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God and the Chiropractor
My wife went to church last Wednesday night and brought home a CD of the pastor's message. As she handed it to me, she said, "You should listen to this; you'll like it." Our family regularly goes to church and our faith plays a major role in our lives.
What Do You Know About Physician Compare?
Physician Compare is a website that allows consumers to search for and obtain information about physicians and other health care professionals who provide Medicare services.
An Excerpt from TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics
This excerpt is reprinted with permission from Jamie Wu. TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics was released in 2014 by People's Medical Publishing House.
The Dietary Supplement Research Dilemma
I do not care what the truth is, one way or another; I just want to know it. And when it comes to dietary supplements, the truth can be hard to find for a number of reasons.
Synergy Doesn't Happen in Silos: Acupuncture in Hospitals and Other Healthcare Settings
As acupuncture and traditional East Asian medicine continue to intersect and integrate with biomedical approaches, the conversation about integration expands and becomes richer.
The Way We Are Designed: A Conversation with Gil Hedley, PhD
I was first introduced to the work of Gil Hedley by Tom DiFerdinando. He gifted me Gil's DVD series.
Older Patients, Stroke Risk and Manipulation
The first population-based study in the United States to evaluate stroke risk following spinal manipulation – and the first involving older adults – suggests that "[c]hiropractic cervical spine manipulation is unlikely to cause stroke in patients aged 66 to 99 years with neck pain.
Viewpoints: Massage Reduces Nonspecific Shoulder Pain, Improves Function
While seemingly universal, pain and stiffness in the shoulders can be a significant cause of disability. Often a pain that does not go away on its own, shoulder complaints tend to linger, sometimes for 12 months or longer.
Will You Be an Amplifer or a Mute?
These times are changing, and changing quickly. There have been many challenges to this profession throughout the past few years. The challenge is to talk, then talk and talk some more about this medicine.
TCM Congress in Rothenburg is Largest in Western World
In the medieval town of Rothenburg, deep set within the Bavarian countryside in Southern Germany, the TCM Kongress Rothenburg each year draws around 1.200 participants from more than 40 different countries to attend the biggest TCM conference in the Western world.
A Well-Kept Secret: 5 Element Acupuncture, Part II
Supervising acupuncture interns at a TCM college, it has always struck me how funny it is to hear the clinic manager tell the patients that the Five Element clinic specializes in treating emotions, as if patients with physical pain have no emotions!
How We Can Help the Injured Brain
The majority of patients with mild traumatic brain injuries recover within seven to 10 days. If concussion signs and symptoms continue beyond seven days, the diagnosis changes from acute concussion to post-concussion syndrome.
Striking a Blow to the Medical Monopoly
The U.S. Supreme Court has issued a landmark ruling in North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners v Federal Trade Commission.
The Need for a New Medical Model: A Challenge for Biopsychosocial and Ecopsychologica Medicine
Chinese medicine speaks of alignment between humans, heaven and earth. It is a complex view with a focus upon relationship. These are comprehensive ideas with no specific terms in contemporary medical practice.
Keep Seniors Safe: Age-Proofing the Home
I want to give Dr. Claudia Anrig kudos for her Dec. 1, 2014 column, which highlighted safety issues youngsters might encounter in the home.
Pain Is Only a Piece of the Puzzle
More often than not, when a patient presents to the office, it is for a pain complaint: headache, neck pain, low back pain, sciatica, carpal tunnel, etc.
There Really is No Room for Sexism
Recently, Matteo* (a transgender male) approached me during a break in an advanced shiatsu class in Berlin where he was one of two men in a group of 20 women. "Pamela. Don't forget to remind the translator to include male endings."
Converting More Patients to Your Practice
In 2013 and 2014, the theme was "the money is in the list." This meant that if you had a big email list, you were really making some "cha-ching." Unfortunately, having thousands of emails doesn't equate to thousands of dollars in profit.
Treating Beyond Pain
More often than not, when a patient presents to the office, it is for a pain complaint. Headache, neck pain, low back pain, sciatica, carpal tunnel... The pain is often the focus of the patient's mindset, and they don't often have any thought of what comes after the pain.
Treating GERD and Incontinence: Focus on Trigger Points
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is defined as the regurgitation of stomach acid in the esophagus. Previously, it was thought that GERD was caused by a hiatal hernia, but recent trials suggest the cause is an inability of the hiatal sphincter to contract normally.
Managing Tibialis Posterior Tendon Injuries
The tibialis posterior is the deepest, strongest and most central muscle of the leg, with fibers originating from the tibia, fibula and interosseous membrane.
Recreational Cannabis Use and TCM
Many people are drawn to cannabis for its effects physically, mentally and emotionally. Medically, cannabis has some legitimate uses, however the scope of this article is limited to the recreational use of cannabis.
News in Brief
ACA Exec. Vice President Out, Acting EVP In; F4CP Executive Director Retires; New ED Named.
Joint Supplements for Athletes (Part 2)
A fairly recent discovery in nutrition supplemental medicine has proven to be a breakthrough in maintaining athletic joint health. Research suggests a combination of undenatured type-II collagen and tetrahydro-iso-alpha acids helps revitalize joint function and performance in athletes.
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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