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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!
July, 2005, Vol. 05, Issue 07
A Natural Approach to Degenerative Diseases of the Central Nervous System
By John Upledger, DO, OMM
As a complementary care practitioner with a long history in the medical field, I tend to look at trends in medicine with a broader eye than some mainstream physicians. With all the press these past few years on degenerative diseases of the central nervous system (CNS) - Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, senile dementia, and the like - I'd like to weigh in on noninvasive options in therapeutic care.It's vital for clients to have choices.
Research indicates that a significant number of degenerative brain diseases are caused by the accumulation of waste products generated by physiological reactions that involve brain proteins. This particular waste product is called "beta amyloid peptide" (BAP). The peptide is formed from a protein called "amyloid precursor protein" (APP), which is a constituent of the neural cell membranes of the brain, spinal cord and spinal cord roots. Toxic levels of the peptide can also be formed from the accumulation of heavy minerals such as mercury, aluminum and cadmium. (Some authorities suggest this abnormal accumulation of BAP results from genetic mutations. The jury is still out on that concept.)
Beta amyloid peptide products accumulate at toxic levels more often in the brain than in the spinal cord and its roots. Yet when abnormal accumulation does occur in the cord or roots, degeneration that histologically resembles that of the brain does occur. In any case, the formation of BAPs from APPs is physiologically normal; however, when BAPs are neither removed as waste nor neutralized by normal biochemical reactions, CNS diseases can occur.
No matter the reason, the abnormal accumulation of BAPs may result in the formation of extracellular amyloid plaques. The presence of these plaques can then induce the inflammatory response, which facilitates the hyper-phosphorylation of a protein named "TAU." While still under study, we know TAU forms intracellular fibrillatory tangles. Between the plaques and the tangles, the neurons become dysfunctional and may die. In addition to producing plaques and tangles, BAPs can: 1) interfere with the proper functioning of voltage-dependent calcium channels, usually causing neuronal hyperexcitability and ultimately death, and 2) enhance the activity of an enzyme known as "GTPase," the hyperactivity of which then interferes with long-term potentiation at the synaps, which results in memory failure.
The production of BAPs depends on the presence of APP, which is an integral cellular-membrane protein. It has three different isoforms made up of either 695, 751 or 770 amino acids. It also has a large domain outside of the cell. The extracellular portion is connected to a smaller intracellular portion by a part of the molecule that passes through the cell membrane, thus forming a connection between the extracellular and intracellular parts of the molecule. Since both parts have receptors, APP passes information between the extracellular and intracellular domains of the molecule; hence, between the extracellular and intracellular regions. In view of all this, it's clear that the major causes of degenerative diseases of the CNS include the incomplete removal of BAPs and excessive inflammatory responses.
Certainly, biochemicals that have been used to treat these conditions (neprilysin, insulin degrading enzyme, endothelial-converting enzyme and plasmin) have been moderately successful in terms of slowing the disease processes. But what about approaching the situation by using hands-on therapeutic techniques that physiologically remove the culprit molecules, namely the beta amyloid peptides?
It seems to me that using approaches such as massage and CranioSacral Therapy (CST) to enhance the flow of fluids that pass through the interstitial spaces of the central nervous system would be of great therapeutic value. If we could help the body obtain a proper balance through these techniques, the accumulation of BAPs would naturally be reduced. One of the major goals of CST in particular is to enhance the flow of cerebrospinal fluid through the craniosacral system, which surrounds the brain and spinal cord. We accomplish this by releasing any membranous tensions that restrict the easy, natural, rhythmical motion of the craniosacral system. When the craniosacral system is operating at a high level of efficiency, the accumulated BAP waste is flushed from the interstitial spaces of the central nervous system and excreted from the body. Thus, a major contributing cause of degenerative diseases of the brain or spinal cord is eliminated.
Yet even preventing further degenerative changes will not restore neurons, neuronal circuits and glial cells that have already been lost. How can manual therapists help restore these losses? Personally, I incorporate CST with SomatoEmotional Release and dialogue techniques to "talk" with the stem cells that are already numerous in the brain and spinal cord. First, I humbly and respectfully describe the functional losses of the central nervous system to the stem cells.
Next, I politely request that these stem cells replace lost neurons, circuits or what have you, as they see fit. It's important to understand that I do not tell them how to do it. I only describe the problem and ask that the stem cells apply their wisdom and ingenuity to do whatever they feel is appropriate and necessary to restore normal function to the brain and spinal cord.
For those of you willing to venture with me into new areas of thought and therapeutic care, you'll find yourself able to render valuable services to clients afflicted with a wide range of degenerative diseases of the brain or spinal cord. And isn't that where the true value lies?
Click here for previous articles by John Upledger, DO, OMM.
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