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Another Chance to Make a Difference
Just a few months ago, "the worst natural disaster to strike the United States since Hurricane Sandy" hit Louisiana. During this storm, one area experienced 31 inches of rain in 15 hours as almost 7 trillion gallons of water rained down in just one week across the state.
Meshing TCM With Environmental Pediatrics: Where's the Overlap?
Pediatrics has a long history within Chinese medicine dating back to the late Han dynasty (i.e., the late 200s CE), with the two primary areas of emphasis being herbal medicine and xiao er tui na (pediatric massage).
Herbs for Digestion: The Power of Bitter
Many cultures (and indeed herbal clinicians) around the world have long respected the role of bitter herbs and foods for promoting digestion. For example, aperitifs – drinks consumed before a meal to stimulate appetite and digestion – were originally derived from bitter herbs.
Molecular Motors: Tiny Machines Behind the Rhythm of Life
In the clinic, we aim to restore healthy patterns of movement for qi that has gotten trapped or misdirected, or may have even collapsed. We may be focused on freeing stagnation, releasing heat or redirecting counterflow qi, but it often comes down to helping re-establish a flow of sorts.
DVT: Know the Signs and You Could Save a Life
I lost a friend several months ago. He died from a pulmonary embolism (PE) secondary to a deep-vein thrombosis (DVT) that originated in his lower leg. Bobby was in his mid-60s, soft-spoken and had a big heart.
Assessing Core Stability and ROM: 5 Basic Checks
One of the first steps in addressing core stability is assessing static posture, ranges of motion, and motion of the pelvic bones, sacrum, femurs, lumbar spine and thoracic spine.
A Letter to the Profession from the New President at AAAOM
Volunteering for a national, nonprofit organization brings with it such highs, lows, and accomplishments, as well as a steep learning curve.
A Simple Protocol for Holiday Stress
It's winter, a time when we should be deep in reflection, eating warming foods and sleeping long hours. Following nature's rhythms, we restore our bodies and minds in preparation for the renewal of spring.
Overuse Injuries in Young Athletes (Pt. 2)
Most overuse injuries are benign, but there are some high-risk injuries that, if unrecognized or inappropriately treated, can result in significant loss in time from the sport or even require leaving the sport.
Can a Multivitamin Reduce Breast Cancer Recurrence?
There is a great deal of controversy regarding the value of multivitamin supplements in cancer prevention. However, with respect to preventing breast cancer recurrence, an important study was published in the Journal of Breast Cancer Research and Treatment in 2011 by Kwan ML, et al.
All Fiber Is Not Created Equal
Sometimes the best place to start is at the end. So, the conclusion of this article is that all fiber is good ... but some fiber is better. Let's break it down. There are two main types of fiber: soluble fiber and insoluble fiber.
6 Steps to Make 2017 Your Best Year Yet
People often ask me what defines success. Success, for me, is simple: doing exactly what you want to do in life. Whether it's the kind of practice you run, your life at home, your hobbies or something else, it's achieving anything you put your mind to.
Southwest Acupuncture College Brings It to Division 1 Athletes
When Michael Phelps' photograph with the distinctive round marks left by cupping went viral, the Division 1 student athletes treated through the Dal Ward Athletic Center at the University of Colorado (CU) could relate.
2016: A Year in the Life of Acupuncture
Happy Holidays, may you, your family and friends have peace, joy and blessings throughout this special time of year. As 2016 comes to a close, we can look back and celebrate the many events and accomplishments for the profession of acupuncture.
Dedicated to Defending Chiropractic
Whether you're a veteran DC or a first-trimester student, the name George McAndrews should be part and parcel of your professional vernacular, as familiar as the word chiropractic.
Little Sticker, Big Impact
It's the end of an election year. Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump were the subject of conversation for everyone, everywhere for the entire 2016 calendar year. I don't think any of us can deny that this election affected us all very deeply on a personal level.
News in Brief
New President / CEO Takes Office at Yo San University. Electroacupuncture for Constipation?
End of an Era Looms at NYCC
New York Chiropractic College recently announced that Dr. Frank Nicchi will retire in August 2017 after 36 years with the college, the past 17 as president.
Chiro School Reunion: Whatever Happened to...?
I opened the door to the closet slowly, carefully, since I knew it contained a large number of precariously stacked file boxes. It also held numerous outdated gizmos with electrical cords of various lengths that could trip or strangle a person.
A First for the Profession: CCE Accredits First Chiropractic Residencies
The Council on Chiropractic Education (CCE) has awarded accreditation to all five chiropractic residency programs currently administered at Veterans Administration facilities, "the first residency programs in the nation ever to be awarded this distinction, a significant advancement in the evolution of chiropractic education," according to a VA press release announcing the milestone.
What We Can Learn From Spine Surgery
Patients with lumbar stenosis presumably present for conservative care to improve their quality of life and avoid surgery. However, providing clear guidance to these patients can be difficult for a number of reasons.
Branding: Set Your Practice Apart
Dr. Brad started his practice seven years ago on a shoestring budget. He created his generic logo in five minutes using a website because he didn't have the time to figure out how to make something special.
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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