resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Medicine is Clumsy, Don't You Be
All medical systems have clumsiness in them. If the technique isn't, the practitioner is. Everyone in every form of medicine is striving to improve. That is why we call it practice.
How Much Do You Know About the Benefits of Birds Nest?
Edible bird's nest is the nest made by the Swiftlet bird of Southeast Asia that is usually prepared as a soup and prized in Chinese culture as a healthful delicacy.
Integrating Art with Clinical Practice for Patients with PTSD: The Artemis Project
Are you restricted by those one-on-one clinic dynamics? Why not join colleagues and clients in experimental group settings? Three of us volunteered to do just that in Austin on behalf of women veteranss from all branches of the service.
5 Tips for Using Pinterest to Market Your Practice
Pinterest is a very popular, but often under-utilized, social media platform where people can bookmark, or "pin," fun and interesting things from all across the internet.
Functional Hip Impingement (Part 1)
Every time I sit down to write an article, I realize how much more there is to know about musculoskeletal pain. I also learn something new every time. (I want to give special thanks to Lucy Whyte Ferguson for assisting with this article.)
The Acupuncturist's Problem
I want share with you some observations and insights into what seems to be the most common problem my colleagues in the acupuncture profession struggles with. If you also struggle with this problem, I hope you get a valuable "aha" moment from reading this.
Low Back Pain in Professional Golf: A Common Muscular Relationship
Every sport creates its own unique demands on the body. Some sports require such a myriad of body positions that assessing pathology is often difficult and unpredictable.
Talking to Patients About Lumbar Facet Denervation (Medial Branch Neurotomy)
Lumbar facet denervation, more appropriately termed medial branch neurotomy (MBN), is a procedure that may be considered when patients suffer from recalcitrant non-radicular axial back and/or leg pain.
The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine
My Masters thesis was titled, "The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine," which highlighted several reasons why it is hard for these two worlds to mix.
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 1
This article was written in response to the unheeded acceptance of marijuana as a harmless substance that potentially does good when used for the medical relief of pain.
Optimism = Compassion = Trust
A randomized clinical trial recently published online in JAMA Oncology examined how patients viewed their doctor based upon how the practitioner presented bad news to the patient.
Animal Acupuncture: A Case Study in the Treatment of Traumatic Injury in the Equine
The rise of animal acupuncture in the U.S. began in the early 1970's as a result of the work by members of the National Acupuncture Association in Westwood, Calif.
PCOM Granted Regional Accreditation
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (PCOM) recently announce it has received regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). This achievement reflects five years of hard work on the part of faculty, staff, and students.
A View From the ER
The University of Western States has inked an innovative agreement with local nonprofit health system Legacy Health whereby UWS sports-medicine fellows can experience observational clinical rotations in emergency-room settings within the Legacy system.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
Applying the Thin Skull Principle
The "thin skull" principle, also known as the "you take your victim as you find them" principle, is a legal principle that can be summed up by the following statement.
Term Limits: What's in a Word?
It was the French historian and philosopher Voltaire who once declared the Holy Roman Empire was neither holy nor Roman nor an empire.
Sleep, Less Sleep or No Sleep?
I had a dream I wasn't getting enough sleep. It was a very realistic dream, even though I was probably slightly awake and not really deep dreaming. Most likely I had been dozing, caught in that twilight of sleep and wakefulness.
A House Divided?
The American Chiropractic Association's House of Delegates voted on 30 resolutions at its annual business meeting in Washington D.C., but two in particular took immediate center stage due to their controversial nature.
The Tide is Rising in the Acupuncture Profession
Former President Ronald Regan said, "When the tide rises all boats float." The tide is rising for the acupuncture profession. Many forces outside the profession are helping the tides to rise.
October, 2003, Vol. 03, Issue 10
CranioSacral Therapy and Scientific Research, Part I
By John Upledger, DO, OMM
I cannot count the number of times I have been told by well-meaning friends and harsh critics that CranioSacral Therapy (CST) should be investigated using scientific methods. Many people say CST would be a real boon to health care - if only there were more scientific proof.In a recent article (www.massagetoday.com/archives/2003/03/07.html), I explained why I believe CST can never be adequately evaluated within the confines of the laboratory. In addition, many people don't realize that research has indeed been done. For you skeptics, I offer the following overview:
In the mid-1970s, I was approached by Michigan State University (MSU) to uncover the scientific basis for a premise put forth by William Sutherland, DO, in the 1930s: that the joints and sutures of the cranium do not fully ossify, as was once believed. From 1975 through 1983, I was a professor in the department of biomechanics at MSU's College of Osteopathic Medicine, where I led a team of anatomists, physiologists, biophysicists and bioengineers to test and document the influence of the craniosacral system on the body. Together we conducted research - much of it published - that formed the basis for the modality I went on to develop and name CranioSacral Therapy.
I first worked with neurophysiologist and histologist Ernest Retzlaff, PhD, to prove that under normal conditions, cranial sutures do not calcify before death. We studied numerous bone and suture samples taken from neurosurgery patients between the ages of seven and 57 years. Not only did these samples show living sutures completely free of calcification, but they were chock full of collagen and elastic fibers; arteries; arterioles; capillaries; venules; veins; nerves; and neuroreceptors.
After in-depth examinations, we demonstrated definitive potential for movement between the cranial sutures. Yet these results appeared to contradict anatomy-lab samples taken from cadavers whose skull sutures were calcified. These seemingly conflicting findings suggested that the calcification of skull sutures seen in preserved cadavers was due to postmortem changes and reactions to chemical embalming agents. Our findings supported those published in Anatomica Humanica by Italian professor Guiseppi Sperino, who noted that cranial sutures fuse before death only under pathological circumstances.
Once we saw the potential for motion in living sutures, our next step was to demonstrate that the motion we had hypothesized actually existed in the living skull. With the assistance of biophysicist Richard Ropell, PhD, we began using head (band) strain gauges on living subjects. These gauges demonstrated rhythmical expansion-contraction movements of the cranial circumferences at eight to 12 cycles per minute; however, there were other variables that could discredit these measurements as solid evidence of sutural movement, so we had measure the movements of one skull bone in relation to another. While we could not use humans for studies like this, we were able to use live monkeys from the university's pharmacology department.
In pain-free experiments, we anesthetized the monkeys and did minor surgery to cement an antenna directly to each parietal bone, about two centimeters lateral to the sagittal suture, and two centimeters posterior to the coronal sutures. We then wired these two 10-inch antennae so that we could broadcast a radio signal between them. In the recorded wavelengths, we discovered as the parietal bones moved independently of each other, the distances between antenna times changed. These changes demonstrated interparietal movement of about 12 cycles per minute. At one point, I placed a fingertip on the monkey's coccyx. With minimal pressure, I was able to stop the parietal bone motion.
Now we had evidence of a system that could move parietal bones rhythmically - and be stopped by pressure on the coccyx. This and a multitude of other factors caused me to deduce that the coccygeal pressure influenced the parietal motion via the hydraulic force of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) moving through the dural membrane and myofascial system related to the spinal column and the cranium.
My first inkling that such a hydraulic system existed came some years earlier during a neck surgery I assisted. The lead surgeon had removed the spinous processes and part of the laminae of the middle cervical vertebrae (C4 and C5) in order to expose the meningeal dura mater and keep it intact. At that time, I witnessed a rhythmical rise and fall of CSF pressure at about eight cycles per minute. It became clear that a fluid pressure deep to the dura mater was causing its continual movement. This fluid had to be cerebrospinal, and its volume had to be increasing and decreasing cyclically. Why hadn't this phenomenon been noticed in surgeries before? The answer is surprisingly simple: In most cases, the dura mater was incised. (Fortunately, that's not always the case.) I recently received a letter from Professor Charles Probst, a prominent Swiss neurosurgeon. He reported seeing,
In the case of lumbar-puncture procedures, when the needle enters the CSF compartment, the fluid enters the manometer via the needle and an elbow apparatus. When the fluid rises to its peak pressure, a valve is opened to take a specimen. It was generally assumed that the CSF specimen that was removed accounted for the reduction of pressure in the manometer. Any cyclic drop in fluid pressure was thus overlooked.
Editor's note: Look for the conclusion of this article and its relevant references in the November issue.
Click here for previous articles by John Upledger, DO, OMM.
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