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Practice Policy (Gone Bad): The Sign
Every once in a while, you see something and think to yourself, That's a really bad idea. Case in point: I went to see my medical doctor the other day. Just after being "roomed," as they say, the nurse checked my vital signs. Then she left.
The Zen Art of "One Point"
We were always told in our Zen Shiatsu training (by Japanese and Japanese American instructors) that our ultimate aim was to to find that "One Point." To be so focused we could touch just one point to transform Qi throughout a client's body.
Modernization of Chinese Medicine
Language – written, spoken, signed, or otherwise is learned as a means to express our individualized perceptions about the world around us. Language is designed to communicate our personal experiences.
Oriental Medicine on the World Stage
"Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt." This simple, yet powerful statement was lived out time and time again by so many of the athletes from around the world during the Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles.
Help: A Need at Every Level
One of the great gifts of training in acupuncture is the ability to take good care of oneself. I recently had a bout of frozen shoulder — an inflammatory syndrome which can be debilitatingly painful and take years to resolve.
Harvard Health References Flawed AHA Position Paper
In its special health report, "Stroke: Diagnosing, Treating, and Recovering From a 'Brain Attack,'" Harvard Health Publications includes information from the American Heart Association's 2014 position statement on cervical manipulation and cervical dissection – a statement the American Chiropractic Association emphasized in a letter to Harvard Health mixes "scientific facts with half-truths."
Fertility and Poly-Unsaturated Fatty Acids
Starting or expanding one's family is a major milestone. It's something that more and more people seek out health care advice and support for.
Acupuncture Rising: From Acupuncture Anesthesia to Assisted-IVF, Part 1
Acupuncture's cultural and historical roots go back to the emergence of Chinese civilization. For more than 2,000 years, acupuncture needling has been continuously practiced on the largest population in the world.
Patient-Centered Care vs. Payer Restrictions: Your Ethical Obligation
Do you have an ethical obligation to evaluate your patients, make a diagnosis and provide evidence-based, patient-centered health care, irrelevant to the payer restrictions?
More Chiropractors Required
An intriguing study published in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine examines how "chiropractic care affects use of primary care physician (PCP) services."
News in Brief
Call for Abstracts Announced - Parker Las Vegas 2016; Logan Adds Doctorate Degree; New Role for Dr. James Edwards.
Practicing with Authenticity
To extrapolate from the above quote, patients love healthcare providers they can trust. One way to earn the trust of your patients is by practicing with authenticity. What does that mean, exactly?
Change Lives by Supporting Chiropractic Research: Are You In?
The Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research (PCCR), in celebration of its 20th anniversary, has announced it is spearheading a fund-raising campaign to support chiropractic research.
The Short Leg Dilemma
When evaluating a new patient, it is common to note a relative shortening of one leg to the other. Some patients will even tell you they have one, and then pull out the store-bought heel lift they read about online.
Getting a YES: An Effective Strategy for Overcoming Patient Objections
Patients make more excuses for declining care from an acupuncturist than perhaps any other type of doctor. Various reasons hold them back from making a commitment to care.
Fish Oil: A Key Component of Positive Clinical Outcomes
Patients seem to be presenting with more complex problems, and many are responding to care more slowly or have completely unexpected results. Why?
Dorsiflexion Dysfunction: Evaluation & Manipulation Techniques
Almost every condition from the foot to the hip can be attributed to the inability to dorsiflex the ankle mortice and other joints that participate in dorsiflexion. Let's start by understanding normal versus abnormal dorsiflexion.
Healing Trauma: Cultivating Resilience and Presence Through Mindfulness, Part 2
In the last issue of Acupuncture Today, the first part of this article introduced the topic of trauma and resilience, and their relationship to the autonomic nervous system response and the concept of the spirit being grounded in the body, and suggested the importance of mindfulness as a tool for healing.
Improving Communication Between AOM and Biomedical Providers
How comfortable do you feel talking to Western medical providers? If you are like me, you may not feel as comfortable as you would like. Some of my interactions with MD's haven't been the fruitful steps toward integrative medicine for which I had hoped.
Nuts Reduce Risk of Heart Disease, Cancer and Other Health Problems
Several recent studies suggest regular consumption of nuts may provide a significant degree of protection against certain types of cancer, heart disease, possibly type 2 diabetes and some neurodegenerative diseases.
The New Age of Communication
In the age of technology, everyone, including the patient, is seeking faster, easier ways to communicate. With a wealth of social media, blogs, websites and videos, we are constantly barraged with information – to the point of overload.
The Food Conversation: Nutrition and Your Practice
It's morning and your first patient rolls in with a triple espresso steaming in one hand and a frazzled, desperate look in her eye. "You gotta help me, doc, I am constipated unless I drink one of these, and I am exhausted and anxious all the time."
An Acupuncturist's View of Medicinal Marijuana
The use of cannabis for medical purposes is very controversial. Use as a panacea by physicians uninitiated to the proper application of herbal medicine, as well as an excuse for recreational use have greatly confused the issue.
Surprising Reasons for Orthotic Efficacy
Clinical outcome studies show orthotics are effective in the management of a wide range of injuries, including plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendinitis and patellofemoral pain syndrome.
A Chiropractor's Guide to Yoga
"Doctor, can I continue to do yoga while undergoing your care?" "Is it OK for me to go back to yoga while I'm getting my back treated?" "It is safe to start my yoga classes again after my neck pain improves?"
Do Some Good and Grow Your Business with Cause Marketing
Cause marketing is truly one of the best ways that you can promote your services as a acupuncture professional. Cause marketing refers to a type of marketing where a business partners with a non-profit organization to help bring awareness to a charitable cause.
January, 2002, Vol. 02, Issue 01
Nothing Is Impossible
By John Upledger, DO, OMM
The body is a symphony of motion. On every level, our greatest promise for health is achieved when our body parts, from cellular to gross, are free to move in harmony with one another.CranioSacral Therapy is especially effective at restoring optimal craniosacral rhythm and enhancing central nervous system performance. When indicated, I also combine it with other methods of increasing body motion. The results have been highly successful, even in the most difficult of cases.
Anselmo Trevino was born on August 10, 1980, without complications or problems. His growth and development were excellent, and everything looked rosy for his future - until he was nine years old. He was riding in the family minivan when a serious collision occurred.
Anselmo immediately went into a coma and was hospitalized in intensive care. CT scans revealed a fracture of the skull base involving the mid brain and brain stem - a closed head injury. More significantly, he had suffered a hemorrhage of the brain stem. Anselmo spent two months in the hospital, then another two in a rehabilitation facility.
When he left he was completely quadriplegic with a spastic condition of his muscular system. It involved most severely his lower limbs, and somewhat less severely his upper limbs and the musculature of his trunk, neck and face. He was unable to speak or even blink his eyes to communicate. Clearly the injuries had interfered with the brain's ability to modulate the spinal cord's influence on the peripheral motor control system.
Over the next 11 years, Anselmo's parents made sure he received every therapy recommended and available to him. Yet his life seemed to be a chain of unfortunate physical events. In 1991 his left femur was fractured during a therapy session. In 1993, he underwent Achilles-tendon-release surgery on both ankles, after which he developed pneumonia. In 1995, he had oral surgery to extract eight molars, and in 1997 he suffered from aspiration pneumonia.
When not hospitalized, Anselmo lived at home. Still dependent on doctor and nursing care, he received daily occupational and physical therapy, as well as massage, reflexology, acupressure and acupuncture. The primary goal was to combat the ever-increasing spasticity.
I first saw Anselmo in April 2001. He came to participate in a two-week intensive program at The Upledger Institute HealthPlex Clinical Services in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. Prior to that, neuro and orthopedic surgeons were pressuring his parents to perform lumbar rhizotomy procedures on several nerve roots in order to stop the spasticity of the lower body. They could see no other way to relieve the spasticity other than cut the nerve roots. But Anselmo's parents had different ideas. With us they had two major goals: to reduce or stop the spacticity - and eliminate the need for more surgery - and to enable Anselmo to use eye blinks as a "yes/no" form of communication.
Our initial evaluation of Anselmo included a finding of quadriplegic spastic paralysis. It was severe throughout his whole body below the cranium, but especially so in his trunk, pelvis and lower limbs. He was unable to communicate either verbally or with eye blinks or controlled body motions. Yet it was obvious he could comprehend what was going on around him. His spasticity noticeably increased when he was upset by certain events or conversations that took place around him. He was fed through a gastric tube - a necessity since the accident 11 years earlier.
A craniosacral system evaluation revealed a rhythm of five-to-six cycles per minute. Cranial vault mobility was restricted in all major vault bones, in the dural tube, and in related spinal structures. There was also a marked thoracic "humpback" deformity that had progressed steadily since the accident. Anselmo's parents reported that the most recent x-rays taken before coming to the intensive program showed a 63° thoracic scoliosis with apex to the left. Bone density studies also revealed marked, generalized osteoporosis. Anselmo's treatment program included five-to-six hours of CranioSacral Therapy every day in both single- and multiple-therapist sessions. Acupuncture was used at least once a week, as was therapeutic massage. Spinal release treatment was often integrated with the CranioSacral Therapy, along with myofascial release and visceral manipulation.
On day three of the program, I focused on mobilizing Anselmo's spinal vertebrae, one at a time, using position and hold techniques applied to the spinous processes. While I was doing this, two other therapists, one on the occiput and one on the sacrum, focused on moving the dural tube toward the head, then toward the sacrum in harmony with the craniosacral rhythm. As the dural tube released within the spinal canal, I could feel the dural sleeves that sheathed the spinal nerve roots relax and begin to move more easily. We could also see the spasticity of Anselmo's body relax in response to our work.
Soon more therapists joined in. One was positioned on the head to decompress and mobilize the anterior-posterior intracranial meningeal membrane (dura mater) system. Another therapist was at the feet holding the calcanei in the palms of her hands. She applied light, intermittent traction in a pedad direction (toward the feet) in synchrony with the dural tube movements in the same directions. The therapist on the head used frontal lift and sphenoid mobilization techniques to offer more space to the motor cortex.
As we finished that particular session, Anselmo appeared happier, more comfortable in his body and much less spastic. That's when I decided that a session on a Stress Buster machine might be helpful. The fitted moldings of the Stress Buster moves the ankles, feet and legs rhythmically from side to side, about three inches from one extreme to the other. The rate of movement is adjustable.
As I monitored Anselmo's spinal column with the Stress Buster in action, I could feel the increasing motions of the spinal vertebrae in relation to each other. The Stress Buster appeared to be offering a positive therapeutic effect. From then on we used it to treat Anselmo for about 10 minutes at least three times a day in conjunction with other treatment processes.
At the end of the two weeks Anselmo was much less spastic. Cranial bone and spinal mobility were greatly improved and nerve root surgeries were no longer indicated. The "humpback" deformity had reduced significantly in size. And Anselmo's total body, including face, jaw, tongue and throat, was much more relaxed. His respiratory diaphragm was more active and moving easier. He was able to breath much more deeply.
About two months later, I spoke with Anselmo's mother on the telephone. She said Anselmo has continued to use the Stress Buster three to five times every day. Both his parents and physical therapists feel it's helping to further reduce the "humpback" problem. What's more, an x-ray recheck for bone density showed a 400% improvement in Anselmo's osteoporosis. The doctor said that was impossible, so he repeated the study. Sure enough, the 400% improvement was confirmed.
I believe this case offers solid confirmation of just what is possible when you help restore motion at all levels; restore the trophic influence of motor nerves; establish dural membrane release within the cranial vault and spinal vertebral canal; and enhance motor cortex and brainstem function.
Yes, you can help reverse problems as serious as scoliosis, osteoporosis and hyperspasticity - even after they have been present in the patient's body for up to 11 years.
Click here for previous articles by John Upledger, DO, OMM.
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