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Massage Today
April, 2003, Vol. 03, Issue 04

Healthy Dissent and Alignment

By Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCBTMB

Currently, the United States spends about 1.5 trillion dollars a year for health care, and that figure is projected to double in less than 10 years.

To quote Dr. James Mercola, "The sad tragedy is that we are spending all of this money on disease management focused on drugs and surgery, and our return on this investment is profoundly poor. More and more people do not have the energy they need to get through the day, while millions of others are suffering with painful crippling diseases because they have violated basic health principles."

The sad truth is that the basic principles of health are carefully not taught. Of course, this benefits the allopathic-pharmaceutical cartel, which only makes money if people are sick. Last year, health reporter Nick Regush explained it this way:

"Medicine, as we know it, is dying. It's entering a terminal phase. What began as an acute illness reached the chronic stage about a decade ago and progression toward death has been remarkably swift and well beyond anything one could have predicted. The disease is caused by conflict of interest, tainted research, greed for big bucks, pretentious doctors and scientists, lying, cheating, invasion by the morally bankrupt marketing automatons of the drug industry, derelict politicians and federal and state regulators - all seasoned with huge doses of self-importance and foul odor."

Unfortunately for the health of Americans, the medical monopoly is not going down gracefully, but kicking and screaming. It is mostly screaming, "Quackery, anything and everyone but us is quackery." Their only hope is to gain control of and co-opt the alternative health care movement, which is more than a movement, but a trend; a wave of change sweeping across the country. Why are the alternative disciplines desperately seeking the approval and acceptance of the dying, allopathic medical cartel? Why they do this instead of establishing themselves as the clear, health-care alternative is beyond me. The need to be accepted, to be "normal" is so strongly programmed into people, isn't it?

The public is running toward us with open arms and wallets, and we are dragging them back into the allopathic system so insurance will pay for it. History proves that insurance will not pay for enough of it for true alternative health care to be effective. Allowing only 10 visits a year for fibromyalgia, 20 visits for chiropractic, etc., is probably worse than nothing, as it drives people back into the allopathic system for care. The allopathic gatekeepers will put massage and other alternative treatments on the shelf once they gain control of them through insurance. Look back and you will see that "manual medicine" was deliberately phased out of the medical system once already. Once the allopaths gain control over it again, history will repeat itself. When that happens, with no alternative available to the public, the sickness system will blunder on, continuing to be the leading cause of death. Think about this as you lust after the fabled pot of gold at the end of the insurance rainbow, and the acceptance of the medical community.


Dissent is everywhere these days. Consider the following quote:

"Here in America, we are descended in blood and spirit from revolutionists and rebels - men and women who dare to dissent from accepted doctrine. As their heirs, we may never confuse honest dissent with disloyal subversion."

- Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1954

Dissent is good. From dissent comes change, progress and improvement in the human condition. May we always view honest dissent as healthy and welcome it.


I promised more on smallpox this month, but more information is rolling in as we speak, so stay tuned. In the meantime, if you are concerned about this issue, start looking into homeopathy.

Clinical Question

Last month, I asked the question, " In relation to posture, what are the three most important bones in the human body to have properly (correctly) aligned on the horizontal planes?" According to Jerry Hesch, a physical therapist from Albuquerque, N.M., and one of the foremost experts on sacroiliac joint dysfunction (and a really great guy), the three bones are the talas, the sacrum and C-1.

For a chiropractic perspective, I asked Dr. Jason Cupp, DC, from Iowa City, Iowa (another great guy). He suggested, that from a straight chiropractic perspective, the three most important bones are L-5/sacrum, T-5 and C-2. He finds that C-1 tends to shift laterally, but remains on the horizontal plane, while C-2 is more likely to rock or tilt.

According to I.A. Kapanji, L-5 is tightly bound to the sacrum by ligaments and has minimal ability to move on its own. Therefore, one could argue that where goes the sacrum so goes L-5. C-1 and C-2 are really a working unit. Think about this for a minute.

What to do about it? Start with a careful assessment of each of these bones, its joint system and the patient's overall posture. This is done visually and by palpation.

Specific massage techniques, precise stretching, manipulation and strengthen exercises have been the methods found most effective to align these bones. Drugs have not been found to be affective or to bring about changes in alignment of these bones unless the drugged patient falls, in which case the resultant movement seldom brings about a desirable correction. Of course, any thrusting manipulation must be done by a provider with an appropriate license.

No Therapist Is an Island

Often it is best for the patient if a multidisciplinary approach is utilized. Through some combination of massage therapy, chiropractic, osteopathy, physical therapy and exercise, change may be accomplished faster and last longer. Of course, not every one of these disciplines needs to be involved; however, any two or more can work together, based on the needs of the patient, to accomplish the desired goal.

There needs to be more networking and interdisciplinary cooperation, with each provider respecting the value of the other's techniques, recognizing the limitations of their own, with the focus always on the good of the patient, never on the good of a practice or a profession. Think the pharmaceutical cartel and its puppet politicians will allow that to happen? If this is an unpleasant question for you to ponder, continue reflecting on the three bones, and how to best bring about skeletal (and maybe even planetary) alignment.

Click here for more information about Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCBTMB.


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