resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
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."
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.
A Well-Kept Secret: 5 Element Acupuncture, Part II
Supervising acupuncture interns at a TCM college, it has always struck me how funny it is to hear the clinic manager tell the patients that the Five Element clinic specializes in treating emotions, as if patients with physical pain have no emotions!
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
March, 2009, Vol. 09, Issue 03
CranioSacral Therapy for a Multitude of Health Problems
By Nancy Westphal, LMT, CST-D; guest author for John Upledger, DO, OMM
It was an unseasonably warm day in October when my plane landed in Montana. I had just flown in from South Florida at the request of fellow craniosacral therapist Cindy Kafka. She had a patient whose injuries, she believed, were beyond her level of skill. A farming accident had left "Bill" (name changed to respect privacy) a quadriplegic; his neck, back and arms had been broken, possibly shattered. When paramedics first got to him, his body temperature was so low that they had to pour warm water onto his forearms (veins) just to keep him alive.
When I reached him he was rehabilitating in a nursing home with little hope of recovery. His sole goal with CranioSacral Therapy was simply to gain enough function to operate his computerized wheelchair. Yet it quickly became clear to us that any improvement would be welcome. So at the approval of the nursing home, I led a "multi-hands" CranioSacral Therapy intensive program. I worked with Bill alongside multiple therapists for 2 weeks: 5 hours a day, 5 days a week. Kafka had arranged for several practitioners to join us; each one had basic craniosacral training and experience. My intention was not only to support Bill in his process, but also to help Cindy and her colleagues strengthen their skills and feel more confident in their ability to work with him on their own, after my departure.
Simple Techniques in Several Hands
At our initial evaluation, Bill's gray complexion indicated very poor circulation; his cranial vault had the sensation of being fused; and there was no palpable craniosacral rhythm. He had a serious infection in his toes. And he told us that for 6 months, doctors had been unable to control his raging bladder infection. He couldn't pass a normal bowel movement without pharmaceutical help. And as you would expect from dealing with a multitude of health problems, he was depressed.
As a therapeutic team, we blended together to support Bill in what would become a transformational journey. We listened deeply to his body, helped release restrictions in his craniosacral and fascial systems, encouraged the whole-body flow of fluid, and supported him in his process in whatever way he needed. Our job was to trust the work, trust our hands, and trust Bill's body to lead us through his unique healing sequence.
"Cranial pumping," a simple technique taught in entry-level CranioSacral Therapy, quickly proved invaluable. Essentially, the therapist tunes into the craniosacral rhythm while using gentle pressure to nudge the end range of flexion and extension. By day three, this technique had helped Bill's coloring change so dramatically that his night nurse, who had no idea what we were doing during the day, insisted on checking his temperature.
Bill's fluid circulation continued to improve every day. As he slowly gained more vitality, he became stronger, his outlook improved, and he began interacting more positively with everyone around him. On the fifth day of therapy, the infection in Bill's toes was gone, and he also reported that he had finally started relieving his bowel independently.
A New Level of Hope
Week two was full of even more encouraging change. Bill's nursing staff and fellow patients began giving him glowing compliments. His friends told him how great he looked, saying he seemed to be "back to his old self" again. Around town, people were even stopping us (his therapists) to mention how terrific Bill looked and how grateful they felt. This man was obviously loved.
Toward the end of his intensive-therapy program, Bill began to exhibit far more mobility, strength and control in one arm than we had expected. He wasn't able to write yet, but he wasn't far off. He also had finally stopped talking about how miserable he felt and started imagining his future again. For the first time in months, he was making plans for a new life.
I flew home deeply gratified to have been a part of such a profound healing and mentoring experience. In all the years I've been working in multi-hands intensive-therapy programs, I've never lost the significance of being blessed to witness the metamorphosis of another human being.
A week later Cindy told me she had checked on Bill. The bladder infection that had plagued him for 6 months was gone. As she left the room, he was sitting in his computerized wheelchair surrounded by friends...and laughing.
Click here for previous articles by John Upledger, DO, OMM.
Nancy Westphal, LMT, CST-D is a diplomate-certified craniosacral therapist with two decades of experience. She is a clinician and mentor for therapists who want to improve their skills and help patients move past their plateaus. To contact Nancy or learn more visit her Web site at www.nancywestphal.com.
Join the conversation
Comments are encouraged, but you must follow our User Agreementcomments powered by Disqus
Keep it civil and stay on topic. No profanity, vulgar, racist or hateful comments or personal attacks. Anyone who chooses to exercise poor judgement will be blocked. By posting your comment, you agree to allow MPA Media the right to republish your name and comment in additional MPA Media publications without any notification or payment.