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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 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.
Detoxification for Athletes: The Key to Winning Performance
One of the most dangerous culprits that affects an athlete's ability to perform at an optimum level also happens to be one of the most elusive.
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.
Building the DC-MD Bridge
From MDs practicing integrative holistic medicine to the family internist, many DCs are enjoying unprecedented attention from their allopathic colleagues.
Take Care of Your Skin: Tips to Pass on to Your Patients
Many of our patients are not aware that the largest organ in the human body is actually the skin. Accounting for 16 percent of total body weight and covering up to 22 square feet of surface area, the skin is more than just a "covering," as originally thought.
Your Patients' Best Health Resource
There is nothing as powerful as information. The right information has won wars, saved lives and changed hearts; lack of information has led to hesitation, poor decisions and unintended consequences.
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.
Ringing in a Fiscal New Year With a Recommitment to Cost-Effectiveness
Back when the Foundation for Chiropractic Education and Research was in its heyday, I used to send out New Year's greetings and virtual noisemakers to some close friends on July 1 – the beginning of our new fiscal year – wishing for prosperity in the year ahead.
News in Brief
Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber (a medical doctor, no less) proclaimed October 2014 "Oregon Chiropractic Health and Wellness Month" in an official proclamation signed Aug. 25, 2014.
Don't Forget About the Performers
Donald Petersen Jr.'s recent article, "Your Chance to Go Back to High School" [May 1, 2014 DC], focused on the injuries incurred by high-school athletes and the subsequent opportunities for the chiropractic profession.
The Life & Legacy of James Sigafoose, DC (1933-2014)
Surrounded by his family and closest friends, Dr. James M. Sigafoose passed away quietly on Thursday, July 3, 2014. With his wife of 60 years, Patsy, along with his children, Tina, Daun, Kieth, Selina and Carey – all chiropractors – at his side.
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.
How to Find Your Ideal Patient – and Help Your Ideal Patient Find You
Just imagine: You're at the front desk looking at the scheduler and a smile creeps across your face. Row after row, name after name, hour after hour; you're blessed with an entire day of ideal patients. Every day should be like this, you whisper. Exactly!
Watch Out for Red Herrings
In clinical practice, when one condition mimics another, it makes it difficult to obtain an accurate and timely diagnosis.
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.
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.
When Big Pharma Meets Chinese Medicine
Earlier this year, Bayer made a media splash with their decision to buy the Dihon Pharmaceutical Group Co., a Chinese TCM manufacturer.
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!
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?
Decompression-Traction: A Core Treatment Method in Chiropractic's Future
We're all competing for new patients. We're competing for new patients with physical therapists, massage therapists, medical specialists and hospital fitness centers. We're even competing with side-effect-ridden medications that quit working every four hours.
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.
March, 2002, Vol. 02, Issue 03
The Expanding Role of Cerebrospinal Fluid in Health and Disease
By John Upledger, DO, OMM
In 1971, I first witnessed the rhythmical activity of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) as its hydraulic forces affected the patch of dura mater I was watching. At the time, I had no inkling of the incredible journey that was in store for me.
That small section of dura mater was only about 1-1/2 inches long and 2 inches wide.We had exposed it to remove a dime-sized calcium plaque from the outer surface of the dura. The operative site was the posterior aspect of the mid-cervical region of the patient.
My assignment was to hold the dura very still with a pair of forceps while the neurosurgeon delicately removed the calcium plaque without incising the dural membrane. In spite of my efforts, the exposed dural membrane repeatedly protruded and receded at about 10 cycles per minute.
That particular rhythm was a surprise to everyone in the operating room. It didn't synchronize with the anesthetist's breathing apparatus or the cardiac monitor. The only thing I could think of that could create this force was the pumping of CSF inside the dura mater.
The subject of CSF was quite contentious at the time. When I was in osteopathic college in the early '60s, CSF was considered mainly a shock absorber for the brain during swift starting and stopping movements. There was also some debate about whether CSF was a transport system delivering nutrients and removing waste, but no one was certain. Some cranial osteopaths even made vague references to CSF following nerve fibers to every cell of the body to deliver "mystical" energy.
Despite all these theories, scientific knowledge at that time stated firmly that CSF did not penetrate the brain's surface or leave the compartment formed by the dura mater. The fluid did appear to follow nerve roots peripherally from the brain and spinal cord, but only as far as the dura mater provided a sheath for the roots. This, it was thought, was to bathe the nerve roots and the surface of the brain.
Controversy even existed over whether the fluid in the subdural space should be considered CSF. There was evidence to support the concept that the arachnoid membrane was impermeable to CSF and, therefore, the fluid outside the arachnoid membrane, but inside the dura mater was not CSF, even though they were biochemically identical. This, of course, raised yet another question: Should a fluid be named by its biochemical characteristics, or by the compartment in which it resides?
It was against this backdrop that I observed the pumping activity of CSF in 1971. And it was in this environment that I went on to develop CranioSacral Therapy.
My initial focus with CranioSacral Therapy was to mobilize the meningeal membranes that related to the entire central nervous system and the proximal aspects of its major nerve roots. I used the bones that attach to these membranes, either directly or indirectly, to manipulate the meningeal membranes and release any mobility restrictions.
I found CranioSacral Therapy also released restrictions in membrane mobility and in the sutures between bones of the skull vault by effectively using the hydraulic forces provided by the pumping of CSF. The therapist simply drew those forces into restricted areas by gently inhibiting the areas of maximum (compensatory) compliance to the rhythmical rises of hydraulic forces. By continuing this gentle manual pressure, the fluctuating hydraulic forces helped release those restrictions naturally.
My colleagues and I were fascinated by the wide variety of patient improvements we witnessed using these new techniques and theories. Most positive responses came in cases of pain that were attributable to meningeal restrictions, in cases of painful sutural restrictions, and with learning disabilities that could be related to specific dysfunctions in this craniosacral system.
Yet what was truly difficult to explain were the positive results seen with diseases like Parkinson's, multiple sclerosis, chronic fatigue syndrome, and acute and chronic infections, including resistant staphylococcus and cytomegalovirus.
Indeed, there were many positive results from CranioSacral Therapy in areas that seemed untouchable based on concepts held about CSF at that time. Even now, as scientific research continues to uncover the secrets of CSF, we see more and more how CranioSacral Therapy helps in so many surprising ways.
Several research projects over the past few years have demonstrated that, contrary to previously held ideas, CSF is the interstitial fluid of the brain and spinal cord. That means it permeates the spaces between all the nervous and glial cells of the brain and spinal cord. In this way it carries nutrients; removes metabolic byproducts, waste and toxic molecules; strongly influences pH (acidity); and is now thought to influence the electromagnetic environment of the neurons and other cells of the central nervous system. (Author's note: For a complete overview of these research projects, see Science News, January 1999.]
In The New York Academy of Science Annals, Volume 854, an article entitled "Towards the Prolongation of a Healthy Life Span" reported that CSF contains low-molecular-weight chelating agents that remove metal atoms from the interstitial spaces of the brain and spinal cord, and from the neuronal and glial cell membranes. According to the article, CSF also protects against oxidation and toxic accumulations of nonmetallic toxins.
This is especially enlightening in cases of recent studies that have shown both Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases may be induced by toxic build-ups of heavy metals - within the basal ganglia in the case of Parkinson's, and in the cortical and subcortical regions in the case of Alzheimer's disease. Enhancing CSF circulation may well help prevent these two diseases, along with many other types of senility and deterioration problems.
In my own clinical practice, I've been able to break fevers, alleviate chronic viral infections, prevent flu... the list goes on and on. All these results suggest an enhancement of immune function, which is exactly what I believe CranioSacral Therapy does. It moves CSF and every other body fluid, especially the interstitial fluids. By whatever name, the fluids between cells must move in order to deliver molecules that not only nurture cells but also transport messages and patrol for antigens - all vital to strong immune function.
Physicians at Stanford University have also discovered that the exchange of CSF slows with age. While there is a complete turnover of CSF about four or five times a day in healthy middle-aged people, in the elderly that rate may be cut in half. In fact, the Stanford folks became so convinced that CSF turnover is important that they've placed shunts in a sample of nine patients with reduced turnover. They want to see whether the drainage of stagnant CSF enhances production and reduces certain substances in the CSF - and hence the central nervous system - that are believed to contribute to brain deterioration and Alzheimer's disease.
I firmly believe CranioSacral Therapy can help maintain or regain the normal daily turnover of fluids, with all of its attendant health benefits.
Click here for previous articles by John Upledger, DO, OMM.
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