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News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
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?
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.
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!
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.).
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.
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.
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.
A Healthy Dose of Failure is Vital to Your Success
As an acupuncturist I tend to see people after they have already suffered for years and "tried everything." They are so desperate for some relief that they want to know everything about how to get better, right now.
June, 2001, Vol. 01, Issue 06
When the Immune System Attacks, Ask Why
By John Upledger, DO, OMM
My life experiences have forced me to embrace a radical concept: tissues, cells, even DNA molecules each have their own individual consciousness.
This concept was not easy for me to accept.It flies in the face of my early psychological studies that focused on physiological and behavioral schools - virtually risk-free if your bent is toward the rational, scientifically proven, one-step approach. For me to consider that biosystems have individual consciousness was a huge leap of faith. My ongoing study of biochemistry has helped broaden my acceptance.
Years ago, I was extremely fortunate to have as my mentor Dr. Stacy F. Howell, the same man who discovered that enzymes were proteins. A Nobel laureate runner-up, he retired at the same time I received my doctorate in osteopathic medicine. As many do at that stage, Dr. Howell wanted to share the wisdom he had accumulated over years of teaching and research.
He showed me that each atom is a solar system: its nucleus is like the sun and its electrons are like the orbiting planets. He described molecules as interacting solar systems with tissues as mini galaxies. In my mind, he built a model universe composed of the atoms and molecules drawn together to create any matter or structure that might exist. The matter is the universe. Size is the only factor that differentiates what we consider our cosmic universe to be.
In short, Dr. Howell opened the door for me to welcome into my own consciousness the concept that organs and tissues, cells and molecules are individuals, much like people and animals. From there it was a short jump to accept the idea that each of these structures possesses a consciousness, and that each of these contributes to the next group consciousness up the line.
For me this was all happening in the early 1960s. Yet I continue to hold these concepts, not only because they still feel true but also because the model that has evolved from these seeds is extremely useful in patient care.
One recent example is Edith*, a 74-year-old woman who had been diagnosed at the Mayo Clinic with autoimmune disease of the liver. The first thing I did when she came to see me was put my hands to work. Using CranioSacral Therapy, I was immediately drawn to her liver and lower throat in the area of her thymus gland. Her craniosacral system vitality was also markedly reduced.
I blended with Edith and, as we became one, I was moved to ask her immune cells why they were attacking the liver cells. I asked her if she would allow her immune system components to speak with me using her vocal apparatus, and she agreed.
First, I asked her thymus gland if it would be willing to communicate. Edith's voice gave an enthusiastic "yes." So I asked the thymus if it knew about the immune cells destroying liver cells. Through Edith, the thymus explained that these were abnormal liver cells being destroyed. The attacking immune cells were macrophages working under thymus gland direction. I asked the thymus if it knew what happened to the liver cells to make them abnormal. Once again, the answer was yes.
Here's what I got: About four years ago, Edith had received x-ray therapy for some malignant growths that had been surgically removed from her colon. The effect of the excessive x-ray exposure was to change the nature [DNA] of some of the liver cells. These changed cells then divided and produced more abnormal cells. This had been going on for a while before the thymus received information about the existence and multiplication of the changed liver cells. Now it was the immune system's job to clear the abnormal cells from the liver.
It was clear to me that this "autoimmune disease" was the immune system's effort to restore the liver to health. I applauded the thymus gland and the immune system for removing the abnormal liver cells to protect the normal tissues from being invaded. However, Edith's blood samples had reflected liver cells being damaged. I explained that her body needed to construct new liver cells to take the place of the abnormal ones being destroyed.
Through Edith, the thymus agreed, so I suggested recruiting stem cells from the bone marrow to go to the liver and develop normal liver cells. Stem cells are capable of creating new and compatible cells in almost any tissue they visit. The bone marrow acts as a holding residence for these stem cells, where they await their instructions.
As I continued to communicate with Edith's body, I could feel energetic activity taking place under my hand. In less than a minute I could feel new and different activity in the liver. Toward the end of the session, I did some simple craniosacral balancing. Subsequently, Edith had six follow-up sessions with one of our staff therapists, who administered general craniosacral therapy.
Eleven days after her last session, blood tests showed significant improvement in liver function. Edith also reported much more energy and vitality. Repeat liver tests less than three months later were all within normal limits. Had we not established dialogue and rapport with the consciousness of Edith's immune sytem, she may well have been treated with immunosuppressant drugs to stop the macrophages from "attacking" the liver. The abnormal liver cells would probably have continued to multiply, and perhaps liver failure or possibly cancer could have resulted.
It certainly seems worthwhile to try something as harmless as dialoguing with the consciousness of body systems, organs and tissues before taking more invasive steps. Of course, it also requires more healthcare professionals to honor the possibility that cells have consciousness. I remember the teachings of Dr. Stacey Howell and continue to hold great hope.
*Name has been changed to protect patient confidentiality.
Click here for previous articles by John Upledger, DO, OMM.
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