Frontal section of the pelvis showing both hip-joints
visualization and concentration
The trouble in my hips had been evident for a long while. It was during a complete medical check-up just before I left the Royal Navy in 1965 that the orthopaedic specialist first told me there were signs of arthritis developing in my right hip, and to a somewhat lesser extent in the left one. I asked him if there was anything I could do about it and he said that certain exercises could help to delay the deterioration of the condition, and that shortwave therapy could alleviate the symptoms for a time....
Then quite suddenly I was in trouble. Not only did the pain increase and become continuous, but the muscles would go into spasm and, if I wasn't quick, I would stagger ungracefully to the ground. I had to limit my walking very severely and sleeping at night became exceedingly difficult....
At the beginning of 1975, nineteen years after I had first learnt of the trouble, there was once again a serious deterioration; walking more than a hundred yards or so became very difficult indeed and I decided to do something about it, something I should have done a long time ago but hadn't, I suppose, because I didn't want to accept what was now obvious.
There was a very good local orthopaedic surgeon whom we knew and had visited as a family, and I decided to get his professional advice on the X-rays and to have an examination to see how far the matter had gone. The visit was very helpful. We studied the X-rays in detail and I was able to differentiate clearly between the arthritic tissue and the bone to which it was attached. He checked the limitation of movement and then told me more or less what I already knew but adding that it might be advisable for me to spend a day in hospital so that he could break down the lesions under an anaesthetic, which would restore some of the movement I had lost. After that, he could fit a steel ball, which was now a common operation and one which he was doing frequently. But this wouldn't be necessary for another two years or so.
I was grateful for his clear explanation of what was going on in the joint but I was strengthened in my conviction that if I was to stop the rot, I would have to do something about it myself.
That must have been about April 75, and I immediately started to learn the physiology of the hip joint. I knew enough about the pathology of the joint in its present state to realize what needed to be put right, but I had yet to learn how the joint maintained itself when in normal health. Gray's Anatomy gave me all that I needed, but it took me a long time before I was able to picture the inside of the joint with the cartilage, the synovial membrane, and the ligaments in their correct positions, as well as the shape and structure of the head of the femur which formed the ball of the joint, and the acetabulum which formed the socket. I was not satisfied until I could visualize clearly the two parts of the joint separately and then fitted one into the other. By this time, I was able to wander mentally round inside the joint directing my attention to the various parts.
This took me three months and I was then ready to think about the sort of programme I would need, first of all to stop further deterioration, and then to rebuild the joint into a more healthy condition....
We know that the autonomic processes of the body are normally con trolled subconsciously and we do not believe that we have the conscious ability to affect them. But we also know that, without intending to, we can produce very serious effects on the body's well-being by repressions, sometimes going way back into childhood years, and other mental influences which, working, so to speak, behind the scenes and through the subconscious mind, eventually come out into the open as serious psychological or physical defects.
And on the positive side there is evidence to show that a mind positively intent on overcoming some physical disability can bring about recoveries that are little short of miraculous. There have been young girls who, although stricken with polio, have been determined to become ballet dancers, and have done just that. There have been those with cancer who have decided that they are not going to succumb, and the cancer has regressed. There are many such cases of the power of the will overcoming physical disability. The mind is as capable of remedying defects as it is of bringing them about.
The hip-joint as depicted in the Gray anatomy
We must accept, therefore, that contact can be made with the autonomic mind to bring about remark able changes both good and bad, but how do we set about making this contact, with the express purpose of assisting the body to overcome injury and disease? It is now accepted by many people that a rigorous practice of certain yoga exercises can lead to remarkable control of many of the autonomic processes of the body; demonstrations before competent doctors have been recorded, of slowing the heart and breathing — allowing a man to be buried underground for a long period — control of bleeding, and the much witnessed spectacle of Hindus walking and dancing on red hot embers. There are, too, many other seemingly impossible physical accomplishments common among the Buddhists of Tibet, all demonstrating the possibility of making conscious contact with the mind controlling these normally unreachable activities of the body's functioning....
The fundamental understanding, on which the practice of body engineering has been based, comes from the personal discovery that mind is one, and that the essence of all that we call matter is mind. By personal discovery I mean just that — not something which one acquires intellectually from someone else and believes because it seems to be reasonable and logical, but rather, an interpretation of reality which comes through instinct and intuition, and doesn't need proof....
To my simple statement the 'mind is one', you may very well reply, 'That is all very well, but what is mind?' And I simply have to dodge that one. A universal basic essence cannot be described in words, and it
certainly would not be safe to try to do so. Any definition or explanation could be picked to pieces, because the words could only be allegorical, poetic analogy, or pregnant with inferred significance. The only way to reply to a question like this is to say, 'To find out, you must experience it', and to do this usually requires a long period of serious meditation practice, leading to the elimination of thought and its substitution by insight.
I know that this is not a very good answer, but it is the only possible safe one. To define is always to limit. But pure mind has no limits, and there is no other experience with which we can compare it.
The apparent separation into individual minds is, in reality, only the separation of the vehicles through which mind is manifested, and not a separation of mind itself. It is therefore evident to me that contact already exists between what we think of as separate minds, as well as between what we call conscious and autonomic mind, but we have lost or have not yet discovered the means of realizing this contact. We are like individual electric light bulbs on the same circuit but each apparently having no contact with the others.
It is not only the human race that is privileged to have mind as its essence; it is the whole of creation, animate and inanimate. Such a situation puts the idea of communication between us and the rest of creation in a very exciting light. What we have to discover is the method of bringing it about, how to circumvent the material sheath that appears to shut in mind from mind. My own task was a restricted version of this problem — how to make contact with the autonomic mind.
I believed that this could be done to a limited extent by verbally giving orders and repeating them regularly for a period of ten minutes or so. This method is employed by many who wish to wake up at a certain time in the morning and who do not like the strident call of an alarm clock. And I know many people who solve problems in this way, by thoroughly going over the facts before going to sleep at night and giving a mental instruction for the answer to be worked out; at some time during the next day, the answer flashes into their mind. I think this also happens unconsciously to a person who is worrying about some thing and mentally reviews the problem before going to sleep, without any intention of making use of the subconscious ability to work out an answer like a computer during the night.
It is not, therefore, the control of mind over matter that I am Seeking
to bring about. That is already being handled as a matter of routine by the autonomic mind in its control of the functions of the body. It is the simpler, but equally elusive conscious contact with the autonomic mind that I am looking for.
Although I realized that words of command could do the job, I felt it would be much more effective to visualize clearly what I wanted to happen. I found with practice, and thanks, perhaps, to the experience I had had with various methods of meditation, that the visualization gradually became easier and it felt much more positive than just using words. However the words helped to direct the visualization and were rather carefully selected. For instance, during the hip programme, I wanted to get rid of certain restricting tissue around the joint and I called the cells forming this tissue 'abnormal'. This word carried the meaning that what was abnormal was an intruder, it was not included in the original plan for the organ, should not have been there and was harmful to the normal functioning of the joint. In addition, I found that, as with meditation, it assisted concentration and kept the whole process going in a sort of rhythm particularly if the breathing was tied in with the word and the visualization.
Accurate visualization coupled with concentration really puts the mind into the organ or part of the body that is to be treated, so that one can 'see' it as one can a well known face or room. My awareness was wholly centred on the hip joint and my mind could wander round the various parts, with as little difficulty as wandering around my house. It was in this way that I intended to make contact with the autonomic mind. On thinking it over, it seemed to me that we have to visualize whenever we take any action though we are not usually conscious of doing so. For instance, in opening a door, we visualize stretching out the hand and turning the handle. And only then do we act. It may be that the door doesn't open in this way, but has a latch to be lifted or perhaps a toggle to be pulled. However it has to be done, we have to see the necessary action mentally before carrying it out. I was therefore only carrying out the same procedure and I hoped that the autonomic mind would take the hint.
I felt that visualizing the autonomic mind's working environment would also employ another principle we use in our every day life. Two people learning the same language together, or playing a game, or undertaking any activity together, tend to be drawn mentally closer to
one another.... I think it would be generally true to say that two people each getting closer to and more intimate with the same thing are inevitably brought mentally closer to each other. I was therefore trying to get intimate with the autonomic mind by being consciously attentive to what it was concerned with.
Although I am giving a separate name to the part of the mind that controls the involuntary processes of the body, namely the autonomic mind, it is not separate in any way from the conscious mind. It is simply mind. that is not manifesting in consciousness; once again only an apparent separation, an illusion of separateness brought about by the different ways in which mind manifests. There is a part of the autonomic mind that controls the functioning of every cell, part, and organ of the, body, though there are, of course, no divisions between these parts. During my treatment, my attention is directed to the autonomic mind concerned with the control and well-being of the hips, and, for convenience, I refer to these mentally as 'hip mind'. The reader will learn that I give orders for certain action to be taken by the red or white corpuscles, or more generally, by the scavenging cells: it would be impossible for my conscious mind to make contact with every corpuscle as it entered the organ being repaired, so the conscious mind must influence the programming which is controlled by the autonomic mind.
The new programming, or, in most cases, the programme which is being reinforced, is strongly visualized as already happening; the action of the desired programme is repeated regularly, the repetitions being coordinated with the breathing. This is not as difficult as it sounds. In fact, it comes quite naturally....
With this short description of the background thinking with which I had to work, I will take the reader straight into the problems I was facing with the arthritis in the hips. I shall have to go into the physiological and pathological situation in some detail, using some medical terms, but only where absolutely necessary to give the build-up of the visualization I wanted. The information I needed I obtained from Gray's Anatomy (35th edition) and some other text books all in the local reference library, and I cleared up some doubtful points with the help of medical friends who were sympathetic to what I was trying to do.
I must make it clear that I wanted the information for two specific reasons; first to be able to devise a programme which could remedy the
defect; and equally important, to be able to visualize with a reasonable degree of accuracy the situation as it was and as it should be. I can't emphasize this too strongly because the whole success of the treatment depends on being able to visualize fixedly with a concentrated mind the programme one is desiring to induce the autonomic mind to take up. It is really a very simple project but the picture and programme must be right. The mistakes I made were all concerned with a faulty performance which did not take into account the actual physiological situation. Which is not easy to find out because many details of the body's functioning are not yet fully known or officially accepted. The reader will see that I had particular difficulty in discovering which veins had valves and which had not: I found out by results, but it would have been better if I had known the information beforehand. For any treatment to be successful, a highly detailed diagnosis by a competent doctor, and preferably a specialist, is essential. Otherwise, at best, the treatment will be frustrating and fruitless; at worst, dangerous....
The Hips: Treatment
I realized from the start that treating the hips was going to be a long business: the body would only do its healing in its own time and, for the drastic reconstruction that was required this would be a slow process. The gradual deterioration over twenty years had taken the joint a long way towards needing a 'tin hip' operation. The cartilaginous linings of the joint were obviously in a mess, and the restriction of movement was becoming severe.
I had learnt from my reading and from the orthopaedic surgeon the main places where disruption of the normal working of the hip takes place. The most obvious of these and where pain usually starts is in the cartilaginous linings. Here, either through wear and tear or other reasons, the cartilaginous cells deteriorate and become calcified or per haps disappear altogether, exposing the bone. The calcified tissue, in effect, introduces bone-like spurs known as osteophytes, or irregularities in the smooth surface of the lining which give rise to the sharp prickly pain that characterizes this kind of arthritis and makes movement so painful. There is also the possibility of the synovial membrane, the sheath that encloses the joint and secretes the lubricating synovial fluid, becoming hypertrophied, resulting in folds appearing, in which, once again, calcified tissue can develop.
A third and later development is the restriction of movement in the limb brought about by fibrous growths from the rim of the acetabulum (the socket) forming lesions with the other part of the joint. These lesions are characterized by a dull sort of pain which is felt on extending the joint to the limit in most directions, and eventually in all. The pain is not so severe as that caused by the calcified tissue, partly because it is not sharp and sudden but heavy and gradual, but mainly because it depends on how much one tries to extend the limb against this restriction.
As far as my case was concerned, I knew that I had symptoms indicating the first and last of these defects. I could feel them, and had been shown the causes in the X-ray. But I had no idea whether I also had trouble with the synovial membrane — I doubt whether the X-ray would have shown this up. I had to be content with a plan to deal with what I knew was wrong and, if I was successful, see what was left.
There were, therefore, two main problems to tackle. The first was to get rid of the calcified tissue that had formed in the cartilage and possibly elsewhere in the joint. This cartilage exists over the contact points between the head of the femur, that is, the top of the bone that forms the ball of the hip joint, and the acetabulum, the socket in the hip. It happens also that bits of the calcified cartilaginous tissue become detached and then lodge anywhere in the joint. These spots of bone like tissue would have to be dealt with by the white blood corpuscles that would be circulating with the blood within the joint. In particular, the phagocytes, which have the remarkable ability of absorbing and disposing of solid waste matter and can deal with such things as decayed or dead bone. The leucocytes also have an equally versatile scavenging function. To ensure that there were enough of these white blood cells available to do the rather arduous job that I required, I considered it would be necessary, as a preliminary to the treatment proper, to increase the supply of blood to the hips. This, I thought, would be necessary for another purpose, and that was to enable the parts of the lining from where the calcified tissue was being removed, to receive the necessary nutrient to enable the cell population to be built up and the lining reconstituted. For this, more red blood corpuscles would be required as they carry the oxygen and other nutrient substances to the various parts of the body.
As well as the treatment of the damaged parts of the joint, I thought
it would be necessary to increase the secretion of synovial fluid from the synovial membrane. This membrane envelops the joint and completely covers the junction between the head of the femur and the rim of the acetabulum. It performs also the useful function of providing the lubrication that is necessary for the smooth working of the joint. I had noticed at times that the joint felt sticky, as though the lubrication was insufficient, and this would obviously exacerbate the deteriorating condition of the joint. The synovial fluid also provides nutrient for the cartilaginous linings.
So these were the first priority tasks. To encourage the scavenging of all abnormal calcified tissue, and when this had been done, and only then, to replace it with new cartilaginous tissue in order to rebuild the lining. This would be done by programming an increase of the red blood cells to provide the additional nutrient for the cartilaginous cells and those forming the synovial membrane.
I was able to pinpoint many of the spots in the joint where calcified tissue had formed, and I spent a little time locating these as accurately as possible while I was walking, or sometimes making special movements to make them register. This became a feature during the treatment and, as the painful spots became fewer, I was able to concentrate the scavenging work on those that remained. There was one particularly stubborn spot which I judged to be just under the rim of the acetabulum at its upper and slightly rearward part. It took me a long time to have any effect on this annoying pain spot. I felt, at the time, that this was probably a piece of the cartilaginous tissue that had become detached and, possibly during movement in sleep, had found its way between the rim of the acetabulum and the lowest part of the head of the femur, where it would cause the maximum amount of pain; and this was, in fact, just what it was doing.
The next task was to deal with the fibrous growths that were causing the lesions and restricting the movements of the joint, and I realized that this was going to be quite a problem. If left to themselves, these growths will gradually reduce walking to a sort of shuffle and eventually the joint will become more or less locked. One could usually avoid pain by keeping the movement of the legs within the restriction imposed by these 'villi'. By exercising my legs while standing on my head every day, I had probably retained more movement than I otherwise would have done, but the restriction was gradually getting
noticeably worse. It was these lesions, I presumed the orthopaedic surgeon referred to when he suggested that he would manipulate the joint under an anaesthetic.
I decided that my priorities would be as follows:
1. To increase the blood supply to the hips for the purposes given above.
2. To programme the white blood cells to remove the calcified tissue from the lining of the acetabulum and of the head of the femur, and wherever else it might have formed in the joint.
3. As a programme to be instituted later, I would tackle the lesions restricting the movement of the joint. For this I would have to experiment as I didn't know how to set about it.
In deciding to embark on this new departure in self-treatment, I was much encouraged by some remarks I read in a book by Lawrence E. Lamb, MD, entitled Get Ready for Immortality. Dr. Lamb is the Chief of Medical Sciences with the USAF School of Aerospace Medicine. In talking about arthritis, he says 'It is common to say that these joints become worn out. The theory of wear and tear, however, is in conflict with the general concept that protoplasm is able to replace itself.' And later he says 'If this is the case, learning to control the mechanism for turning on the instructions for regeneration and replacement should readily solve the problem of osteoarthritis and other degenerative problems of this nature in the body, making the wear and tear concept obsolete.'
'The same principle applies to loss of elastic tissue in the arteries. If this substance can be replaced with new elastic tissue/the arteries can literally be rejuvenated by simply recycling the cells on the master programme used in earlier years.'
I started out with a programme at the beginning of July 1975. At that time I hadn't yet run into the prostate problem so that the whole procedure took from twenty minutes to half an hour. I followed a regular routine and started as near as possible to 6 pm every day.
The treatment itself started with ten minutes of increasing the supply of blood to the hips, but after a couple of months, this period was reduced to five minutes. I mentally drew the blood into the hips through the various arteries supplying them, and tried to feel a surge of blood coming in. Later I realized that it is not necessary to 'see' the increased blood flowing in particular arteries, but just to hold the picture of
increased blood flowing freely through an artery. This was done on breathing in, at the same time saying mentally 'increase blood supply', or 'draw in blood'. Sometimes I felt that one was more effective than the other. On breathing out, the additional blood was sensed as bathing the whole joint. The breathing was kept slow and even and this programme was maintained for ten minutes; nothing else was allowed to come into my mind except this routine.
Draw blood along arteries into the hips.
See blood flowing through expanded arteries.
Distribute blood to every part of the joint.
See blood "feeding" all parts of the joint.
The next part was to programme the white blood cells to seek out, identify, absorb and remove all abnormal calcified tissue. The word 'abnormal' was used in order that the idea should be communicated to the autonomic mind that this tissue was something that should not have been allowed to form. This whole instruction was held in the mind as I wandered mentally round the joint, first the lining of the head of the femur, then the much more extensive lining of the acetabulum. Where I was able to pinpoint a spot of calcified tissue by the pain, I gave a special instruction to the phagocytes to get busy on absorbing and removing it. This way of making use of the pain to direct the scavenging cells accurately to a spot where calcified tissue has to be removed is a very important backer-up of the mind picture direction, and I used it when ever possible. Although I am sure that as much accuracy as possible is helpful in the visualizing process, and although I had not seen a picture of the lining with spots of calcified tissue showing, I had some idea of what these small bone-like excrescences might look like. That was quite good enough.
The way in which the phagocytes remove an unwanted bit of waste matter is easy to picture. They put out what are known as pseudopods which envelop the object and draw it into the centre of the cell. The cell then moves off along the lymphatic system to a node where the object is dealt with and removed. The leucocytes have the ability to ingest unwanted tissue etc., but the heavy dismantling jobs are left to
the phagocytes and the macrophages.
This programme was followed by one to encourage the red blood cells to offer nutrient to the cells of the cartilaginous linings. In my view, this exchange, which takes place between the blood and tissue cells, and which may be triggered off chemically or even electrically, must primarily be a matter for the autonomic mind, and therefore, always supposing that I am right in thinking that contact between the conscious and autonomic mind is possible, the way in which the task is performed can be influenced by the conscious mind.
I think this view could have very important developments which I began to realize a couple of months later. If it is possible to increase the nutrient supplied to a cell, then it should be possible, by exactly the same means, to prevent nutrient being supplied to any cell that it was desired to eliminate.
What I was trying to do in this programme for the red blood cells was to put more emphasis on the preset programme already being con trolled by the autonomic mind. The same action was taken with the cells of the synovial membrane throughout the joint, as additional nutrient was required to increase the secretion of the synovial fluid. During this part of the programme, the increase was both 'seen' and 'felt' mentally, coursing between the opposing linings of the head of the femur and the acetabulum.
These programmes for the removal of the calcified tissue and the 'feeding' of the cartilaginous and synovial cells were as follows:
Call in white blood cells.
See the small white cells entering the joint.
Seek out and remove all abnormal calcified tissue.
See cells enveloping the hardened tissue.
During the out breath, the mind had to visit all parts of the joint in turn where calcified tissue was known to have formed, or could be felt. It took two or three breaths, of course, to cover the whole joint.
Call in red blood cells.
See additional blood in arteries supplying joint.
Transfer nutrient to cartilagenous and synovial cells.
See red cells closing in on cartilage and synovial membrane.
These are rather more difficult mind pictures, but I found it possible to settle on something that fitted in with the idea of 'feeding'. The longer mental instruction during breathing out necessarily requires the exhalation to be rather slower. The two should be timed so that when exhalation is finished, the mental command ends. If this is found not to be possible, then the wording should be changed to make it so.
The three programmes usually occupied me some thirty minutes, though at the beginning of the treatment, time wasn't really the criterion but rather the degree of concentration brought to each programme. I found that this varied from day to day and from programme to programme. Where the visualization was easier, concentration was better. Sometimes I found that I had short catnaps, losing perhaps a minute or so. These were just ignored, or if the time was more than this, I added the equivalent of the loss on to the end of the programme. I found it necessary quite often to change both the wording and the mind picture of the programme because these didn't result in satisfactory concentration. They both had to be as simple as possible, too many words or too much action in the picture seemed to impair concentration. When I had had more experience of the programmes, I decided to stick to a regular ten minute schedule whatever the concentration had been like.
At this time, I didn't try to do anything about the villi that were restricting movements of the joint, partly because I hadn't yet decided how to tackle them, but mainly because I felt that I had enough on my plate dealing with the first priorities. I was glad to be able to start the programme off in July because we were going away for a fortnight's holiday to Spain in September when fitting in the programme would, I knew, be difficult. But having got used to it at home, I did in fact find it possible to fit in some time lying on my bed after swimming and even while lying in the sun. Concentration was, of course, much more
difficult, but it was better than nothing and got me ready for a real big push when I returned home.
It was in October that I started the prostate programme and, as I consider an hour in the chair was sufficient, I had to trim the hip programme to fit in. I had decided to start working on the villi and thought I might try a simple programme of rejection. I knew that the body was able normally to reject foreign bodies, and that this was a major problem in human transplants. I knew, too, that the rejection mechanism could be inhibited by drugs, but was not at all clear how this worked. A simple clear instruction to the autonomic mind to reject this fibrous tissue was as far as I could go and I hoped that this very competent part of my mind would know what to do.
So the new hip programme worked out as follows:
Three deep breaths followed by a very short period of easy gentle breathing.
Five minutes increasing the blood supply to the joints.
Ten minutes calling in the white blood corpuscles.
Ten minutes calling in the red blood corpuscles.
I started in with a five minute programme on the villi to see whether it was a possible one.
Reject abnormal fibrous cells.
See the cells around the rim of the acetabulum.
Clear away abnormal fibrous tissue.
See this tissue being removed.
This was admittedly far from easy, but anyone with a better picture making mind than mine would not, I think, find it too difficult.
On my return from holiday, this programme continued smoothly and was fitted in after the one required for the prostate, which I regard ed as more urgent. I found little change necessary for some time, but I did have a new idea about getting rid of the villi. It occurred to me that the reaction of the autonomic mind might be 'these fibrous cells are home grown. They have been treated in the same way as all other tissues. They are one of us; they are not foreign bodies; this chap (the conscious mind) is making a mistake.' I don't mean, of course, that the
reaction came to me in those words, but that I felt they might well express the attitude of the autonomic mind to the instructions I was giving, so that there would be no result. And, as a matter of fact, after a couple of months of this programme, there was no result. Until I was able to study the mechanism of rejection fully, I would have to think of some plausible way of getting round this difficulty. Obviously, simply using the idea of rejection wasn't going to get me anywhere. I would have to be more specific.
I argued that, for nutrient to be passed from red blood cells to the tissues, two conditions would have to be satisfied. The blood cells must offer or make available the nutrient, and the tissue must be conditioned to receive it. It doesn't matter what kind of affinity exists between the two when the exchange takes place, whether it is purely chemical, partly chemical and partly electrical, or whether it is made up of some physical property, both parties must be 'willing'. I would therefore try to bypass the question of rejection by simply programming instructions to the red blood cells not to offer nutrient to these abnormal fibrous tissues. This would be done by mentally using words such as 'withhold', or 'deny', and holding the strong mind picture of nothing passing between the red blood cells and the tissue. These instructions would, of course, have to be taken up by the autonomic mind and incorporated into its programme of maintenance and repair. This was the best I could do until I had further information on the normal functioning of the rejection system. I still felt that it should be possible to initiate a programme which could make use of this mechanism to remove any unwanted cells from the body if one could convince the autonomic mind that they were intruders and harmful. I decided, however, not to do anything about such a programme yet.
By May 1976 the treatment was definitely proving successful. All the prickly pain of the calcification had gone and it was no longer difficult to sleep in any position. The restrictions caused by the villi seemed to be better but here I realized that I would have to work on both the muscles and the ligaments before the full movement could be restored. The ligaments had most certainly shrunk because of the restriction imposed by the arthritis, and the muscles, too, had lost their full activity. The best way of restoring normal conditions, I thought, would be by swimming. Unfortunately, when I went to the magnificent indoor pool at Woking, I found that the temperature was kept at 87 ! I couldn't
believe it when the attendant told me this, but she tested it for me and she was correct. Later in the year, the open air pool would be available, but swimming was always difficult there because of the large crowds..
This programme is given below.
Nothing passing between cells and villi.
It was on June 10th on a visit to London that I first noticed trouble brewing. I had quite considerable pain in the right hip which seemed to me fairly definitely to be coming from the rim of the acetabulum. It was a new feature and a different sort of pain to any I had felt before. I wondered whether it could be caused by inflammation resulting from (he accumulation of cell debris. This was a problem that I had had with the prostate, and in that programme, it continued right up to the end. I decided to introduce a ten minute programme of calling in the white blood cells to take away the cell debris resulting from the starved fibrous tissue cells. After a week of this, I returned to the original programme of withholding nutrient from the fibrous cells. The clearing up programme was as follows:
White cells absorbing decayed villi.
The full programme at this time was therefore as follows:
5 minutes increasing blood supply to the hips.
5 minutes scavenging calcified tissue in the joint.
5 minutes scavenging starved cells of the villi.
5 minutes denying nutrient to the calcified tissue of the joint.
5 minutes denying nutrient to the fibrous cells of the villi.
But by July 5th I was in trouble again. The pain, which was mainly in the right hip, was severe and I was quite certain that it was not coming from inside the joint. I could only conclude that the rim of the acetabulum where most of the fibrous tissue cells could be, was once again suffering from too much demolition and insufficient removal of rubbish. I was obviously finding it very difficult to maintain a balance between these two operations. But I was surprised that the programme to restrain the red blood cells from supplying nutrient could have had such a quick response, and further, that the white blood cells and macrophages were unable to compete with whatever decomposition was taking place. By July 9th, there had been little improvement and I was considering abandoning the programme, but finally decided to stick it out for a few more days. The pain was sufficient to prevent me sleeping for two or three hours after going to bed, but I had been fairly used to that and I felt it was important to see whether a scavenging programme could handle the difficulty. Four days later I stopped the programme of withholding nutrient and sat back to think again.
The next record I have is of an improvement on July 20th. The inflammation had subsided and the pain had gone. However I didn't think it wise to restart the starving out programme but decided to try the same programme that had been successful with the calcified tissue, that is, to instruct the white blood cells to remove these fibrous formations. The reason I hadn't done this before was because I felt that they were too well established. They were exercising squatters' rights and I
might have difficulty in persuading the autonomic mind that they were, in fact, trespassers. The programme I now adopted was:
See white cells round villi.
Villi being removed.
With the word abnormal was associated the mental impression of 'intrusion'; the thought that these bodies were not an integral part of the joint, not included in the original 'blueprint' to which the 'hip mind' had worked, and were harmful. If this programme could work, I would avoid having to find the balance that had eluded me with the other programme.
By July 30th, there had been no return of pain and the programme seemed to be going smoothly. It was now reduced to ten minutes of calling in the white blood cells to remove the fibrous tissue. On August 5th, I introduced a modification of this programme that I thought would make it more effective. At each in-breath, I fixed the attention on a small part of the rim of the acetabulum starting at the upper end, and visualized the white blood cells getting to work on the villi in this particular part. With the next in-breath, my attention moved clockwise forty-five degrees round the rim of the acetabulum and called in the white blood cells to this new area, and on the out-breath, put them to work on ingesting and absorbing the fibrous cells. This procedure was continued right round the acetabulum until my attention arrived at the top again. I found it an interesting exercise and it gave me much more scope for visualizing.
At the same time that I was concentrating on these fibrous lesions, I started physically stretching the ligaments and muscles of the groin and thigh. This I did by standing with my legs astride and stretching them as far as I reasonably could get them. This exercise very quickly produced results and it was exciting to see so much long-lost movement being recovered. I still continued with the exercises carried out standing on my head.
As far as I could tell, the completion of the treatment was now con
to continuing the removal of the villi, with possibly a final programme of calling in the red blood cells to complete the rebuilding of the cartilaginous linings. These must now be maintained without risk of further deterioration, and a good resolute programme for the suppliers of nutrient should give the autonomic mind the right incentive to keep the red blood cells up to scratch. On the physical side, I would continue with the stretching exercise and I hoped to get a lot of swimming during a holiday in Elba in September.
That was in August, and much depended on the effect of a strenuous swimming programme. I planned to do between one and two miles a day whenever the weather allowed it. Unfortunately we arrived in Elba to find bad weather, and this continued for three or four days. It was too rough to swim and there was a lot of rain. This is most unusual for Elba in September, but then 1976 had been a most unusual year all over Europe. During the period of the holiday, I was faced with two new problems, one of which I expected, but the other was a definite set back. The expected one was the result of building up the muscles by swimming. I found that I got a hang-over from this that affected my walking and gave me notice of muscles that I didn't know existed! But by the time we left this had become less noticeable.
The other development was the reappearance of sharp pain right on the rim of the acetabulum that was quite certainly caused by calcified tissue, most probably a well established osteophyte. I had had previous difficulty with this particular spot and, on more than one occasion, had to give it special attention. But for some time now, I reckoned that I had got rid of it and was puzzled to understand how it had suddenly reappeared. I wondered whether it was possible that the removal of the villi had uncovered a patch of calcified tissue which, because of the restriction of movement caused by villi, had not previously been causing trouble. I had to be content with this explanation and reintroduce a programme directed at the particular spot. It is always easier to direct the white blood cells to a scene of action when one can feel exactly where the scene is! I continued this programme after arriving back in England and I realized that, as long as I was removing villi, there might be other places where calcified tissue would enter the picture and these would have to be tackled by sending white blood cells to deal with them.
I was now on the home straight and really didn't expect any more
difficulty with the programmes. It remained to continue with the programme of removing the villi — because there was obviously a lot of tissue to be removed — and to deal with the appearance of any calcified tissue. Some of this might, of course, have not been completely removed by earlier programmes, and a cleaning-up programme would have to be kept in hand to deal with these. In addition, I got going on another cleaning-up programme to make sure that the cartilaginous linings had been fully rebuilt. This programme was:
|See blood 'feeding' cartilaginous linings.|
There were no further difficulties and the only programme I kept going was the feeding of the cartilaginous linings, in order to make quite sure that they were strong and healthy. I didn't worry any more about the villi and the restrictions. I reckoned that now the joint was completely free of pain, the villi would gradually be removed by the much greater action of the legs in walking and moving about generally. I was content to leave this to the sort of adjustment that the body is usually so good at.
By a lucky chance, a good friend of ours. Paddy from South Africa, came to stay for a few days. The last time I had seen here, she had had serious arthritis of the right hip,' and had recently had the operation to replace the joint with a steel ball and socket. Paddy showed me the principal exercise she had been given to do immediately after the operation until the whole complex of muscles, tendons, and ligaments had returned to normal. It seemed to me that this was just the exercise I was looking for and I started doing it daily right away.
A description of the exercise is as follows — it is done preferably lying down. The muscles of the leg from the knee to the thigh and the buttocks are contracted suddenly in a sort of jerk and then relaxed. The contraction is most noticeable in the quadriceps, but all the muscles of the thigh and round the joint take part. I did this one hundred times each day and it made a tremendous difference to the whole leg. It was
like going for a walk lying down! I found soon after starting the exercise that I could stand on my right leg without the difficulty of balancing that I had had before. I still continue to do the exercise and shall do so whenever the opportunity presents itself because I realize that, in a man of my age (73), muscle tone takes longer to recover than in a younger person.
Looking back at the situation of pain and restriction that I was in before I started this treatment, I felt that the really rather small amount of effort and all the various problems I had encountered had been well worth it. As the patient, I can only say how relieved I am to have got rid of such a crippling complain, and in such a simple manner.
On the whole, the hip programme proved to be much more straight forward than that of the prostate, although there was a number of different operations that had to be carried out, and in the right order. It would have been no good to rebuild the cartilaginous linings on top of the established calcified tissue, so that the timing was important. But apart from the one mistake I made (really not so much a mistake as a programme I had to abandon because I realized that it was introducing complications that were difficult to overcome) it had none of the backing and filling that occurred in the case of the prostate. It was necessarily a long programme, not like the prostate which should have been a relatively short one but was lengthened by continually having to stop and sometimes to step back.
I am sure I was right to start with a programme to increase the blood supply to the hips. In fact, in all cases where healing and repair have to be carried out, such a programme would be advisable — except when the part concerned is inflamed. With the next step, the removal of the calcified tissue, I was lucky. I am still not sure why the body considers these obstructions as foreign and removes them, when this appears to be against the general rule. However, I understand that the white blood cells do remove previous kinds of waste from the body without anti bodies being produced to give them the incentive to do so. Where is the dividing line between legitimate waste that can be removed and invading tissue like the villi, or the fatty tissue of the prostate that can't? I suspect that it may be a simple matter of finding the right instruction, which may have to be preceded by a programme of definite education.
I am sure that this is a point which further work in self-treatment will make clear. And I hope it will be possible to develop a clear-cut technique for convincing the autonomic mind that certain tissue is foreign, an intruder, and should be removed.
I hope, too, that it will be possible to develop standard programmes that have been well tested, are simple, and can be taught to a patient with the minimum of medical instruction. It would always be advisable, I think, to provide the patient with a picture of the situation he is to deal with, but I believe this could be a good deal more diagrammatic than I was insisting on for my own treatment. As I mentioned earlier, I found that getting all the detail I could, assisted my poor visualizing ability. Most people, I believe, would need only a diagrammatic sketch.
With hindsight, then, I would start with a programme to increase the blood supply to the hips, starting with ten minutes and reducing this to five after the first fortnight (Programme 1). I would also start straight away with a programme to remove the calcified tissue from wherever it might be in the joint (Programme 2), and here one must learn to pin point spots of pain so as to be able to direct the white blood cells accurately. This programme must necessarily continue for sometimes as this is where the main deterioration of the joint has taken place. There may also be corrugation of the bony surface itself that would have to be dealt with first, by removing the bony spurs, and then by rebuilding the bony structure to a smooth finish. I was fortunate in that the deterioration didn't appear to have reached this stage. The programme to remove the calcified tissue should continue until all this kind of pain has been eliminated, and the patient should not feel frustrated because it takes a long time. It is a big job and must be done very thoroughly.
I am not now convinced that it is necessary to initiate a programme to clear away the fibrous tissue forming lesions round the joint. As I have already suggested, I believe that the increased freedom of movements of the hips will gradually eliminate these. But if they are severe, it might be advisable to start the process of getting rid of them with the programme. I finished up with, that is, one where I mentally went round the rim of the acetabulum by regular steps, at each stage getting the white blood cells to remove the fibrous tissue. The programme would look like this:
|See villi being removed, shift the attention 45° clockwise round the rim of the acetabulum and repeat.|
After each breath in and out, move a further 45° round the rim. I did two complete circuits which took about ten minutes.
Finally, I think there should be a finishing exercise, increasing to ten minutes the programme for additional blood supply to the joint, in order to encourage both red and white blood cells to give final touches to the rebuilding of the joint. This is Programme 8.
From E.H. SHATTOCK, Mind Your Body,
Turnstone Press Ltd, U.K. 1979
Anterior exposure of the right hip joint