resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Transparency is Key at ASA First Annual Meeting
On March 4th and 5th the American Society of Acupuncturists (ASA) held a successful first annual meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Energy: For Life and For Death
Energy is a deep topic in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Qi is understood to underlie all of existence, animated or not, and the qi of the living is studied with special attention.
Filling the Gap: The Role of Alternative Practitioners in a Broken Health Care System
I have been asked many times what got me into alternative medicine. My answer is simple: I want to truly help and make a difference in people's health.
Health and Wellness Partnership
Yo San University of Traditional Chinese Medicine and The Wellness Center at the LAC + USC Historic General Hospital recently joined forces to extend care to the residents of Boyle Heights area of Los Angeles.
Identify & Adjust the Apex Posterior Sacrum
Low back pain involving an apex posterior sacrum (+θX-axis misalignment) typically presents with signs of lumbosacral joint impingement or facet syndrome.
The Value of Melatonin in Breast Cancer Prevention and Adjunctive Treatment
Although melatonin (MLT) is best known for its sleep-aid properties and as a natural remedy to prevent jet lag, extensive experimental studies suggest it possesses anticancer activity through several biological mechanisms.
Building Relationships and Referral Networks with Allopathic Practitioners
Dr. Doug, an orthopedist of 20 years, had heard stories from patients who tried acupuncture. While he was able to address many of their complaints effectively, some appeared to gain additional benefit when their care included TCM.
Day in the Life of an Advanced-Practice DC
Can you tell us a little about your background in the profession? Why did you want to become a DC? I studied at Boston University from 1968-1972 as a pre-med student majoring in biology.
Roots in the Community, Branches Far Beyond
The Jung Tao School of Classical Chinese Medicine (JTS) was founded in 1998 by Sean Christian Marshall in Sugar Grove, North Carolina, a small community near Boone in the state's westernmost mountains.
F4CP Launches New Social Media Campaign
The Foundation for Chiropractic Progress has launched a new service to help member doctors: a social media campaign called "Accelerator."
An Interview with Amanda Shayle
JW: Can you share with us some of your history and how you became an acupuncturist? What did you do prior to becoming an acupuncturist? Where did you go to school?
News in Brief
Northwestern Student Honored for Addressing Concussions Head-On; Northwestern Announces New CFO; Life U. to Provide Unique Opportunity.
Asking Patients the Right Questions
When was the last time you asked a patient a question? Maybe 30 seconds ago? But, are you asking the right questions to elicit valuable and useful information? As a healthcare provider, you've likely spent hundreds of hours learning to ask the right questions to gather critical health information from your patients.
The Rest of the Patient Story
I've written previously about allowing a patient to tell you their story – about taking the time to listen and engage all the aspects of their case history, the injury in question, and the related issues.
An Alarming Lack of Accountability
Accountability seems to be a lost quality today. The simple act of taking responsibility and doing the right thing just doesn't happen as often as it should. Maybe it is the litigious nature of our society.
Designing a Fitness Plan (Part 4): Blending Pain Relief With Healthy Aging
Pain relief is still the No. 1 reason patients come to my office. However, most of my patients have other goals as well, such as: "I want to lose 10 to 20 pounds"; "I feel old and want to slow down the aging process"; "My doctor says I am becoming a diabetic and need to exercise"; or "I'm tired and want more energy."
NCCAOM Launches New Membership Organization
The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) recently launched a new national membership organization, the NCCAOM Academy of Diplomates.
Specialized Pro-Resolving Mediators: 21st Century Inflammation Fighters
Specialized pro-resolving mediators, or SPMs, are a portion of the omega-3 fatty-acid spectrum that have been shown to have a powerful effect on reducing inflammation.
Excited to Share the Science of Chiropractic: An Interview With Dr. Heidi Haavik
Dr. Heidi Haavik has become known in the circle of chiropractic researchers as not only a rising star, but also one willing to do research that can have a major impact in the scientific world and how chiropractic is perceived.
Constructing Our Reality: The Primary Channels and Perception, Part 1
My favorite topic of discussion within Chinese medicine is the acupuncture channel systems. First of all, each of us have them. They are part of our bodies; not something external to us. To learn about the acupuncture channels is to learn about ourselves.
How Many of Your Patients Have Sarcopenia?
Figure 1 demonstrates the typical appearance of sarcopenia in the paravertebral muscles. Have you considered evaluating your patients for this problem? Sarcopenia is the progressive loss of skeletal muscle mass and function that affects the older population.
The Art of Listening
One of the most important clinical concepts for me was voiced by the legendary physician William Osler. "Listen to your patient, he/she is telling you the diagnosis." After treating literally thousands of patients, it can become almost second nature to quickly discover clues which reveal the underlying diagnosis.
Misconceptions & Opportunities With Medicare
As I speak around the country on how to properly document Medicare patient encounters, I get questions regarding opting out of Medicare. There are many misconceptions about opting out of Medicare, including just what it means to opt out.
September, 2007, Vol. 07, Issue 09
Autonomic Nervous System Dysfunction
By Tad Wanveer, LMT, CST-D; guest author for John Upledger, DO, OMM
Editor's note: Tad Wanveer, author of this month's "CranioSacrally Speaking" column, has been the guest author for several previous "CranioSacrally Speaking" columns.
Dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system (ANS) may be central to impairing the quality of one's life and contributing to severe illness.CranioSacral Therapy (CST) has been shown to balance and correct dysfunctions of the ANS through gentle manual techniques.
The nervous system can be simplified into five basic branches dedicated to sensory processing, muscle planning and activity, memory processing, emotional processing and basic survival. The ANS is a component of the basic survival branch. It controls the body's vital functions, working to maintain homeostasis (a steady internal state) and optimal conditions for cell and tissue function. The ANS has two divisions, each having motor and sensory components: sympathetic division (known as fight/flight/freeze) and parasympathetic division (known as rest/relax/renew).
Both divisions innervate the internal organs, smooth muscles, cardiac muscles, exocrine glands and metabolic cells. The sympathetic division also controls blood flow, sweat gland activity and hair follicles. The ANS partly mediates the regulation of immune and inflammatory responses within the gut, lungs and skin.
The ANS divisions continually work together to maintain optimal function and create the most balanced operation of bodily systems. Normally, when one is more active then the other is less active, as in the control of blood pressure. If blood pressure suddenly rises, parasympathetic activity to the heart increases and sympathetic activity decreases. This slows the heart rate and brings the blood pressure back down. If blood pressure is low, sympathetic activity increases and parasympathetic activity decreases, which helps blood pressure rise.
There are times when a division becomes chronically hyperactive (overactive) or hypoactive (underactive). The cause might stem from physical trauma, stressful experiences or biomechanical strain, to name a few. The effect is a body functioning in a non-optimal state, with its cells and systems excessively strained and overworked. The bodily stress can become enormous, leading to conditions ranging from mild chronic pain to devastating illness.
All organs, vessels, glands, nerves and cells of the ANS and every other part of the body are wrapped in fascia. The craniosacral system (CSS) is a specialized container that envelops the fluid and tissues of the brain and spinal cord within three continuous and interrelated layers of fascia.
The parasympathetic division also is referred to as the craniosacral division of the ANS because its motor cells originate in the brain stem and sacral portion of the spinal cord. The vagus nerves (there are two) are the primary parasympathetic nerves. Their route to the viscera begins in the brainstem. They exit the cranium by passing through the jugular foramina (two openings at the base of the skull) and traveling to the organs. Abnormal fascial strain may exist anywhere along the route of the vagus nerves, affecting the brain stem and spinal cord and resulting in altered structure and compromised function of the tissue with which it communicates.
CST techniques are used to locate and reduce adverse strain of the fascia. As the fascia returns to normal patterning and motion, neurological strain can subside and diminish the adverse strain on the smooth muscles, heart muscle, glands, blood vessels and organs. In response, the sensory input from the viscera to the nervous system can greatly improve.
Enhancing the mobility and balance of the CSS, also can increase the efficiency by which cerebrospinal fluid cleanses irritating elements from the brain and spinal cord tissue while delivering nutrients to the cells. These changes can help correct and improve the function of the ANS, which can significantly increase health and vitality.
Common causes of strain on the sympathetic division are stress, chronic illness or infection, scar tissue, traumatic impact and anxiety. Another is experiencing a highly stressful situation that the body is unable to process adequately. Sympathetic division strain can lead to dysfunction of central processing areas of the ANS (within the brain and spinal cord), particularly portions of the limbic system (emotional and memory processing area), the hypothalamus (internal regulatory area) and the reticular alarm system (vital function area). A chronic internal state of fight, flight or freeze can occur, causing relentless challenges leading to dysfunction and illness.
CST can help correct ANS dysfunction by reducing adverse biomechanical forces that are straining the harmonious movement of body fluid and tissues. For example, strain of the dural tube (the CSS membrane layers surrounding the spinal cord tissue) can cause sympathetic division cells to become irritated and overactive, leading to chaotic neurological communication and visceral dysfunction.
Another example is abnormal strain on the muscles at the base of the cranium, which can strain the vagus nerves and compromise the body's ability to regenerate and heal. A third example is when disruptive information embedded in the tissue causes flashbacks. The flashbacks usually occur in response to some form of sensory input that brings about a reaction in the compromised tissue and ANS. This causes certain cells to communicate in a way that unexpectedly triggers the recall of past events.
CST, as well as a spontaneous therapeutic process called somatoemotional release, helps the body find tissue-movement patterns that can liberate and integrate disturbing cellular patterns to normalize neurological, vascular, biomechanical and biochemical processing. Since overall health is realized within the parameters set by the function of the organs and systems controlled by the ANS, increasing ANS function this way helps elevate the body to its optimal levels of vitality, well-being, balance, self-correction and harmony.
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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