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Uncle Sam Needs You
Scrutiny into the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) continues to grow after efforts to reform the DVA by the former Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric Shinseki, were deemed "a stunning period of dysfunction" by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
The Science Behind Happiness
Are you happy right now? Whether yes or no, there are a myriad of reasons why you feel that way. A whole academic discipline has developed to find out what causes or obstructs happiness, and how to amplify it.
Get Ready For AOM Day
This year, AOM Day 2014 falls on Friday, (October 24th). This is a great opportunity to make your AOM Day celebration or event even bigger by extending it throughout the weekend!
Thoracolumbar Syndrome: The Great Mimic
The thoracolumbar junction is a common area of joint dysfunction. The most obvious cause is dysfunctional breathing or lack of diaphragmatic breathing. Treating this breathing problem will ultimately be the long-term cure for the syndrome.
Rethinking GMO: Less Panic, More Context
Some of you may have noticed that after writing parts 1 and 2 of “Genetic Modification of Organisms for Human Consumption” a while back [Nov. 15, 2013 and Jan. 1, 2014 issues], part 3 never appeared.
A Commonly Missed Spinal Fixation: The Upper Lumbar Spine (Part 1)
When we think of lower back pain, we tend to think in terms of the lower lumbar spine and the SI joint. These joints and their discs are obviously important. However, we tend to miss fixations that occur just above – in the upper lumbar spine. Three questions come to mind: 1) Why is the upper lumbar spine so important? 2) Why do we miss the fixations here? 3) How can we adjust them?
Let the Patient Tell Their Story
Often when a patient presents with an injury, they want to tell their story. People by nature like to talk about themselves, particularly when they're worried about their health.
A Glimpse Into China's Top Brain Hospital
The sounds of the city pass through the open window are overwhelming the microphone - car horns, construction machinery - and then there's the family at the adjacent bed talking loudly on cell phones, yet you can still hear the faint beep of our patients monitoring equipment.
Medicalization and Mindfulness
The past several years have seen a veritable explosion of research on mindfulness. Research abstracts we've published in each issue of Health Insights Today under the heading "Mind-Body News" have increasingly reported on studies about mindfulness interventions.
Improving Our Political Effectiveness
The November 2014 elections are right around the corner; members of Congress, governors and state legislators are all running. Now is a good time to talk frankly about our overall political involvement.
The Problem With Prolonged Sitting
We need to constantly talk to our patients about spending less time sitting and about what can go wrong with poor sitting postures. The fact is we sit too long in repetitive malpositions.
History of Animal Acupuncture: Part II
In Part I of this article, I had gone back to 1969 and tried to describe the atmosphere and events of that year that engulfed many of the younger generation, some who were all the core members of the National Acupuncture Association.
MPA Media Wins Seven Publishing Awards
MPA Media, publisher of Acupuncture Today, among other titles, has been recognized for editorial and design excellence with an unprecendented seven publishing awards by the ASBPE, the nation's largest organization for business-to-business publications.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
When Big Pharma Meets Chinese Medicine
Earlier this year, Bayer made a media splash with their decision to buy the Dihon Pharmaceutical Group Co., a Chinese TCM manufacturer.
Help Secure Our Future by Sharing It
The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) conducts one of the most comprehensive surveys of the U.S. chiropractic profession every 4-5 years.
The Truth About Herbs
I appreciate the effort and research put into the article written in the June issue of Acupuncture Today regarding pesticides and Chinese herbs.
Healing Community Trauma in Israel and Palestine
It's the beginning of August and Israel and Hamas have just agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire after a month of brutal fighting. In the last four weeks, 1,830 Palestinians and 67 Israelis have been killed.
The Spirit of the Point
After receiving a large amount of positive feedback on my San Zhen Protocols series, I have decided to focus this article on some relevant clinical aspects of acupuncture therapy prior to moving on to San Zhen Protocols III.
If You Get a Request for Records, Respond!
In our previous two articles, we discussed two of the main reasons for denial when chiropractic records are reviewed by Medicare contractors.
Thoughts to Live By
When speaking to your patients about their health make sure to ponder the following points and have them assess if they are making themselves even more sick by the thoughts they have about life. Are these some of the traits and thoughts that your patients might have?
June, 2012, Vol. 12, Issue 06
Surgical Intervention Averted with CranioSacral Therapy
By John Matthew Upledger
Imagine going from a diagnosis for which brain surgery is recommended to a diagnosis of perfect health, all within a three-week period. That's what happened to one young man named Matt after receiving just two sessions of CranioSacral Therapy.At the time of treatment, Matt was 14-years-old and had been suffering from a category 9-10 headache for nine months. He had been to see several medical doctors, but none could determine the cause. Extensive testing provided only one conclusive finding: Matt's cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) pressure was far too high.
The doctors gave Matt a diagnosis of pseudotumor cerebri, which basically means that his body was acting as if he had a brain tumor, but he really did not have one. Drugs had no effect. The only treatment that provided some relief was a spinal tap to draw off excess fluid. The procedure was repeated every two to three weeks with progressively diminishing results. The doctors were at a loss for what else to do. That's when they proposed brain surgery to insert a shunt to drain off the excess fluid. There was no assurance that this would help, however, since they still did not know what was causing the problem.
Good fortune intervened in Matt's life at this especially pivotal time. One of the nurses in the ICU where Matt received his spinal taps just happened to be a client of Tim Hutton, PhD, LMP, CST-D, a certified CranioSacral Therapy practitioner. Pulling Matt's mother aside, she suggested that Matt try CST before they resorted to surgery.
Problem Six Years In The Making
By Matt's first visit to CranioSacral Therapist Tim Hutton, he had endured 23 spinal taps along with 23 sedations with a general anesthetic. Tim recalled, "Matt had a horrendous headache; his low back felt like a pin cushion; and his liver and kidneys were struggling to detox all the drugs he had been given. Needless to say, he was not a happy camper." The first order of business was to assess Matt's craniosacral rhythm. What Tim discovered shocked him. There was no discernible rhythm anywhere. "It felt as if the craniosacral system did not even exist," Tim said. "I have never felt that on a client before or since."
Placing his hands on top of Matt's head, Tim felt his hand pulled strongly into Matt's left parietal. That's when Tim asked the pivotal question, "Did you ever hit your head?" The reply was yes. When Matt was 9-years-old he was riding his bicycle when he hit a rock and took a dive over the handle bars. The impact broke Matt's right arm and shattered the helmet he was wearing, directly over his left parietal. A possible connection had been made. This could be the source of Matt's headaches. Tim continued to follow the pull into Matt's jammed left parietal, assisting the bone to unlatch.
"This only took a couple of minutes," Tim said. "Once the parietal released, Matt immediately had good craniosacral rhythm throughout his body. I spent the rest of the session just encouraging things to move." When Matt returned a week later, Tim said, "Things were still moving, so I simply encouraged everything to move a bit further." Within three weeks of his first session of CranioSacral Therapy, Matt was headache free. As you can imagine, Matt's parents were more than a little curious to know what was going on in Matt's body. They scheduled an appointment at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle, where Matt received a full medical work-up. After a thorough examination and testing, the doctors declared Matt to be in perfect health. There was no evidence to indicate any problem.
Key To Healing
From a CranioSacral Therapy point of view, Matt's headache is easy to understand. It is founded in the pressurestat model, a theory developed in the mid-1970s by osteopathic physician John E. Upledger with neurophysicist Ernst Retzlaff.
By design, cerebrospinal fluid is a filtrate of the blood. It is filtered out of the high-pressure arterial blood and reabsorbed into the venous system. Through their research, Dr. Upledger and Dr. Retzlaff discovered that the body controls CSF pressure by a mechanism called a pressurestat — a semi-closed hydraulic system with a regulated inflow and outflow — located within the craniosacral system. They theorized that within this environment, fluid reabsorption is constant while fluid production is intermittent.
When fluid production is occurring, the pressure in the skull rises, causing the skull to expand to a very small degree. This stretches the sagittal suture ever so slightly. When the pressure has risen to a certain level, stretch sensors within the suture send a signal to the brain to stop fluid production. Once the production stops, the pressure drops and the sagittal suture closes slightly. Because the CSF is constantly draining away, the pressure receptors eventually trigger the brain to resume fluid production. This entire process is repeated every 5 to 10 seconds.
During each cycle, only about 0.01 ml of fluid is produced. This slowly pushes the CSF through the system, replacing the entire fluid volume three or four times a day. As the fluid moves through the brain and spinal cord, it carries away metabolic waste from the tissue. If the fluid is prevented from doing this, a buildup of waste occurs in the tissue, ultimately resulting in inflammation.
When Matt hit his head, he jammed his sagittal suture, shutting down his pressurestat system. The signal to shut off fluid production was never sent, so the fluid production continued as long as it could. When the CSF pressure matched the arterial pressure, no more fluid could be produced, and the system shut down. The CSF became stagnant and there was a buildup of metabolic waste in the central nervous system, causing inflammation and ultimately Matt's headache. Once Matt's system was freed up and the fluid could move again, it took a few weeks for the body to eliminate all the waste. Once the waste was removed, the inflammation died down and Matt's headache went away.
Tim said, "The most fascinating thing about this case is that Matt hit his head when he was 9 years old, but his headache did not start until he was 14. His sagittal suture was jammed the entire time, but he obviously was able to get enough signal to run his pressurestat. Something happened when Matt was 14 that rendered his pressurestat incapable of compensating any longer." Tim suspects it was puberty — a process that is difficult under the best of circumstances!
"I believe that all of Matt's hormones got stirred up and his body was no longer able to maintain the pressurestat," Tim said. "To me, this one case provides strong evidence for the validity of the pressurestat theory." Matt's case is also a prime example of how our bodies hold tension from every trauma we have ever experienced. So long as we can compensate around those tensions there will be no symptoms. Only when we can no longer compensate do symptoms appear.
John Matthew Upledger is the CEO of Upledger Institute International. For 25 years, he has been actively engaged in all aspects of the organization — from education to clinical services. For more information about CranioSacral Therapy and other modalities offered for study through Upledger Institute International go to www.iahe.com.
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