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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.
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.
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.
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.
Improving Our Political Effectiveness
The November 2014 elections are right around the corner; members of Congress, governors and state legislators are all running. Now is a good time to talk frankly about our overall political involvement.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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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