Shy Drager Syndrome Demonstrates Symptom
Reversal Using Acupuncture, Herbal Medicine and Hypnotherapy
by S. Colet Lahoz, R.N., M.S., L.Ac.
Syndrome is a rare progressive neurologic disorder that is terminal. The
NIH reports about 100,00 cases of this disease in the United States. It
is a progressive disorder of the central autonomic nervous system. Discovered
only in 1960, it is characterrized by orthostatic hypotension which causes
dizzyness or momentary blackouts upon standing or sitting up. Other symptoms
include bowel and bladder incontinence, atrophy of the iris, anhydrosis,
tremor, rigidity, incoordination, muscle wasting, and ataxia. It is a
disease thatis difficult to diagnose in the early stages but within a
year of onset most patients develop postural hypotension. For the majority
of patients , the unstable blood pressure is often the cause of severe
headaches, double vision, impairment of speech, sensory changes, difficulties
in breathing and swallowing, and irregular heartbeat. Constipation and
sexual impotence in males are evident early in the course of the disease.
The condition worsens over several years leading to disability and premature
The ThreeTypes of Multi systems Atrophy (MSA)
Parkinson's-type, which may include symptoms of Parkinson's disease
such as slow movement, stiff muscles and mild tremors. Cerebellar type,
characterized by loss of balance and tendency to fall, and Combination
type which may include symptoms of both types (1).
Current Western Medicine methods of treatments are limited to controlling
Anti-Parkinson medication such as L dopa, may be helpful but it can also
lower blood pressure even more. To relieve low blood pressure high level
of salt and fluids is recommended. Prognosis: Patients usually die within
7 to 10 years after the onset of symptoms. Pneumonia is the most common
cause of death, although irregular heartbeat may be responsible for death
in some patients.
Eldred Soeffker (a.k.a.Al), age 73, a retired
businessman and inventor from Annandale, Minnesota was diagnosed with
MSA in 1996. I met him for the first time as a client of the East West
Clinic on Sept. 14, 1999. Prior to this time he was a patient at the Minneapolis
Veterans Hospital. He was told there was no cure for his illness, and
by August 1999 his system begun rapid deterioration. He had the classic
symptoms of the combination type: muscle weakness, inability to get up
from chair or bed without help. Hypotension was being corrected with high
salt diet. He had both bladder and bowel incontinence and was using Depends
(TM). His speech was sluggish and he hallucinated frequently, "seeing
people, men women and children." He also complained of cervical neck
and low back pain due to a herniated disc in the lumbar vertebrae. Colon
was weak and had frequent constipation. He also had psoriasis in the scalp.
Other complaints included hearing loss, sexual dysfunction, severe drooling,
and visual distortions. His urinary flow was characterized by a spray
rather than a stream which caused al lot of sanitary concerns..
In 1996, the drug prescribed for him was the combination of Levo-dopa
25mg, Carbidopa 100 mg. and Fludrocortisone. He developed severe hallucinations
as a side effect of these drugs within three weeks, yet he was kept on
this regimen for three years. By the time I started treatments on him
these hallucinations were so frequents and severe that it became one of
the most persistent and debilitating problems.
I was eager to assess Mr. Soeffker's condition
using the methods inherent to the practice of Traditional Chinese Medicine,
that of tongue and pulse diagnosis and meridian energy flow as a way of
identifying the pattern of disharmony that may be at the root of his illness.
His tongue was dry and pale with indentations at the borders . All 12
pulses were weak and thready. Both findings were indicative of a pattern
of severe (chi) energy deficiency and a deficiency of yang elements in
his system. This patterns explained the symptoms of low energy, muscle
weakness, muscle incoordination, hypotension, impotence, slow and sluggish
movements, bowel and bladder incontinence. Since all energy channels were
involved, it signified a condition that has been chronic and severe. Using
Dr. John Trowbridge's Candida Questionnaire I was able to establish the
existence of systemic candida infection. With previous use of antibiotics
and cortisone therapy he had developed intestinal fungal infection which
explained why he had psoriasis, chronic bowel problems and chronic fatigue.I
believe that the developments of Shy-Drager Syndrome was a result of long
standing systemic fungal infection also known as candidiasis that was
never treated. Dr. A.V. Costantini,MD, Director of the World Health Organization
Division on Mycotoxins has documented through research that mycotoxins
from long term yeast or fungal infections can lead to chronic illnessess
and autoimmune diseases such as Multiple Sclerosis, Lupus, Sjogrens's
disease and even cancer (2). Shy Drager, with Parkinson like manifestations
may fall in this category.
My own observation over the 16 years that I have practiced Traditional
Chinese Medicine (TCM) specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of
Candida Related Complex concurs with Dr. Costantini's findings that many
types of malignancies and chronic progressive diseases are outcomes of
long standing , undiagnosed and untreated candidiasis.
Goals of Therapy
1. Using Acupuncture and herbs,reverse the pattern of chi and yang deficiency
which in turn will reverse the symptoms stemming from this types of energy
2.Using a five phase anti-fungal regimen, detoxyfy system from fungal/
yeast infection. This information is explained in my book Conquering
Yeast InfectionsThe NonDrug Solution.
3.Use liver cleansing program to detoxify system from the side effects
of prescription drugs causing hallucination.
4. Promote the healing process and strengthen all systems.
The Plan of Therapy
1. Acupuncture treatments twice a week initially, electroacupuncture.
2. Dietary supplements and chinese herbal medicine.
3. Diet change to enhance candida cleansing process. Diet free from sugar,
alcohol and foods containing yeast.
5. Colon cleanse.
Acupuncture: LI4, was my choice for electro-acupuncture point
to generate more yang energy. UB23 and CV6 were selected to take care
of the incontinence and low back pain. Other points of significant importance
in his case were liver 8, spleen 2, kidney 7, large intestine 11, heart
9, and conceptions vessel 6. I actually used a lot more points than listed
here, but too many to mention, I modified my selection of point on a day
to day basis depending on his pulses, meridian energy strength, and tongue
quality. Moxibustion, a method for providing heat to needles was also
employed to increase energy flow. The tongue and 12 pulses were assessed
before each treatment, and treatment approach for that particular day
was based on those findings.
Supplements Used: MSM (Methyl Sulfonyl Methane) 500 mg. 2 caps
twice a day. This supplement is organic sulfur and is needed as bonding
agent for the absorption of vitamins and minerals. It also helps muscle
strenght and joint mobility.
Essential Botanical is a multi vitamin multi mineral formula with special
ability to tonify chi (energy) and help regain energy and stamina. He
took 2 tbsps twice a day.
Choline and Inositol 250mg. two caps twice a day combined with Gingco
Biloba to improve mental function.
Calcium, Mg. Zn. two tabs per day.
Chromium Picolinate 200 mcg. one tab. daily.
The Chinese herbal formula known as Gegie Da Bu Wan and Du Huo Ju Sheng
Wan were used to correct a recurrent pattern of Kidney chi deficiency.
Oxycleanse (TM) an oxygen based colon conditioner was used to keep regular
bowel movements, prevent constipation.
DermaSoothe (TM) a topical solution containing DMSO, Tea Tree Oil,
Grapefruitseed Extract, and Willard Water, a product I formulated for
patients with dermatitis and other skin and mucosal swelling.
The best initial colon cleanse and anti fungal formula is the combination
of Caprol, Bentonite and Psyllium powder and Acidophilus. This mixture
is taken as a shake twice a day on an empty stomach. Mr. Soeffker used
this mix for the first three months. This regimen was combined with the
candida diet. This eliminates food that feed yeast and create more breeding
ground for them. Hence all refined sugar, foods with yeast, dairy, alcohol
and fermented foods were eliminated. The anti fungals were rotated every
three months initially and once a months after the first five phases were
completed. In subsequent months the following anti fungals were used in
sequence: Grapefruit Seed Extract, Kolorex, Olive Leaf Extract, and Undecelinate
acid. The choices for this program are based on my research and published
in my book, "Conquering
Yeast Infections, The Non Drug Solution" (3).
After even just the first visit he was able to get up from a chair without
help, and even more amazing he could get up from a kneeling position without
assistance, activities he has not been able to do for months. 4 treatments
later, the bowel and bladder incontinence which he had for 10 days prior
to his session with me, was nearly normal with infrequent episodes. After
the 5th treatment, the incontinence was completely controlled. It was
at this time that that he asked if something could be done for his drooling.
I used acupuncture points LI 14 and GB 20 and used electrical stimulation.
Two sessions took care of this problem.
On October 12, 1999, barely one month after we started treatments he
was happy to report that he could now lift his legs into the bed without
assistance and most importantly his sexual function was back. By the 8th
treatment, I observed that he was able to climb into the tretment table
and position himself for a treatment without help, he was at this time
able to dress himself. He was no longer a nursing home candidate!
Since then he resumed taking walks, a pastime that he loved but was unable
to do. His posture, walking, joint flexibility, vision , were all significantly
improved, however he was still hallucinating. These episodes are very
frightening to him, and keeps him up at night, he sees his dead friend
George, and other human figures . His vision was deteriorating partly
from iris distortion and from cataracts. He had cataract surgery in 2000,
and with the help of the acupuncture the iris distortion was also reversed
so that today his vision is much improved (4).
Al and his wife Marge have a beautiful home in Anna Maria Island in Florida.
They have been spending their winters there for the last 10 years. In
the winter of 1999 they wondered if instead of going to their Island home
they would be in a nursing home . I am happy to report that they spent
winters there both in 1999 and in 2000. In 1999 after three months of
therapy he was indeed strong enough to take time off without treatments.
While in Florida he is able to workout at the fitness center spending
20 minutes using various equipment for toning the upper and lower body.
His blood pressure maintained at normal level and stopped taking salt
On February 10, 2000, they came back to MN for a visit and were able
to check in for a treatment and a check up with me. His symptoms were
all under control and was physically more fit. They came back to MN in
late April, 2000 and the only remaining problem was the hallucinations
. They requested Dr. Michael Shear MD, Neurologist, to order a brain scan
to rule out possible organic lesions that may explain why he was hallucinating.
Findings read: "Other than early cortical atrophy, the brain appears
unremarkable, no acute event, no evidence of metastatic deposits."
Blood samples were also drawn for blood chemistries, the Bay Pine Laboratories
showed that with the exception of BUN which was slightly high all values
were within normal levels. Both the brain scan and the lab test showed
no significant change in the brain and the nervous system. Still, the
hallucinations could very well be long term side effects of the two drugs
that he was taking for three years.
With Marge's and Al's permission, I tried hypnotherapy. the first session
was on April 14, 2000. I decided to include suggestions to take care of
the hallucinations as well as other physical problems, specifically as
it related to his urinary flow that came out in a spray rather than a
stream. The urologists had no procedures to correct this problem. Al's
joints were stiff and his neck posture was bad, so during the suggestion
phase of the hypnotherapy I built in suggestions to correct all these
problems. He still suffers hallucinations but there was a definite reduction
in the frequency of episodes. Moreover, since hypnosis was added to our
sessions he has been calmer, less panicked and fearful. He feels more
in control. He states that the command words I taught him during hypnosis
help him to use his "inner power" . His wife reported that the
angry look in his eye were gone.
At this writing, Al is more alert, his speech is getting faster and
all the gains we have achieved are maintaining. BP is staying normal without
salt supplements, he is not on any medication. His balance is better,
his limbs more flexible and his postured is even improved. He is mowing
the lawn three times a week this summer, and Marge can leave him alone
now for a few hours at a time. It is now exactly 14 months since he started
I spoke to Linda Nee, MSW, who does family studies at the NIH. She has
talked to about 200 families with a family member with the diagnosis of
Shy Drager Syndrome. She reports that she has not encountered anyone else
with the type of recovery that Al is demonstrating. Marge has also been
in touch with Don Sommers of the National Shy Drager support group. He
too claims that he has not seen this type of reversal. If this is true,
then my treatment method must be a breakthrough in the treatment of Shy
Drager Syndrome. We have been fortunate to get two other referrals from
the VA Hospital in Minneapolis. So Far, the two others are progressing
nicely as well. I would encourage other practitioners to replicate my
protocol for other patients across the USA so we could gather more data
for this research.
I waited 18 months to share my findings to make sure the success we are
observing is sustained. I am pleased to report that indeed Al is stable
is showing a trend toward more progress. I would like patients and practitioners
alike to read my story and try the combination of acupuncture, liver and
colon cleanses, diet, herbal and nutritional supplements, and hypnotherapy.
I wish you all God's blessings in your healing journey and wish you the
same success I experienced with Al Soeffker.
Notes from Marge Soeffker
I believe it is Colet Lahoz's unique method of acupuncture where she uses
more needles (60 to 90 was used each time on my husband) and treats the
whole being that contributed to this remarkable recovery. With acupuncture
she was also able to improve Al's deafness which he suffered for 10 years.
He hears well now and no longer needs his hearing aid.
The acupuncture along with special diet, the colon cleanses and the use
of hypnotherapy proved to be the appropriate method to reverse Al's disease.
I feel that the Cabidopa and Fludrocortisone were not at all beneficial
and that they have caused more detriment. The hallucinations they brought
about are now the ONLY remaining problem.
Al Soeffker Died on Feb. 19, 2002.
He maintained good health until he died. He did not deteriorate further
from the Shy Drager disease. The cause of death was listed as "natural
causes". He was sitting down having lunch, when he stopped breathing
and subsequently passed away.
Marge Soeffker is dedicating much of her time educating people about the
treatment program that worked for her husband, and giving moral support
to families with relatives suffering from MSA. She can be reached at 320-761-9380.
I continue to treat more and more people with this problem and so I have
more data that hopefully will also be published in the future.
(1) National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Shy Drager
Syndrome. National Institute of Health. Bethesda, Maryland 20892,
(2) Constantini, A. V., MD. The Fungal Mycotoxin Connections: Autoimmune
Diseases, Malignancies, Atherosclerosis, Hyperlipedemias, and Gout. Transcripts
of 28th Annual Meeting in New Horizons in Chemical Sensitivities: State
of the Art Diagnosis and Treatment, October 1993:3031.
(3) Lahoz, S. C., RN, MS, Lac. Conquering
Yeast Infections: The Non-Drug Solution. East West Publications, 1996;
Lahoz, S. C., RN, MS, Lac. Candidiasis:
An Initial Indication of A Positive Treatment Approach. Townsend
Letter for Doctors and Patients. July 1995, p. 68.
(4) Konlee, Mar. How to reverse Immune Dysfucntion. Keep Hope Alive,