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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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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?
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.).
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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!
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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