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Treating LBP the Right Way: Think Natural
An updated clinical practice guideline from the American College of Physicians (ACP) recommends spinal manipulation and other non-invasive, non-drug therapies as first options for acute, subacute and chronic low back pain, rather than pain medications, as stipulated in the original 2007 guideline.
Scope of Chiropractic Practice: Why Now Is the Time to Expand
In my January article, "Scope of Chiropractic Practice: Is It Time for Change?" I discussed the use of the term primary spine care practitioner, the loss of privileges to diagnose in Texas, and the fact that the definition of "chiropractic" varied from state to state.
5 Ways to Enhance Your Family Practice
Every practice has a personality style. A practice that caters to athletes, PI cases or adults, for example, projects differently to patients than a family wellness practice.
Integrative Cardiology: The Heart of TCM & Western Medicine
Patient centered therapy is a growing trend in hospitals that are expanding to boutique services.
News In Brief
A "Modern" Business Model. Acupuncturists may have a new professional atmosphere to consider, as a new concept is on the horizon - at least for one business.
Waist Circumference: A Conversation Starter (Part 2)
Now let's discuss the clinical approach to reducing WC and implementation in today's chiropractic practice. The primary intervention centers around dietary modification and lifestyle habits aimed to reduce adiposity, improve insulin sensitivity and ultimately, diminish systemic metabolic dysfunction.
Good Works at the Canandaigua VA
Faculty and students of the Finger Lakes School of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (FLSAOM) of the New York Chiropractic College have provided acupuncture to veterans at the Veterans' Administration Medical Center (VAMC) in Canandaigua, New York since September of 2007.
Chiropractic: A Great Fit for the White House
Dr. Eric Kaplan is a New York Chiropractic College alumnus; a No. 1 best-selling author whose books include Awaken the Wellness Within and The 5 Minute Motivator; a chiropractor for professional sports teams and elite athletes; and even served as an advisor under the Clinton Administration to the President's Council on Sports & Physical Fitness.
What's Bugging You? Probiotics and Your Health
An estimated 100 trillion microorganisms representing more than 500 different species inhabit every normal, healthy bowel. Gut-dwelling bacteria keep pathogens in check, aid digestion and nutrient absorption, and contribute to immune function.
Treating the Terrain of Chronic Sinus Infections
Chronic sinus infections can be stubborn to treat, but the therapeutic path forward can be simplified when utilizing three distinct treatment principles which take into account the terrain of the body, and the way in which microbes grow.
Shedding Light on the Benefits of Heliotherapy
I can't imagine anyone not feeling good strolling in the sun on a beautiful spring day. The sun is responsible for all life on earth and is best illustrated along the equator touting the richest biodiversity on the planet, in stark contrast to the Arctic Circle and South Pole.
Making Sense of Liver Regulation
In Chinese medicine, the liver has the function of moving and storing qi and blood. In its moving function, the liver smoothly distributes qi and blood to the tendons, muscles and flesh through microcirculation.
NSAIDs No Better Than Placebo for Spine Pain
A meta-analysis of randomized, placebo-controlled trials comparing the efficacy and safety of NSAIDs with placebo for spinal pain concludes that among 6,065 spine pain patients, "NSAIDs reduced pain and disability, but provided clinically unimportant effects over placebo."
Toxicity & Kids: The Importance of Environmental Intake
The old adage is true that children are not little adults. Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has long known that the physiology of children is unique, as are the diseases that plague them.
Caring for Refugees in Greece
At the beginning of 2016 I had no idea what was in store for me, but I was looking forward to a personal retreat on the Greek island of Paros; a graduation gift to myself after 22 years of motherhood, and four-plus years of Chinese medicine school.
The First (Only) Choice for Spinal Pain
The study on NSAIDs for spinal pain summarized on the front page of this issue is intriguing on a number of levels, the most obvious being the conclusion that "compared with placebo, NSAIDs do not provide a clinically important effect on spinal pain, and six patients must be treated with NSAIDs for one patient to achieve a clinically important benefit in the short-term."
Insomnia Treatment Based on the Yu Theory
In recent years, acupuncture has risen in popularity as a form of alternative or supplemental medicine for the treatment of many different types of disorders.
The Chiropractor's Guide to CRISPR
Science magazine's "Breakthrough of the Year" award for 2015 was described as "the gene-editing tool called CRISPR." CRISPR stands for "clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats."
The Qi Focus: A Guide to Managing Stress
Stress, are you experiencing heightened stress levels? Your own, and your clients? Is Trumpitis getting to you? I recently polled a cluster of acupuncturists, Asian Bodywork Therapists (ABT) and psychotherapy colleagues on the issue.
Help Save an Important Chiropractic Landmark
The chiropractic profession has a splendid and varied history. Sadly, many landmarks have been lost to bulldozers and wrecking crews, such as the Ryan Building, Little-Bit-O-Heaven, Spears Chiropractic Hospital, and Clearview Sanitarium.
Give Your Patients the Ergonomic Advantage
Prolonged sitting contributes to low back pain and is a health risk. When I discuss my POLITE technique practice recommendations with patients, ergonomics may be last, but not least!
August, 2003, Vol. 03, Issue 08
Releasing the Energy Cyst
By John Upledger, DO, OMM
Have you ever had a client whose injury seemed to cause problems long after the site had healed? That is not as unusual as one might think. Research I conducted in the late 1970s with a biophysicist named Dr.Zvi Karni led us to discover that the body can retain the imprints of physical trauma in the tissues. These imprints, which can also include intense feelings that occurred at the time of injury, actually leave a residue embedded in the body. I call these areas of restricted or disorganized energy "energy cysts."
The idea behind this is: When an accident occurs, the energy of the accident enters the body. This fits with the laws of thermodynamics, which tell us that energy cannot be created or destroyed. They also tell us that the natural tendency of atoms, molecules and energy is toward disorganization. When this external, disorganized energy - the "energy of injury" - is forced into the body, it penetrates into the tissues to a depth determined by the amount of force versus the density of the tissues. This force is countered only by the density of the tissues it is trying to penetrate.
A blow to the foot or ankle might penetrate through the leg all the way to the pelvis. Once it reaches its depth of maximum penetration, it stops and forms a localized "ball" of energy that doesn't belong there. If your body is vital and able, the "energy of injury" can dissipate and normal healing can occur, but if your body is unable to dissipate this energy, it is compacted into a smaller and smaller ball in order to minimize the area of disruption to tissue function. As it becomes more compressed and localized, the disorganization within this compressed energy increases until it becomes an "energy cyst."
A person can adapt to energy cysts; however, over time, the body needs extra energy to continue performing its day-to-day functions. As years pass and the body becomes more stressed, it can lose its ability to adapt. This is when symptoms and dysfunctions begin to appear and become difficult to suppress or ignore. Fortunately, a technique called "Energy Cyst Release" can help the skilled therapist deal with these particular challenges. It is an effective way of encouraging your client's body to release those areas of blocked energy and accelerate a full recovery.
Energy Cyst Release is a component of CranioSacral Therapy, which addresses restrictions in the craniosacral system that surrounds the brain and spinal cord. Using a light touch, the practitioner monitors the rhythm of the fluid coursing through the craniosacral system to detect potential restrictions and imbalances. Delicate techniques help release those problem areas and relieve undue pressure on the brain and spinal cord.
As part of that process, the body will sometimes spontaneously return to the same position it was in when the injury was first sustained. As this occurs, the therapist can feel the tissues of the body relax as the energy cyst is expelled. Then the body is free to fully return to its optimal levels of functioning.
This is what happened after a woman named Rebecca* was involved in a severe automobile accident. She visited a CranioSacral Therapist to help relieve the constant pain she had experienced for eight months. Though her fractures had healed, she was left with severe headaches that occurred almost daily, and her neck and lower back hurt constantly. The therapist first tried to find a structural reason that would account for the severity of the pain. Restrictions were cleared in her craniosacral system, which helped with her head and neck, yet her back continued to hurt.
During the tenth session, Rebecca was seated on a treatment table with her back to the therapist. He had one hand on her back and the other on her head as he tested the spine for subtle movements. Suddenly, Rebecca began to push hard against the hand on her back. After a few minutes she slumped forward. Rebecca reported that she had suddenly remembered an incident several years earlier when she was hit by a fist in the middle of her back. The resistance she felt from the therapist's fist enabled her to release the energy of the blow and of the accident injury spontaneously. Her life turned around after that session. Within a month, her pain was minimal.
This is a case in which the tissues had been released, but the energy cyst still resided within them. By returning her body to the precise position it was in at the time of injury, the mass of disorganized energy that had been forced into the tissues from the original trauma was suddenly given an escape route, which was also the same route of its entry into the body. It is possible, after you've become experienced practicing these techniques, to release energy cysts without using the client's body position as the facilitating factor, but that approach requires a lot more work on your part, and it is much less natural. It is always better to work with the client's body, than against it.
*Name changed to protect confidentiality.
Click here for previous articles by John Upledger, DO, OMM.
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