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Animal Acupuncture: A Case Study in the Treatment of Traumatic Injury in the Equine
The rise of animal acupuncture in the U.S. began in the early 1970's as a result of the work by members of the National Acupuncture Association in Westwood, Calif.
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.
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.
The Tide is Rising in the Acupuncture Profession
Former President Ronald Regan said, "When the tide rises all boats float." The tide is rising for the acupuncture profession. Many forces outside the profession are helping the tides to rise.
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.
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.
Integrating Art with Clinical Practice for Patients with PTSD: The Artemis Project
Are you restricted by those one-on-one clinic dynamics? Why not join colleagues and clients in experimental group settings? Three of us volunteered to do just that in Austin on behalf of women veteranss from all branches of the service.
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.
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.
The Acupuncturist's Problem
I want share with you some observations and insights into what seems to be the most common problem my colleagues in the acupuncture profession struggles with. If you also struggle with this problem, I hope you get a valuable "aha" moment from reading this.
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.)
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.
PCOM Granted Regional Accreditation
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (PCOM) recently announce it has received regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). This achievement reflects five years of hard work on the part of faculty, staff, and students.
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 1
This article was written in response to the unheeded acceptance of marijuana as a harmless substance that potentially does good when used for the medical relief of pain.
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.
5 Tips for Using Pinterest to Market Your Practice
Pinterest is a very popular, but often under-utilized, social media platform where people can bookmark, or "pin," fun and interesting things from all across the internet.
Medicine is Clumsy, Don't You Be
All medical systems have clumsiness in them. If the technique isn't, the practitioner is. Everyone in every form of medicine is striving to improve. That is why we call it practice.
The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine
My Masters thesis was titled, "The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine," which highlighted several reasons why it is hard for these two worlds to mix.
How Much Do You Know About the Benefits of Birds Nest?
Edible bird's nest is the nest made by the Swiftlet bird of Southeast Asia that is usually prepared as a soup and prized in Chinese culture as a healthful delicacy.
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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