Pulmonary tuberculosis treated with "onnetsu" far infrared rays: a case report

Author(s): Aranda-Ventura Jose, Tatsumura-Hillyer Kazuko

Every year, 220,000 new cases of tuberculosis are registered in the Americas, and more than 50,000 die as a result of this disease. It is worth noting that tuberculosis is both preventable and curable, however, it still is one of the most important transmitted infections in the world. Multiple factors explain this situation, one of them being the lack of commitment to treatment, due to the number of pills the patient must take and the side effects they may have. This raises the necessity of developing an efficient therapy that decreases negative side effects and permits proper adherence to the treatment. To this day there is no registered use of “Onnetsu” far infrared rays on patients suffering from tuberculosis. Take the case of a 67 year-old woman diagnosed with pulmonary tuberculosis (TB) based on clinical, radiological and bacteriological evidence, for which she was admitted in the National Health Strategy for the Prevention and Control of Tuberculosis (ESNPCT) and was receiving pharmacological treatment for 1 month (Rifampicin 300 mg, Ethambutol 400 mg, Isoniazid 100 mg, Pyrazinamide 500 mg), which she abandoned when she began having adverse reactions (nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, weakness and dyspepsia). Due to this situation she went to the Traditional Medical Institute-IMET ESSALUD, where the diagnosis of pulmonary tuberculosis was confirmed and then signed an informed consent form where she agreed to receive “Onnetsu” far infrared ray treatment, which was applied to the skin, focusing on the thorax, done in one hour sessions, 3 times per week for 18 weeks, during which she received no pharmacological treatment. At the end of the treatment, betterment in both the clinical and radiological pictures and an adequate bacteriological response resulted in her being discharged from ESNPCT. Monitoring was done over the next 6 years y no evidence of active TB was found. This report could be the first step in opening the studies on the use of far infrared rays as a potential treatment for pulmonary tuberculosis.