resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
Knee Pain From the Kinetic Chain
As practitioners of manual medicine, chiropractors often treat patients suffering from knee pain.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
April, 2008, Vol. 08, Issue 04
Palpating the Craniosacral Rhythm
By John Upledger, DO, OMM
Palpation is the art of using touch to examine the body and explore the structures beneath the skin - their forms, movements and relationships to each other. Through palpation, you can discover the normal or abnormal function of an organ; the mobility of a joint with its muscular, ligamentous and tendinous attachments; the motion of one bone compared to another; and the flow of body fluids. You can even use palpation to monitor the electromagnetic field surrounding the body.
The practice of CranioSacral Therapy relies on your ability to use sensitive palpation to feel the craniosacral rhythm - the subtle pulsation of the craniosacral system as cerebrospinal fluid circulates through it in a dynamic loop. While this skill is taught at CranioSacral Therapy workshops, you can get an idea of what the craniosacral rhythm feels like by palpating your own.
First, you'll need to "calibrate" your touch to 5 grams. You can do this by placing a nickel somewhere on your body, such as your forearm, and then placing your hand next to the nickel. As you do this, lighten your touch until it feels comparable to the weight of the nickel. You also can imagine gently placing your hand on a newborn's face, and then touch your body that lightly. Notice how much softer this touch is than the way most people typically touch or palpate.
Once you're comfortable with your ability to touch with 5 grams of pressure, you can practice palpating the craniosacral rhythm. To do this, simply rest your elbows on a table and lightly place your hands on either side of your head so the full surfaces of your palms and fingers are gently in contact with your head. You can now use that very light, 5-gram touch to feel the movement produced by the circulation of cerebrospinal fluid in the craniosacral system.
Just like a water balloon expands and contracts if the fluid within it increases or decreases, the membranes of the craniosacral system expand and contract ever so slightly in response to the fluid changes within the system. You can feel this movement as the system softly pushes against your relaxed hands when it's expanding and then pulls away from them when it's contracting. The movement is extremely subtle, so if your touch is too heavy it's more difficult to feel.
Once you practice enough to become aware of the craniosacral rhythm, you can begin to notice the characteristics of that movement. Is it symmetrical and balanced? Is it big and strong? Is it slight and weak? Observe whatever you can at the head, and then move your hands to another location, perhaps the thighs, and repeat the process. Palpate the subtle movement and notice its characteristics. Compare the rhythm at the thighs with the rhythm at the head, and then continue that process on other areas.
Observing the differences in the craniosacral rhythm on various parts of the body gives you key information to help you locate areas of restricted tissue. Like a dry sponge placed in a pool of water, nonintrusive palpation allows you to absorb an enormous amount of information so you can more effectively help the tissues release -enabling the body to self-correct on a multitude of levels.
Click here for previous articles by John Upledger, DO, OMM.
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