resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
The Way We Are Designed: A Conversation with Gil Hedley, PhD
I was first introduced to the work of Gil Hedley by Tom DiFerdinando. He gifted me Gil's DVD series.
The Need for a New Medical Model: A Challenge for Biopsychosocial and Ecopsychologica Medicine
Chinese medicine speaks of alignment between humans, heaven and earth. It is a complex view with a focus upon relationship. These are comprehensive ideas with no specific terms in contemporary medical practice.
Turning a Blind Eye to History – and Reality
The American Medical Association is taking the Supreme Court's Feb. 25, 2015 decision exactly as it always does – by turning a blind eye to history, legal precedent and reality.
Synergy Doesn't Happen in Silos: Acupuncture in Hospitals and Other Healthcare Settings
As acupuncture and traditional East Asian medicine continue to intersect and integrate with biomedical approaches, the conversation about integration expands and becomes richer.
Will You Be an Amplifer or a Mute?
These times are changing, and changing quickly. There have been many challenges to this profession throughout the past few years. The challenge is to talk, then talk and talk some more about this medicine.
There Really is No Room for Sexism
Recently, Matteo* (a transgender male) approached me during a break in an advanced shiatsu class in Berlin where he was one of two men in a group of 20 women. "Pamela. Don't forget to remind the translator to include male endings."
Talking to Patients About Lumbar Facet Denervation (Medial Branch Neurotomy)
Lumbar facet denervation, more appropriately termed medial branch neurotomy (MBN), is a procedure that may be considered when patients suffer from recalcitrant non-radicular axial back and/or leg pain.
Optimism = Compassion = Trust
A randomized clinical trial recently published online in JAMA Oncology examined how patients viewed their doctor based upon how the practitioner presented bad news to the patient.
TCM Congress in Rothenburg is Largest in Western World
In the medieval town of Rothenburg, deep set within the Bavarian countryside in Southern Germany, the TCM Kongress Rothenburg each year draws around 1.200 participants from more than 40 different countries to attend the biggest TCM conference in the Western world.
A View From the ER
The University of Western States has inked an innovative agreement with local nonprofit health system Legacy Health whereby UWS sports-medicine fellows can experience observational clinical rotations in emergency-room settings within the Legacy system.
Recreational Cannabis Use and TCM
Many people are drawn to cannabis for its effects physically, mentally and emotionally. Medically, cannabis has some legitimate uses, however the scope of this article is limited to the recreational use of cannabis.
Sleep, Less Sleep or No Sleep?
I had a dream I wasn't getting enough sleep. It was a very realistic dream, even though I was probably slightly awake and not really deep dreaming. Most likely I had been dozing, caught in that twilight of sleep and wakefulness.
Functional Hip Impingement (Part 1)
Every time I sit down to write an article, I realize how much more there is to know about musculoskeletal pain. I also learn something new every time. (I want to give special thanks to Lucy Whyte Ferguson for assisting with this article.)
Low Back Pain in Professional Golf: A Common Muscular Relationship
Every sport creates its own unique demands on the body. Some sports require such a myriad of body positions that assessing pathology is often difficult and unpredictable.
Applying the Thin Skull Principle
The "thin skull" principle, also known as the "you take your victim as you find them" principle, is a legal principle that can be summed up by the following statement.
Converting More Patients to Your Practice
In 2013 and 2014, the theme was "the money is in the list." This meant that if you had a big email list, you were really making some "cha-ching." Unfortunately, having thousands of emails doesn't equate to thousands of dollars in profit.
A Well-Kept Secret: 5 Element Acupuncture, Part II
Supervising acupuncture interns at a TCM college, it has always struck me how funny it is to hear the clinic manager tell the patients that the Five Element clinic specializes in treating emotions, as if patients with physical pain have no emotions!
Treating Beyond Pain
More often than not, when a patient presents to the office, it is for a pain complaint. Headache, neck pain, low back pain, sciatica, carpal tunnel... The pain is often the focus of the patient's mindset, and they don't often have any thought of what comes after the pain.
A House Divided?
The American Chiropractic Association's House of Delegates voted on 30 resolutions at its annual business meeting in Washington D.C., but two in particular took immediate center stage due to their controversial nature.
Term Limits: What's in a Word?
It was the French historian and philosopher Voltaire who once declared the Holy Roman Empire was neither holy nor Roman nor an empire.
An Excerpt from TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics
This excerpt is reprinted with permission from Jamie Wu. TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics was released in 2014 by People's Medical Publishing House.
October, 2003, Vol. 03, Issue 10
CranioSacral Therapy and Scientific Research, Part I
By John Upledger, DO, OMM
I cannot count the number of times I have been told by well-meaning friends and harsh critics that CranioSacral Therapy (CST) should be investigated using scientific methods. Many people say CST would be a real boon to health care - if only there were more scientific proof.In a recent article (www.massagetoday.com/archives/2003/03/07.html), I explained why I believe CST can never be adequately evaluated within the confines of the laboratory. In addition, many people don't realize that research has indeed been done. For you skeptics, I offer the following overview:
In the mid-1970s, I was approached by Michigan State University (MSU) to uncover the scientific basis for a premise put forth by William Sutherland, DO, in the 1930s: that the joints and sutures of the cranium do not fully ossify, as was once believed. From 1975 through 1983, I was a professor in the department of biomechanics at MSU's College of Osteopathic Medicine, where I led a team of anatomists, physiologists, biophysicists and bioengineers to test and document the influence of the craniosacral system on the body. Together we conducted research - much of it published - that formed the basis for the modality I went on to develop and name CranioSacral Therapy.
I first worked with neurophysiologist and histologist Ernest Retzlaff, PhD, to prove that under normal conditions, cranial sutures do not calcify before death. We studied numerous bone and suture samples taken from neurosurgery patients between the ages of seven and 57 years. Not only did these samples show living sutures completely free of calcification, but they were chock full of collagen and elastic fibers; arteries; arterioles; capillaries; venules; veins; nerves; and neuroreceptors.
After in-depth examinations, we demonstrated definitive potential for movement between the cranial sutures. Yet these results appeared to contradict anatomy-lab samples taken from cadavers whose skull sutures were calcified. These seemingly conflicting findings suggested that the calcification of skull sutures seen in preserved cadavers was due to postmortem changes and reactions to chemical embalming agents. Our findings supported those published in Anatomica Humanica by Italian professor Guiseppi Sperino, who noted that cranial sutures fuse before death only under pathological circumstances.
Once we saw the potential for motion in living sutures, our next step was to demonstrate that the motion we had hypothesized actually existed in the living skull. With the assistance of biophysicist Richard Ropell, PhD, we began using head (band) strain gauges on living subjects. These gauges demonstrated rhythmical expansion-contraction movements of the cranial circumferences at eight to 12 cycles per minute; however, there were other variables that could discredit these measurements as solid evidence of sutural movement, so we had measure the movements of one skull bone in relation to another. While we could not use humans for studies like this, we were able to use live monkeys from the university's pharmacology department.
In pain-free experiments, we anesthetized the monkeys and did minor surgery to cement an antenna directly to each parietal bone, about two centimeters lateral to the sagittal suture, and two centimeters posterior to the coronal sutures. We then wired these two 10-inch antennae so that we could broadcast a radio signal between them. In the recorded wavelengths, we discovered as the parietal bones moved independently of each other, the distances between antenna times changed. These changes demonstrated interparietal movement of about 12 cycles per minute. At one point, I placed a fingertip on the monkey's coccyx. With minimal pressure, I was able to stop the parietal bone motion.
Now we had evidence of a system that could move parietal bones rhythmically - and be stopped by pressure on the coccyx. This and a multitude of other factors caused me to deduce that the coccygeal pressure influenced the parietal motion via the hydraulic force of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) moving through the dural membrane and myofascial system related to the spinal column and the cranium.
My first inkling that such a hydraulic system existed came some years earlier during a neck surgery I assisted. The lead surgeon had removed the spinous processes and part of the laminae of the middle cervical vertebrae (C4 and C5) in order to expose the meningeal dura mater and keep it intact. At that time, I witnessed a rhythmical rise and fall of CSF pressure at about eight cycles per minute. It became clear that a fluid pressure deep to the dura mater was causing its continual movement. This fluid had to be cerebrospinal, and its volume had to be increasing and decreasing cyclically. Why hadn't this phenomenon been noticed in surgeries before? The answer is surprisingly simple: In most cases, the dura mater was incised. (Fortunately, that's not always the case.) I recently received a letter from Professor Charles Probst, a prominent Swiss neurosurgeon. He reported seeing,
In the case of lumbar-puncture procedures, when the needle enters the CSF compartment, the fluid enters the manometer via the needle and an elbow apparatus. When the fluid rises to its peak pressure, a valve is opened to take a specimen. It was generally assumed that the CSF specimen that was removed accounted for the reduction of pressure in the manometer. Any cyclic drop in fluid pressure was thus overlooked.
Editor's note: Look for the conclusion of this article and its relevant references in the November issue.
Click here for previous articles by John Upledger, DO, OMM.
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