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Futures, Inc Q&A

Some Questions and Answers
... by Elinor Young, a PPS patient

I underwent treatment at Futures Unlimited, Inc. in October 1996, and am still doing great in 2004! Before I even left there, people wrote me via e-mail asking about it. They wanted to know what is done, how much it cost, how much it helped and other such questions. Do you have some of those questions, too? Then this might help:

Q. Who is Ed Snapp? How Did He Come Up With This Program?
A. Ed Snapp is a physical therapist. He contracted polio at the age of 18, and still has some pretty severe residual affects. He began his practice as a PT in 1947, working first on original polio patients. He has never retired. "Mr. Ed" (as he is called in the clinic) is about 70 years of age now. He married a woman who also had polio. It was when she began to develop PPS that Ed, getting the standard, "There is nothing we can do but slow down your decline" answer from doctors, began doing his own thinking based on his personal and practical knowledge of polio, the body and further study of the central nervous system. What resulted, after many years, is the program he uses at his clinic.

Q. What is done to you at the clinic?
A. Basically, the "what" consists of medically coded physical therapy techniques, done with unusual intensity, duration and sequence. The therapy lasts for 14 straight days, 6 to 8 hours a day. The four PT procedures are all passive. That is, they do it to you; you do not do any direct exercise.

The PT techniques used are:1. Straight-line, deep-stroke massage. Done with very specific order.

2. Patterning of limb movements. Again, very specific sequence.
3. Hydro-therapy, which is being submerged, supine and supported, in approximately body-temperature water while your body relaxes and reacts to the stimulation of the massage, of waves, etc.

4. Complete rest in an environment of controlled sensory-deprivation.
It sounds like anyone could duplicate the procedures, but they can't without training at Futures. Especially the massage and patterning require a very strict order and sequence.

Each PT procedure is done twice; once in the morning and once in the afternoon, with small differences. During the rest time, unless you had a spinal fusion (as I did), you are curled up in a cut-in-half innertube that is hung from the ceiling and rests on a bean bag. You are more or less in a fetal position, and they play fetal sounds. It is unusual, but very relaxing. I curled up on a water-bed for that part.
All procedures are done under very dim blue or green lights - just enough for the aids to see what they are doing, and there is no talking. They don't want your central nervous system to be distracted, or to receive any stimulation except what they are giving it. The whole thing is designed to get the attention of your nervous system, and to provide the environment and stimulation it needs to correct itself. Mr. Snapp compares it to rebooting a computer.

Q. What Are the Risks?
A. None of the techniques used can hurt you. They are all designed to be very specific stimuli that trigger your central nervous system to remember how it was developed in the first place and then use that memory to correct what it can of areas that have gotten "messed up" since polio and PPS. There is an 85% success rate with PPS.

Q. Is it a Cure for PPS?
A. NO! It is NO CURE. As Mr. Ed says about the motor neurons that polio killed, "you can kiss them goodbye." "All" he does (and it's a BIG "all") is help the nerves and muscles that are still intact to communicate up to their optimum potential. I still have PPS - Ed cautions about abusing my body and crashing again, but I am much better.

Q. Does Everyone Experience the Same Results?
A. No. Nearly every one (85%) has positive results. Some moderate, some profound and some in between.

Q. What Results Did You Gain?
A. I guess my results would be in the "profound" category. Before I went to Futures, I was very weak. I needed to use a BiPAP ventilator 15 hours out of 24. Arms, legs and energy were so weak that I hadn't driven a car for five years. There was no way I could. I was dependent on a scooter for mobility. I could walk only about 30 feet before fatigue stopped me. My brain was chronically fogged with that awful mental fatigue we PPSers are so familiar with.

Now I am on my feet again, using crutches, and can walk for blocks. With my pulmunologist's blessing, my BiPAP was been returned to the medical equipment supplier right after treatment at Futures, and I haven't needed it again since. I can drive again, comfortably, even taking several day road trips. Best of all, my brain is clear. No more fighting that mental fog to think and converse.

Q. Would I Be A Good Candidate for Improvement?
A. The best thing to do is ask for a packet of literature, then after you get and read it, call Ed Snapp or James Snapp and talk to him about your case. Or, to save time, just call one of them before you get a packet. They are VERY open to talk to anybody, and very honest if they thinks the treatment can't help.

Q. What Does the Treatment Cost?
A. The cost is under $500/day, but ask for the current charge. If you have had any PT lately, you know this is quite reasonable, considering the number of hours involved. FUI will bill your insurance, but you do need to pay half the cost up-front. If you have private insurance, the chances are good they will pre-approve it. If an HMO, not likely. FUI will reimburse you the half you paid if/when insurance comes through. But speaking personally, there is no way I could put a monetary value on what the treatment did for me.

If you want insurance to pay, you need an Rx from a doctor, with a letter of justification. Call one of the clinics and ask for literature. One of the papers is a sample Rx that your doctor can more or less copy.

Q. Where Can I Find Accommodations?
A. Again, ask the clinics. They have lists of local hotels who give good deals.

Q. What About Those People Who Say It's Too Good To Be True, So Can't Be?
A. I am not the only person who has maintained long-term improvement. The program can't hurt you, and you have an 85% chance of being helped. What are your chances for improvement without it?