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A Glimpse Into China's Top Brain Hospital
The sounds of the city pass through the open window are overwhelming the microphone - car horns, construction machinery - and then there's the family at the adjacent bed talking loudly on cell phones, yet you can still hear the faint beep of our patients monitoring equipment.
The Problem With Prolonged Sitting
We need to constantly talk to our patients about spending less time sitting and about what can go wrong with poor sitting postures. The fact is we sit too long in repetitive malpositions.
A Healthy Dose of Failure is Vital to Your Success
As an acupuncturist I tend to see people after they have already suffered for years and "tried everything." They are so desperate for some relief that they want to know everything about how to get better, right now.
Get Ready For AOM Day
This year, AOM Day 2014 falls on Friday, (October 24th). This is a great opportunity to make your AOM Day celebration or event even bigger by extending it throughout the weekend!
History of Animal Acupuncture: Part II
In Part I of this article, I had gone back to 1969 and tried to describe the atmosphere and events of that year that engulfed many of the younger generation, some who were all the core members of the National Acupuncture Association.
Rethinking GMO: Less Panic, More Context
Some of you may have noticed that after writing parts 1 and 2 of “Genetic Modification of Organisms for Human Consumption” a while back [Nov. 15, 2013 and Jan. 1, 2014 issues], part 3 never appeared.
Thoracolumbar Syndrome: The Great Mimic
The thoracolumbar junction is a common area of joint dysfunction. The most obvious cause is dysfunctional breathing or lack of diaphragmatic breathing. Treating this breathing problem will ultimately be the long-term cure for the syndrome.
Healing Community Trauma in Israel and Palestine
It's the beginning of August and Israel and Hamas have just agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire after a month of brutal fighting. In the last four weeks, 1,830 Palestinians and 67 Israelis have been killed.
If You Get a Request for Records, Respond!
In our previous two articles, we discussed two of the main reasons for denial when chiropractic records are reviewed by Medicare contractors.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
Thoughts to Live By
When speaking to your patients about their health make sure to ponder the following points and have them assess if they are making themselves even more sick by the thoughts they have about life. Are these some of the traits and thoughts that your patients might have?
Help Secure Our Future by Sharing It
The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) conducts one of the most comprehensive surveys of the U.S. chiropractic profession every 4-5 years.
Uncle Sam Needs You
Scrutiny into the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) continues to grow after efforts to reform the DVA by the former Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric Shinseki, were deemed "a stunning period of dysfunction" by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
The Science Behind Happiness
Are you happy right now? Whether yes or no, there are a myriad of reasons why you feel that way. A whole academic discipline has developed to find out what causes or obstructs happiness, and how to amplify it.
MPA Media Wins Seven Publishing Awards
MPA Media, publisher of Acupuncture Today, among other titles, has been recognized for editorial and design excellence with an unprecendented seven publishing awards by the ASBPE, the nation's largest organization for business-to-business publications.
A Commonly Missed Spinal Fixation: The Upper Lumbar Spine (Part 1)
When we think of lower back pain, we tend to think in terms of the lower lumbar spine and the SI joint. These joints and their discs are obviously important. However, we tend to miss fixations that occur just above – in the upper lumbar spine. Three questions come to mind: 1) Why is the upper lumbar spine so important? 2) Why do we miss the fixations here? 3) How can we adjust them?
Improving Our Political Effectiveness
The November 2014 elections are right around the corner; members of Congress, governors and state legislators are all running. Now is a good time to talk frankly about our overall political involvement.
When Big Pharma Meets Chinese Medicine
Earlier this year, Bayer made a media splash with their decision to buy the Dihon Pharmaceutical Group Co., a Chinese TCM manufacturer.
The Truth About Herbs
I appreciate the effort and research put into the article written in the June issue of Acupuncture Today regarding pesticides and Chinese herbs.
Let the Patient Tell Their Story
Often when a patient presents with an injury, they want to tell their story. People by nature like to talk about themselves, particularly when they're worried about their health.
Medicalization and Mindfulness
The past several years have seen a veritable explosion of research on mindfulness. Research abstracts we've published in each issue of Health Insights Today under the heading "Mind-Body News" have increasingly reported on studies about mindfulness interventions.
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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