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The Science of Stretching
In 1986, Rob DeCastella set a course record by running the Boston Marathon in 2:07:51, just 39 seconds off the world record.
Building From the Bottom Up
I caught up with my dear friend Honora Wolfe, in her Colorado painting studio where, if she is not praying in Bhutan or doing charitable work in a Nepali free clinic, she spends most of her time now.
Peer Points: Always Seeking To Grow
Ellen "Kiki" Geary has spent the last decade honing her craft. As a specialist in integrative holistic care, she went straight from completing her master's degree in acupuncture and chinese herbal medicine from Bastyr University to building a successful and thriving practice in the small community of Anacortes, Washington.
Finders Keepers: The Secret to Relationship-Based Marketing
Becoming a successful practitioner has less to do with what you learned in school, and more to do with your ability to find new patients and keep them!
A Guide for Talking to Doctors about Acupuncture and Brain Chemistry
Before I begin any discussion of how to talk about the effects of acupuncture on brain chemistry, nervous and endocrine function, it is essential to understand just what physicians most need help with.
A Chinese Medicine Story: An Interview with Mazin Al-Khafaji
Mazin Al-Khafaji's work has interested me for years. In February 2014, we invited him for the second time to speak at the Southwest Symposium in Austin, Texas.
Remembering Clarence Gonstead and 50 Years of the Gonstead Clinic
Dr. Clarence Selmer Gonstead (1898-1978) took chiropractic practice from back-alley bone setting to an understandable biomechanical science. His life was dedicated to clinical competency.
Immunizations by Colorado DCs: Really?
You probably didn't hear about it, but back on Nov. 21, 2013, the Board of Directors of the Colorado Chiropractic Association (CCA) adopted "immunization authority" for Colorado DCs as its No. 2 legislative goal.
Are You a Bad Chiropractic Patient?
My father was a great DC. In fact, as you might expect, he was the doctor of chiropractic I measured all other doctors against. Sadly, he died at age 61 when I was in my early 30s.
Coding for the Subluxation: ICD-9 vs. ICD-10
When I attended chiropractic school, I was taught that chiropractors approach health care differently than the traditional medical establishment.
Medical Qigong for the Heart: Part III
Part 1 and Part II of this series focused on the physical aspect of the Heart and mental emotional aspects of the Heart respectively. Now, I would like to focus on the spiritual aspect of the Heart.
Curbing Label Overwhelm
For the average consumer, reading a food package can be overwhelming: natural, organic, non-GMO, gluten free, free range ... you get the picture.
Knee Pain From the Kinetic Chain
As practitioners of manual medicine, chiropractors often treat patients suffering from knee pain.
Fibromyalgia: Put the Pain in Its Place
While some fibromyalgia patients respond favorably to regular chiropractic care, others experience minimal relief. Unfortunately, many of these patients must rely on pharmacological management to relieve their constant pain.
Physical Exam 101: The Hands
I am sure you are familiar with the old adage: "When the only tool in your toolbox is a hammer, everything starts to look like a nail."
By the Numbers: 3 Common Financial Mistakes With Major Consequences
Warren Buffett is on record for sharing the hidden art of becoming wealthy and making it simple enough for anyone to grasp.
Vaccines and Chiropractic: Evidence-Based Medicine or Medical Dogma?
Right or wrong, the chiropractic profession has historically been against vaccinations. However, a growing trend within the profession is seeking to reverse this position.
New Medical Technologies You Need to Know
We're all familiar with how fast computers become obsolete, as well as the rapid pace of development in the field of cell phone technology. The latest smart phones are far more powerful than desktop computers were only a few years ago.
A History Worth Telling
The popularity and the use of acupuncture for the treatment of animals in the United States is at its peak.
Why You Should Include the Single-Leg Stance Test in Every Patient Assessment
The single-leg stance (SLS) test, also known as the single-limb stance test, unipedal stance test or one-legged stance / balance test, is often used in the geriatric population to assess static postural and balance control.
November, 2007, Vol. 07, Issue 11
When a Child Wants to Move But Can’t
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 Carolina’s Raleigh-Durham area specializing in CranioSacral Therapy.
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