alternatives.


Case Study 2: Neck Pain and Tremors0

Case Study 2

Neck Pain and Tremors

Mandy, 44 year old Female

Mandy presented to my office in September of 2009. She had complaints of Right sided neck pain and ‘full body tremors’. The pain began approximately 4 months prior. It was a gradual onset, and thought that perhaps it was from playing tennis. She had been to her primary care doctor who ordered an MRI of her neck and blood tests. He didn’t find the cause of her neck pain or tremors. He then placed her on Alleve, Steroids and a heavy duty anti-seizure medicine/pain killer called Neurontin. She was sent her for physical therapy.

Mandy’s second complaint was what she called ‘tremors’, which began in July. She characterized them as electrical charges throughout her whole body. Nothing she knew of brought them on, and nothing had helped.

In her physical exam I found the neck pain was caused by a sprain (minor tear) of her first rib. Most people don’t realize that their rib cage starts at the level of their shoulders. There are some very large muscles that attach to the first rib. When you have tight and sore shoulders and ask someone to rub them, that is usually where these big muscles attach to the first rib. This injury is invisible on Xray or MRI, and many doctors don’t even know or believe this condition exists. I can assure you, as a doctor who has seen it dozens and dozens of times, that it surely does.

The cause of her tremors, I ventured to say, was Hypoadrenia. The Adrenals are known as your ‘stress glands.’ Please read my previous article called “Adrenal Stress Disorder (ADSD).” Mandy fit perfectly into the category of ADSD. She was very fit and healthy by all appearances, but I knew her job was high stress, and she had several other symptoms of ADSD. Here are some common findings of people whose Adrenals aren’t working properly:

  1. Hard time falling asleep. Mind racing. The ‘tired but wired’ syndrome.
  2. She woke up a few hours into sleep.
  3. Eye sensitivity to sunlight. Many people live in their sunglasses.
  4. Lightheadedness or dizziness when getting up to quickly.
  5. Recurrent injuries from minor activities.
  6. Inability to heal quickly.
  7. Chronic colds, flu’s and allergies.
  8. Tired or cranky if they miss a meal.
  9. Hormonal issues.

Mandy had a good majority of these problems. The adrenals produce a hormone called Cortisol. If you’ve heard of people getting injections of Cortisone, that is a synthetic version of cortisol. Cortisol is an anti-inflammatory. It cools the fire of an injury. Not enough cortisol, and your body is perpetually inflamed. I suspected this to be the reason for her ‘electrical tremors.’

I began her treatment with Combination Therapy on her neck. Combo therapy is Ultrasound (a deep heater), and muscle stimulation which relaxes muscle spasm. I also used acupuncture to relieve the pain and spasm in her neck, and to begin rebuilding her adrenals. I sent her home with a nutraceutical for her Adrenals.

I saw her a few days later for a follow-up appointment. Her tremors and neck pain had diminished greatly. Over the next few weeks, we adjusted her dosage and her treatments until they were just right for her. She now comes in every few months for a tune-up.

I realize that neck pain and tremors aren’t the worst thing in the world. But imagine how devastating it would be to be in chronic pain, and experiencing tremors of unknown origin. People ask me all the time, “What is happening to me?” This woman took great care of herself; eating well and exercising. Why would her body start breaking down so suddenly? There is usually a big event that pushes your adrenals over the edge, and things start to fall apart. Fix them quickly and it’s no big deal. Let them continue to deteriorate, and you’re looking for big trouble down the line.


Case Study 1: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome1

Case Study 1:

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/ Nausea and Vomiting

Mickey, 17 year old male

In 2005, Mickey was diagnosed with Epstein Barr Virus. He began feeling fatigued almost immediately upon diagnosis. He also began to experience mild nausea. He was given courses of treatments, including antibiotics. The fatigue and nausea became almost constant over the next several months. Mickey began to miss school and also began vomiting daily when he woke up, and often several times throughout the day.

Mickey’s mother was referred to my clinic in September 2009 after all other treatments had failed. He had been vomiting EVERY day since 2005. One of the greatest things about Complimentary and Alternative Medicine (CAM), is that the major portion of the diagnosis comes from a thorough history. As many people can attest, “something is wrong with me, but all the tests are normal.”

Mickey’s history showed a decline in his adrenal gland function (Hypoadrenia). There is another article posted called “Adrenal Stress Disorder”, which will explain their function in more depth. His symptoms of Hypoadrenia included: waking up in the middle of the night, eye sensitivity to sunlight, blood sugar problems, and loss of appetite. I also diagnosed him with a liver dysfunction. Think of the liver as a big sponge. It has to clean out your blood of all toxins, allergens, hormones etc. If the liver is so backed up that it can’t clean the blood efficiently, anything including food would induce nausea.

I performed acupuncture to stimulate the adrenals and clean out the liver. I prescribed some nutraceuticals which assisted the rebuilding of the adrenals and cleaning of the liver.

I saw Mickey a week later for a follow-up, and his nausea was gone, and he had not vomited at all. I now see him every few months for a ‘tune-up’, and his problems have been eliminated. Occasionally he will slip from his dietary recommendations, or stops taking his supplements, and his symptoms will start to return. We get him right back on track, and he is now a healthy, feisty normal teenager!