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Reflections: The Art of Teaching Asian Medicine
Over the past three decades, my global workshops have been translated into German, Swiss German, French, Romansch, Spanish, Lithuanian and Xhosa. Time to offer you new teachers a few tips!
What's Triggering That Point?
An orthopedic friend recently saw a patient of mine. He felt an injection of a trigger point (TP) at the upper trapezius and surrounding areas was necessary, since that was the patient's area of chief complaint and there was a tender, radiating nodule.
Adjusting the Occiput on the Atlas
You may never see a particular set of patients in your office – the ones who are either afraid of neck adjustments or have had a bad experience. A vast majority of those who had a bad experience did not have a life-threatening vascular event.
Finding Balance in the Clinic
This past December, I celebrated 11 years in practice. I seriously don't know where the time went. I feel beyond blessed and grateful to be practicing our profound and beautiful medicine and to be helping guide my patients restore a state of optimal health.
The Conscious Evolution of Healing, Part 2
The idea of transmission is very important in the Chinese medical classics. According to author Claude Larre, the ancient Chinese were highly interested in the connection between things. Nothing was looked at as an isolated entity.
Leg Length and Pelvic Fixations
A common component of low back pain is sacroiliac joint dysfunction. Signs of SIJ dysfunction can include fixation with reduced range of motion, and localized pain or joint laxity and inflammation.
A New Era of Injury Awareness Means a New Focus on Prevention
Despite a dramatic Super Bowl last month, the National Football League has taken quite a few hits lately concerning player injuries, particularly concussions.
Put the Social Back Into Social Media
Social media is more than a passing fad, it is definitely here to stay. Social media apps and channels of distribution may evolve, but the concept of social media is now big business and a part of all our lives.
Old TCM Sayings: Treat the Front to Treat the Back
Chinese medicine college was, and always will be, a memorable time. It was a time of massive personal and professional growth.
Connections Worth Making
"If most doctors are like me, [they are] isolated physically and professionally. I do not make the time to connect with other doctors and also a lot of doctors do not want to be connected for a lot of reasons. Dynamic Chiropractic keeps me grounded and connected.
Online Efforts That Convert Traffic Into Patients
Most chiropractors are using "dinner with the doc," "refer a friend," customer appreciation days, grand openings, health fairs, chamber of commerce meetings, and other networking events to get new patients.
The Easy Way to Learn How to Document ICD-10
The 2015 Work Plan for the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) includes a focus on chiropractic services. This means chiropractors can expect to see more audits and reviews in the coming year because private payers pay attention to the OIG's focus as well.
Neuroscience: Where Western Medicine and Chinese Medicine Can Come Together
The recent advances in neuroscience are truly incredible. With this expansion of scientific knowledge, I would like to see even more research into the neuroscientific basic of acupuncture and Chinese Medicine.
Are You Really a Healthy Eater?
I always giggle a little bit (to myself) when someone comes into my office and informs me that they are a healthy eater. What exactly does that mean? Does that mean they eat sugar in moderation? And what's that, exactly?
We Get Letters & E-Mail
We Have Come a Long Way – But There's a Long Way to Go; Grounded and Connected.
Acupuncture and Homeopathy: Bioenergetic Brothers
Acupuncture and homeopathy share an important healing principle: bioenergetics. "Bio" means "life," so bioenergetics is literally "life energy."
It might have been a miserable start to the day in the heart of downtown San Diego. A heavy rain had soaked the large homeless population congregating near the intersection of Third Avenue and Ash Street as they waited for a free breakfast to be served at the First Lutheran Church on the corner.
Case Histories from Bali: Treating Balinese Chidren with TCB and Shonishin
When I moved to the island of Bali in 2005, I offered my services in Bumi Sehat, which means Healthy Mother Earth, a free birthing center for poor and disadvantaged local women located in Ubud.
Joint Supplements for Athletes (Part 1)
Maintaining joint health should be a daily focus for athletes. Joint health is a complex issue for everyone, but for athletes it poses a greater concern.
The Top Seven Website Mistakes Clinics Make
The majority of acupuncture clinics finally have a website for their business. Having a website is crucial for being found online through Google, Facebook and review sites like Yelp.
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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