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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.).
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?
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.
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.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
November, 2007, Vol. 07, Issue 11
When a Child Wants to Move But Canít
By Tad Wanveer, LMT, CST-D; guest author for John Upledger, DO, OMM
Editor's note: Dr. Upledger has asked Tad Wanveer to contribute this month's column. Tad has been the guest author for several previous "CranioSacrally Speaking" columns.
Cerebral palsy (CP) is a group of movement and posture challenges that stem from the abnormal development of, or damage to, the motor-control areas of the brain.For more than 20 years, CranioSacral Therapy (CST) has been used to enhance brain function and help those with CP move with greater ease and balance. It can help them reach their highest potential by balancing motion, facilitating brain reorganization and elevating the body's natural self-corrective processes.
The Puzzling Causes of CP
The types of brain injuries that cause CP are not fully understood. The damage seems to primarily stem from congenital problems due to infection, toxicity, genetic disorders, trauma and complications of premature birth.
A common cause is perinatal (five months before through one month after birth) asphyxia, which is when the brain is subjected to hypoxia (deprived of adequate oxygen supply); ischemia (restriction of blood supply); and hypercarbia (abnormally high levels of carbon dioxide in the blood).
Within the brain, consequences of these conditions can include metabolic changes and edema, leading to cell gliosis (the formation of a dense, fibrous network of glial cells in the area of damage), cyst formation and/or fluid congestion.
Brain damage with CP is non-progressive, though motor problems can change. The severity of CP ranges from mild to severe, depending on the amount of brain damage. Some children might experience difficulty with movement and challenges with one or more of these issues: gait, swallowing, chewing, balance, posture, sight, hearing, speech, breathing and sensory processing. Seizure activity also is present in many children with CP.
CP Types and Classifications
There are four types of CP, all named for a type of movement disturbance: spastic, athetoid, ataxic and mixed.
Spastic CP is the most common type, affecting 70 percent to 80 percent of all cases. Characterized by hypertonia (abnormal muscle tightness, rigidity and reduced ability to stretch), it's due to injury to the pyramidal system. This is the network of motor nerves extending from the brain to various spinal cord levels, particularly the cortex and internal capsule. The injury disturbs the brain's ability to modulate motor-neuron activity, and it leads to varying degrees of continuous muscle contraction, also known as elevated deep tendon reflex.
Athetoid CP is characterized by hypotonia (abnormally low muscle tone and strength), or mixed muscle tone (muscles that are sometimes hypotonic and sometimes hypertonic), and abnormal involuntary movements. Athetoid CP often is due to a disturbance of the extrapyramidal system. This network of brain neurons modulates movement and maintains muscle tone and body stability, especially in the basal ganglia.
Ataxic CP is characterized by difficulty with movement coordination. It's often due to damage of the cerebellum, which fine-tunes and controls the timing of movement. Ataxic CP can affect any part of the motor system, including the extremities, torso and speech.
Mixed CP is characterized by a combination of the aforementioned forms. Various parts of the body are affected by CP. They are classified as: hemiplegia (affecting one side of the body); diplegia (affecting the whole body, lower extremities more than upper extremities); or quadriplegia (affecting the whole body, lower and upper extremities equally).
CST Enhances the Child's Natural Body Processes
CranioSacral Therapy can assist the CP client in numerous ways. It can decrease brain congestion, hypertonicity or hypotonicity, and enhance motor-system neurological signaling.
Gentle cranial mobilization techniques can reduce brain congestion by helping membrane layers around the brain move with more efficiency and ease. The membrane motion can travel throughout the brain to enhance tissue and fluid movement, and decrease intracellular congestion, abnormal pressure on the cells and gliosis. It also can increase the availability of nutrients to the cells. All this maximizes the self-corrective potential of brain cells, creating an optimal environment for neuroplasticity - the ability of the brain to reorganize itself by forming new neural connections.
CST helps decrease hypertonicity and hypotonicity through techniques like the delicate tractioning of muscle and fascia, following and assisting body parts into positions of release, directing energy to decrease or increase tone and facilitating tissue movement in synchrony with the craniosacral rhythm. The rhythm is created by the motion of body tissue in response to the filling and emptying of cerebrospinal fluid within the craniosacral system.
All this helps muscles by increasing vascular flow, flushing toxins, increasing muscle fiber length or strength, and decreasing fascial strain. As muscle correction occurs, different sensory signals are sent from the muscles to the spinal cord and on to the brain, where they can encourage it to reorganize existing sensory areas that can stimulate improvement or help form new motor areas and pathways.
CST can enhance motor system neurological signaling through the application of the "direction of energy" technique. This helps neurons and nerve pathways use and integrate neurological information with optimal efficiency by boosting the energy available for cells to work, move and effect change.
Also, the delicate mobilization of the craniosacral system can decrease spinal cord irritation that might have occurred due to overloaded, overactive or underactive muscle reflexes by facilitating the movement of fluid and tissue around and within the spinal cord.
Through all of these processes, CranioSacral Therapy gently facilitates the self-corrective mechanisms through techniques that improve the balanced motion of cells, tissue, fluids and systems. It supports the remarkable plasticity of the nervous system and the extraordinary potential for compensation within the whole body. The result often is newfound movement, balance, expression and freedom for the child with CP.
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 Carolinaís Raleigh-Durham area specializing in CranioSacral Therapy.
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