resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Reflections: The Art of Teaching Asian Medicine
Over the past three decades, my global workshops have been translated into German, Swiss German, French, Romansch, Spanish, Lithuanian and Xhosa. Time to offer you new teachers a few tips!
We Get Letters & E-Mail
We Have Come a Long Way – But There's a Long Way to Go; Grounded and Connected.
Leg Length and Pelvic Fixations
A common component of low back pain is sacroiliac joint dysfunction. Signs of SIJ dysfunction can include fixation with reduced range of motion, and localized pain or joint laxity and inflammation.
What's Triggering That Point?
An orthopedic friend recently saw a patient of mine. He felt an injection of a trigger point (TP) at the upper trapezius and surrounding areas was necessary, since that was the patient's area of chief complaint and there was a tender, radiating nodule.
It's Time to Create a Strong Acupuncture Footprint
Footprints in the sand. Footprints in the snow. Where do these footprints go? Some are big, some are small, but footprints are made by all.
Old TCM Sayings: Treat the Front to Treat the Back
Chinese medicine college was, and always will be, a memorable time. It was a time of massive personal and professional growth.
Are You Really a Healthy Eater?
I always giggle a little bit (to myself) when someone comes into my office and informs me that they are a healthy eater. What exactly does that mean? Does that mean they eat sugar in moderation? And what's that, exactly?
The Easy Way to Learn How to Document ICD-10
The 2015 Work Plan for the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) includes a focus on chiropractic services. This means chiropractors can expect to see more audits and reviews in the coming year because private payers pay attention to the OIG's focus as well.
Case Histories from Bali: Treating Balinese Chidren with TCB and Shonishin
When I moved to the island of Bali in 2005, I offered my services in Bumi Sehat, which means Healthy Mother Earth, a free birthing center for poor and disadvantaged local women located in Ubud.
The Conscious Evolution of Healing, Part 2
The idea of transmission is very important in the Chinese medical classics. According to author Claude Larre, the ancient Chinese were highly interested in the connection between things. Nothing was looked at as an isolated entity.
The Top Seven Website Mistakes Clinics Make
The majority of acupuncture clinics finally have a website for their business. Having a website is crucial for being found online through Google, Facebook and review sites like Yelp.
Acupuncture and Homeopathy: Bioenergetic Brothers
Acupuncture and homeopathy share an important healing principle: bioenergetics. "Bio" means "life," so bioenergetics is literally "life energy."
Adjusting the Occiput on the Atlas
You may never see a particular set of patients in your office – the ones who are either afraid of neck adjustments or have had a bad experience. A vast majority of those who had a bad experience did not have a life-threatening vascular event.
Put the Social Back Into Social Media
Social media is more than a passing fad, it is definitely here to stay. Social media apps and channels of distribution may evolve, but the concept of social media is now big business and a part of all our lives.
Neuroscience: Where Western Medicine and Chinese Medicine Can Come Together
The recent advances in neuroscience are truly incredible. With this expansion of scientific knowledge, I would like to see even more research into the neuroscientific basic of acupuncture and Chinese Medicine.
Joint Supplements for Athletes (Part 1)
Maintaining joint health should be a daily focus for athletes. Joint health is a complex issue for everyone, but for athletes it poses a greater concern.
Finding Balance in the Clinic
This past December, I celebrated 11 years in practice. I seriously don't know where the time went. I feel beyond blessed and grateful to be practicing our profound and beautiful medicine and to be helping guide my patients restore a state of optimal health.
Online Efforts That Convert Traffic Into Patients
Most chiropractors are using "dinner with the doc," "refer a friend," customer appreciation days, grand openings, health fairs, chamber of commerce meetings, and other networking events to get new patients.
A New Era of Injury Awareness Means a New Focus on Prevention
Despite a dramatic Super Bowl last month, the National Football League has taken quite a few hits lately concerning player injuries, particularly concussions.
It might have been a miserable start to the day in the heart of downtown San Diego. A heavy rain had soaked the large homeless population congregating near the intersection of Third Avenue and Ash Street as they waited for a free breakfast to be served at the First Lutheran Church on the corner.
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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