resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
News in Brief
ACA Exec. Vice President Out, Acting EVP In; F4CP Executive Director Retires; New ED Named.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
December, 2002, Vol. 02, Issue 12
Living in the Laboratory
By John Upledger, DO, OMM
One day in September 1998, I went to the dentist to have a cavity in a lower molar filled. I had a slate of patients that afternoon, so my dentist suggested I go without anesthetic.It took one shot of air into the cavity to convince me I was not of the ilk to have a non-anesthetized filling. That single squirt of air put me into orbit.
Consider that the right lower molar is innervated by the right mandibular nerve, which feeds into the trigeminal ganglion. This ganglion receives input from the other two branches of the trigeminal nerve: the maxillary and ophthalmic nerves. That shot of air sent a shock into my trigeminal ganglion, which then went straight into the trigeminal nuclei. These nuclei, which are bilateral, extend from the upper pons down through the medulla and into the upper spinal cord.
It just so happens that the trigeminal system has the most plentiful connections to the reticular alarm system of any of the 12 cranial nerve systems. My connections were obviously effective. I found myself in a ready-alert condition that wouldn't quit. I even tried to talk to my reticular alarm system to soothe it, but the relief was only temporary. Then I tried visualizing a gauge from 1 to 100, with the needle pointing at the number representing my level of alertness. My needle was at about 90, nearly to the max. With a lot of hard visualization I was able to get it down to about 30, but every time I got tight again the needle would shoot up to 90.
This went on until the dentist was able to see me again the next week. It was after hours, so he was slightly rushed. As he froze my jaw, he explained that he was doing a mandibular nerve block instead of the usual "infiltration," since it worked faster. Of course, my mouth was full of instruments, so I couldn't object.
As he injected the lidocaine near the medial aspect of my right mandibular ramus, I felt excruciating pain. It felt like he was sprinkling hot embers on my chin from the lip to under the mandible, and from the mandibular notch forward to the vertical midline of my chin. What went on for minutes felt like hours. My rational mind knew instantly that his needle point had pierced my mandibular nerve. In my mind's eye, I could see the two or three cc's of lidocaine fluid separating my nerve bundles and tearing apart the integrity of the supporting structures formed by the glial cells, as the hydraulic forces of the fluid wreaked havoc on my mandibular nerve. I could feel my trigeminal ganglion quivering with anxiety as it sent a continuous SOS message to my reticular alarm system.
At this point, I had to control an urge to run or attack my attacker. Instead I sat quietly, mouth wide open, with all the suction pumps and drills making their noises. I'm sure he did a nice technical job, but by the time he was finished nearly an hour later, I was on full alert.
That evening, the right side of my mouth stayed numb and lacked motor control for about five hours. Then, at about 3:00 a.m. I awoke with an extremely sore throat. It was on the right side, extending through all the hyoid-related tissues down to my right clavicle. The sore throat evolved into a cough which stayed in the throat, above the clavicle. By the next day, the pain was complemented by neck stiffness and right-sided temporal head pain, which involved the right occipitomastoid and the right temporoparietal sutures.
To make a long story short, I was a mess. Unfortunately, I had to fly to Detroit to do a three-hour CranioSacral Therapy presentation the next day. I did fine, but had to work harder to concentrate, and my throat, neck and head still hurt quite a bit. I flew home totally exhausted, which is unusual for me. Instead of recovering, I was deteriorating.
Over the next few weeks, I received sessions in a variety of modalities - CranioSacral Therapy, energy cyst release, SomatoEmotional Release, myofascial release, chiropractic -and started to feel some relief. Then came Sunday, September 27, 1998. My whole world opened up when the root causes of my troubles presented themselves. At this point, my wife Lisa was getting a bit concerned about me. I had never been so exhausted and miserable for such a prolonged period of time - three weeks. I called the dentist's office to find out exactly what he used to inject my mandibular nerve. It was lidocaine with epinephrine.
First synthesized in 1937, lidocaine is a stable local anesthetic, also used intravenously to treat cardiac arrhythmias, especially during catastrophic events such as myocardial infarctions. As an anesthetic, it prevents the generation and conduction of the nerve impulse. The main site of action is in the nerve cell membrane. Supposedly, there is little or no residual effect upon the neuron when lidocaine is used in the small doses required to interrupt impulse generation and conduction. Conventional thought is that when the gross effect wears off and sensation returns, the drug is gone. However, in our Upledger Institute workshop "The Brain Speaks," we have gotten the distinct impression that local anesthetics are stored for long periods of time between the lipid layers of the neuronal membranes. This, in turn, has a long-term effect on the neurons in question: it produces post-anesthesia hyperexcitability.
If you think about your teeth - their crowns, root canals, fillings and things that just don't feel right, or remain hypersensitive to heat, cold, sugar, what have you - it could be that the innervation to these teeth has remained hyperexcitable because of residual effects of the local anesthetics in the neuronal membranes.
Now, let's consider the epinephrine. A synthetic version of a natural hormone that comes largely from the adrenal gland, it's used with local anesthetics because one of its effects is to constrict the blood vessels with which it comes in contact. This keeps the local anesthetic from being too rapidly cleared from the site of injection. The result is a prolonged anesthetic effect. Functionally, epinephrine is adrenalin. Whatever the name, it has a powerful effect upon the sympathetic nervous system. It raises heart rate, increases blood pressure, inhibits visceral activity, and generally increases the alertness of the reticular alarm system. But my reticular alarm system was already riding high. It did not need an epinephrine boost.
Now, back to that Sunday in 1998, when my concerned wife treated me with CranioSacral Therapy. She began by "arcing" from my feet, then coming up to my mandible just to the right of the midline. As she placed her hand there, I began to experience the same strong taste I had in my mouth when the dentist injected me with lidocaine and epinephrine. The taste remained for most of the session. Soon Lisa was releasing a tremendous "energy cyst" from my anterior mandibular region just to the right of the midline, and from the ramus of the mandible on that side. I felt the effects of her work in my right ear, all of my lower teeth on the right side to the anterior midline, some of my upper teeth on the right side, into my head and neck, down into the hyoid and into the right clavicle and shoulder. The related muscles were all very much involved.
The overwhelming sensation was deep ache and pain in all these structures and tissues. In my imagery, the right mandibular nerve had been damaged by the injection. It was also clear that Lisa was removing energy and subatomic particles that were residual within the nerve. As I visualized this energy ,I saw electrons derived from the nerve injection material that had spread throughout the course of the mandibular nerve into the trigeminal ganglion. The ganglion was trying to contain these toxic energies and electrons, but wasn't completely successful. Some of these energies and electrons had spilled into the maxillary and ophthalmic nerves, as well as into the spinal cord, thus creating effects in the neck and throat.
Much of the cranial dysfunction was the result of the toxic effects upon the meninges, especially by challenging the magnetic crystals located in the dura and the pia mater. It has been shown that there are 100 million single-domain magnetite crystals in a single gram of both dura and pia mater membranes, and five million per gram of brain tissue. I'm sure errant energies and electrons or other subatomic particles could easily stress these systems and result in pain and dysfunction.
After Lisa cleared most of this toxic residue, I experienced remarkable relief. I thought we were finished. No sooner did I get that thought than a crown on the 2nd molar on the lower right side began to hurt again. This crown had been less than comfortable for the decade I'd had it. It had felt hypersensitive and somewhat out of place. Lo and behold, the same thing happened. In my imagery, residue of the local anesthetics began to clear and more energy cysts released. As this occurred my crown began to feel more comfortable in my mouth.
That's when I started feeling much less tired, more comfortable, and less wired. Certainly there was a more to go, but by that time I was well on the road to recovery.
So, what's the moral to this story? There is perhaps no better way to learn than by living in your own laboratory.
Click here for previous articles by John Upledger, DO, OMM.
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