Transcription: Episode #4- Peripheral Neuropathy Treatments That Provide Relief & Improvement
Disclaimer: The below is an auto-generated transcription from today’s podcast. Typos and grammatical errors are possible.
Welcome to the Health Unlimited Podcast, the only podcast that unlocks your unlimited health potential. Here’s your host, Dominic Sembello, L.Ac.
Charlie McDermott 0:13
Welcome back listeners, Charlie McDermott back in the studio here with Dominic. Dominic….How you doing?
Dominic Sembello 0:18
Charlie It is a beautiful day here in New Jersey for 80 degrees. Can you believe that?
Charlie McDermott 0:25
Oh, I feel great for you guys. I mean, you’ve suffered long enough it, it’s, it’s April, for goodness sakes, spring was weeks ago.
Dominic Sembello 0:34
It’s a tease. But you know, we’ll take it. So I’m just wrapping up here in the office, getting on here with you. And then hopefully, I’ll get to catch the rest of the afternoon. Maybe a little nice bike ride or something?
Charlie McDermott 0:47
Yes. Got to do again. I did peak to the 10 day forecast. And I did notice there’s some chilly weather still in store. But you know, make the most of it. So
Dominic Sembello 0:56
I’m predictable time.
Charlie McDermott 0:58
Yeah. Well, we spoke in the last episode, which was really, really powerful. And I think I shared a story of a neighbor of mine who ended up fracturing a disc in her back because she she stopped on her bike literally to talk with us, and and put her feet on the ground. But she didn’t know it. And she couldn’t really keep her balance. And she ended up tumbling and literally broke, I think, to desk and her back. And we saw and I say saw because we had a move in the community because of the hurricane. And we had a lot of neighbors, unfortunately. And I think it’s indicative to the population. And I want to hear your your view on this. Battling those types of challenges where they just can’t feel their feet. And I know there’s a lot of pain involved in which sounds crazy, you know, on the one hand, your feet are numb. But on the other hand, it’s from what I understand it’s kind of a painful, in many, many ways. So I thought we’d explore that topic, the is it peripheral neuropathy. Is that the the term?
Dominic Sembello 2:09
That is the term peripheral neuropathy? Yes. And it is. It really impacts people’s lives significantly. I mean, it robs people of their independence. Because, you know, what happens is, for those that don’t know, peripheral neuropathy typically affects the feet and hands. And it’s essentially nerve damage. three most common causes or more, the most common one is from diabetes, because the sugar, either the excess or or deficiency damages the nerves, they’re in the feet. And then what happens is more issues occur and it can creep up even further into the legs. Second one that’s most common is people going through chemotherapy, that it’s called chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropathy. Yeah, because that is a side effect of the medication there, the chemotherapy. And believe it or not, the third most common is unknown. They just they call idiopathic, or, basically that just means they don’t know the exact cause. And there are lots of different causes. They just can’t identify it. But things like toxins can cause it, or infections can even cause it. But it’s really so it’s a it’s a generalized term. But it’s very significant. Over 20 million Americans suffer from peripheral neuropathy. So I mean, it’s it’s significant.
Charlie McDermott 3:38
Now, my experience has been folks who are older, is that the norm or is it does this effect even folks under age 50, let’s say?
Dominic Sembello 3:49
Yeah, it does typically happen older. But again, depending on those comorbidities we talked about, so if they have diabetes, that can happen at any age, but it is usually older. Again, if it’s chemotherapy induced, of course, if someone’s going through that at a younger age, that can still happen. Yeah. Yeah.
Charlie McDermott 4:10
So the the nerves die. So I guess the big question is, can they rejuvenate? I mean, is it one of those once you have it, you’re, you’re kind of screwed, or is there hope?
Dominic Sembello 4:23
Yeah. Well, I mean, you know what, I always like to say there is hope. Yeah. But let me break down I guess a little bit about what you said there. So most people, the standard kind of treatment is taking some type of medication that is supposed to help with like nerve related pain. So there’s generic versions and and you know, the whatever the pharmaceutical name is, either way, they all do the same thing is to try to just dull the nerves from causing that pain. Now, peripheral neuropathy can have a variety of symptoms. Usually it starts out with pain. But what happens is as you get worse, and by the way, if this is left untreated only gets worse, what happens is you go from having pain to having the pain eventually goes away, and it turns to more numbness or no sensation. What you talked about with your, your neighbor there, yeah, what happens is, they can no longer feel. So those nerves are so getting so damaged that they they literally can’t feel guess what they also can’t do, they can’t drive, they might not be able to the walking becomes more challenging, falling becomes more frequent, because they can’t feel the earth or the ground. Below them. Many people can’t even wear shoes, because the the pressure they feel but it’s it’s off. So it’s like they wear slippers all the time, because they can’t put on a shoe. I mean, it can get really, really bad. This is a very serious problem for people.
Charlie McDermott 6:04
And I guess the other piece of that is for those who say the heck with it, I’m not going to stop driving, or I’m going to continue to live my life. So you know, this poor woman who probably shouldn’t have been on a bike, you know, and hasn’t been since it’s the same again, shame, she had to go through that. But it was, you know, it was so strange. It was just just like this was happening in slow motion, because you just assume that she was just going to she stumbled, but she’s just going to quickly find her balance, and it just just didn’t occur. And now looking back, and after talking with you, it was just so clear to me that she just couldn’t feel her feet and therefore had no idea when her feet touched the ground and where they were and how to balance herself. And yeah.
Dominic Sembello 6:55
And then when you’re older, right? Any fall is more detrimental. Right? broken legs broken hip. Yeah. And so it’s, it’s serious. But you know, I treat a lot of patients here in the office, because most people, like I said that the most common treatment is just trying medication, see if it helps, right? Well, as they continue to do here, even if the medication does help their symptoms, their their progression still happens. And many times people are told, Well, you’re just kind of going to have to live with it. Yeah, and, you know, to me, that’s unacceptable. And what mostly happens is people do research, you know, good old Dr. Google or, and, and they, you know, they look around and they find out that what I can do around you know, locally here in the office that I can help them. And they had no idea. And we’re actually able to help improve the function of the nerves so they can get back to doing more of the activities they were doing before this happens every single day in my practice.
Charlie McDermott 8:00
I was one of those. I just always assume based on what I heard that, once you have it, there’s there’s no, you can’t even like hit the pause button. It just gets progressively worse. And forget about reversing the damage. So So what the heck are you doing? What kind of results are you getting? Phil said?
Dominic Sembello 8:21
Yeah, sure. Well, I would first like to say there is actually a lot more clinical trials going on showing the effectiveness is how of how people can still improve from this. Now, when we when people come in here, the first thing we do in the evaluation is we run a sensory test on their feet, to find out what they’re so we we collect the score, we gather a score from how they responded to the test, that actually gives us a solid indication of where they’re at their starting point. Now we know it’s certain aspects that usually around 60% deficiency give or take, that’s when we know people are start losing their sensation. And false can be more more prevalent. Right? So 60 and above, of course, that’s a deficiency. Now, the numbers don’t mean anything, but for us it does, it helps guide us toward what type of treatment programs they need, in order to get the results they want. So getting back again, their life, being able to walk again or even Dr. For that matter. These are all you know, we set goals for people like okay, we’re going to treat you we’re going to get you feeling better so you can start doing the things you want to do. So like I had a patient, wonderful woman. She was actually on disability and she loved to work. She could no longer work because this was keeping her out of she actually fell at work several times and had to now she had to now unfortunately like kind of pre retire if you will, because it wasn’t really her choice. But so she came to us And at this point, she said to me that it’s the saddest thing. She goes. I’m sitting around, I was just sitting around waiting in my house until the day that I had to use a wheelchair. And I was like, wow. Like, mind blown. I’m like that is. That’s just unbelievable. And long story short, we treated her, she now feels her feet again, she’s out walking. She’s like, this is this is a miracle. I’d love to try to get her on. You know, a lot of people are a little nervous to get on here. I keep trying to get some people to come on the show here. So I’ll get someone but I have to coordinate schedules and have some people that aren’t aren’t so nervous. I’m like, we’re just talking. We’re just having a conversation. But she would be a great one. Because yeah, tell you her whole story.
Charlie McDermott 10:51
Yeah, yeah. It’d be so cool to hear from your patients experience. And I’m sure that helplessness that they felt, and what life is like now. So where she at? What What’s her life look like? Now that she’s been working with you that she’s still work with you? How’s that process? Look? Yeah,
Dominic Sembello 11:11
yes. So she’s doing her thing. She’s, I don’t see her as much now because she’s better. So I don’t have to see her as often. But she is out. She’s walking and exercising again. And again, something she hadn’t done in over seven years. So even having that long, she actually was having the symptoms, as I said, while she was working. So she was having these issues fighting through it till it got again, so bad that she could no longer do it. And then she was home my from my memory. Yes, six or seven years before she was able to before she found us.
Charlie McDermott 11:51
Yeah. So I would imagine, like many things when, you know, regarding health, the sooner you do something, the better. And you mentioned the pain before the really severe numbness. So is that the better time? I mean, you know, when you feel that pain? And what’s that sensation, like?
Dominic Sembello 12:13
Yep, so it’s a little different for everyone. In terms of pain, the most common things that you hear are either burning sensation, right, or stabbing sharp, a lot of times it wakes people up. Sometimes people actually feel their feet or ice cold. So it kind of, you know, the, their common symptoms that you hear all the time. But it does vary from person to person as you start loot. So pain is actually means that you still have more nerve function, that when you start sliding down right to worse situation, health wise there, that’s when we start more of the numbness, or tingling. So it’s like the pain it’s not as painful. So I some people come in and say the pain, usually there when we test them, their range isn’t as severe when people walk in, and they’re like I, you know, I have a hard time walking, I don’t have a whole lot of pain anymore. I already know immediately when they just tell me that, that they’re going to be more severe on that. Test them. But the good news is the way we determine that is their score. So if they score in certain ranges, I know exactly what to do to help them achieve their goals of getting back to doing the things they want to do.
Charlie McDermott 13:31
Wow. Yeah. Okay. The treatment itself is is that something that I know you do is so unique. You probably it’s probably even hard to explain it. Is it more of a visual? Or were there any guidance you can provide there?
Dominic Sembello 13:50
Well, we use again, integrative approaches of, you know, we do use acupuncture in conjunction with these modern medical solutions. Actually, this technology was developed by NASA. So it’s actually been used a long time. What’s different is, I have an exclusive protocol in which we combine the two in different phases. Because you can’t, for people that have this going on, you can’t What’s the remedy for you can’t do too much stimulation, because their nerves are not functioning correctly. Right? So like you can’t do you can’t throw the kitchen sink of all this and that and the other thing that we do for people, we actually do it in stages, because as they progress, we’re able to do more and we add these different solutions. So it’s like, oh, you’re in phase one. Okay, you’re progressing. Now we’re moving to phase two. Now we’re adding additional treatments. So that’s, that goes back to that whole integrative approach that we use, that helps people because not most people don’t do that. And what happens is, you can make a patient worse, but I’ve been doing this for over two decades, and with my experience means treating this, I know that when we follow this protocol, the patients get the best results, in fact, results they didn’t even think were possible anymore. Just like that woman I was mentioning earlier, she, she really couldn’t even believe it. Yeah, this happens every day, Charlie, every day, we’re doing this in the office. And it’s a good, I want people to know, there is hope. You know, you can get better from this, you’re not just masking the symptoms. When we treat in our own this, you know, you’re not just masking symptoms, you’re getting actual improvement. And we retest people, by the way, that tests that we do initially, we test throughout in the different phases that I was just talking about. And you can actually see scores improving, but more important than scores, right? That’s just the number. Right? But more important, is what the person tells me, Hey, I’m able to do this. Wow, I’m feeling as well not waking up at night anymore. Oh, my goodness, I felt my socks. You know, I can walk again, I’m not following as much, you know, I’m able to drive, you know, that’s the most important part, right? The human. That’s who we’re treating, right, you’re not a I think we’ve said this earlier in one of the shows, you’re not a diagnosis your person. You’re just a person that’s experiencing, you know, peripheral neuropathy in this case.
Charlie McDermott 16:24
So you allow them to enjoy days like today again, get out there in the sun and warmth and enjoy life. Yep,
Dominic Sembello 16:34
get out their garden or walk feel the sand between your toes. Here, the Jersey Shore. That’s a good one. They liked doing that.
Charlie McDermott 16:43
You know, one last guy. I’ve completely forgot about this. Or never nephew’s father in law, took a walk on the Jersey Shore. This is probably four or five years ago now. It’s right before they were getting married, and unfortunately stepped on a shell didn’t feel it got infected. And it got severely infected to the point where he was rushed to the hospital a few days later, he ended up passing away from that infection that he had no idea he even had a cut on his foot. His neuropathy? Well, I’m assuming because he didn’t feel he didn’t feel the show. Yeah.
Dominic Sembello 17:29
Wow. That’s terrible. And you know, what else is terrible? Like we didn’t get into this neuropathy can get so bad if the nerves that gets so bad people have to get amputations. Yeah. I mean, that typically happens more with the diet, people with diabetes, right? I mean, because their circulation, so impacted down in their feet. And again, you can have this in your hands as well. But theater are pretty typical. And the feet are huge, because again, we walk, but can you imagine people are losing toes and you know, even up to their ankle, because that neuropathy, and nerve damage has become so bad that it’s literally damage is cut off for circulation. So now it’s blood flow and circulation, right? As well as the nerves, right? You have sensory nerves and motor nerves, and it can affect all that.
Charlie McDermott 18:19
Well, Dominic, I know this is hugely helpful for your listeners and your listeners, friends, family members, some of them are going to want to get in touch. Fortunately, they’re in the South Jersey area or hockey, but they’re not poor. We talked about your private jet. And have you gotten that in the past?
Dominic Sembello 18:40
I’m saving my pennies.
Charlie McDermott 18:42
But yeah, for those who want to learn more want to get in touch, what’s the best way for them to do so?
Dominic Sembello 18:47
Yeah, I mean, if you’re in the local area here, you can just go to the website and you can find out more information at www.HealthSourceAcupuncture.com. And, but for everyone out there, there is hope there are options out there. Don’t be told you just have to live with it, because that’s just not true. And we see this all the time. And I’m sure it happens in other places. But every day, we’re having miracles happen. And I know it can happen to you too. So don’t give up. Never give up hope.
Charlie McDermott 19:19
Awesome, awesome. Well, Dominic, I’m gonna let you go. We’re a little early today. Get out there in the sunshine. And thanks again for doing what you do and sharing this important message and we’ll see you in the next episode.
Dominic Sembello 19:31
Thank you. Yeah, I’m gonna head out. I told you I’m gonna go enjoy this nice weather while its here Charlie, go get it? Yep, take care. See you next time.
Thanks for listening to the Health Unlimited Podcast. To learn more about Dominic or his private practice, go to www.HealthSourceAcupuncture.com