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Increasing the Value of Spine Care: CMS Approves New Low Back Pain Registry
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has approved the Spine IQ Low Back Pain Registry as a qualified clinical data registry for the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) in 2016.
Tai Chi Documentary Premier
First Run Features recently announced the world theatrical premiere of Barry Strugatz's documentary The Professor: Tai Chi's Journey West, which premiered last month at the Laemmle Music Hall in Los Angeles.
How to Stay Sane During the Elections: Understanding Through the Lens of Chinese Medicine
In Chinese Medicine philosophy, everything consists of Yin and Yang. The law of polar opposites – one cannot exist without its opposite.
Treating Hip & Groin Pain With Abdominal Release of Upper Lumbar Nerve Impingements
Have you encountered patients with groin and hip pain you can't seem to solve? You know it's not a worn-out hip; you suspect the pain is somehow connected to the spine. But somehow, you just can't help them break through.
Acupuncture Muscle Trigger Point and Oriental Medicine Sports Therapy
It is difficult to ascertain the internal condition of professional basketball player Lebron James during game one of the 2014 NBA finals, in which he developed debilitating muscle cramps that led to his premature removal from the game.
Adventures with the San Jiao
Those of us who have been in practice for several decades relish the way meridians and points reveal new diagnostic clues and new insights. I love to encourage my students to see this as an adventure that goes way beyond the textbooks.
A Long-Overdue Win for Oregon Medicaid Patients - and the Implications for Other States
Beginning July 1, 2016, Oregon Medicaid patients with spinal pain (cervical, thoracic, lumbar, pelvic) who are determined to be low risk based on a biopsychosocial assessment tool (STarT Back – Keele University) can receive four chiropractic visits per episode.
What's New in Phytonutrition: Mangifera Indica, "The King of Fruits"
One hundred percent pure Indian green mango fruit (mangifera indica), harvested at a special degree of ripeness for efficacy and taste, can now be concentrated as a phytonutrient nutraceutical powder.
AOM Hospital-Based Practice: A Future Reality?
The natural evolution of health care on the planet is integrative health. We may have some challenges ahead, but based on my research, all indicators are pointing in a positive direction. There seems to be an evolving consciousness among our patient population that is "getting it."
The Pertinent Negative
We all have to perform evaluations on patients. Most of us don't like doing it – exams take time, and worse it takes even more time after the evaluation to put together a narrative summary of the findings. Sometimes, this process becomes downright tedious.
Beating the Odds: Interview With Para-Powerlifter Adeline Dumapong-Ancheta
Since October 2015, the FICS Foundation, the charitable organization affiliated with the International Federation of Sports Chiropractic (FICS), has been supporting disabled athletes internationally.
Three Tips to Help You Analyze the Acupuncture Case Studies of the NCCAOM Exam
Confirm the answer quickly by the elimination method. Case study:
After two treatments for back pain, a patient presents for a third
session complaining of rapid breathing and wheezing that is made worse
during cold weather.
Acupuncture's Impact on the World
For several years, I have been hearing about the town of Rothenburg, Germany. It seemed just a dot on a map until I arrived. It is the home of the TCM Kongress which began in 1968. It has been held annually for 47 years and it has only missed one year.
Introducing the Acupuncture Today Digital Edition
In response to the changing habits of our readers, Acupuncture Today will introduce a digital edition of the publication (in addition to our print edition) beginning with the August 2016 issue.
What You Say Isn't Always What Patients Hear
A few years ago, my aunt Edna (name changed for the purpose of this story) suffered a stroke. After a short hospital stay, she was transferred to a nursing home for rehabilitation. When she arrived at the nursing home, Edna requested a private room.
Chronic Pain: Become Part of the Solution
I have lectured to more than 7,000 chiropractic physicians over the past five years regarding the chronic pain and opioid epidemic in this country.
An MD Who Understands the Opioid Epidemic
Doctors of chiropractic have an important role to play in ending the opioid epidemic and dealing with chronic pain by conservative means (see our top story in this issue) – but who's to blame for opioid dependence and abuse in the first place?
Believe it or not, an estimated one-third of your patients have eaten some form of fast food within 24 hours of their appointment with you.
Insuring Quality Control in Herb Importation: An Interview with Wilson Lau
Wilson Lau is the vice president of Nuherbs, a Chinese herb importation company based in San Leandro, California. Before joining Nuherbs, he trained as a lawyer specializing in FDA law.
Multivitamin Supplement May Reduce Breast Cancer Recurrence
There is a great deal of controversy regarding the value of multiple vitamin supplements in cancer prevention.
Sit or Stand? Analyzing a Mixed Message
I'm more than a bit confused. At my age, that seems to be a rather common occurrence. However, today more than ever, I'm getting a mixed message.
An Emerging Partnership Model
Maryland University of Integrative Health (MUIH) has educated integrative health and wellness practitioners for the last 40 years, originally as an acupuncture clinic and school. The institution's transformative, relationship-centered programs integrate traditional wisdom with contemporary science
February, 2003, Vol. 03, Issue 02
CranioSacral Therapy and the AIDS Patient
By John Upledger, DO, OMM
CranioSacral Therapy relies on extremely tender, supportive hands-on contact, accompanied by a sincere intention to assist the patient in any way possible. The therapist serves as a facilitator to the patient's own healing processes.In my experience, this delicate, caring approach is highly welcomed by the majority of AIDS patients.
Consider the messages you send a patient through the use of intentioned touch. Combine that with the fact that this corrective work is done on a core physiological level, applied directly and indirectly to the craniosacral system, and it seems clear that CranioSacral Therapy can potentially effect change on many different levels in a patient's body.
The craniosacral system is essentially a semi-closed hydraulic system. Its boundaries are formed by the dura mater within the cranial vault and vertebral canal. The system includes the dural sleeves, as they invest the spinal nerve roots outside the vertebral canal as far as the intervertebral foramina, and the caudal end of the dural tube, which ultimately becomes the cauda equina, and blends with the coccygeal periosteum.
Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) flows within this semi-closed hydraulic system. Fluid inflow and outflow are regulated by the choroid plexuses within the brain's ventricular system, and by the arachnoid granulation bodies. The latter structures are located largely within the venous sinuses that service the brain's circulatory system.
To qualify as a semi-closed hydraulic system, fluid inflow and outflow must be regulated. The model that essentially explains the control mechanisms for inflow involves a feedback system from intrasutural stretch and compression receptors. These receptors communicate via the nervous system to the choroid plexuses, and provide a rhythmical on-and-off activity for CSF production into the system.
While CSF outflow is not rhythmically interrupted, its rate may be adjusted. This is done through intracranial membrane tension patterns that are broadcast primarily via the falx cerebri and tentorium cerebelli to the anterior end of the straight venous sinus, where an aggregation of arachnoid granulation bodies is located. This concentration of arachnoid granulation bodies is known to affect venous back pressure, which in turn affects the reabsorption of CSF into the blood-vascular system. The craniosacral system also includes all of the bones of the cranium; the second and third cervical vertebrae; the sacrum; and the coccyx.
Clinical research and observations have demonstrated that dysfunctions of the craniosacral system can manifest as a wide variety of syndromes, symptoms and degenerative processes. The craniosacral system influences the physiological milieu in which the central nervous system lives. It also has powerful influence over the pituitary and pineal glands, due to their anatomical intimacies. Therefore, it has powerful effect on brain and spinal cord function, and the endocrine system.
Indeed, CranioSacral Therapy has been shown to have positive effect on a diversity of brain dysfunctions, ranging from seizure problems to dyslexia and attention deficit disorder. It also has positive effects on the autonomic nervous system, both through the central control nuclei in the brain stem, and the spinal cord's segmental effects on the sympathetic nervous chains and ganglia.
The latter effect comes from CranioSacral Therapy's ability to desensitize spinal cord segments that have become hypersensitized or "facilitated" secondary to chronic excessive input. These hypersensitive segments often result from such conditions as chronic localized infections or painful musculoskeletal or myofascial dysfunctions.
Hypersensitive or facilitated segments send unwarranted and excessive outflow to their related end organs. These organs, in turn, send excessive sensory input back to these already hypersensitive segments. In this sense, the situation becomes self-propagating. In addition, the sympathetic system input from the related hyperactive segments is increased, raising total sympathetic tonus with all of its attendant problems.
Using thermography, I have seen that hand warming occurs during CranioSacral Therapy. This indicates a reduction of sympathetic tonus. Concurrently, blood pressure and cardiac rate, when elevated, as is often the case in sympathetic hypertonus, move toward normal. Subjective pain improves almost invariably as the CranioSacral Therapy treatment progresses.
In my experience, it is clear that AIDS patients, with their multitude of painful visceral, neuromusculoskeletal and myofascial dysfunctions, can be made more comfortable and functional by the regular application of CranioSacral Therapy. In addition to the positive effects already mentioned, it appears from clinical observations that CranioSacral Therapy can enhance fluid motion on an interstitial level, and across cell membranes. It also seems to enhance arteriovenous and lymphatic activity, as evidenced by the reduction of clinical edema during the treatment process. This result is probably largely the result of its effect on the autonomic nervous system.
This enhancement of the microcirculation of all fluids undoubtedly has a positive effect upon the toxic effects of accumulated waste products within static fluids. All patients, including those with AIDS, benefit when fluid stasis is transformed into fluid motion.
Another benefit of CranioSacral Therapy is its apparent positive effect upon the immune response - for example, the reduction of virus-induced fever characteristic of many childhood diseases. Following CranioSacral Therapy, it is not uncommon for the child to suffer no further febrile episodes subsequent to the fever reduction. Instead, he or she simply begins the recovery phase.
It seems that AIDS patients might best be served by methods that allow them to rechannel energies from dealing with pain and secondary dysfunction, into directions more constructive in terms of body-resistance enhancement. CranioSacral Therapy would seem to be one of these methods. There is still much to learn in this area, but we certainly seem to be on the right track.
Click here for previous articles by John Upledger, DO, OMM.
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