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Getting Unstuck: Healing From Trauma With TCM, Qigong & Movement
We all come into this world vulnerable, with seeds to grow into our strength. Some of us — through a combination of good fortune (i.e., family and culture we are born into, constitutional inheritance, or ability to learn) grow with minimal interruption from traumatic injuries and experiences.
ICA Goes on the Vaccine Offensive
Have you watched the vaccination documentary, "Vaxxed: From Cover-Up to Catastrophe," by Andrew Wakefield MD, director, and Del Bigtree, producer? This is the documentary Robert DeNiro was pressured to remove from his Tribeca Film Festival.
The Large Intestine Official
The large intestine (AKA colon) is the great eliminator, or as J.R. Worsley called it, "The Drainer of the Dregs." Dregs are defined as the remnants of liquid with its sediment left in a container, or the basest, least valuable portion of anything.
Advancing the "Whole Organ" Spine Model
Historically, the human spine has been organized by body region utilizing specific anatomical landmarks and transition zones.
Waist Circumference: A Conversation Starter
New estimates suggest more than two-thirds of Americans are either overweight or obese. The medical significance of this statistic is astounding.
4 Things Every DC Should Know About Levels of Care & Prevention
As health practitioners, we help people with their health problems and assist them with health promotion and disease prevention.
Correcting Rib Dysfunction: Improve Patients' Pain, Posture and Breathing
As chiropractors, we tend to focus on the spine, and rightly so. Many problems our patients face can be corrected by manipulating the correct spinal level.
Gather & Grow
I recently attended a faculty seminar held by one of the acupuncture schools. There was a facilitator who led us through some very interesting experiences. The attendees were a diverse group with varying opinions.
Spiritual Initiation: Opening Your Higher Healing Abilities
People drawn to the field of acupuncture and Oriental Medicine tend to be those who march to the beat of a different drummer.
VF Works / DMX Works Epilogue: Almost Two Decades Later, the Lawsuits Continue
An article in the March 8, 1999 edition of Dynamic Chiropractic examined whether then-VF Works / Nu-Best Franchising was selling its franchises illegally to doctors of chiropractic.
Latest Cassidy Study on Stroke Risk Published
The latest study to investigate whether a unique association between chiropractic manipulation and risk of cervical artery dissection / stroke exists has yielded similar encouraging findings, with the authors noting "no excess risk of carotid artery stroke after chiropractic care" and no significant risk difference between patients receiving care from a DC or a primary care medical provider.
House Calls With Dad
My father was a chiropractor and he did house calls. On Wednesday nights, while my mother attended the weekly women's meeting at the Odd Fellows and Rebekahs hall in our small town, dad loaded up the portable adjusting table, fired up the Pontiac and drove off to treat a few patients in their homes. I went with him.
Reader Beware: Consider the Source
The aftermath of last year's presidential elections brought a running conversation on the role played by "fake news" that was largely presented via social media.
Near-Infrared Therapy for Diabetic Neuropathy
The pain experienced by people with diabetes is a symptom of diabetic neuropathy. The impact on quality of life is significant. Pain makes walking difficult, sleep troublesome, and eventually contributes to a decrease in social interaction.
Chiropractic in Texas Is Under Attack
The profession of chiropractic faces an unprecedented challenge in Texas, an attack that is more aggressive, sustained and dangerous than anything previously seen. The medical lobby has launched a coordinated, multi-front assault.
Treating the Lower Pelvis (Pt. 2): Midline Structures and Fascia
My previous article [October 2016 issue] outlined evaluation and treatment of pelvic issues involving the sacrotuberous ligament and the pubic symphysis. Now let's discuss two case studies that illustrate how to address additional problematic areas of the pelvis.
TCM & the Caregiving Population: Treatment Considerations & Our Vital Role
Informal caregiving is increasingly a reality for many Americans who find themselves providing unpaid care for a loved one or a family member with a long-term, terminal, or chronic illness.
A Brief History of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Doctoral Programs
A doctorate in acupuncture and Oriental medicine has been a goal of the profession since its beginnings in the late 1970s. At that time, however, the maturity of the educational institutions and the regulatory environment made it a goal with only a distant completion date.
Paperwork Done Wrong, Done Right
I was visiting a doctor's office recently and a member of his staff brought a stack of forms to his private office and laid them on the doctor's desk. She informed him he needed to complete the forms for patients and a few third parties.
Helping Patients With Parkinson's Disease
Parkinson's disease (PD), a long-term degenerative disorder of the central nervous system that mainly affects motor function, has a slow onset over time.
News in Brief
The American Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (AAAOM) board members recently met with the Korean Customs Service, which is similar to the FDA, to discuss herbal safety and importation issues.
The Acupuncture Channel System (Part 2)
The primary channels (main channels) are introduced in chapter 10 of the Ling Shu, these channels are referenced in many chapters throughout the Su Wen and the Ling Shu. The primary channels have become the main channel system used in TCM.
March, 2016, Vol. 16, Issue 03
Make a Difference in Clients who Suffer from Traumatic Brain Injury
By Don McCann, MA, LMT, LMHC, CSETT
There are manual cranial therapies for massage therapists that can make a significant difference for clients who have had brain injuries. Unfortunately, many massage therapists are unaware of the positive effect they can have with their brain injured clients.
Recent medical research has actually verified systems in the brain that were previously unrecognized. There are three that are of significant importance for manual therapy. The first is that they now recognize that the cranial motion exists with a subtle movement of the cranial bones. For years, medical schools have been teaching that the cranial bones do not move. The second was a breakthrough study at the University of Rochester Medical Center that discovered the glymphatic system. This discovery was only possible because of advances in technology that allowed them to study living brains.
The glymphatic system is a pressurized system that shadows the blood vessels of the brain and is now recognized as the principle waste removal process for the most sensitive of organs, the human brain. The third was a "stunning" discovery at the University of Virginia that overturns decades of textbook teaching that shows the brain is directly connected to the immune system by lymph vessels previously thought not to exist. While it has always been recognized that there were some lymph vessels in the brain, they were thought to be minimal and not of great significance. The new findings show that the brain has a complex and sophisticated immune system based on this newly discovered and extensive lymph system. Again, this only makes sense as the most sensitive organ of the body would need this.
In the past, when some of the treatable brain injuries occurred, massage therapists were seldom included in the treatment process. If we look at the systems mentioned above, we can see this was a major oversight by the medical community because, once the danger of further hemorrhage or damage to the brain was no longer an issue, massage therapists trained in specialized cranial techniques could have provided one of the primary forms of treatment. This is a bold statement which I now am going to back up.
First, we will look at what happens to the above mentioned systems when a traumatic brain injury takes place. When the cranial motion is examined after traumatic brain injury, it is dramatically diminished. The injury itself can jam sutures even to the point of causing them to become calcified. In addition, there is soft tissue damage. This can be from the surface layers of fascia just under the skin through the reciprocal tension membrane where it passes through the sutures, and inside the lining of the cranium into the tentorium that supports and holds the brain. This can dramatically disrupt the cranial motion and block neurological function as this tissue thickens into scar tissue.
In the acute stages of brain injury, a restriction of the cranial motion can cause a backup of fluids in almost any part of the brain. This backup of fluid causes pressure and swelling on the brain and inhibits brain function. Restoring cranial motion allows the systems of the brain to work normally and release the swelling. In addition, restoring the cranial motion can often result in a balancing of the temporal lobes which often dramatically reduces vertigo, and the inability to concentrate.
Case study #1
Robin, a 30-year-old real estate agent, had a brain injury from an auto accident. For three months she was unable to drive, had significant headaches, could not concentrate, could not stand bright lights, and was on medication for vertigo. She came for treatment because she also had a cervical flexion/extension soft tissue injury. Using kinesiology to evaluate her cranium, it was revealed that she had minimal cranial motion and almost no cranial motion of the left temporal bone. In addition, the relationship of the occiput/atlas/axis was jammed with no motion. The cranial/structural core distortion release, a complete unwinding of the restrictions of the cranial motion, was applied which restored full motion to the cranium. Additional synchronizing of the temporal bones and a mobilization of C1 were applied. By the time Robin got off the table, she felt her concentration was nearly 100%, her headache that had been present since the injury was gone, the lights in the room were no longer affecting her, and her vertigo had disappeared. Additional sessions further normalized and expanded her cranial motion and also treated the soft tissue injuries in her neck. Within three sessions, Robin felt that her brain injury was healed and that she could return to her real estate practice. This was a very good example of how the restrictions of the cranial motion which also jammed C1, had prevented her brain injury from healing. The timely application of cranial/structural techniques produced rapid and long lasting improvement.
Cranial motion is involved in both the glymphatic and lymphatic systems of the brain. However, each deserves special attention beyond just the restoring of the cranial motion. The glymphatic system is the principle waste removal system for cleansing the brain, and a brain injury damages the glymphatic vessels often collapsing or even breaking them. This is especially obvious when there have been broken blood vessels and hemorrhaging as the glymphatic system shadows the circulatory system. The first symptom of damage to the glymphatic system is swelling. Cerebral spinal fluid and blood will back up or leak out in an area that is damaged. The second is additional inflammation because waste products of the brain accumulate and cause constant irritation which also results in swelling. The third, and this takes place over time when the glymphatic system has not been restored back to full function, is brain degeneration due to lack of waste removal and a buildup of protein and amyloid beta. This may not be evident for a number of years after the injury, and is a major contributing factor to the early onset of dementia or Alzheimer's for those who have had multiple concussions.
In an acute brain injury, once danger of hemorrhage and additional damage has passed, treatment of the glymphatic system can dramatically speed up recovery. The glymphatic system pumps along with the cranial motion, but to engage it fully it is necessary to compress it. A specialized cranial/structural technique, the frontal/occipital decompression, will compress this system and then work it in a pumping motion. This will push fluid through collapsed glymphatic vessels and pump accumulations of fluid out of the brain. In addition, this pressurized pumping of the glymphatic system will dramatically increase the removal of waste products and inflamation. This will help to restore the glymphatic system back to full function. Many clients report immediate relief from concussion symptoms.
Case Study #2
Cindy, a college basketball player, had three major concussions in three years and, six months after the third one, hadn't shown any improvement in her ability to concentrate and attend school. She was also lethargic and had constant headaches. The physicians had said it was just going to take time and there could be some permanent damage.
At Cindy's first session, the cranial/structural core distortion release was applied to release the restrictions in her cranial motion. After the cranial motion had been restored the frontal/occipital decompression was applied to pump out the excess fluid and waste products and reduce inflammation in her brain. By the time the session was over, Cindy was not as lethargic and was starting to show more interest in her environment. This technique was applied four more times on a weekly basis with steady progress in her ability to concentrate, memory retention, and energy levels. Her headaches had also disappeared. By her fourth session, Cindy was back in school and able to handle her full load. This was after six months of not being able to read or concentrate enough to go to class. A CAT scan also showed a clearing in the areas that had previously been inflamed and swollen.
The lymphatic system also responds well to compression and decompression and is also treated with the frontal/occipital decompression. Consequently, there are two systems at work when treating inflammation and swelling with the frontal/occipital decompression. Both dramatically help in the recovery from treatable brain injuries.
Another effect of brain injuries, is leaving the client's brain susceptible to further neurological diseases and degeneration because of the damage to the lymphatic system which is the major component of the brain's immune system. Restoring the lymphatic system and lymph drainage can prevent the development of other neurological diseases such as MS, ALS and Alzheimer's.
As you can see, massage therapists can make a significant and long lasting therapeutic difference when treating clients who have had treatable traumatic brain injuries. Hopefully, this has expanded your awareness of the exciting possibilities that are available for successfully treating clients who have sustained treatable brain injuries. These techniques are not available through the medical community.
Click here for more information about Don McCann, MA, LMT, LMHC, CSETT.
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