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An Excerpt from TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics
This excerpt is reprinted with permission from Jamie Wu. TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics was released in 2014 by People's Medical Publishing House.
The Dietary Supplement Research Dilemma
I do not care what the truth is, one way or another; I just want to know it. And when it comes to dietary supplements, the truth can be hard to find for a number of reasons.
A Well-Kept Secret: 5 Element Acupuncture, Part II
Supervising acupuncture interns at a TCM college, it has always struck me how funny it is to hear the clinic manager tell the patients that the Five Element clinic specializes in treating emotions, as if patients with physical pain have no emotions!
The Need for a New Medical Model: A Challenge for Biopsychosocial and Ecopsychologica Medicine
Chinese medicine speaks of alignment between humans, heaven and earth. It is a complex view with a focus upon relationship. These are comprehensive ideas with no specific terms in contemporary medical practice.
Synergy Doesn't Happen in Silos: Acupuncture in Hospitals and Other Healthcare Settings
As acupuncture and traditional East Asian medicine continue to intersect and integrate with biomedical approaches, the conversation about integration expands and becomes richer.
Converting More Patients to Your Practice
In 2013 and 2014, the theme was "the money is in the list." This meant that if you had a big email list, you were really making some "cha-ching." Unfortunately, having thousands of emails doesn't equate to thousands of dollars in profit.
Treating Beyond Pain
More often than not, when a patient presents to the office, it is for a pain complaint. Headache, neck pain, low back pain, sciatica, carpal tunnel... The pain is often the focus of the patient's mindset, and they don't often have any thought of what comes after the pain.
There Really is No Room for Sexism
Recently, Matteo* (a transgender male) approached me during a break in an advanced shiatsu class in Berlin where he was one of two men in a group of 20 women. "Pamela. Don't forget to remind the translator to include male endings."
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.)
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.
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.
TCM Congress in Rothenburg is Largest in Western World
In the medieval town of Rothenburg, deep set within the Bavarian countryside in Southern Germany, the TCM Kongress Rothenburg each year draws around 1.200 participants from more than 40 different countries to attend the biggest TCM conference in the Western world.
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.
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.
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 Way We Are Designed: A Conversation with Gil Hedley, PhD
I was first introduced to the work of Gil Hedley by Tom DiFerdinando. He gifted me Gil's DVD series.
Will You Be an Amplifer or a Mute?
These times are changing, and changing quickly. There have been many challenges to this profession throughout the past few years. The challenge is to talk, then talk and talk some more about this medicine.
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.
Recreational Cannabis Use and TCM
Many people are drawn to cannabis for its effects physically, mentally and emotionally. Medically, cannabis has some legitimate uses, however the scope of this article is limited to the recreational use of cannabis.
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.
Turning a Blind Eye to History – and Reality
The American Medical Association is taking the Supreme Court's Feb. 25, 2015 decision exactly as it always does – by turning a blind eye to history, legal precedent and reality.
November, 2006, Vol. 06, Issue 11
Chronic Pain and CranioSacral Therapy, Part 2
By Tad Wanveer, LMT, CST-D; guest author for John Upledger, DO, OMM
Editor's note: Dr. John Upledger has asked Tad Wanveer, LMT, CST-D, to share his insights on CranioSacral Therapy. Click here to see Part 1 of Tad's article as it appeared in the October issue of Massage Today.
Can you recall a time you experienced a paper cut or were pricked by a thorn? Remember how sensitive your finger was to touch or perhaps to the slightest movement? The pain receptors in the area became easily stimulated, even with slight pressure.Yet, in a few days, the sensitivity decreased.
With chronic pain, the sensitivity does not decrease. Entire areas of the body might stay in a state of overwhelming sensitivity and pain. Nervous system tissue reacting in this way is referred to as being "facilitated," which means the pain cells and pain pathways are overly reactive. Excessively reactive pain cells will tend to lose their ability to modulate input. It's as though a magnifying glass is amplifying a vast and abnormal amount of sensory information into the area. This can then cause abnormal changes in the structure and function of the tissue innervated by the area of the affected spinal cord neurons, thus maintaining the sensation of chronic pain.
The facilitated sensory input might even cascade into other regions of the spinal cord and brain. The overflow of signals can irritate brain regions, leading to the ongoing perception of pain and the symptoms that often accompany chronic pain. Disturbance of the sympathetic division of the autonomic nervous system (sympathetics) often will lead to widespread bodily dysfunction. The sympathetic turmoil also contributes to chronic pain. "The sympathetics control the caliber of most of the vessels of the body. When the sympathetics are hyperirritable in a given area, in a given segment or in a peripheral distribution, there is a tendency for either exaggerated vasoconstriction or vasodilation. This contributes to chaos and the perpetuation of pathology. When you control the blood supply to a given area, you control its life; you control its capacity for recovery, its capacity to survive and maintain its integrity as a tissue."7
The vascular stress caused by sympathetic nervous system imbalance can lead to more tissue aggravation and pain signaling. Also, "the sympathetic nervous system is an important participant in the maintenance of splinting."8 Splinting is one way the body tries to avoid feeling pain - by rigidly contracting the muscles so minimal movement will occur. In these many ways, the unbridled responsive region(s) of the central and autonomic nervous systems might maintain the feeling of pain. This process also can produce a vast adverse affect on tissues such as nervous system cells, vascular structures, skeletal muscles, smooth muscle, cardiac muscle, glands, connective tissue, fascia, osseous tissue, skin and viscera.
What does all this mean to the bodywork practitioner? Simply put, normal tissue mobility is essential for this healing process, which is critical in addressing chronic pain. Enhanced mobility can help normalize vascular flow, decrease metabolic waste buildup, aid normal neural structure and function, de-facilitate affected spinal cord and brain areas, decrease adaptive body patterns that might be maintaining chronic-pain signals, and normalize autonomic nervous system function, thus decreasing abnormal strain on the associated somatic and visceral structures.
All this can help the body decrease the enormous strain chronic pain places on it, and help free the body from related suffering. In this highly individualized way, CranioSacral therapy might enhance the body's ability to naturally correct the imbalance and dysfunction that might be contributing to painful patterns. CranioSacral therapy can assist the body in changing abnormal tissue-strain patterns residing in the depths of the brain and spinal cord, throughout the musculoskeletal system, and in the body as a whole. CST also can be used in combination with massage and other manual therapies as an effective treatment for chronic pain conditions.
References (for parts 1 and 2)
Click here for previous articles by John Upledger, DO, OMM.
Tad Wanveer, LMT, CST-D, is a certified instructor for The Upledger Institute, where he was a staff clinician for more than five years. He earned his diploma in massage therapy in 1987 from the Swedish Institute of Massage and Allied Health Sciences in New York City. He currently runs a private practice in North Carolina’s Raleigh-Durham area specializing in CranioSacral Therapy.
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