Heat as a Cure
Heat has been known for its healing properties throughout history. Heat increases circulation of the blood, white cell counts, oxygen availability and the immune response. The body, itself, uses an elevation of temperature to fight infections.
The Elliot Treatment
In 1930, Dr. Charles Robert Elliot developed the “Elliot Treatment Regulator” as a novel way to treat pelvic infections (before antibiotics). A rubber bag was inserted into the vagina through which warm water was pumped filling the bag to the size of a baby’s head. A series of one-hour daily treatments were given in which the water was heated to 130° F. This level of heat was tolerated without mucosal injury. Insulated tubes prevented injury to the skin.
Several studies using the device were published in major medical journals in the 1930’s. The most dramatic responses were in women with severe pelvic infections who had abscesses that filled the pelvis and lower abdomen. In almost all cases, the abscesses shrank and surgery was avoided. Pain generally was relieved as soon as warm water began to flow through the device.
In 1936, the Journal of Urology published a study using the device to treat prostatitis. Eighty percent of cases of chronic prostatitis were improved using the Elliot device rectally, a far better success rate than with today’s antibiotics. Regardless of these successes, the device fell into disuse in the mid 1940’s, when antibiotics appeared on the scene.
Pelvic Heat Treatment Rediscovered
In 1977, an inventor named Rodger Estes had a bad case of hemorrhoids and backed into a hot radiator. Being tipsy, he stayed on the radiator long enough to experience relief. This led to the development of a heated anal probe device for hemorrhoids that gained FDA approval. In clinical trials, symptoms of hemorrhoids improved in 98% of users, an unusually high success rate.
However, during the clinicals and afterward, improvements in several other conditions were reported, some far removed from the anus. For example, symptoms of BPH (benign prostatic hypertrophy) and prostatitis improved in about 80% of cases. Then, the Chinese reported the device significantly helped two people with rectal cancer.
Suspecting an immune stimulation mechanism, Estes tried the device in anything warm blooded that would hold still long enough. Users reported relief of head colds (if used in the anus very early in the cold), relieving post herpetic pain, and reducing blood loss during surgery (when used a few hours before an operation). Three horses with chronic giant hives were treated just one time and hives disappeared permanently in all three. Estes’ 18-year-old dog went into a coma with terminal kidney failure (BUN 304), but came back to normal function following one anal heater treatment. The dog was alert and active the next day with an improving BUN.
Mechanism of Action
How anal/rectal heat can produce distant effects in the body is not clear. Estes showed the device to several energy healers from China (qigong masters) and asked what they thought it might be good for. Each qigong master, independently, produced the complete list of conditions it took 17 years to build through observation. They were using theories of Traditional Chinese Medicine stating that the treatment stimulates nearby Conception Vessel and Governing Vessel meridians, and all the tissues through which they run. This appears to be the best theory to date. Along the same line, I showed the device to a “Medicine Man” from Ghana, who predicted the device would have great potential for healing, because we are “sticking a hot poker into Chakra number one.”
The currently available Swiss-made device comes with 2" and 3" probes for the anus and prostate respectively. The device is powered by a rechargeable battery that generally provides three to four 20-minute treatments. Users can adjust probe temperature from 98º to a safe maximum of 113º F.
The application of anal heat may sound comical, at first; but people who have been helped by the device hold it in high regard.
Dr. McGee can be reached at 2385 W. Bolivar Ave., Coeur d’Alene, ID 83815. For purchase information on the anal heater, go to http://www.theamericanchiropractor.com/analheater