resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Give Yourself the Digital Advantage
When you see this article in the print version of this issue and swear you read it already, don't be alarmed: you probably did. That's because by that time, the May issue will have been available online in digital format for three weeks.
An Integrated Approach to Chronic Pain
Findings from a unique Medicaid pilot project in Rhode Island involving high-use Medicaid recipients from two health plans were recently presented to the state's Department of Health, demonstrating stellar outcomes with regard to medication use, ER visits, health care costs and patient satisfaction.
Is It Time to Rethink Mental Illness? (Pt. 1)
Invariably, patients will ask their chiropractor about depression or various mental illnesses. Some practitioners will reflexively offer a cervical adjustment, suggest St. John's wort or contemplate a referral to a specialist.
A Major Role in Back Pain: The Multifidus
Back pain affects roughly 80 percent of the population at one time or another and is one of the leading causes of doctor visits.
Why I Quit Doing House Calls
My father was a chiropractor who did house calls, so when I became a DC, I figured doing house calls was part of the job. My March article recalled my experience as a small boy, accompanying my dad while he went to patients' homes to treat them.
Universal Design: Principles & Practice
In many respects, universal design serves as the core of ergonomics. It's also a good tool to use when designing a return-to-work program for injured and/or ill patients. Let's take a closer look at universal design and why it should matter to you and your patients.
News in Brief
ACA Adopts New Governance Model; ACA 2017 Awards; CCA Helps Calif. DCs "Share the Love"; $1 Million to Help Advance the Profession; D'Youville Raises the Bar on Anatomy Education; ErRatum.
Eczema & Acupuncture: A Sound Solution (Part 1)
Eczema affects approximately 3.5 percent of the global population and is one of the most common skin complaints seen by dermatologists.
Taking the Chiropractic Message to the Press
"There is no better place on earth to have a news event," the National Press Club boasts, and it's easy to understand why: Every year, the 108-year-old Washington, D.C.-based organization hosts countless press conferences on the hottest topics impacting America and often the world.
The Visual Error Scoring System: A Concussion Tool
Postural stability and oculomotor function are the most easily recognized physical indicators of neurologic motor dysfunction associated with concussions.
An Unexpected Diagnosis: The Result of Lacking Communication
A couple years ago I had a case that showed me the importance of open communication between health practitioners. We need to show up with less fear, and let go of our judgments so we can do better for the patient.
Bill With Confidence: Learn What to Collect
Q: I am trying to understand what I may collect from my patient when there is insurance. Do I have to accept the amount allowed by the plan or may I collect up to my billed amount? Please note, I am not a member of any insurance plan.
New Relationships, Old Trauma: AOM & Other Healing Strategies
Being in love is one the most beautiful and enjoyable experiences. Most of us are willing to pay almost any price to have that experience, and still often find it elusive or fleeting. Navigating the ups and downs of loving relationships are often challenging — even for the most psychologically balanced among us.
Creating Good Business Buzz
What do patients really think about working with you? Rarely do you hear the whole truth. Those who improve may be candid in their gratitude.
Women's Hormones: A Western & Eastern Perspective
Sometimes it may seem that you require a degree in medicine to understand hormones and how they function.
Is the New Medicare Reporting Exemption Right for You?
What you've heard is not a rumor – there will be exemptions for providers of Medicare patients, with no penalties assessed for offices that do not do Quality Payment Program (EHR, PQRS, MACRA and MIPS) reporting.
Raditation & Your Smartphone: Is it Worth the Risk?
If radial arteries could talk (and in my experience they can to some extent), they would say, "Step away from the smartphone." At least that is the message I am receiving loud and clear as I feel the pulses of many patients.
Balancing Spring Challenges
As the winter months come to a close and warmer spring weather appears, patients may begin to present with new challenging pattern presentations.
A Daily Strategy for Heavy-Metal Detox
In modern society, we are constantly exposed to heavy metals such as cadmium, lead and mercury. These heavy metals have no essential biochemical roles in our body, and conversely, can cause us a great deal of harm if they build up to toxic levels.
September, 2002, Vol. 02, Issue 09
Life, Stress and Health
By John Upledger, DO, OMM
Stress is a primary contributing factor in a myriad of diseases processes, yet the biggest factor is actually the way in which our bodies deal with stress. Perhaps our high-tech society has evolved more rapidly than our bodies' ability to respond effectively.
Stress responses began to be seriously recognized as causing disease processes during the '40s and '50s.Hans Selye, MD, was the pioneer in this area. He did most of his work at the University of Montreal before dying at age 75 in 1982. Today, through clinical and laboratory work, we have come to know many of the mechanisms by which stress stimulates internal responses that damage organs, tissues, psyches and the like. What's more, the stress itself does not have to be within your conscious awareness.
Let's say you've finally found a job that is perfect in every way except one: the air conditioner in the office makes a strange kind of hum that sets your teeth on edge. You tell yourself you can get used to it. You have a great job and you aren't going to let a silly thing like noise screw it up. So you push the sound into your subliminal perception so you don't consciously hear it anymore.
The problem is, the vibrational frequency that irritates/stimulates something in you can still affect your body. You may be having a great time, but you seem to catch every germ that flies into your space. After a while, your temper becomes more active.
Are all these "colds" making you irritable and cross? Perhaps. But let's look at this from a stress/response point of view. First, the vibrational frequency of the irritating sound you removed from your consciousness is still getting into your body. Why should your body be so sensitive to a given sound frequency that it produces a stress response? For whatever reason, the vibration in question is a stressor to you.
Perhaps certain tissues in your body resonate with this particular vibration. On the other hand, maybe this is the same vibrational frequency that occurred when you were in an operating room getting your tonsils out. The sound came from the hospital air conditioner at the same time you were afraid the anesthesia might kill you. Although you had suppressed the memory of the fear that occurred during your tonsillectomy, it became linked with the vibrational frequency nonconsciously, as did your bodily responses.
And how does your body respond to the fear stressor being initiated now at your new place of employment? By producing adrenalin, which saves your life. Adrenalin diverts blood flow from organs to muscles, because you may need your muscles to survive. It also increases your heart rate and blood pressure, which gives you a greater ability to physically confront danger.
At the same time adrenalin is emitted, your internal alarm system goes on ready alert. The reticular alarm system connects with your adrenal glands and sympathetic nervous system. When the alarm system senses danger, both systems activate to prepare you for a life-saving battle. The sympathetic nervous system is also a division of your autonomic nervous system. It has the ability to shut down internal systems and organs not necessary for "fight or flight," such as your digestive system and related organs: kidneys, bladder, bowel elimination system and immune system.
Consider now that the air conditioner at your new job sets off the internal alarm system that remembers the danger of the operating room and your tonsillectomy. It activates your adrenal glands and sympathetic nervous system so you become uptight and irritable. At the same time, your sympathetic nervous system reduces immune system activity, so you lose some of your ability to resist passing germs.
Dr. Selye also showed that increased adrenalin can cause a weakening of the heart muscle and ulcers in the stomach. The adrenal glands, which enlarge to help keep up with the increased demand, eventually devitalize and lose their ability to produce satisfactory amounts of adrenalin. Once this occurs, your stress response is compromised. You can no longer fight off the effects of stressors, and ultimately collapse into illness.
Many of us think of stressors as things we can see, feel or perceive, but as I've illustrated, your body responds just as significantly to stressors of which you may not be aware. It's also not unusual for our bodies to sound the alarm in preparation for an acute crisis that never comes. Why? Because in our world we are surrounded by chronic stressors. Many have to do with vibrational frequencies: sounds, lights, colors, aromas, magnetic fields, electrical fields, barometric pressure changes and so on. Others include molecules that are toxic or stressful to our biochemistries. They can be in food, drink, the air, our clothing, and any number of other places.
You can turn off or move away from many of these environmental variables. Yet there is another area of stress that is less tangible and somewhat more fun to hypothesize about. These are the stressors that come from consciousness fields and intentions that are either foreign or neutral to us, or perhaps downright unfriendly. We encounter these "energy fields" in our daily lives.
Haven't you found yourself naturally drawn to someone from across the room? Or perhaps you've seen others who repulse you, scare you, or give you a feeling of distrust. Call it intuition, fantasy, imagination, or something else, but more and more proof is coming from the scientific world that energy fields exist both through and around living systems. And evidence mounts that these energy fields have characteristics that correlate to anger, danger, fear, guilt, love, compassion, empathy, and other emotions. It is not a big jump to presume each of us has internal sensors that tell us about the nature of an energy field moving into our own.
What can we do to avoid the destructive effects of stress? First, avoid stressors you can identify. There are also ways to disempower stress factors so your system responds more reasonably and recovers more quickly. I always recommend regular meditation and centering to avoid long-term responses. Exercise is another great way to use up the adrenalin produced and not used when, for instance, a car cuts you off on the interstate. Years ago I put up a punching bag in my basement. Whenever I got home from work, I would go into the basement, beat on the bag and feel better.
I'm sure at the time the bag saved me from an ulcer. These days, I'm convinced the most effective methods of stress-response control fall under the umbrella of CranioSacral Therapy, including Energy Cyst Release, SomatoEmotional Release, and Therapeutic Imagery and Dialogue. CranioSacral Therapy has been shown to reduce sympathetic nervous system activity and irritability, indicating a decrease in adrenalin production. This is the immediate symptomatic effect.
Going a step further, we can release old tissue memories of things that occurred during childhood (or earlier) that continue to cause over-responses. We use Energy Cyst Release to discharge foreign energies that were injected into the body by injuries, infections and emotional crises. These energy cysts, which keep stress-response systems on ready alert, can be released so alarm systems can relax. Using SomatoEmotional Release, we can disempower previous experiences, such as abuse, rape and near-death traumas, so the hyper-responsiveness is calmed down. And using Therapeutic Imagery and Dialogue, we can dialogue with the reticular alarm system and negotiate a reduced level of activity.
Yes, I am biased about the best methods for maintaining an appropriate stress response. I have seen remarkable success using these techniques. It is time we learn to work with stress (and our responses to stress) to avoid disease. This seems a more effective method of enhancing health than the "patch 'em up after the fact" approach that still dominates.
Click here for previous articles by John Upledger, DO, OMM.
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