Transitional Healing

Facilitating Life’s Transitions

Archive for the ‘Health’ Category

Cell Phones killing off the Bees?

Posted by Angela on April 17, 2007

Bee Colony Collapse Disorder is the name that has been given to a mysterious occurance of bees disappearing.  Why is this important?  Consider for a moment how many of our crops are pollinated by bees. . . . In fact Albert Einstein once speculated that if the bees disappeared then humans would be wiped out within 4 years.

Researchers are now questioning the possibility that cell phone radiation waves may be the cause.  Apparently the cell waves interfer with the Bees navigation system and the theory is that they can’t find their way back home.  This certainly explains why many hives are found with only the queen and a few young workers – all the others have left and then couldn’t get back.   A full report on this possibility can be found with the UK Independent http://news.independent.co.uk/environment/wildlife/article2449968.ece

We have to wonder if the cell waves are indeed responsible – what are they doing to other species – will bats be affected?  They contribute to our food cycle by keeping potentially damaging insects at bay.  And of course the question still remains the long term effect of the radiation waves on humans – speculation ranges, time will eventually tell.

Posted in Health, Life, Transitions | Leave a Comment »

Limbic System Part 3 – Thalamus

Posted by Angela on April 10, 2007

The responsibility of the Thalamus gland, which is located in the “C” groove of the lateral ventricles of the brain is conveying extensive sensory, motor, and autonomic information from the brain stem and spinal cord to the cortex.  The Thalamus nuclei are interconnected with cortex functions, such as sensory projection, somato-sensory stimuli, visual and auditory input.

We suspect that any dis-ease or imbalance within the Thalamus may not necessarily be noticable, in fact we suspect that typically the symptoms are very subtle and may just contribute to an overall feeling of ‘something off’ or ‘not quite feeling right’.   Balancing the Thalamus through advanced brainwork can be similar to experiencing a deep breath or ‘ahhh’.  Subtle, yet contributing to overall homeostasis.  

— Michael and Angela

Part 1 and Part 2 of the Limbic System Series are available here.

 

Posted in Advanced Brain Work, Bodywork Modalities, Chronic Pain, Healing, Health | 2 Comments »

Antioxidant Vitamins on the Pharmaceuticals hit list?

Posted by Angela on April 2, 2007

Unbelievable what makes news sometimes!   Last week the national news reported on an unusual article in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).  What is so unusual about this article is that it is controversial and apparently not fair reporting or accurate science.  JAMA reported  “Treatment with beta carotene, vitamin A, and vitamin E may increase mortality.” 

Many health experts and critics immediately called foul; pointing out the report from JAMA was not based upon specific research study – rather it is what is called a “Meta-study”.  A “Meta-study” means that they take the results of selected other studies and combine the information as they see fit – something like the old addage that the numbers can be made to say whatever you would like them to say.  In fact this particular report indicates that 68 studies were considered in the meta-study – this is 68 out of over an estimated 2000 studies on the results from vitamins and antioxidants.  Experts are questioning why studies that established that taking these same vitamins lowered the risk for disease and death were excluded.   The national News was fair and actually seemed to focus on the apparent ridiculousness of the JAMA article.  Physicians appeared on the news pointing out potential problems with the studies and recommended that if you have questions that you should talk with your own physician.

Author Dr. Jack Wheeler was so inflamed by this apparant ‘un-scientific’ report that he has accused the JAMA and Phamaceuticals of greed and exploitation.  Dr. Wheeler also explains some of the specific short comings of the studies that were chosen in this ‘meta-study’ in an article written last month and available here.

Bottom line it appears that our health care system is suffering from greed, dishonesty, and integrity.  If it is true that the pharmaceuticals bought a false study and the JAMA was willing to go along with this scam then who are we to trust with issues related to our health?  It is  becoming more critical to listen to your own body and make sure that you are getting the facts that are relevant to you.    

Posted in Healing, Health | 2 Comments »

Scar Tissue and Cesarean Birth ( C-Section )

Posted by Angela on March 30, 2007

Over my years of private practice I have treated countless women who experience low back pain.  Their pain has all been similar by a description of pain in the buttocks, sacrum and along the crest of the hips in the back.  A good portion of these women have had children delivered via cesarean (c-section), with resulting prominent scar tissue just above the pubic bone.  Through palpation I have found their lower abdominal region armoured, with very little fascial and tissue glide. 

Through further assessment I found that by stretching or pulling the scar tissue it will typically refer pain into either one or both hip flexors.  The hip flexors or psoas musscles originate at the lumbar vertabrae T12-L5 (your lower back).  The insertion point (or other end) of this muscle is at the lessor trochanter of the femur or in your groin.  When one hip flexor is hypertonic it will typically cause the lower lumbar spine to laterally flex.   As a result pain is manifested, typically either sciatic pain or lower back pain. 

Another symptom I have seen with these clients who have had c-sections is that they may have issues with lower digestion such as irritable bowel syndrome or elimination difficulties.  Again, the tightening created by the scar tissue pulls within the abdominal cavity and thus affects the organs.

Bottom line, typically the scar tissue that formed after the c-section has tightened and pulled their bodies our of balance and the symptoms of pain in the back really originates  in the abdomen.  Fortunately there is a solution that works for most women.  Myofascial and craniosacral help unwind or release the pulling from the scar tissue in the pelvic floor.  The hip flexor(s) can then return to balance or homeostasis.  This relaxation of the tight lower abdominal tissue relieves pressure off of the low back, increases leg movement, and typically relieves pain. 

— Michael

 

Posted in Bodywork Modalities, Chronic Pain, Craniosacral, Healing, Health, Scar Tissue | 236 Comments »

Limbic System Part 2 – Amygdala

Posted by Angela on March 27, 2007

The Amygdala is an almond shaped nuclei that is located int he medial temporal lobe of the brain, just in front of the hippocampus.  It is thought that the amygdala is responsible for linking feelings of fear and anxiety which has an intimate relationship with the bodies fight, flight or freeze response.  There are approximately 20 -30 receiving and processing centers in the amygdala and its reaction response can come directly from the thalamus gland.  Hypo or hyper activity in the amygdala can have an impact on understanding fear and anxiety, which may have an impact in processing the bodies fight or flight mechanism.  

Any imbalance or dis-ease within the amygdala has the potential to impact soft tissue integrity throughout the body.    For example a hyper active amygdala can contribute to remaining in fight or flight or freeze.  By remaining in fight or flight or freeze our entire body remains super vigilant, adreneline may be over created, heart rate may remain high etc.  Prolonged periods of this supervigilance can throw off the chemical balances within the body, including the soft tissue.  As a result the soft tissue can loose it’s elasticity and overall health – added to this is that the healing process of deep rest can be compromised during prolonged periods of fight or flight or freeze:  you end up with the potential of more damage and less healing within the soft tissue.   The body has an amazing capacity to heal itself – provided it has the opportunity to do so.

If you feel that you have experienced prolonged periods of fight or flight or stress you may find that your body could use a little assistance in healing.  Basic good health advice prevails – eat well, exercise, get plenty of rest, and reduce stress.  Bodywork can also help, and there are a number of modalities that may be beneficial – the key is to find the one(s) that resonate with you and your body.  We recommend that you trust your own inner guidance in finding the therapy that will work best for you.  

For specific work to facilitate balancing the amygdala we have found that advanced brain work is particularly effective.   We find that combining advanced brain work with other modalities can contribute to working with both potential cause and symptoms that an imbalance in the center for fight, flight or freeze may have led to.

Part 1 of the Limbic System series can be found here

–Michael and Angela

 

Posted in Advanced Brain Work, Bodywork Modalities, Healing, Health, Stress | 2 Comments »

Carpal Tunnel and treatment with Craniosacral Therapy

Posted by Michael on March 26, 2007

Carpal tunnel syndrome manifests many symptoms, including fatigue, pain, and weakness of grip, loss of dexterity, stiffness, cramping, numbness, cold, and burning.  Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS)  may take years to develop and often progresses rapidly if ignored.  This syndrome is often brought on through repetitive use, improper ergonomics, and bad body mechanics.  If CTS goes untreated, loss of work and income often follow.  It has been estimated that Carpal Tunnel Syndrome affects approximately 1% of the U.S. population.  It is estimated that 1 million surgeries for carpal tunnel syndrome are performed each and every year.  Often overwhelming demands and stress at work contribute to the syndrome.   Reducing or managing stress, proper ergonomics, frequent stretching and positional changes can all help to reduce or prevent repetitive injuries. 

Carpal tunnel syndrome usually affects the median nerve between the carpal bones of the hand or hands.  Other factors that can cause or contributre to carpal tunnel syndrome are edema or water retention in the hands or wrist area, subluxsation or misalignment of the carpal bones in the hand, and Myofascial hyper tonicity (tightness in the fascia of the wrist and arm)

There are other injuries that can cause or mimic carpal tunnel pain. Other potential causes or contributors include neck injuries, such as a bulging or herniated discs, shoulder injuries such as rotator cuff problems, and arthritis and tendonitis.  Thoracic outlet syndrome, which is caused by nerve impingement or a lack of or blood supply due to tight muscles in the neck or chest region can also mimic or contribute to carpal tunnel syndrome.

The most common first aid treatment is drug therapy.  The use of anti-inflammatory and rest reduces swelling and pressure on the median nerve, resulting in the return of proper wrist function.  In very advanced cases surgery is an option. It does seem that with the dramatic increase in surgeries that the possibility exists that surgery options are promoted too often and too soon in the course of treatment. 

Even with the dramatic numbers of surgeries, there are many – both clients and physicians – who explore alternative health solutions prior to surgery.  Massage therapy is probably the most often recommended alternative therapy for many types of repetitive strain injuries, and can help in many cases with carpal tunnel syndrom.   Massage has the ability to reduce swelling, remove toxins from the injured site, stretch and release traumatized tissue.  All this is done safely and without drug or surgery side effects. 

Craniosacral and Myofascial Therapies are also indicated for carpal tunnel syndrome.  The therapeutic light pressure of these treatments allows the body to unwind congested fascia around the injured area.  Fascia wraps muscle unit and fiber, muscle fibril and fascicle, and each muscle cell.  This ensheathing layer also wraps the nerves that accompany muscle movement.  So it makes sense that safely unwinding this tissue thorough fascial therapy will result in decreased pain and improved range of motion.

Posted in Craniosacral, Healing, Health, Injury Prevention | 2 Comments »

Common Back Pain and Craniosacral

Posted by Michael on March 20, 2007

Low back pain is a very common condition in our society.  There are literally countless ways that our bodies manifest back pain. The low back conditions I see most in my private practice are usually manifested from a few main causes.

The first is occupational posture syndrome, caused by sitting for long periods of time, improper body mechanics, and occupational stress (both emotional and physical).  Sometimes it’s the way we sit at our computers, such as sitting on our wallets, sitting with one leg under our buttocks,  or an setup that  leads us to often sit with the weight of our body to one side or the other.   Any emotionally stressful situations that may occur while we are already in a compromised physical position work like synergy and exponentially increase the physiological impact.   All of these scenarios may cause and/or contribute to hip rotation and low back discomfort.

The second important cause of low back pain is bad exercise habits. No argument that exercising is a good thing for mind, body, and spirit, but improper exercise can be harmful. Bad exercise habits may cause back pain by pushing our bodies beyond tolerable levels, faulty loading, (exercising only one side of the body or one part of the body while ignoring the rest), poor body mechanics during exercise routines, and exercising when pain is present. 

A third common cause of back pain can result from car accidents, often resulting in whiplash injuries. Whiplash is a traumatic event that causes the head to move swiftly in one direction and then back into an opposing direction. Whiplash injuries are not to be taken lightly. They can cause significant damage to the ligaments of the cervical spine (neck), thoracic spine (mid back), and the lumbar region (lower back). Along with ligament damage, the vertebral discs of the spinal column and joints can be compromised. One of the main reasons why whiplash is so devastating to the body is that often you are in a somewhat relaxed state prior to the injury and you are not prepared for sudden impact or trauma. The muscle tissue of the body is somewhat relaxed or supple, which allows more force to internal structures of the body such as ligaments, tendons, discs, joints, and bones. 

Craniosacral Therapy can have a positive effect on relieving low, mid, and upper back discomfort. This profound therapy intimately works with the fight or flight syndrome of the central nervous system to help release the negative holding patterns that our body has created in response to the traumas of work, play, personal injury. Many of my clients have experienced relief after as little as one session. 

Posted in Bodywork Modalities, Chronic Pain, Craniosacral, Exercise, Healing, Health, Injury Prevention, Life, Stress | Leave a Comment »

The Limbic System – Part 1

Posted by Michael on March 16, 2007

I would like to present a series of articles on the limbic system of the body, which I believe has a direct influence on our body’s tissue integrity and overall homeostasis of the human body.  The limbic system is located between the cerebrum and the diencephalon of the interbrain.  The limbic system is involved in our body’s ability to process emotions and behavioral patterns.  The Limbic system is comprised of several different  nuclei.  The first of these that we will examine is the hippocampus.

The hippocampus which is shaped like a sea horse and located under the lateral ventricles.  The hippocampus nuclei are contribute to functions in learning and the formation of long term memory.  The hippocampus also includes regions that stimulate the reticular formation, which is a network that extends along the brain stem and helps govern our sleep-wake cycle. 

The stresses of life can cause the hippocampus to become too active (hyper) or not active enough (hypo).  Hyper or hypo functions of the hippocampus can disrupt normal functionality including monitoring the sleep-wake cycle.  If our sleep-wake cycle is disrupted we typically do not get the rest we need and chemicals in our brain may become out of balance.  As a result we may reduce our capacity to fully repair and revitalize connective tissue, muscle tissue, and  even our ability to focus and retain memory.  We may not realize all of the areas impacted by a hypo or hyper hippocampus, in fact we may just be left feeing depleted and out of sorts – with no idea of the root cause.

There are specific techniques for balancing the hippocampus and other nuclei of the brain.  This advanced level brain release work combined with craniosacral therapy can help restore proper balance within the brain, the cranium, and the spinal column which affects our overall health and well-being.

Posted in Advanced Brain Work, Bodywork Modalities, Craniosacral, Healing, Health, Stress | 3 Comments »

Craniosacral Therapy for reducing Scar Tissue Pain

Posted by Michael on March 13, 2007

The body has the ability to heal itself after surgery.  The body produces connective tissue, adhesions and collagen, to replace the damaged compromised tissue from the result of an incision to the skin. This natural phenomenon causes the formation of scar tissue.  Scar tissue replaces damaged cells at the site of the incision or injury.  Skin scar tissue is different than deep fascial scar tissue.  Skin scar tissue lacks in pigmentation and hair follicles.  Deep scar tissue in the fascial layers of the body develops adhesions or spider like web threads to help the body heal and recover.

There can be a potential problem in the development of scar tissue. The problem lies when scar tissue and adhesions go unchecked over the years.  The scar tissue and adhesions start attaching themselves to bones, arteries, veins, nerves, and organs.  This phenomenon alone can cause dysfunction in the homeostasis of the body and possibly manifest into further complications in our body’s internal health as we age.  In addition I have witnessed in my practice patient’s scar tissue developing over periods of time causing spinal curvature (scoliosis), rotated hips manifesting in sciatic pain and lower extremity discomfort, shoulder displacement causing rotator cuff problems, and cervical or neck problems manifesting in a variety of neck and headache pain.  Scar tissue can and will cause loss of range of motion making simple job and home activities difficult to perform.   In addition there have been preliminary studies showing that manual therapies such as Craniosacral therapy can relive the discomforts and problematic symptoms in the Ureogential region after “C” section deliveries.  One of the most profound areas of relief from scar tissue is a patient who has had open-heart surgery.  I myself have recovered from open-heart surgery.  I receive scar and adhesion therapy once a month for the last 10 years.  My primary care doctor concurs that the manual therapy I receive keeps my body anatomically correct, allows my body full range of motion without pain and discomfort in the soft tissue.

Over many years in my practice I have found that Craniosacral therapy has had a profound positive effect on relieving the discomfort of scar tissue formed in the body. In addition Craniosacral therapy has afforded my patients/clients increased range of motion, the reduction of adhesions and pain in the sub acute stage after a surgical procedure.

Posted in Chronic Pain, Craniosacral, Healing, Health, Scar Tissue | 83 Comments »

We are what we ingest

Posted by Michael on March 10, 2007

What we ingest . . .

Environmentally, Spiritually, Emotionally, and Physically

can and will affect our body’s homeostasis (well-being) as well as our immune system.

– Michael

Posted in Health, Quote for the Day | Leave a Comment »