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Leg-Length Inequality and Pelvic Fixation: A New Approach to the Negative Derifield (Part 2)
As we noted in our previous article, with a positive Derifield (+D), the doctor observes the reactive (shorter) leg in the prone position that becomes longer or "crosses over" in the flexed position.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
Reducing the Autogenic Inhibition Reflex: Making Weak Muscles Strong
The autogenic inhibition (AI) reflex is a sudden relaxation of a muscle in response to excess tension.
A Poor Choice for Pain Relief
Acetaminophen is the most popular pain reliever in the U.S., accounting for an estimated 27 billion annual doses as of 2009. With 100,000-plus hospital visits a year by users, it's also the most likely to be taken inappropriately.
We Get Letters & Email
A House Divided? (May 1 issue) provoked significant response from readers. Here are several of the surprisingly similar comments we received.
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.
ACA or ICA: Which Best Represents You?
Last June, I was honored to represent Texas ICA members as their representative assemblyman at the ICA Annual Meeting in Kansas City.
Professional Credentialing and Board Certification: An Ethical Faux Pas
Because of the Affordable Care Act, health care systems are coordinating care through accountable care organizations (ACOs) in order to reduce the cost of care and improve quality of care.
Our Biggest Challenges to Compete in Wellness Care
In the first article in this four-article series [May 1 DC], I made the case that chiropractors should either embrace offering lifestyle wellness in their practices or face the possibility of losing their place in the wellness care marketplace.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Green Tea Improves Cognitive Function in Elderly Subjects
Publishing their results in the journal Nutrients in May 2014, researchers showed that drinking the equivalent of 2-4 cups of brewed green tea (or bottled tea) daily improved cognitive function or reduced the progression of cognitive dysfunction in elderly subjects.
Giving Vets the Care They Deserve
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers the largest integrated health care system in the United States.
Spieth Thanks His Chiropractor After Historic Masters Win
Jordan Spieth didn't just capture the hearts of golf enthusiasts worldwide with his record-setting, wire-to-wire victory at the 79th Masters Tournament.
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.
First Do No Harm?
There's no questioning the frightening nature of breast cancer, which strikes one in eight women in the U.S. – eclipsed only by skin cancer in terms of prevalence.
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.
Rethinking Musculoskeletal Pain – A Public Health Perspective
The American Public Health Association (APHA) is the world's oldest and largest association of its kind, founded more than 140 years ago and boasting over 25,000 members.
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.
June, 2002, Vol. 02, Issue 06
Mighty Joe Defies the Odds
By John Upledger, DO, OMM
By most doctor's accounts, Joseph Polk shouldn't be here. He was born on October 15, 1998 with arthrogryposis, an extreme case of congenital joint contractures. His condition had been diagnosed through a level-two ultrasound while he was still in the womb.
"Doctors first told me he had trisomy 18," said Joe's mother, Mary Polk, a long-time critical care nurse and lactation consultant.Trisomy 18 indicates the presence of an extra chromosome, which creates a condition normally incompatible with life.
Doctors advised Mary and her husband Wally to immediately terminate the pregnancy. They decided to fall back on their faith, a choice they believed had served them well in the prior births of four healthy children. Mary simply refused further prenatal testing.
It turned out the doctors were wrong about much of Joe's diagnosis. This was just the first of many ways they would underestimate the spirited little boy who became known as Mighty Joe.
As expected, Joe was born with severely contracted, hardened limbs. "He looked like a pretzel," Mary said. "His arms were straight and hard. His elbows weren't discernible. His wrists were bent in full flexion and his fingers were completely crippled. On top of that, his feet were flipped up."
Fortunately, Joe didn't have the trisomy 18 doctors had diagnosed, and his other vital signs were all healthy. He cried heartily, sucked strongly and scored high on both Apgar tests. Yet all those positive signs barely softened the blow of the overwhelming obstacles now facing Joe and his family.
"Right away doctors told me his arms were paralyzed and he'd need at least seven surgeries," Mary said. "They even suggested a drastic move that would fix one arm in a state of flexion so he could feed himself. Then they wanted to permanently place his other arm down to accommodate his toiletry."
Two leading Chicago specialists confirmed this course of treatment, agreeing it would leave Joe severely handicapped. While both parents agreed to foot surgery for Joe to avoid long-term use of leg braces, they were reluctant to take such radical steps with his arms and hands. That's when Mary got the idea to pursue another form of therapy she had heard about.
"I had taken a board-certified lactation course before Joe was born," Mary said. "The instructor mentioned something called CranioSacral Therapy for suck disorders. I had no idea if it would help in Joe's case, but I read up on it and thought it couldn't hurt." So when Joe was five months old, Mary took him to a CranioSacral therapist in their Wisconsin hometown. "After the first session, he started moving his fingers and his arm muscles softened a bit," Mary said.
Encouraged, she then brought Joe to see me when I was in their area teaching a symposium. After examining Joe, I told Mary that I felt he would regain full use of his arms and hands. How did Joe's surgeon react to the news? "He just laughed," Mary said.
Refusing to be discouraged, Mary brought Joe to The Upledger Institute's HealthPlex Clinical Services in South Florida. He received three days of concentrated CranioSacral Therapy from staff clinicians Roy Desjarlais, LMT, CST-D, and Rebecca Hunt, OTR.
"We did a lot of dural tube mobilization to free up the spinal cord segmentally as well as globally," Roy said of his sessions with Mighty Joe. "His nerve roots were then able to relax and work more efficiently, which in turn facilitated releases in the contractures in his hips and elbows.
"We also balanced his reticular alarm and autonomic nervous systems to help free up the cranial membranes. And there were significant sessions releasing the maxilla and vomer that helped with Joe's cranial base, brain stem, and again, his alarm system. Of course, all the work helped facilitate fluid exchange between Joe's central nervous system and the rest of his body, which did a great deal to increase body efficiency overall."
"The change was dramatic," Mary said. "Joe's whole body posture and physical appearance changed. His face filled out. He started obtaining more range of motion in his wrist joints and elbows, and he was moving all his fingers." Back home a week later Joe began bringing his arms and hands to his face to play peekaboo, and he was finally using a sippy cup on his own. "Our whole family celebrated," Mary said.
Since his first visit, Joe has been to UI HealthPlex once again, and has seen Wisconsin therapists Dodie Corcoran, CMT, and Molly Oakford, PT, for ongoing CST. Mary she said Joe can now feed himself, color with crayons and cut with scissors -- and the doctors no longer suggest surgery.
Indeed, Joe has already gone far beyond what anyone had predicted. "He's an incredible little child," Mary said. "He's very intelligent with an extensive vocabulary. He's also loving and kind and very, very sensitive. He's just a wonderful person."
Mighty Joe's biggest strength may well be his will to fight. "Despite all the odds, he's pulled through," Mary said. And what lesson has she taken from all this? "No matter what body or mind we are given," she said, "the soul is precious and vital. You can't devalue that perfectness in any person, in any living being. That's what I've learned that's profound."
Click here for previous articles by John Upledger, DO, OMM.
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