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Multivitamin Supplement May Reduce Breast Cancer Recurrence
There is a great deal of controversy regarding the value of multiple vitamin supplements in cancer prevention.
How to Stay Sane During the Elections: Understanding Through the Lens of Chinese Medicine
In Chinese Medicine philosophy, everything consists of Yin and Yang. The law of polar opposites – one cannot exist without its opposite.
Beating the Odds: Interview With Para-Powerlifter Adeline Dumapong-Ancheta
Since October 2015, the FICS Foundation, the charitable organization affiliated with the International Federation of Sports Chiropractic (FICS), has been supporting disabled athletes internationally.
A Long-Overdue Win for Oregon Medicaid Patients - and the Implications for Other States
Beginning July 1, 2016, Oregon Medicaid patients with spinal pain (cervical, thoracic, lumbar, pelvic) who are determined to be low risk based on a biopsychosocial assessment tool (STarT Back – Keele University) can receive four chiropractic visits per episode.
An Emerging Partnership Model
Maryland University of Integrative Health (MUIH) has educated integrative health and wellness practitioners for the last 40 years, originally as an acupuncture clinic and school. The institution's transformative, relationship-centered programs integrate traditional wisdom with contemporary science
What's New in Phytonutrition: Mangifera Indica, "The King of Fruits"
One hundred percent pure Indian green mango fruit (mangifera indica), harvested at a special degree of ripeness for efficacy and taste, can now be concentrated as a phytonutrient nutraceutical powder.
The Pertinent Negative
We all have to perform evaluations on patients. Most of us don't like doing it – exams take time, and worse it takes even more time after the evaluation to put together a narrative summary of the findings. Sometimes, this process becomes downright tedious.
Believe it or not, an estimated one-third of your patients have eaten some form of fast food within 24 hours of their appointment with you.
Insuring Quality Control in Herb Importation: An Interview with Wilson Lau
Wilson Lau is the vice president of Nuherbs, a Chinese herb importation company based in San Leandro, California. Before joining Nuherbs, he trained as a lawyer specializing in FDA law.
AOM Hospital-Based Practice: A Future Reality?
The natural evolution of health care on the planet is integrative health. We may have some challenges ahead, but based on my research, all indicators are pointing in a positive direction. There seems to be an evolving consciousness among our patient population that is "getting it."
Tai Chi Documentary Premier
First Run Features recently announced the world theatrical premiere of Barry Strugatz's documentary The Professor: Tai Chi's Journey West, which premiered last month at the Laemmle Music Hall in Los Angeles.
Acupuncture's Impact on the World
For several years, I have been hearing about the town of Rothenburg, Germany. It seemed just a dot on a map until I arrived. It is the home of the TCM Kongress which began in 1968. It has been held annually for 47 years and it has only missed one year.
Kansas Achieves Licensing Law
Kansas Governor Sam Brownback signed House Bill 2615 into law on Friday, May 13, 2016. HB2615 includes provisions for the licensure of acupuncturists in the state of Kansas.
Chronic Pain: Become Part of the Solution
I have lectured to more than 7,000 chiropractic physicians over the past five years regarding the chronic pain and opioid epidemic in this country.
Treating Hip & Groin Pain With Abdominal Release of Upper Lumbar Nerve Impingements
Have you encountered patients with groin and hip pain you can't seem to solve? You know it's not a worn-out hip; you suspect the pain is somehow connected to the spine. But somehow, you just can't help them break through.
Three Tips to Help You Analyze the Acupuncture Case Studies of the NCCAOM Exam
Confirm the answer quickly by the elimination method. Case study:
After two treatments for back pain, a patient presents for a third
session complaining of rapid breathing and wheezing that is made worse
during cold weather.
Sit or Stand? Analyzing a Mixed Message
I'm more than a bit confused. At my age, that seems to be a rather common occurrence. However, today more than ever, I'm getting a mixed message.
An MD Who Understands the Opioid Epidemic
Doctors of chiropractic have an important role to play in ending the opioid epidemic and dealing with chronic pain by conservative means (see our top story in this issue) – but who's to blame for opioid dependence and abuse in the first place?
Adventures with the San Jiao
Those of us who have been in practice for several decades relish the way meridians and points reveal new diagnostic clues and new insights. I love to encourage my students to see this as an adventure that goes way beyond the textbooks.
Acupuncture Muscle Trigger Point and Oriental Medicine Sports Therapy
It is difficult to ascertain the internal condition of professional basketball player Lebron James during game one of the 2014 NBA finals, in which he developed debilitating muscle cramps that led to his premature removal from the game.
Increasing the Value of Spine Care: CMS Approves New Low Back Pain Registry
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has approved the Spine IQ Low Back Pain Registry as a qualified clinical data registry for the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) in 2016.
Introducing the Acupuncture Today Digital Edition
In response to the changing habits of our readers, Acupuncture Today will introduce a digital edition of the publication (in addition to our print edition) beginning with the August 2016 issue.
March, 2008, Vol. 08, Issue 03
Easing Migraine Pain
By John Upledger, DO, OMM and Lisa Upledger, DC, CST-D, FIAMA
Gone are the days when migraines were considered a psychological disorder reflecting poor coping skills, low stress threshold, clinical depression or a borderline personality disorder. According to the National Migraine Association, migraine disease is now a recognized neurological condition affecting more than 30 million Americans.
In many cases, CranioSacral Therapy is one of the most effective tools you can offer a client suffering from migraine pain. This light-touch modality helps release restrictions in the meningeal membranes around the brain and spinal cord, increasing the healthy flow of cerebrospinal fluid and allowing the central nervous system (CNS) to resume its optimal levels of performance.
Cerebrospinal fluid within the craniosacral system acts as a shock absorber for the brain. It delivers nutrients to the nerves, brain and spinal-cord tissue, and washes away waste products created by various metabolic processes. You can see how critical it is to have a strong, functional craniosacral system.
In addition, research has shown that meningeal membranes and perivascular fascia are the only pain-sensitive tissues in the brain. Therefore, any abnormal meningeal tension can cause pain, as can any pressure on the blood vessels that run through the meninges. That means when you release restrictions in the meningeal membranes, you also take pressure off the blood vessels.
Pressure on the brain stem from surrounding fascia also can cause sensory neurons to relay their messages to higher brain centers, which may correlate with another theory about migraines: that brain stem pain receptors actually cause the migraine pain.
Cortical Spreading Depression
Historically, the migraine has largely been defined as a vascular disorder in which an event triggers vasoconstriction followed by vasodilation, inflammation and headache. Now, it's believed that the vasoconstriction/dilation is the result of a phenomenon called cortical spreading depression.
Cortical spreading depression is a slow, spreading wave of strong, sustained neuronal firing that generates a transient, intense spike of activity as it progresses into the tissue. The spike increases innervation to blood vessels, which strengthens regional blood flow. This is followed by reduced neuronal activity associated with a vasoconstriction that produces a transient ischemia and a drop in cerebrospinal fluid flow. This neuronal suppression can last for minutes and cause a neurochemical imbalance.
The auras and prodromes (a premonition that the headache is coming) often associated with migraines are likely caused by the vasoconstriction leading up to the rebound and vasodilation. The actual pain of the migraine occurs when there is a rebound of abnormal vasodilation of the intracranial arteries, and an activation of the sensory pain fibers around the blood vessels and meninges.
If a client sustains an impact that distorts or otherwise compromises the pain-sensitive meningeal membranes, this also can increase pressure on the brain and central nervous system, potentially causing cortical spreading depression and triggering a chain reaction leading to migraines.
Migraines generally occur in several phases. The first phase is called the prodrome - a forewarning that indicates an alteration in the central nervous system. A highly individual experience, the prodrome may be accompanied by changes in mood or energy levels; a sudden feeling of depression, euphoria or fatigue; or cravings for chocolate or other foods. There also may be an alteration in sensory processing, muscle tone, nasal congestion, fluid retention, cognitive impairment or facial pressure.
In approximately 15 percent of migraine cases, there is an aura phase that generally lasts no more than an hour. While symptoms vary, the most common ones are visual effects such as flashing lights and partial or blurred vision. Other symptoms can include olfactory and auditory hallucinations, tingling or numbness in the face and extremities, confusion, partial paralysis and more. It is widely believed that the aura is caused by the cortical spreading depression. With vasoconstriction resulting in decreased blood flow, the brain will certainly do strange things.
Next comes the mild phase of the migraine - when the pain begins. If the migraine is terminated at this stage, the pain may feel like a tension headache. If the migraine progresses it generally leads to mild pain, sometimes accompanied by nausea and the beginning of throbbing pain.
If not aborted in the mild phase, the migraine will develop into moderate to severe throbbing pain with nausea and sensory sensitivity. At this point the blood vessels are dilated. Any movement or activity increases the blood flow, which causes more dilation, pain and throbbing. This is when many people prefer to lie perfectly still in a dark, quiet room.
A migraine may dissipate over anywhere from four hours to three days, after which a post-headache phase could last another few days. During this time the person may feel exhausted, irritated, sore and unable to concentrate and tolerate certain foods.
A Light-Touch Solution
CranioSacral Therapy helps prevent and end migraine headaches primarily by releasing tensions throughout the meningeal membranes of the craniosacral system. Removing these tissue restrictions takes pressure off the nervous system and allows cerebrospinal fluid to drain correctly, preventing the buildup of pressure. CranioSacral Therapy helps release both primary and secondary dysfunctions of the peripheral body, dural tube, cranium and sacrum. The goal is to correct and balance all craniosacral system dysfunctions and the areas to which they might lead. Removing these meningeal and dural tube restrictions can effectively help release and prevent the pain of migraines.
Click here for previous articles by John Upledger, DO, OMM.
Dr. Lisa Upledger is vice president of The Upledger Institute and an examiner for the institute’s CST certification program. She graduated from Palmer College of Chiropractic in 1981.
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