Manual Medicines & Bodywork
The integration of manual & energetic medicine is a truly evolving art form.
My anatomy instructor in Chiropractic School, Dr. Titrude, once commented on the human body “form follows function and function follows form”. Look to each muscle, it’s origin and insertion (form), is responsible for a certain movement, stabilization of joints, support of our structure (function), has a unique nerve and blood supply, lymph drainage, with meridian and Cranial influences, nutritional requirements, and so much more. People who perform the same motions, same activities are prone to certain conditions. All postures and movement choices, work movements and environments (like in Charlie Chaplin’s repetitive movements on the assembly line with the 2 wrenches in “Modern Times”), influencing not just the recurring mechanical movements but also how his brain perceived his environment, everything is a screw to tighten. The car we drive, how we cook and the pots and pans we use, cleaning, running, biking, weights, elliptical trainers, hiking, walking, Yoga, Tai Chi, Pilates, Gyrotonics, then one sided sports like tennis, golf, baseball, basketball, the computer and mouse, sitting, sedentary lifestyle, watching TV, sitting in the same chair at the table, and their repetitious movements create a unique form and impact function creating somatic aliveness and also dysfunction. The body has many languages and is not limited to just one system of approach. Studying the body’s languages has to do with discernment and discrimination, walking the truth and observing the fruits of our labors. As we read, research, and experience for ourselves, we can make more informed choices and take better control over our lives! Observing and noticing the psychological and physiological impact from T.V., infotainment and distractions, not buying advertisements & marketing from the pharmaceutical, chemical companies, commercial and fast food providers, we have a very powerful feedback tool. I read a study that suggested that Doctors are strongly influenced by the advertisements from drug companies in the journals they read and the drug sales reps, overall more that the articles in those journals. I believe the goal of treatment of all medicine and lifestyle habits are to restore, enhance and optimize the form and functional relationship of our BodyMind potential and unfortunately we can go the other way, weakness, demise & self-destruction. Each discipline that I study, learn, and have assimilated into my practice, approaches the same BodyMind in a different and complementary way. Remember the story of the 3 blind men who evaluate the elephant, one remarks that it is a snake (the tail), it’s a pillar or tree remarks another (the leg) and the third remarks it is a fan (the ear), and a sighted man observes the elephant.
Chiropractic and Osteopathic Medicine
Chiropractic and Osteopathic medicine utilize various forms of manipulation of all joints of the spine and entire body, balancing muscle, tendon, and ligament, restoring a more advantageous alignment of the bones.
The goal is restoration of our optimal range of motion, spinal mobility and stability, improvement of the function of the nervous system and blood supply to the entire body, enhancing the form and function, decreasing spasm & pain, aches, stagnation, thus enriching our BodyMind performance and the quality of our lives. A patient who had lived with chronic pain for decades shared with me that she experienced all pain as bad, then when I was treating her, she experienced some “therapeutic discomfort” (pain with a purpose, transformation of spasm and tightness) and shared with me her new awareness of experience of pain with the changes in her soma (body), she felt much better.
Biodynamic Cranial & Craniosacral Therapies
Biodynamic cranial & craniosacral therapies offer another system treating the brain, spinal cord & nerves and the primary cranial respiratory mechanism. Employing gentle, small movements of the cranial bones, underlying fascial connections to the brain, vasculature & lymph drainage, can enhance, improve the function of the craniosacral mechanism, Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF) production and distribution, optimizes the function of the brain, spinal cord, and all tissues innervated by our nervous system. A woman presented with right ankle pain and dysfunction. Upon examination it was her eyes, how she interpreted her environment visually that caused her right ankle issue. By treating her eyes, cranial bones and connecting fascia, the right ankle was fully functional and without pain. As my Visceral Manipulation instructor Jean Pierre Barrel says, “Where you think it is, it is not!” (With a great French accent!).
Muscles, tendons, bone, ligaments and their fascial covering all support the upright nature of our body, they create a 3 dimensional lattice system that provide us with our form and function. This fascial covering extends to every nerve, blood and lymph vessel, organ, bone, muscle and tendon, unifying all structures in our body! We are one continuous interrelation of all of our structures, systems, forms and functions. We are only as strong as our “weakest link”. By using the bigger picture philosophy we see the potential of how we can strengthen that “weakest link”. Incorporating many types of palpation, Applied Kinesiology (AK), observing the posture of the body while standing, sitting, moving, performing tasks, the body leads us to the primary foci of tension/dysfunction in the body/mind. Utilizing and integrating specific manual medicine modalities – lymph drainage therapy, visceral manipulation, neural fascial processing, visceral fascial release, trigger point therapy, myofascial release, strain-counter strain, advanced strain-counter strain, muscle energy, Japanese acupuncture & moxabustion, all facilitate a deeper transformation and integration of each person’s potential.
When the specific treatment is matched to the individuals changing needs, recognizing adaptations, injury and traumas from the past, opens the possibility to fuller healing and living, we become more whole & alive. If we want to build a house we must utilize many tools. If we only have a hammer, the whole world looks like a nail. We must use all of our well-stocked toolbox so that the treatment can match what each individual BodyMind requires for true well-being.