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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.
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?
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.).
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.
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.
December, 2007, Vol. 07, Issue 12
Tales From the Cranial Frontier
By John Upledger, DO, OMM
While CranioSacral Therapy is a relatively young modality when viewed through the history of medicine, it owes its roots to concepts developed by a Civil War surgeon named Andrew Taylor Still, MD.Dr. Still was a highly respected physician trained primarily by his father, who also was a well-known surgeon. When the war ended, Dr. Still returned home to his own personal devastation of epidemic proportions. Spinal meningitis had swept through his hometown earlier that year, killing three of his children.
Dr. Still returned to his private practice, which was affiliated with Washington University Medical School and hospital. By this time, between the Civil War and his own losses, he was greatly disillusioned by the state of medicine. As he began to search for new and better ways of treating people, he started to suspect that the potentially toxic medicines that had been prescribed to his family to combat the meningitis may have actually contributed to their deaths. Of course, as he began expressing these thoughts, he also became less and less popular with the Washington University medical group.
Word has it that Dr. Still then went to extreme measures to test his theory. He began to remove bodies from their graves in order to determine the actual causes of death. He discovered that in every case, one organ invariably contributed a great deal to the death of each body. While the particular organ varied from person to person, it appeared that organ failure likely was due to compromised blood and nerve support in every case. That is, the organ that failed may have been starved of blood and nerve contributions by the abnormal compression of arteries, which interfered with blood delivery.
The nerves going to the failing organs also were compressed or kinked, which meant the nerve energy that was supposed to go to the organ couldn't get there. Thus, the organ couldn't do its job and finally, it died. From these experiences, Dr. Still learned that all organs require adequate supplies of blood and nerve energy to survive. And if an organ doesn't survive, the body may not survive, either.
Dr. Still also discovered that the spinal columns in these bodies were malformed for different reasons, such as injuries, birth defects and arthritic effects. These structural abnormalities seemed to interfere with the outflow of nerve energy through the nerve roots that come out of the spinal cord through the spaces afforded by the bones of the spine.
With all this in mind, Dr. Still founded the field of osteopathy in the late 1800s. He also established the Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine (the college from which I graduated in 1963).
From Still's personal adventures in medicine came a huge body of work that can be highlighted by its four main principles. These also happen to be some of the primary reasons CranioSacral Therapy has emerged as such an effective natural therapy:
During my last few years at Kirksville, I became friendly with an elderly man who told me he used to drive Dr. Still's stagecoach. They would travel around to the local farmhouses, stopping at each one. Dr. Still would simply walk up to the door, knock and ask if there was a sick person inside. If there was, he would begin treatment right there. If the illness was too serious, he would have the driver take the patient back to his clinic in Kirksville. Then he would simply untie his horse at the back of the carriage and continue alone along his planned route. After the patient was dropped off at the clinic, the driver caught up with Dr. Still and they continued on together.
It was great fun listening to this old man tell me his stories until late into the night. Today, it reminds me of the noble cause we all hold in our hearts as we reach out to touch more people with gentle, healing hands.
Click here for previous articles by John Upledger, DO, OMM.
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