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News in Brief
Dr. Frank Nicchi Receives Award at ACC-RAC; Sherman College Expands International Influence.
Make Every Day Mother's Day
May is a special month for many reasons. After a long, harsh winter, spring is at last in full swing. Memorial Day helps us honor those who have fought and fallen in the name of freedom.
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.
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.
Apple Takes a Bite Out of Research
The more than 700 million iPhone users have just been given the opportunity to "do their part to advance medical research."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
Talking to Patients About Medial Branch Neurotomy (Part 2)
Even when lumbar facet denervation (medial branch neurotomy) is successful, relief is rarely complete or permanent. Smuck, et al., reviewed 16 articles and found the average duration of >50 percent pain relief for an initial procedure was nine months.
If Your Pro-Chiropractic Governor Resigned, Would You Be Prepared?
John Kitzhaber, MD, recently re-elected to a historic fourth term as Oregon governor, has resigned among alleged ethics violations by his fiancée' and first lady, Cylvia Hayes. I developed a personal friendship with John and consider him a good friend.
Teach Your Patients About External Healing Applications
Since the skin is the body's largest organ, and is able to respond to both internal and external stimulations, communicate sensations to the brain, protect the body, breathe and even excrete toxins, it can be an excellent source of healing.
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.
Functional Impingement of the Hip (Part 2): Rehab Exercises
I find functionally impinged hips that don't move properly on so many of my patients. (See part 1 of this article for a description of the condition.)
Trouble in the Wellness Waters?
Call me old-fashioned, paranoid or just old, but I do remember graduating from chiropractic college in the late '70s in the midst of the Wilk v AMA lawsuit.
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.
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.
February, 2007, Vol. 07, Issue 02
Scoliosis and CranioSacral Therapy
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 in this month's column. Tad has been the guest author for previous "CranioSacrally Speaking" columns.
Most cases of scoliosis are considered to be of unknown origin (idiopathic).CranioSacral Therapy helps unravel the mystery by seeking the cause within the craniosacral and fascial systems of the body. Compromising strain patterns of those systems can be major contributors to the creation and persistence of scoliosis.
The craniosacral system surrounds, protects, nourishes and cleanses the brain and spinal cord. The spinal portion of the system is a tube-like structure within the spinal canal that envelops the spinal cord and spinal nerve roots. This is called the dural tube. (See Figures A and B.) The membrane layers that form the dural tube are continuous with the membrane layers within the cranium. The outermost layer is the dura mater membrane. Within the cranium, it's attached directly to the bones and folds inward to form intracranial separations. In the spinal canal, however, it's normally attached to bone at only a few sites.
The spinal cord is a longitudinal cord of delicate and intricate nervous system tissue requiring protection, while at the same time possessing a degree of mobility. Therefore, it's surrounded by numerous tissue tubes within tubes: three layers of membrane (the dural tube), a cerebrospinal fluid tube, an adipose tissue tube, the spinal column bony segmental tube, as well as tubes and layers of fascia and tissue. The spinal cord communicates with the body by way of horizontal projections (nerve roots) that send and receive information. The nerve roots travel through the intervertebral foramina of the spinal column. The dura mater membrane surrounds the nerve roots and creates a seal with the peripheral fascia before the nerve roots exit the foramina. This can create an avenue by which abnormal strain patterns may travel from the body and spinal column into the dural tube or from the dural tube into the spinal column and body.
Therefore, dural tube strain patterns, such as lack of mobility, compression, side-bending, torsion and stretching, can migrate into the spinal column, surrounding fascia and tissue, causing the structures to reorganize into abnormal shapes. This can lead to some of the common issues encountered in the clinical practice, such as nerve root compression, cranial base compromise, spinal stenosis, facet compression, herniated disc, coccyx pain, bone spurs and scoliosis. Dural tube distortion can be the primary cause of scoliosis. When this is the case, mobilizing the dural tube, as well as the spinal column, fascia and surrounding tissue, is essential in aiding the body to correct the condition.
Yet the primary cause may lie elsewhere. Actually, it might be found anywhere in the body. Perhaps intracranial membrane strain, scar tissue or imbalance within the musculature of the torso has formed, causing the spinal column to curve abnormally. Usually, all of the structural "tubes" surrounding the spinal cord can be involved to some degree. It's important to address the scar tissue, tissue imbalance or other primary cause that is acting as the anchor, holding the scoliosis in place. It's equally important to mobilize the dural tube even after the soft-tissue and bony patterns have been mobilized. If adverse dural tube patterns are not addressed, a tendency to maintain the scoliosis will remain deep within the body as a powerful mold, actively forging abnormal tissue shape.
CranioSacral Therapy gently addresses compromised tissue patterns surrounding and within the spinal column, adipose tissue and the dural tube through techniques such as mobilization of fascia, gentle traction and enhancing the mobility of the body tissue in response to the motion of the craniosacral system. The craniosacral system normally moves the entire body in a rhythmic motion. The practitioner uses the tissue response to this movement to assess areas of compromise and localize core restrictive patterns. Tissue response to the craniosacral rhythm also is used during therapy as a tool for dynamic change by assisting the body in moving more fully and freely, in synchrony with the vital rhythmic current of the craniosacral system.
Structural interconnections, interactions and dysfunction within the body can be baffling at times. CranioSacral Therapy embraces the infinite possibilities of interrelationships that can occur and uses the craniosacral and fascial systems as precise and powerful tools in identifying and facilitating the correction of compromising tissue patterns. In this way, scoliosis and many other conditions relating to the spinal column can be efficiently assessed and effectively addressed.
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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