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The Spirit of the Point
After receiving a large amount of positive feedback on my San Zhen Protocols series, I have decided to focus this article on some relevant clinical aspects of acupuncture therapy prior to moving on to San Zhen Protocols III.
A Commonly Missed Spinal Fixation: The Upper Lumbar Spine (Part 1)
When we think of lower back pain, we tend to think in terms of the lower lumbar spine and the SI joint. These joints and their discs are obviously important. However, we tend to miss fixations that occur just above – in the upper lumbar spine. Three questions come to mind: 1) Why is the upper lumbar spine so important? 2) Why do we miss the fixations here? 3) How can we adjust them?
History of Animal Acupuncture: Part II
In Part I of this article, I had gone back to 1969 and tried to describe the atmosphere and events of that year that engulfed many of the younger generation, some who were all the core members of the National Acupuncture Association.
Get Ready For AOM Day
This year, AOM Day 2014 falls on Friday, (October 24th). This is a great opportunity to make your AOM Day celebration or event even bigger by extending it throughout the weekend!
A Glimpse Into China's Top Brain Hospital
The sounds of the city pass through the open window are overwhelming the microphone - car horns, construction machinery - and then there's the family at the adjacent bed talking loudly on cell phones, yet you can still hear the faint beep of our patients monitoring equipment.
A Healthy Dose of Failure is Vital to Your Success
As an acupuncturist I tend to see people after they have already suffered for years and "tried everything." They are so desperate for some relief that they want to know everything about how to get better, right now.
When Big Pharma Meets Chinese Medicine
Earlier this year, Bayer made a media splash with their decision to buy the Dihon Pharmaceutical Group Co., a Chinese TCM manufacturer.
Uncle Sam Needs You
Scrutiny into the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) continues to grow after efforts to reform the DVA by the former Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric Shinseki, were deemed "a stunning period of dysfunction" by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
Help Secure Our Future by Sharing It
The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) conducts one of the most comprehensive surveys of the U.S. chiropractic profession every 4-5 years.
The Problem With Prolonged Sitting
We need to constantly talk to our patients about spending less time sitting and about what can go wrong with poor sitting postures. The fact is we sit too long in repetitive malpositions.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
Let the Patient Tell Their Story
Often when a patient presents with an injury, they want to tell their story. People by nature like to talk about themselves, particularly when they're worried about their health.
The Science Behind Happiness
Are you happy right now? Whether yes or no, there are a myriad of reasons why you feel that way. A whole academic discipline has developed to find out what causes or obstructs happiness, and how to amplify it.
Rethinking GMO: Less Panic, More Context
Some of you may have noticed that after writing parts 1 and 2 of “Genetic Modification of Organisms for Human Consumption” a while back [Nov. 15, 2013 and Jan. 1, 2014 issues], part 3 never appeared.
Medicalization and Mindfulness
The past several years have seen a veritable explosion of research on mindfulness. Research abstracts we've published in each issue of Health Insights Today under the heading "Mind-Body News" have increasingly reported on studies about mindfulness interventions.
MPA Media Wins Seven Publishing Awards
MPA Media, publisher of Acupuncture Today, among other titles, has been recognized for editorial and design excellence with an unprecendented seven publishing awards by the ASBPE, the nation's largest organization for business-to-business publications.
Thoughts to Live By
When speaking to your patients about their health make sure to ponder the following points and have them assess if they are making themselves even more sick by the thoughts they have about life. Are these some of the traits and thoughts that your patients might have?
If You Get a Request for Records, Respond!
In our previous two articles, we discussed two of the main reasons for denial when chiropractic records are reviewed by Medicare contractors.
Healing Community Trauma in Israel and Palestine
It's the beginning of August and Israel and Hamas have just agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire after a month of brutal fighting. In the last four weeks, 1,830 Palestinians and 67 Israelis have been killed.
The Truth About Herbs
I appreciate the effort and research put into the article written in the June issue of Acupuncture Today regarding pesticides and Chinese herbs.
Thoracolumbar Syndrome: The Great Mimic
The thoracolumbar junction is a common area of joint dysfunction. The most obvious cause is dysfunctional breathing or lack of diaphragmatic breathing. Treating this breathing problem will ultimately be the long-term cure for the syndrome.
August, 2004, Vol. 04, Issue 08
A Look Inside the Craniosacral System and How CST Helps
By John Upledger, DO, OMM
The brain and spinal cord - the two major components of the central nervous system (CNS) - require a carefully controlled physiological environment in order to develop and function efficiently and effectively.The craniosacral system is largely responsible for providing this environment.
The craniosacral system is a physiological system that meets the criteria for classification as semi-closed and hydraulic. It has a watertight boundary largely provided by the external layer of the meninges. This external layer is known as the dura mater or dural membrane. The craniosacral system's controlled fluid inflow is provided mainly by the choroid plexuses, with controlled outflow provided largely by the arachnoid granulation system. The fluid within the craniosacral system is cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), which is extracted from blood by the choroid plexuses and returned to blood by the arachnoid granulation system. The extraction and resorption of CSF are accomplished largely through osmotic pressures and specialized active transport mechanisms.
The functions of the CSF are carried out as it circulates within the craniosacral system. It circulates between the cells of the brain and spinal cord, and fills the spaces between cells. CSF also crosses cell membranes to enter intracellular compartments, though entry is selective. Some components of CSF are excluded. CSF functions include:
The dural membranes of the craniosacral system form the lining for several cranial (skull) bones. These membranes also attach to specific areas of bone in the spinal canal. The spinal canal attachments are much more sparse than the intracranial attachments, which allows for movement of the spine. When dural membrane movements are abnormally restricted for any reason, the craniosacral system may become compromised, with secondary effects on the CNS and/or endocrine and immune systems.
The volume of CSF in the craniosacral system constantly and rhythmically rises and falls at about six to 12 cycles per minute. This ongoing volumetric change requires dural membrane boundaries to continually adapt to avoid excessive fluid pressures on the delicate brain and spinal cord structures. Part of this accommodation is accomplished by the cranial bones opening and closing minutely where they abut each other.
It is now known that under normal circumstances cranial bones do not fuse together at puberty, as was previously taught.1-6 Rather, they are in constant motion to accommodate the changing demands placed on them by the dural membrane as it adjusts to the rhythmical rise and fall of CSF volume.
Disease, dysfunction or injuries may cause loss of bone mobility in the head, spine or pelvis. Such trauma can cause craniosacral system dysfunction, with secondary ramifications in the CNS, endocrine and immune systems.
The Role of CranioSacral Therapy
CranioSacral Therapy focuses on:
Many Systems Positively Impacted by CranioSacral Therapy
CST primarily facilitates processes that enhance the body's innate abilities for natural healing. The therapy focuses on removing restrictive forces and obstacles related to the craniosacral system. Enhancing the mobility of the craniosacral system improves the circulation of both blood and CSF to the brain, spinal cord, pituitary gland, pineal gland and the cranial nerve systems, among other things.
Improving fluid motion and exchange specifically enhances the functions of the brain; spinal cord; autonomic control systems; visual, auditory, olfactory and gustatory sensory systems; motor and motor coordination systems; endocrine system; and the immune system. Less directly, it seems to affect all other body systems; therefore, it is exceptionally useful for most chronic conditions and as a preventive measure.
Click here for previous articles by John Upledger, DO, OMM.
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