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A Glimpse Into China's Top Brain Hospital
The sounds of the city pass through the open window are overwhelming the microphone - car horns, construction machinery - and then there's the family at the adjacent bed talking loudly on cell phones, yet you can still hear the faint beep of our patients monitoring equipment.
Thoughts to Live By
When speaking to your patients about their health make sure to ponder the following points and have them assess if they are making themselves even more sick by the thoughts they have about life. Are these some of the traits and thoughts that your patients might have?
Healing Community Trauma in Israel and Palestine
It's the beginning of August and Israel and Hamas have just agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire after a month of brutal fighting. In the last four weeks, 1,830 Palestinians and 67 Israelis have been killed.
A Commonly Missed Spinal Fixation: The Upper Lumbar Spine (Part 1)
When we think of lower back pain, we tend to think in terms of the lower lumbar spine and the SI joint. These joints and their discs are obviously important. However, we tend to miss fixations that occur just above – in the upper lumbar spine. Three questions come to mind: 1) Why is the upper lumbar spine so important? 2) Why do we miss the fixations here? 3) How can we adjust them?
MPA Media Wins Seven Publishing Awards
MPA Media, publisher of Acupuncture Today, among other titles, has been recognized for editorial and design excellence with an unprecendented seven publishing awards by the ASBPE, the nation's largest organization for business-to-business publications.
The Problem With Prolonged Sitting
We need to constantly talk to our patients about spending less time sitting and about what can go wrong with poor sitting postures. The fact is we sit too long in repetitive malpositions.
The Truth About Herbs
I appreciate the effort and research put into the article written in the June issue of Acupuncture Today regarding pesticides and Chinese herbs.
The Science Behind Happiness
Are you happy right now? Whether yes or no, there are a myriad of reasons why you feel that way. A whole academic discipline has developed to find out what causes or obstructs happiness, and how to amplify it.
Help Secure Our Future by Sharing It
The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) conducts one of the most comprehensive surveys of the U.S. chiropractic profession every 4-5 years.
Improving Our Political Effectiveness
The November 2014 elections are right around the corner; members of Congress, governors and state legislators are all running. Now is a good time to talk frankly about our overall political involvement.
Uncle Sam Needs You
Scrutiny into the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) continues to grow after efforts to reform the DVA by the former Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric Shinseki, were deemed "a stunning period of dysfunction" by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
Get Ready For AOM Day
This year, AOM Day 2014 falls on Friday, (October 24th). This is a great opportunity to make your AOM Day celebration or event even bigger by extending it throughout the weekend!
The Spirit of the Point
After receiving a large amount of positive feedback on my San Zhen Protocols series, I have decided to focus this article on some relevant clinical aspects of acupuncture therapy prior to moving on to San Zhen Protocols III.
Medicalization and Mindfulness
The past several years have seen a veritable explosion of research on mindfulness. Research abstracts we've published in each issue of Health Insights Today under the heading "Mind-Body News" have increasingly reported on studies about mindfulness interventions.
Rethinking GMO: Less Panic, More Context
Some of you may have noticed that after writing parts 1 and 2 of “Genetic Modification of Organisms for Human Consumption” a while back [Nov. 15, 2013 and Jan. 1, 2014 issues], part 3 never appeared.
Thoracolumbar Syndrome: The Great Mimic
The thoracolumbar junction is a common area of joint dysfunction. The most obvious cause is dysfunctional breathing or lack of diaphragmatic breathing. Treating this breathing problem will ultimately be the long-term cure for the syndrome.
When Big Pharma Meets Chinese Medicine
Earlier this year, Bayer made a media splash with their decision to buy the Dihon Pharmaceutical Group Co., a Chinese TCM manufacturer.
History of Animal Acupuncture: Part II
In Part I of this article, I had gone back to 1969 and tried to describe the atmosphere and events of that year that engulfed many of the younger generation, some who were all the core members of the National Acupuncture Association.
Let the Patient Tell Their Story
Often when a patient presents with an injury, they want to tell their story. People by nature like to talk about themselves, particularly when they're worried about their health.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
If You Get a Request for Records, Respond!
In our previous two articles, we discussed two of the main reasons for denial when chiropractic records are reviewed by Medicare contractors.
October, 2002, Vol. 02, Issue 10
CranioSacral Therapy vs. Cranial Osteopathy: Differences Divide
By John Upledger, DO, OMM
CranioSacral Therapy, which I developed in the 1970s, is compared frequently to cranial osteopathy, developed by Dr. William Sutherland. Although Dr. Sutherland's discovery regarding the flexibility of skull sutures led to the early research behind CranioSacral Therapy - and both approaches affect the cranium, sacrum and coccyx - the similarities end there.
What was to become cranial osteopathy began as the idea of an osteopathic student in Kirksville, Missouri, in the early 1900s.Dr. William Sutherland saw that the bones of the skull were designed to allow for movement in relationship to one another. It was a radical idea that flew in the face of American and British anatomy textbooks, which taught that skull bones fuse together before adulthood.
To test his theory, Dr. Sutherland filled a skull with dry beans and added water. This caused the skull bones to move along the suture lines, and ultimately to disarticulate. He also performed makeshift experiments on himself with helmet-like devices that imposed variable controlled and sustained pressures on different parts of his head. His wife recorded personality changes, head pain and coordination problems he displayed in response to different pressure applications.
Based on his experiments, Dr. Sutherland developed a system of examination and treatment for the bones of the skull that became known as cranial osteopathy. Because so little was known about how it worked - and patient results seemed miraculous at times - Sutherland's system acquired an esoteric reputation.
Conversely, the origin of CranioSacral Therapy can be traced to the accidental discovery of the craniosacral system during a seemingly routine surgery in 1970. At the time, I had a unique view of the dura mater, the outer layer of the meningeal membrane in the neck. Ordinarily compromised as part of surgical procedure, the dura mater was deliberately left intact during this surgery to prevent any risk of meningeal infection.
My task as a surgical assistant was to hold the dura mater still while the surgeon scraped a calcium plaque off its surface. No matter how I tried, I was unable to do it. The membrane continued to move rhythmically at a rate of about 10 cycles per minute. Neither my colleagues nor any medical text I consulted could explanation this phenomenon.
Still curious about what I had seen, I enrolled two years later in a seminar that explained Dr. Sutherland's ideas and taught some of his evaluation and treatment techniques. Coupling my scientific background with tactile sensitivity, I surmised that the rhythmical motion I had seen during surgery could have been caused by a hydraulic-type system functioning inside a membranous sac encased within the skull and canal of the spinal column. After further study and research, I refined Dr. Sutherland's techniques and successfully incorporated them into my private medical practice.
In 1975, I was invited by Michigan State University to lead the world's first task force to study and verify the mobility of cranial sutures and bones. For the next five years, I led a team of anatomists, physiologists, biophysicists and bioengineers, and together we researched the basics and potential for performing therapy on the craniosacral system.
Through an extensive series of studies and experiments, we demonstrated how the craniosacral system could be used to assess and improve numerous health problems involving the brain and spinal cord. Yet this was a very different approach than that used in cranial osteopathy. Here we were focusing not on the bones of the skull, but on the membranes and cerebrospinal fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord.
We verified that the craniosacral system does indeed operate like a semi-closed hydraulic system. Pressures build as the amount of cerebrospinal fluid increases in the system, forcing the fluid to move up and down the spinal cord. When the fluid moves, the membranes containing it also move, normally at a rate of 6-12 cycles per minute.
CranioSacral Therapy practitioners are trained to gently monitor this rhythm to detect and release imbalances and restrictions in the membranes that could potentially cause sensory, motor or neurological dysfunctions. As such, CranioSacral Therapy is never intended to cure disease, but simply to facilitate the body's ability to self-correct. It offers a comprehensive, whole-body structural and functional evaluation protocol.
Even today, the focus of cranial osteopathy remains on manipulating the sutures of the skull. With CranioSacral Therapy, the bones of the skull are involved in that they serve as "handles" for the practitioner to use to access and affect the membrane system that attaches to those bones.
Another major difference between the two approaches is in the quality of touch. In general, the manipulations used in cranial osteopathy are often heavy and directive. Practitioners of CranioSacral Therapy usually use a light touch, scientifically measured to be between 5 and 10 grams. That's about the weight of a U.S. nickel resting in the palm of your hand. This gentle quality often belies the effectiveness of the therapy. Most patients report feeling nothing more than subtle sensations during a typical session.
Yes, CranioSacral Therapy and cranial osteopathy are quite different. Yet they remain linked in history by two osteopaths who trusted their observations and continued undaunted in their quests to prove their theories.
Click here for previous articles by John Upledger, DO, OMM.
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