resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
It might have been a miserable start to the day in the heart of downtown San Diego. A heavy rain had soaked the large homeless population congregating near the intersection of Third Avenue and Ash Street as they waited for a free breakfast to be served at the First Lutheran Church on the corner.
Finding Balance in the Clinic
This past December, I celebrated 11 years in practice. I seriously don't know where the time went. I feel beyond blessed and grateful to be practicing our profound and beautiful medicine and to be helping guide my patients restore a state of optimal health.
Adjusting the Occiput on the Atlas
You may never see a particular set of patients in your office – the ones who are either afraid of neck adjustments or have had a bad experience. A vast majority of those who had a bad experience did not have a life-threatening vascular event.
Are You Really a Healthy Eater?
I always giggle a little bit (to myself) when someone comes into my office and informs me that they are a healthy eater. What exactly does that mean? Does that mean they eat sugar in moderation? And what's that, exactly?
Case Histories from Bali: Treating Balinese Chidren with TCB and Shonishin
When I moved to the island of Bali in 2005, I offered my services in Bumi Sehat, which means Healthy Mother Earth, a free birthing center for poor and disadvantaged local women located in Ubud.
Put the Social Back Into Social Media
Social media is more than a passing fad, it is definitely here to stay. Social media apps and channels of distribution may evolve, but the concept of social media is now big business and a part of all our lives.
Reflections: The Art of Teaching Asian Medicine
Over the past three decades, my global workshops have been translated into German, Swiss German, French, Romansch, Spanish, Lithuanian and Xhosa. Time to offer you new teachers a few tips!
Connections Worth Making
"If most doctors are like me, [they are] isolated physically and professionally. I do not make the time to connect with other doctors and also a lot of doctors do not want to be connected for a lot of reasons. Dynamic Chiropractic keeps me grounded and connected.
What's Triggering That Point?
An orthopedic friend recently saw a patient of mine. He felt an injection of a trigger point (TP) at the upper trapezius and surrounding areas was necessary, since that was the patient's area of chief complaint and there was a tender, radiating nodule.
Online Efforts That Convert Traffic Into Patients
Most chiropractors are using "dinner with the doc," "refer a friend," customer appreciation days, grand openings, health fairs, chamber of commerce meetings, and other networking events to get new patients.
The Top Seven Website Mistakes Clinics Make
The majority of acupuncture clinics finally have a website for their business. Having a website is crucial for being found online through Google, Facebook and review sites like Yelp.
Old TCM Sayings: Treat the Front to Treat the Back
Chinese medicine college was, and always will be, a memorable time. It was a time of massive personal and professional growth.
Leg Length and Pelvic Fixations
A common component of low back pain is sacroiliac joint dysfunction. Signs of SIJ dysfunction can include fixation with reduced range of motion, and localized pain or joint laxity and inflammation.
A New Era of Injury Awareness Means a New Focus on Prevention
Despite a dramatic Super Bowl last month, the National Football League has taken quite a few hits lately concerning player injuries, particularly concussions.
Acupuncture and Homeopathy: Bioenergetic Brothers
Acupuncture and homeopathy share an important healing principle: bioenergetics. "Bio" means "life," so bioenergetics is literally "life energy."
Joint Supplements for Athletes (Part 1)
Maintaining joint health should be a daily focus for athletes. Joint health is a complex issue for everyone, but for athletes it poses a greater concern.
It's Time to Create a Strong Acupuncture Footprint
Footprints in the sand. Footprints in the snow. Where do these footprints go? Some are big, some are small, but footprints are made by all.
The Conscious Evolution of Healing, Part 2
The idea of transmission is very important in the Chinese medical classics. According to author Claude Larre, the ancient Chinese were highly interested in the connection between things. Nothing was looked at as an isolated entity.
We Get Letters & E-Mail
We Have Come a Long Way – But There's a Long Way to Go; Grounded and Connected.
Neuroscience: Where Western Medicine and Chinese Medicine Can Come Together
The recent advances in neuroscience are truly incredible. With this expansion of scientific knowledge, I would like to see even more research into the neuroscientific basic of acupuncture and Chinese Medicine.
The Easy Way to Learn How to Document ICD-10
The 2015 Work Plan for the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) includes a focus on chiropractic services. This means chiropractors can expect to see more audits and reviews in the coming year because private payers pay attention to the OIG's focus as well.
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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