Alternative Medicine

Alternative Medicine

Spinal Pain Not Being Helped? See an Applied Kinesiologist; It May be a Fixation

At least 5-8 times a year, I’ll get a patient in that tells me that they have seen a chiropractor for their upper neck pain (or another part of their spine) but it never resolved.

I smile and do the usual orthopedic and neurological testing along with muscle testing neck muscles like the cervical erector, the SCM & the Scalene Anticus.

And then I go and test muscles bilaterally such as the Psoas muscle a major muscle of locomotion or the Gluteus Maximus; both of these muscle being strong postural muscles

And sure enough one of these muscles will test weak bilaterally. I then ask the patient to place two fingers (or therapy localize) on two different segments (vertebrae) bilaterally and then re-test.

If the muscle being tested is strengthened, then I know that the problem is not a subluxation where one or two vertebrae are misaligned and fixed in that position but a fixation where two or three vertebrae are fixed on each other.

Adjusting each vertebrae individually does nothing until you adjust both vertebrae at the same time in order to break up the fixation.

Your local certified Applied Kinesiologist who is either a chiropractor or an osteopath has trained in this technique and can help you greatly.

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The Art & Science of Muscle Testing in Applied Kinesiology

As some of you know, muscle testing is a basic in AK. When you test a muscle, you test not only the condition of the muscle itself, but the joint it crosses or moves, the spinal innervations of that muscle, the Chinese meridian (acupuncture energy line) associated w/ that muscle and the organ associated w/ that Chinese meridian and some cranial-sacral faults.

In order to derive this information, muscle testing must be done accurately. You must have a firm knowledge of anatomy (the science) and practice on hundreds of people before muscle testing becomes a skill (or an art); just like driving a car or cooking. Practice makes perfect!

This was hammered into my head the other month by a chiropractor who though she advertised that she did AK; it was obvious by her muscle testing that she did not have the knowledge or the skill.

First the muscle must be tested in the best position for that muscle to hold a contraction. If there is a weak muscle, patients have a natural tendency to recruit other muscles and they will shift their body position to gain an advantage.

Second it’s important that the doctor use the amount of strength appropriate for that patient If a patient has been sick for a long time or frail or a lot smaller then the doctor needs not to overpower the muscle being tested. The doctor needs to make sure the patient understands which way the doctor is pushing (or pulling) and the position in which the extremity needs to be held.

The test should not be done at such a fast rate that the patient never has a chance to develop their resistance vs. the direction of the muscle test. There is danger of muscle or tendon or joint injury if you try to overpower a muscle.

The doctor also needs to stabilize the patient and make sure that the stabilizing hand is not on a tender or painful area as this can cause the patient to let go during testing. Also the doctor needs to careful not to repeatedly test on a painful or pathological joint such as bursitis or a rotator cuff tear. The doctor should take the joint through a full range of motion before testing.

Many of the chiropractic colleges teach Applied Kinesiology as a class however that is not sufficient to master the art and science of muscle testing.

One of best ways to know that the chiropractor you are seeing has been trained properly and is committed to the practice of AK  is to see if they have been certified by the founding organization of Applied Kinesiology which is the International College of Applied Kinesiology (www.icak.com & www.icakusa.com ).

The organization authorizes certification courses to licensed doctors (chiropractors, medical doctors, dentists, osteopaths) w/ rigorous practice of technique and knowledge of muscle anatomy and physiology and then both a written and practical test. These doctors are listed at www.icakusa.com/doctors

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Cranial Sacral Therapy in Applied Kinesiology

Cranial Sacral Therapy is a technique taught in Applied Kinesiology based on Cranial Osteopathy which was discovered by osteopath Dr. William Sutherland after he had a remarkable insight while examining the specialized articulations of cranial bones. Contrary to popular belief Dr Sutherland realized that cranial sutures were, in fact, designed to express small degrees of motion.

Like Cranial Osteopathy, Cranial Sacral Therapy seeks to restore the natural rhythmic movement found between the bones of the skull and the sacrum which is correlated to our inspiration and expiration; in other words, the cranial bones and sacrum move in different directions when we breathe in and in opposite directions when we breathe out.

The purpose of this is to aid the circulation of the cerebrospinal fluid throughout the central nervous system. And some suggested that CSF flow along the cranial nerves and spinal nerve roots allow it into the lymphatic channels. Restoring normal cranial-sacral rhythm enables the body to function optimally and may alleviate a wide variety of painful and dysfunctional conditions within the body.

Using a soft gentle touch practitioners release restrictions in the cranial-sacral system to improve the functioning of the central nervous system.

There are many results why the motion of the cranial and the sacrum may be disturbed.  

For some, it can be caused by the trauma of a difficult birth. Normally since the bones are very flexible, normal movement and the act of crying restores the natural movement.

For others, it could have been caused an accidental bang to the head, a fall, whiplash following an auto accident. Jaw problems can also affect the cranials as when we chew or clench our teeth, there are muscles forces directed to the skull such as the pull of  the   Temporalis muscle on the squamosal suture of the skull. Even the act of holding our breath during physical exertion (we should be breathing out at that moment), can cause a failure of proper cranial and sacral motion,

 Dysfunction of the cranial sacral motion can be seen in different problems, even some caused by the entrapment of cranial nerves as they exit the cranium such as trigeminal neuralgia, headaches, migraines, low back  and disc problems, general weakness on one side of the body, problems w/ visual acuity, low or high blood pressure, a spastic ileo-cecal value, neck flexor weakness, allergies, hypochlorhydria, earaches, loss of balance, tinnitus, dizziness and vertigo, recurring upper cervical (neck) problems and scoliosis  

 In applied kinesiology, there are techniques to find the dysfunctions (or cranial faults) and to find out how to fix it. The difference in muscle strength when the patient is breathing in or breathing out is one clue. The asymmetrical face is another clue that there may be a problem. Or the doctor can observe what happens to the strength of a muscle when she (or he) presses on certain cranials or sutures; this is called a challenge.

Cranial-sacrum corrections are easily made and if incorporated with the correction of accompanying spinal dysfunction, muscle balancing and proper nutrition, it will have a lasting effect.

 For more information on cranial- sacral therapy, cerebrospinal fluid, cranial nerves, and the bones of the skull, please see:

 http://www.craniosacraltherapy.org/Whatis.htm

 http://www.answers.com/topic/craniosacral-therapy

http://www.med.yale.edu/caim/cnerves/

http://face-and-emotion.com/dataface/anatomy/cranium.jsp

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Craniosacral_therapy

 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cerebrospinal_fluid

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Muscle Balancing in Applied Kinesiology

As a Doctor of Chiropractic, I know that muscle balancing is an important not only for spinal adjustments but also for extremity (arms & legs) adjustments and cranial adjustments.

For example, I can adjust someone’s spine but if the pull of the muscle on one side of the spine is tighter than the other side than that spinal adjustment will not hold.

Now most people think that it’s the tight muscle that will pull the spine out of alignment but it just as often can be the weak muscle not having enough strength to hold the spine towards its side.

Also I may be treating a patient who has chronic muscle pain or weakness due to an injury; in these cases, muscle balance is very important.

In Applied Kinesiology, we have ways to strengthen or weaken a muscle depending on what we need to do to help the patient.

 First we test the muscle that we think may be involved in an unbalanced pull on the bone (or spine) or involved w/ the pain or injury

 For example, we may find the latissimus dorsi muscle weak that is a muscle that internally rotates, extends and adducts (movement towards from the body) the arm/ shoulder. It also attacts into the lumbar and sacral vertebra and part of the pelvic crest The weakness may seen either as a higher shoulder on the weak side or a rotation of the lumbar veretebrae.

The questions to be asked are: why is the muscle weak? Is the muscle on the other side hypertonic  or “too stronger.”

 One of the ways to find the answer is to use muscle spindle work. Muscle spindles are small sensory neuro-bundles in the middle of muscles that react to stretching.  Stretch a muscle spindle one way and the muscle will strengthen; push the fibers of the muscle spindle the other way and the muscle will weaken.

 So I would be testing the spindles by challenging the muscle spindles and seeing how it affects the strength or hypertonicity of the muscle.

 I can also use another tool at an Applied Kinesiologist’s fingertips which are golgi tendon organs and as the name suggests, these are located in the tendons of muscles (tendons attach the muscle to the bones.).

Again stretching the tendon organ will help strengthen the muscle and the other way will weaken it. And these would be tested in a similar manner to the muscle spindles.

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The Musculoskeletal Aspects of Asthma

Like most of you, I’ve been watching the Olympics and as I watched, I remembered a previous Summer Olympics and watching the start of the Women’s Marathon. I noticed something in the body language of one of the front runners and said to my friends, “That runner has asthma; look at her neck.”  My friends chuckled and then the announcer talking about the runner I pointed out said that she suffered from asthma.

“How did you know?’ asked my surprised friends. Her SCM (sternocleidomastoid) muscle http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sternocleidomastoid_muscle was very pronounced. Instead of using her primary muscles of inspiration, her diaphragm, the external intercostals and the sternocostalis; she was using an accessory one.  http://skeletalmuscularsystem.suite101.com/article.cfm/muscles_of_inspiration It was causing her rib cage to be higher in position on her torso and more barrel shaped: a classic visual for asthma patients

In  my Applied Kinesiology practice, I see a number of patients with breathing problems. To a person they all have problems using their diaphragm muscle properly, they use small muscles higher up in the chest and shoulders creating  a “barrel-shaped” chest. And many have problems w/ their intercostal muscles and the up of down movement of the ribs; their rib joints don’t move properly therefore not allowing the movement of the chest.

Tightness and/or weakness is also found in the Pectoralis major & minor, SCM and the Serratus anterior as well as other accessory muscles. With applied kinesiology, I can use golgi tendon and muscle spindle reflexes to re-set the muscles and use neuro-lymphatic & neuro-vascular points to flush toxics out of the muscles. Chiropractic manipulation of the thoracic spine and the articulations of the rib joints to both the vertebrae and the sternum are also important to check.

Working on all these aspects causes the bio-mechanics of the chest to work better and breathing is freed up.

Of course causes of both bronchial and lung and general inflammation need to be found and worked on via nutrition and lifestyle changes; but that is another blog.

And by the way, I always warn my patients to no matter how well their breathing feels, to always carry an inhaler, just in case.

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What is an Illeo-Cecal Valve and How is it related to your digestive health

Problems w/ constipation? Diarrhea? Dark circles under your eyes? Sudden low back pain after bending over to pick up a dime on the floor? Joint pains? Weakness of the Psoas, Iliacus or Quadriceps muscles – muscles involved in posture and locomotion

Could it be your Ileo-Cecal Valve?

The Ileo-Cecal Valve is located between the ileum (last portion of your small intestine) and the cecum or ascending colon (first portion of your large intestine; the appendix lays just below it.. Its function is to allow digested food materials to pass from the small intestine into your large intestine. The ileo-cecal valve also blocks these waste materials from backing back up into your small intestine. It is intended to be a one-way valve, only opening up to allow the digested material to pass through and then closing to prevent the fecal contents from “falling” back into the small intestine. When the small intestine/large intestine is not active in the process of digestion or stool production), the value is relaxed, neither open or closed.

Ileocecal Valve Syndrome

When the ileocecal valve is stuck open waste products can back up into the small intestine (much like a backed up kitchen sink drain) disturbing your digestion and also creating unhealthy toxins that are absorbed into the body. Also, if the ileocecal valve is stuck closed waste products are prevented or constricted from passing into the large intestine.

Unfortunately, this disorder is often overlooked by the medical profession. A dysfunctional ileocecal valve can result in a combination of symptoms.

Ileo-Cecal Valve Syndrome Signs & Symptoms

Dark circles under eyes

Bowel disturbances (diarrhea / constipation)

Weakness of the Psoas, Iliacus or Quadriceps muscles – muscles involved in posture and locomotion

Low back pain – esp. pain on bending over

Severe lumbar disc complaints (sharp sudden pain)

Sinus problems, post nasal drip, headaches, tinnitus

GERD symptoms

Joint pains

Pelvic congestion and pain

PMS

Chronic inflammatory or toxicity complaints

Causes of Ileo-Cecal Valve Syndrome

HCl Deficiency – Major Cause: Medication for GERD/ Tums – stops via various ways the flow of stomach acid needed to digest food, and absorb certain B vitamins and Calcuim.

Dehydration

Emotional upsets

High Colonics

How you eat (eating too quickly, eating foods you are sensitive to, under-chewing your food)

Foods you eat (carbonated drinks, alcohol, caffeine, chocolate, raw foods, hot spicy foods)

TMJ Disorders

Treating Ileo- Cecal Valve Syndrome
Treatment options for ileocecal valve syndrome are adjustment of the value itself, chiropractic adjustment of the spinal segmental that innervates the value, and the small and large intestine,  neurovascular & neurolympathic pts for the value and the small & large intestine, and a change in diet.

Please note that adjustment of the value must be done in order to “fix’ the problem; just doing the other techniques will not “fix” the problem.

Possible nutrition: Chlorophyll, digestive enzymes, Vitamin D, Calcium

Temporary Diet Recommendations During Treatment
Avoid for two weeks:

Roughage foods–such as: seeds, whole grains, raw vegetables

Spicy foods–such as: chili powder, hot peppers, salsas, black and cayenne pepper,

Also eliminate– liquors, alcoholic drinks, cocoa, chocolate, caffeine products

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Alternative Therapies: Acupuncture And Acupressure

The practice of Acupuncture and Acupressure has been around for hundreds if not thousands of years. Both are based off of the same basic principle, that your own body has the power to heal itself from any ailment.

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