Cheney Hydrotherapy Protocol for Immune Modulation

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by mezombie, Jul 21, 2008.

  1. mezombie

    mezombie Member

    Dr. Cheney used this treatment in the mid-90s, and for some reason abandoned it. I know one of his patients improved significantly using the following method, so I thought it was worth posting.

    I found this from a conference presentation Dr. Cheney gave in Australia in February, 1995:

    The concept is that the immune system is an issue of balance between suppression and activation. Immune activation typically produces a reactive suppression which is unique and precise. The idea is to use their own lymphatic fluid. We put them in a vertical floatation unit with tepid water one hour three times weekly. This procedure increases lymphatic return through the thoracic duct into the left internal jugular vein. It's like they're getting infused with their own lymphatic fluid. We have seen some absolutely dramatic improvement in the MSQ score in some patients - on average about 23% improvement of the MSQ; with the greatest improvement of 42%. Some people did get worse with this therapy and there seemed to be a grouping with low interleukin receptors that tended to get better with therapy and a group with high IL2) receptors that tended to get worse with therapy. Hydrotherapy is bidirectional, it can down regulate the patient, but it can also upregulate him/her and make them feel worse (which may not be bad in the long term if they need to be upregulated against a threat - viral perhaps).


    Dr. Cheney had patients use a flotation belt to vertically "float" in a pool.

    [This Message was Edited on 07/23/2008]
  2. mezombie

    mezombie Member

    Dr. Cheney's partner at the time, Dr. Lapp, added this at a presentation in Nashville, TN in April, 1997:


    Hydrotherapy is something that Paul Cheney and I have been touting for years since we’ve had so many patients come to us and say they benefited from it. Basically, it is vertical flotation in a heated pool, is what we most recommend. The water has to be tepid, not too hot. We originally said one hour, three or four times weekly. We now know that 15-30 minutes is more like it, and two or three times weekly. Not many people have access to a heated pool at 85 degrees though.

    So we started experimenting and found that we got just about as much benefit from soaking in a tub at home. But of course, in a tub at home you can’t swim and you don’t move around much, so the temperature of the water has to be a little bit warmer so you don’t chill. At home, get a pool thermometer or aquarium thermometer and get the temperature up around 95 degrees.

    [This Message was Edited on 07/21/2008]
  3. Khalyal

    Khalyal New Member

    I know a good soak in a warm/hot bath brings me back from the dead on my worst days, at least enough to feel some relief. Thanks for posting this!
  4. Slayadragon

    Slayadragon New Member

    What temperature is the water in most swimming pools?
  5. mezombie

    mezombie Member

    I'm not sure what the average pool temperature is.

    I don't think the exact temperature is as important as the comfort level.

    The temperature at which this worked varied from person to person. It was one of those Goldilocks things: It shouldn't be too hot, nor too cold. For instance, I found I got chilled in most pools.

    I'm not convinced this would work as well in a bathtub. There is something about the vertical flotation that's important.

    Unfortunately, there is nothing on the internet about Cheney's theory behind the vertical flotation, to my knowledge.
  6. LouiseK

    LouiseK New Member

    I don't know too much but I remember reading that the pressure of the water helps the lymph system to function better. Of course the weightlessness is help for so many symptoms of fatigue, joint pain, etc.. A bathtub? I don't know. Personally it would be torture sitting in a hard bathtub for me. I hate pools -- chlorine, chills, bare skin that is sensitive but I am about to try this since I found a physical therapy place nearby with a very warm pool and the weightlessness is really wonderful. I am having so much trouble with the lymph system and am totally afraid of lymphatic massage because I have heard it is painful.

    Just a few thoughts.

    Best wishes,
  7. Slayadragon

    Slayadragon New Member

    I will go to Target tomorrow and buy some kind of floatation device then. I'm going to be around pools for the rest of the summer, and on a hot day they should be a comfortable temperature for this.

    This sounds like it would be especially useful when killing pathogens though. I certainly felt like my lymph was clogged up when I've used antivirals or antibiotics in the past.

    The only pathogen killing I'm doing at present is with high-dose Vitamin C IV's (50 cc). These knocked me out a couple of months ago (similar to doxy die-off), but now seem to be pretty much fine. Could it possibly be that my immune system is getting stronger as a result of addressing toxins? I'm going to get a repeat Red Labs panel to find out.

    Anyway, I'm not sure how much benefit the lymph drainage thing would be if one is working on toxins, since to my knowledge they don't go through the lymph system. Do they?

    It couldn't hurt to try though. I've been trying to swim every day anyway, and so adding this on wouldn't be that hard.

  8. mezombie

    mezombie Member

    The movement of the lymphatic fluid acts as an immune modulator.

    LouiseK -- I agree, the gravitational pressure of doing this is a pool seems to be a key element. I don't see how Dr. Lapp's bathtub method could work as well.

    Slayadragon -- I think pretty much all of Dr. C's patients at the time were on detox supplements and/or herbs before trying this.

    BTW, what was used was a water flotation <b>belt</b>. If you google those words, you should come up with a number of examples.

    For patients who chilled easily, Dr. Cheney suggested wearing a wetsuit (the kind deep-sea divers use).

    WARNING: I want to add that there is a possibility of developing pain in the area of the jugular vein a day or two after a hydrotherapy session. If this happens, it seems best to return to the pool to get the lymph moving again. Or get into the bathtub! Lymphatic massage might also work if such a situation arises.

    [This Message was Edited on 07/23/2008]

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