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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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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!
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.).
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?
May, 2007, Vol. 07, Issue 05
Cranial/Structural Soft-Tissue Releases
By Don McCann, MA, LMT, LMHC, CSETT
For the past 15 years, I have been working with a paradigm that has greatly expanded the effectiveness of my soft-tissue therapy. When I began applying the cranial/structural releases to initiate structural balance, there was a quantum leap in the effectiveness of my treatments and long-term rehabilitation for my clients.The cranial/structural releases initiated an unwinding of the body out of its collapsed spiral that had been the cause of so much soft-tissue compensation and pain; and corrected the weight-bearing separation between the rotated iliums and tipped sacrum.
With weight-bearing support quickly established in the first 20 minutes of treatment, the old compensations and myofascial holding patterns in the soft tissue began to release, resulting in more efficient soft-tissue treatment and allowing the structure to move more easily into balance. Before the cranial/structural releases, it would usually take at least five to 10 sessions for any noticeable improvement in the client's structural collapse. Even then, the weight-bearing separation of the sacrum and ilium was not completely resolved. Let's look at the difference between craniosacral and cranial/structural soft-tissue releases.
Cranial/structural techniques are very different from craniosacral techniques in intent and application. Craniosacral techniques are applied within the soft-tissue restrictions of the normal cranial motion to achieve homeostasis. Cranial/structural techniques release the soft-tissue restrictions of the distorted cranial motion, resulting in structural balance throughout the body. Let's take an in-depth look at the need for cranial/structural techniques.
Within the structure of every client's body there exists a core distortion pattern. Many liken it to a spiral that runs throughout the structure, resulting in an anterior/posterior rotation of the iliums, a tipped sacrum and a degree of classic scoliosis. This spiral is evident from the top of the head down to the feet and, not surprisingly, also is found in the relationship of the bones and soft tissue of the cranium. When clients are experiencing musculoskeletal pain, there is an observable increase in the degree of this distortion. This can be viewed as a degree of structural collapse or a lack of structural support. The resulting pain can be evidenced in the compensation for this increased distortion, the strain in the musculature or the actual distortion of the skeletal structure. Thus, the key to relieving the painful symptoms and balancing the structural support system lies in releasing this exaggerated core distortion.
For years, in developing my soft-tissue protocols, I struggled with the major components of this core distortion, in an effort to relieve my clients' painful symptoms. Whether it was whiplash flexion/extension injuries, headaches, neck pain, shoulder pain, degenerative disc disease, bulging disc, carpal tunnel, nerve entrapment, sciatica, low back pain, hip pain, knee pain or foot pain - it was related to structural collapse. Therefore, addressing and releasing the core distortion pattern appeared to be the most direct way to achieve pain relief, homeostasis and a return to normal function.
Within every collapsed structure, I found an anterior/posterior rotation of the iliums, stretched ligaments between the sacrum and the ilium at the SI joint, and a tipped sacrum. The degree of distortion was directly influenced by the degree of the rotation of the iliums, the degree of stretched ligaments and the degree of tippage of the sacrum. Further, the degree of distortion in the body was directly proportional to the intensity of the pain and symptoms the client was experiencing. The longer the client remained in this distortion, the more the entire musculoskeletal system distorted into the lack of support, which usually resulted in an extended recovery process.
One of the greatest challenges was stabilizing the SI joint. While the client was on the table, the position of the iliums could be shifted through soft-tissue releases, and the feet and legs could be aligned to support the shift. However, when the client became weight-bearing, the weakened ligaments would not be able to stabilize the SI joint and the sacrum would again slip and tip, re-creating the structural collapse.
A missing link in the treatment to stabilize the pelvis was found in the relationship between the cranial bones, reciprocal tension membrane, dura and the myofascial planes of the body. Dr. G. Dallas Hancock, a chiropractic physician, discovered the relationship between two of the cranial bones (the sphenoid and the occiput), the sphenobasilar synchondrosis (SBS) where they meet, and the torsion of the pelvis. He noted that the rotation of the iliums and tippage of the sacrum were in direct relationship to the rotation of the wings of the sphenoid and the tippage of the occiput. I had the privilege of working with him to develop the techniques of releasing the cranial torsion of the SBS that successfully released the torsion of the pelvis.
One of the ways to understand the effect of this incredible discovery of Dr. Hancock's is to view these two cranial bones (sphenoid and occiput) as handles for the reciprocal tension membrane, dura and the entire myofascial plane of the body. The distortion found in the SBS joint is supported by the restrictions in the reciprocal tension membrane, dura and fascia, which affect the entire structure of the body. The techniques that were developed to unwind the torsion of the SBS released the restrictions in the reciprocal tension membrane and dura, which, in turn, released the restrictions in the myofascial planes of the body that related directly to the dura. In addition to the release of the restrictions in the dura, its relationship to the sacrum allowed the sacrum and the iliums to balance.
The greatest significance of this was that the weight-bearing separation of the SI joint was corrected, even though the ligaments had been stretched. Another exciting discovery was that clients would not return to this weight-bearing structural collapse unless a very severe trauma was experienced. With the balancing of the SI joint and iliums, the myofascial planes of the body down to the feet also were beginning to unwind and balance, bringing support into the entire structure.
The torsion found in the cranium also was the principal cause of problems such as TMJ. When the torsion was taken out of the cranium (SBS), a balancing of the bite took place. Most clients who suffered TMJ symptoms would have an immediate improvement. Even without focusing on the usual TMJ soft-tissue treatments, clients would continue to improve and often become pain-free.
Cranial work that focuses on this structural shift is called cranial/structural due to its direct relationship to structural balance. Prior to having these techniques to balance the SBS and correct the weight-bearing collapse found in the core distortion pattern, I was not able to achieve a long-term correction of the distortion in the pelvis. However, with the cranial/structural techniques, my clients showed dramatic changes in the initial session and I was able to achieve long-term correction of this distortion throughout the body in only a few treatments by integrating my soft-tissue protocols.
Jerry, 33, an avid weekend basketball player, had been developing low back pain for five years. He was then rear-ended in an auto accident, resulting in a cervical flexion/extension injury and excessive soft-tissue damage. His chiropractor referred him for soft-tissue therapy, as he was having difficulty stabilizing his neck. At Jerry's first session, evaluation revealed a structural collapse of the core distortion with an anterior/posterior ilium rotation, tipped sacrum, scoliosis, reverse curvature of the neck and a jammed C1. Applied kinesiology evaluated the weakened strain patterns of the structural collapse and revealed weakness in the legs down to the feet.
The cranial/structural soft-tissue releases were applied and Jerry noticed an immediate improvement in the range of motion of his neck, less neck pain, a flattening of his back on the table and reduced back pain. Upon becoming weight-bearing, Jerry also noticed that both feet felt like they were directly under him with the weight evenly distributed. He was standing straighter, his arms were more equal along his sides, and the top of his left shoulder was no longer hurting. It was obvious there had been substantial improvement in Jerry's structure. It was now time for soft-tissue treatments to release the myofascial holding pattern and address shortened fascial fibers, adhesions and scar tissue from the auto accident, and the structural collapse from basketball. Jerry's neck stabilized in just two sessions.
Cranial/structural is most effective when applied at the beginning of the first session to release the core distortion pattern and balance the SI joint. However, the soft tissue (dura, reciprocal tension membrane and fascia) will only release so far using the cranial/structural techniques alone. The structure of the body is then trying to move into balance, but the soft tissue that was tightened and forming adhesions and restrictions in the holding pattern of the core distortion will impede the process. To complete the balancing process, it is necessary to include specific myofascial releases, myofascial unwinding, and scar and adhesion fiber work to allow the whole body to move into structural balance.
Click here for more information about Don McCann, MA, LMT, LMHC, CSETT.
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