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The Wonders of Light Therapy: An Interview with Wes Burwell
I first met Wes Burwell in 2011 when he was teaching a class on light. Since then, every time I hear him speak, his understanding of the benefits, function and capacity of light has evolved.
Healing With TCM at San Quentin State Prison
For the prisoners at San Quentin State Prison, life-sentences are the reality of every day life. It is not often that prisoners get the opportunity to use alternative medicine to deal with common ailments they encounter behind bars such as, depression, anxiety and pain.
The Case for Immunization
As long as I have been a chiropractor, I have seen many in this profession oppose vaccinations. Indeed, it has often been taken as a "given" that to be a principled chiropractor requires a curmudgeon's willingness to hold aloft that banner of opposition.
Commingling Money: 12 Questions for the ACA About the CHAMP / NCLAF Merger
The American Chiropractic Association recently announced it was merging the National Chiropractic Legal Action Fund and the Chiropractic Health Advocacy and Mobilization Project into a single entity that will support both legal and legislative actions.
Jingei Diagnosis: An Effective and Powerful Diagnostic
I graduated from the Kotatama Institute under the direction of Drs. Masahilo and Katsuharu Nakazono in 1984. As a student, I was exposed to the practice of most of the various theories and modalites of Oriental Medicine.
A Commonly Missed Spinal Fixation: The Upper Lumbar Spine (Part 2)
As mentioned in part 1, using a flexion-distraction table is a great way to unlock this particular fixation. You have found the stuck segment. You have determined whether it is unilateral, midline or bilateral.
Dr. George Goodman and His Legacy to Logan University
Those who knew him called him a revered leader, a visionary and one of chiropractic's biggest advocates. George A. Goodman, DC, Logan University's sixth and longest-serving president, passed away on Sept. 9. He was 70 years old.
The Heart Protector
On the physical level, the Pericardium is a double-layered sac of fibrous tissue that envelops the Heart. The space between the layers is filled with serous fluid that protects the Heart from external shock or trauma and lubricates to allow for normal Heart movement.
Pulse Diagnosis: What We Know
I am still finding pearls of wisdom from the books and papers that I inherited from my pulse diagnosis mentor Jim Ramholz.
Correcting Pelvic Rotation Around the Long Axis: Adjustment Protocol
The pelvis can be considered a ring that can misalign on the sacrum rotating around the long axis. The following is a description of an adjustment that helps to correct sacroiliac rotation around the long axis.
Simple Ways To Find True Happiness
Patients in our clinics are always seeking happiness. As their health advocate, we need to ensure we inform them that in order to find happiness, they have to make sure to identify what makes them happy in the first place.
Managing Today's Fertility Patient
I recently received an email from one of my fertility patients: "Got my lab results back. FSH is 11, AMH is 0.7. My doctor said these numbers aren't good. I guess I'm infertile. Just as a thought. Just set up an appointment to speak with an adoption agency."
CMT & Stroke Risk: Myth vs. Fact
By now, most of you have probably heard that the American Heart Association recently published a statement regarding the association between cervical dissection (CD) and cervical manipulative therapy (CMT).
The Tao of Gender
If you think gender is as simple as having a new client check off the "male" or "female" box on your intake form, we hope this article will expand your understanding and thus the reach of your health care.
Uncle Sam Needs You (Part 2)
Where chiropractic care has been used in the military health services, it has been deemed very successful.
Communication 101: Please Explain Yourself!
Twice this past week, I overheard conversations about chiropractic. As you can imagine, it is a topic my ears naturally pick up. In both cases, a patient was talking to a friend about their experience with a chiropractor.
Lime Jello on Morphine
Taste is in the eyes... actually the mouth... of the beholder. My food preferences have changed, lightening from the food of my youth. My parents loved heavy eastern European cuisine and I loved it as a child. Now I enjoy leaner, healthier whole foods.
To The Finish Line With the Help of TCM
When acupuncturist Eddy De Smedt pursued a career in Traditional Chinese Medicine, he knew he wanted to make a difference.
Essential Orthopedic Testing: Tests That Involve Standing on One Leg
Since these tests have a common mechanism of performance (standing on one leg), there are differential diagnostic concerns during testing. The tests cannot be completely isolated from each other for performance.
Sports Science: What's in That Drink?
Athletes frequently ask me what the best liquid is to drink during exercise – water or a sports drink? Water provides the necessary hydration, but unfortunately, it lacks the key nutrients to aid in performance and recovery.
AOMA Strengthens Leadership Team
AOMA Graduate School of Integrative Medicine, a leading college of acupuncture & herbal medicine, announced the appointment of Donna LaPoint Hurta, MBA as the new VP of Finance & Operations this Fall.
Managing Patient Expectations About Acupuncture
Last year, I attended the Pacific Symposium in San Diego for the first time in six or seven years. It was the 25th anniversary of this event, and on one evening there was a panel discussion with the title; "What is Qi?."
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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