resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine
My Masters thesis was titled, "The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine," which highlighted several reasons why it is hard for these two worlds to mix.
5 Tips for Using Pinterest to Market Your Practice
Pinterest is a very popular, but often under-utilized, social media platform where people can bookmark, or "pin," fun and interesting things from all across the internet.
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 1
This article was written in response to the unheeded acceptance of marijuana as a harmless substance that potentially does good when used for the medical relief of pain.
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.
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.)
Animal Acupuncture: A Case Study in the Treatment of Traumatic Injury in the Equine
The rise of animal acupuncture in the U.S. began in the early 1970's as a result of the work by members of the National Acupuncture Association in Westwood, Calif.
The Acupuncturist's Problem
I want share with you some observations and insights into what seems to be the most common problem my colleagues in the acupuncture profession struggles with. If you also struggle with this problem, I hope you get a valuable "aha" moment from reading this.
How Much Do You Know About the Benefits of Birds Nest?
Edible bird's nest is the nest made by the Swiftlet bird of Southeast Asia that is usually prepared as a soup and prized in Chinese culture as a healthful delicacy.
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.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
The Tide is Rising in the Acupuncture Profession
Former President Ronald Regan said, "When the tide rises all boats float." The tide is rising for the acupuncture profession. Many forces outside the profession are helping the tides to rise.
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.
Medicine is Clumsy, Don't You Be
All medical systems have clumsiness in them. If the technique isn't, the practitioner is. Everyone in every form of medicine is striving to improve. That is why we call it practice.
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.
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.
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.
PCOM Granted Regional Accreditation
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (PCOM) recently announce it has received regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). This achievement reflects five years of hard work on the part of faculty, staff, and students.
Integrating Art with Clinical Practice for Patients with PTSD: The Artemis Project
Are you restricted by those one-on-one clinic dynamics? Why not join colleagues and clients in experimental group settings? Three of us volunteered to do just that in Austin on behalf of women veteranss from all branches of the service.
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.
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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