resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
The Tao of Gender
If you think gender is as simple as having a new client check off the "male" or "female" box on your intake form, we hope this article will expand your understanding and thus the reach of your health care.
The Heart Protector
On the physical level, the Pericardium is a double-layered sac of fibrous tissue that envelops the Heart. The space between the layers is filled with serous fluid that protects the Heart from external shock or trauma and lubricates to allow for normal Heart movement.
Saying No to Medicine
An interesting article recently appeared in Men's Journal titled "When to Say No to Your Doctor." The article begins with the summary statement above and effectively arms readers with information that will help them "take more responsibility for your own health care, because you can't be sure anyone else is.
5 Ways to Occupy Occupational Health
Despite the progress that has been made to better protect workers, occupational health and safety remains a priority area for many national governmental organizations due to the widespread problem of occupationally related morbidity and mortality.
Managing Patient Expectations About Acupuncture
Last year, I attended the Pacific Symposium in San Diego for the first time in six or seven years. It was the 25th anniversary of this event, and on one evening there was a panel discussion with the title; "What is Qi?."
Help Patients Achieve Optimal Vitamin D Levels
Much research has been done on vitamin D levels and their impact on health; optimal levels have been correlated with a reduced risk of developing numerous conditions.
Calcium Helps Prevent Colorectal Cancer
Over the past 25 to 30 years, studies have suggested calcium may confer protection against colorectal cancer.
Transparency and Accountability: Q&A With the CCE
Every profession needs an organization dedicated to upholding the quality and integrity of its degree programs and educational institutions.
Web Marketing: Content Is King
Google's sweeping updates to its search algorithms over the past few years have brought a paradigm shift in how you can optimize your chiropractic website to gain maximum marketing leverage.
AOMA Strengthens Leadership Team
AOMA Graduate School of Integrative Medicine, a leading college of acupuncture & herbal medicine, announced the appointment of Donna LaPoint Hurta, MBA as the new VP of Finance & Operations this Fall.
Talking to Patients About Healthy Aging
I've noticed that a particular category of patients seems to make up more and more of my practice – they work out, but still experience lots of degenerative joint disease (DJD) issues.
Simple Ways To Find True Happiness
Patients in our clinics are always seeking happiness. As their health advocate, we need to ensure we inform them that in order to find happiness, they have to make sure to identify what makes them happy in the first place.
Pulse Diagnosis: What We Know
I am still finding pearls of wisdom from the books and papers that I inherited from my pulse diagnosis mentor Jim Ramholz.
Jingei Diagnosis: An Effective and Powerful Diagnostic
I graduated from the Kotatama Institute under the direction of Drs. Masahilo and Katsuharu Nakazono in 1984. As a student, I was exposed to the practice of most of the various theories and modalites of Oriental Medicine.
Understanding and Identifying Pediatric Growth-Plate Fractures
In general, fractures in children heal well with little intervention as long as the alignment is good. Fractures involving the growth plate, however, are a different issue. In fact, growth-plate injuries are the primary reason for the subspecialty of pediatric orthopedics.
To The Finish Line With the Help of TCM
When acupuncturist Eddy De Smedt pursued a career in Traditional Chinese Medicine, he knew he wanted to make a difference.
Healing With TCM at San Quentin State Prison
For the prisoners at San Quentin State Prison, life-sentences are the reality of every day life. It is not often that prisoners get the opportunity to use alternative medicine to deal with common ailments they encounter behind bars such as, depression, anxiety and pain.
The X Factor in Clinical Research: The Patient
It was the great baseball legend, former New York Yankees catcher Yogi Berra – he of countless aphorisms, each with a mind-bending twist – who once declared, "You can observe a lot by watching."
Blaming the Gluteus Medius, Overlooking the Deltoid
The gluteus medius (Gmed) is commonly written about, strengthened and blamed for many conditions, and rightfully so. After all, the Gmed plays a role in pelvic stability, hip motor control and lower-quarter dynamic movements.
Lime Jello on Morphine
Taste is in the eyes... actually the mouth... of the beholder. My food preferences have changed, lightening from the food of my youth. My parents loved heavy eastern European cuisine and I loved it as a child. Now I enjoy leaner, healthier whole foods.
The Wonders of Light Therapy: An Interview with Wes Burwell
I first met Wes Burwell in 2011 when he was teaching a class on light. Since then, every time I hear him speak, his understanding of the benefits, function and capacity of light has evolved.
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.
Join the conversation
Comments are encouraged, but you must follow our User Agreementcomments powered by Disqus
Keep it civil and stay on topic. No profanity, vulgar, racist or hateful comments or personal attacks. Anyone who chooses to exercise poor judgement will be blocked. By posting your comment, you agree to allow MPA Media the right to republish your name and comment in additional MPA Media publications without any notification or payment.