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Treating Beyond Pain
More often than not, when a patient presents to the office, it is for a pain complaint. Headache, neck pain, low back pain, sciatica, carpal tunnel... The pain is often the focus of the patient's mindset, and they don't often have any thought of what comes after the pain.
Recreational Cannabis Use and TCM
Many people are drawn to cannabis for its effects physically, mentally and emotionally. Medically, cannabis has some legitimate uses, however the scope of this article is limited to the recreational use of cannabis.
The Dietary Supplement Research Dilemma
I do not care what the truth is, one way or another; I just want to know it. And when it comes to dietary supplements, the truth can be hard to find for a number of reasons.
Low Back Pain in Professional Golf: A Common Muscular Relationship
Every sport creates its own unique demands on the body. Some sports require such a myriad of body positions that assessing pathology is often difficult and unpredictable.
Optimism = Compassion = Trust
A randomized clinical trial recently published online in JAMA Oncology examined how patients viewed their doctor based upon how the practitioner presented bad news to the patient.
Term Limits: What's in a Word?
It was the French historian and philosopher Voltaire who once declared the Holy Roman Empire was neither holy nor Roman nor an empire.
A House Divided?
The American Chiropractic Association's House of Delegates voted on 30 resolutions at its annual business meeting in Washington D.C., but two in particular took immediate center stage due to their controversial nature.
TCM Congress in Rothenburg is Largest in Western World
In the medieval town of Rothenburg, deep set within the Bavarian countryside in Southern Germany, the TCM Kongress Rothenburg each year draws around 1.200 participants from more than 40 different countries to attend the biggest TCM conference in the Western world.
There Really is No Room for Sexism
Recently, Matteo* (a transgender male) approached me during a break in an advanced shiatsu class in Berlin where he was one of two men in a group of 20 women. "Pamela. Don't forget to remind the translator to include male endings."
Sleep, Less Sleep or No Sleep?
I had a dream I wasn't getting enough sleep. It was a very realistic dream, even though I was probably slightly awake and not really deep dreaming. Most likely I had been dozing, caught in that twilight of sleep and wakefulness.
Converting More Patients to Your Practice
In 2013 and 2014, the theme was "the money is in the list." This meant that if you had a big email list, you were really making some "cha-ching." Unfortunately, having thousands of emails doesn't equate to thousands of dollars in profit.
Applying the Thin Skull Principle
The "thin skull" principle, also known as the "you take your victim as you find them" principle, is a legal principle that can be summed up by the following statement.
Will You Be an Amplifer or a Mute?
These times are changing, and changing quickly. There have been many challenges to this profession throughout the past few years. The challenge is to talk, then talk and talk some more about this medicine.
The Way We Are Designed: A Conversation with Gil Hedley, PhD
I was first introduced to the work of Gil Hedley by Tom DiFerdinando. He gifted me Gil's DVD series.
The Need for a New Medical Model: A Challenge for Biopsychosocial and Ecopsychologica Medicine
Chinese medicine speaks of alignment between humans, heaven and earth. It is a complex view with a focus upon relationship. These are comprehensive ideas with no specific terms in contemporary medical practice.
Functional Hip Impingement (Part 1)
Every time I sit down to write an article, I realize how much more there is to know about musculoskeletal pain. I also learn something new every time. (I want to give special thanks to Lucy Whyte Ferguson for assisting with this article.)
Turning a Blind Eye to History – and Reality
The American Medical Association is taking the Supreme Court's Feb. 25, 2015 decision exactly as it always does – by turning a blind eye to history, legal precedent and reality.
An Excerpt from TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics
This excerpt is reprinted with permission from Jamie Wu. TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics was released in 2014 by People's Medical Publishing House.
A View From the ER
The University of Western States has inked an innovative agreement with local nonprofit health system Legacy Health whereby UWS sports-medicine fellows can experience observational clinical rotations in emergency-room settings within the Legacy system.
Synergy Doesn't Happen in Silos: Acupuncture in Hospitals and Other Healthcare Settings
As acupuncture and traditional East Asian medicine continue to intersect and integrate with biomedical approaches, the conversation about integration expands and becomes richer.
Talking to Patients About Lumbar Facet Denervation (Medial Branch Neurotomy)
Lumbar facet denervation, more appropriately termed medial branch neurotomy (MBN), is a procedure that may be considered when patients suffer from recalcitrant non-radicular axial back and/or leg pain.
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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