How does Injection Therapy (bio-puncture) work?

Injection Therapy or Bio-puncture is a therapy using mostly plant-based ultra-low dilution product formulas which are injected into specific body regions to relieve pain and inflammation. The majority of injections are micro-injections with a very small needle just under the skin or into the muscle. One of the benefits of directly injecting the area of pain appears to be a “turbo effect,” or a much faster healing response.

In conventional medicine, the drug you take suppresses your symptoms immediately. That is why you need to take high doses of chemical substances in order to suppress pain or inflammation. But as soon as the medication stops working, you have to take another pill to “kill the pain” again.

However, in bio-puncture, small doses of products are injected in order to stimulate or “wake up” the natural healing processes. The healing effect comes from “inside” your body – not from the products themselves. It’s the reaction of your immune system, which will produce the proper reactions to regain natural healing.

What is injected?

The two most commonly injected products are ultra-low doses (ULDs or “micro-doses”) of mainly medicinal plant and mineral-based products and/or glucose. The plant and mineral derived formulas were introduced in Germany in the 1930s. Currently, more than 100 million injectable vials are used per year throughout Europe, and in the United States. 

Glucose has been injected by primarily United States physicians for over 50 years for both its pain-relieving and inflammatory-regulating effect. Traumeel® is also thought to inhibit the release of pain- and inflammation-causing chemicals from nerves. Glucose stimulates the release of growth factors to repair tissue.  Injections given just under the skin and into the muscle affect the peripheral nervous system, which is in charge of tissue repair and degeneration. The top neuroscience researchers are targeting the nerves in a pain region as the primary players responsible for directing the delicate balance between tissue repair and dysfunction.

How is biopuncture different from acupuncture?

Bio-puncture does not always follow acupuncture meridians; the skilled practitioner instead looks for local "Ashi points", "trigger points", “pain points” and “origin points” in the affected region. A pain point is likely to be a tender superficial nerve, inflammed tissue or trigger point (muscle knot).

What are the most common micro-dose formulas used in the US by Acupuncturists?

The most common products used in sports medicine and by Acupuncturists for pain practices are Dextrose; d-glucose; Enzymes except urokinase; Glucose; Homeopathic Substances (to only include those that are within the US Pharmacopia); Hyaluronic Acid; Minerals; Saline; Sarapin;  Sodium chloride; Sterile water;  Traumeel; Vitamins;  Cyanocobalamin; Lidocaine; Marcaine (Bupivacaine Hydrochloride) with or without epinephrine; Oriental Herbs; Procaine ; and Vitamin B-12. Traumeel®. Lymphomyosot®, Spascupreel® and Zeel®.  Traumeel® is used to reduce pain and swelling. Lymphomyosot is used for lymphatic drainage. Zeel® is used for arthritis. Spascupreel® is used for muscle spasm. Each of these formulas contains a combination of botanical and mineral ingredients, i.e. Traumeel ® has arnica montana to reduce swelling, comfrey to decrease joint pain, chamomile and St. John’s Wort to reduce pain, and calendula (marigold) and echinacea to stimulate the immune system. The product which is best researched and most widely used in oral, topical and injectable forms is Traumeel®.  (Ed. note: The author has no financial relationship with Traumeel®; however, much of the published research focuses on this product.)

What conditions are typically treated with biopuncture?

The common factor is pain and inflammation, be that in a soft tissue or joint or in the lining of the respiratory or gastrointestinal tract.  Each of these tissues has nerves that become chronically inflamed and cells that secrete chemicals that initiate and maintain pain and inflammation.

  •  Musculoskeletal problems: sprains and strains, joint pain, tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, shoulder pain (rotator cuff syndrome, impingement), mild to moderate arthritis, back/neck pain, nerve pain, painful scars, residual pain after surgery
  • Medical problems: asthma, hay fever, irritable bowel, eczema, bronchitis, migraine headaches and irritable bowel syndrome.

What can a patient expect if they choose to pursue biopuncture treatment?

Most people, unless they have a true needle phobia, are surprised by how well they tolerate the injections. Very small needles are used for the majority of injections. The number of injections per session depends on the nature and severity of your problem. 

An elbow problem typically requires 5-10 specific injections. Common ankle sprains or acute injury heal within a few weeks, usually more quickly than if left without treatment. Chronic pain over many months or years may require several weeks or a few months of treatments.  I tell most of my patients that they will have treatments up to about 2 months; usually by week 4, both the patient and I can see objective results.  If a patient has significant medical illnesses, the course may be longer or ineffective. This treatment does require more patience than cortisone injections for instance because we are trying to heal the problem and not simply suppress the symptoms.  Biopuncture is not meant to treat serious illnesses such as infections or cancer. Patients with severe depression, fibromyalgia, auto immune disease (lupus), multiple sclerosis or other major illness may not respond at all or may only be partial responders.

Symptomatic relief may take a while, especially when the problem has been there for months or years. However, when dealing with fresh injuries, these injections can give results very quickly.

Article written by Lee Wolfer, MD
Integrative Sports, Spine and Wellness Clinic