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News in Brief
An Encouraging Sign at Palmer; NBCE Announces Retirement of Longtime Director of Testing.
Cell Health (Part 2)
Dr. Barsten, your book is about restoring "cell vitality." Can you briefly define the term? Cell vitality is more than the mere absence of symptoms or pathology, but optimum structural, physiological and energetic health.
Unlevel Pelvis in the High-School Athlete: Exploring Causes and Effects
The unlevel pelvis is all too common in the high-school athlete and if not detected, will likely cause a lifetime of musculoskeletal issues. Any provider who doesn't look for this common finding is missing critical information.
Mind-Body in Motion
A central goal of low back pain treatment involves the correction of dysfunctional movement patterns believed to be responsible for spinal overload.
Connecting the Dots
In 2002, I published a book on patient examination procedures that included information on the procedural coding of the recommended examinations. The book should have been published in 2000, but I had trouble finding a publisher. Why?
Leaving Footprints on Capitol Hill: Tribute to Dr. Kenneth Luedtke (1930-2014)
It was with great sadness that I heard of the passing of Dr. Ken Luedtke.
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.
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.
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 CDC came out with a report in March 2013 that suggests 1 in 50 children will be diagnosed somewhere on the autism spectrum – significantly higher than the 1 in 86 figure that came out in 2007. What does this mean moving forward, particularly for children?
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.
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.
Help Your Parents Stay Engaged
As much as parents may wish it were so, children do not come with an instruction manual. There's no "how to" that can be followed and no two children are alike, so what works with one generally won't work with the next.
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.
Let's Speak With One Voice in 2015
For the longest time, the chiropractic profession has attempted to achieve some form of unity. On a political level, this was characterized by an ultimately unsuccessful two-year merger effort between ACA and ICA leadership from 1986-1988.
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.
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!
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.
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.
March, 2012, Vol. 12, Issue 03
Relieving the Diseases Associated with Aging
By Sharon Desjarlais, CC
Michael Morgan, LMT, CST-D, witnessed the harsh effects of Alzheimer's firsthand and he couldn't forget. His stepmother and sister-in-law each grappled with memory loss and disorientation before they died, leaving him with a burning desire to help his older clients minimize the diseases of aging.
The Alzheimer's Association, which considers itself the "leading voice in Alzheimer's disease advocacy," claims that more than 5.2 million Americans 65 years and older have Alzheimer's, the most common form of dementia.1 According to Michael, his determination to help that growing population spawned a 12-week pilot research study called "Craniosacral Still Point Technique: Exploring Its Effects in Individuals with Dementia."2 As part of the study, he coordinated the therapists who performed five to 10 minutes of the still-point technique every day, on nine elderly patients in long-term-care facilities who'd been diagnosed with dementia.
"Halfway through the program, about two-thirds of the patients started improving," Michael said. "They became more interactive, more cognizant, and their verbal and social behavior improved. We had one 100-year-old woman begin speaking in complete sentences and feeding herself again." Those are promising results for what amounted to a few minutes of daily hands-on help. So, what is it about CranioSacral Therapy that seemed to work so well? Michael believes that answer lies largely in the patients' prior medical conditions. "When I examined their medical histories, I saw a pattern of what looked like decades-old inflammatory processes that manifested in conditions like diabetes, arthritis and a whole host of problems commonly associated with aging. Our subjects seemed to be sitting on a mountain of accumulated issues." Add to that the drugs that suppress immune-system function and, over time, the immune system's ability to counteract inflammation begins to fail. "That's when the stage is set for an opportunistic invasion of the blood-brain barrier by factors that increase toxicity in the brain, like heavy metals."
Increasing the Flow of Cerebrospinal Fluid to Counteract Inflammation
As a long-time instructor for Dr. John E. Upledger, who's best known for his developments of the biomechanical approach to CranioSacral Therapy, Michael is well acquainted with the benefits of strengthening the flow of cerebrospinal fluid to help relieve inflammation. "Cerebrospinal fluid can help wash away toxins that may have crossed the blood-brain barrier and accumulated in the brain." As people age, their natural production of cerebrospinal fluid decreases, Michael explains. "The body can go from producing as much as 800 milliliters a day down to 400 milliliters a day." The still-point study goes on to state that cerebrospinal-fluid levels in individuals with senile dementia can be as low as 200 milliliters a day. So it makes sense that a hands-on therapy known for increasing the flow of cerebrospinal fluid would have a beneficial effect on aging.
In classes he now offers through his company, Michael teaches therapists and caregivers how to use CranioSacral techniques to counteract diseases of aging. "The techniques that seem to help the most are the still point, direction of energy and cranial pumping."3,4,5 Each one is gentle, yet the benefits are rich. According to the research study, the most challenging aspect of caring for dementia patients is their general state of agitation, because they don't remember that their caregivers are trying to help. At the end of the study, the staff reported that six of the nine participants were more cooperative during their daily caregiving activities.
"In my own experience using CranioSacral Therapy with early-onset dementia, a common first response is that the patient feels more relaxed and less anxious," Michael said. "Caregivers notice this as well, and they often enjoy easier, more meaningful interactions and conversations." Not all dementia-like conditions are caused by inflammation, Michael concedes. "Some people just don't want to remember anymore." But for others, the research indicates that CranioSacral Therapy may be very helpful at relieving common diseases of aging.
Click here for more information about Sharon Desjarlais, CC.
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