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Alternative Health Therapies

Alternative Health Therapies

Alternative health therapies are manual treatment modalities that are based on the fact that our body is innately designed to heal. “HealThy self” is its motto if you will. This occurs because our tissues knows what steps to take to maintain an optimum state of health.

Our body is made up of billions of cells that have a solid and liquid (fluid) component. Each cell has a specifically designated function as determined by the stages of human development in embryology

The solid component in the body and are differentiated into these various systems, viz.:

1.     The musculoskeletal system

2.     The nervous system

3.     The respiratory system

4.     The digestive system

5.     The excretory system(kidneys, bladder, bowel and skin)

6.     The reproductive system

The fluid component is comprised of:

1.     The circulatory system, which includes

  • The blood circulatory system, and

  • The lymphatic circulation

2.     The cerebrospinal circulation

These systems have an innate motion, as if each comprising cell is its own entity with its own palpable pulse and rhythm, yet in the miracle of the human body, function as a whole. A proverb in traditional chinese medicine says: “Movement gives health and life. Stagnation brings disease and death.” The movements and rhythms that can be palpated by a trained practitioner include:

1.     The craniosacral rhythm

2.     The visceral (organ) rhythm

3.     The lymphatic rhythm

4.     The blood circulatory rhythm (the heart rate)

5.     The respiratory rhythm ( the breath rate)

While the first 4 are involuntary, breath rate is completely under voluntary control. This is where alternative health therapies assist in the play of the healer we have within.

Essentially, in the structure and function of the body, the bones are at the mercy of the soft tissue and the whole system depends on an efficient “wash and float” effect supplied by the fluid system. The functioning of all bodily systems are thus determined by :

1.     The structural integrity and mobility of the solid structures

2.     The balance of fluid that runs through them.

3.     An intact cellular/organ/systemic rhythm, as the case may be

Alternative health therapies like craniosacral therapy, visceral manipulation and lymph drainage therapy are treatment modalities that are based on the premise that structure and function are interrelated. These treatments follow this basic rule,“ listen-follow-release” honoring the intelligence of the body and its inner physician to allow tissue unwinding.

The following are the basic steps in any treatment session, for a release to be complete:

1.     “Feel the rhythm”. This should feel like gentle ocean waves flowing

2.     “Communicate” with its flow and zone in on the block

3.     “Offer energy” to the treatment zone to initiate unwinding

4.      “Intention  a release”

5.     “Follow the release” till complete tissue softening occurs

The above clearly typifies how wide ranging clinical applications could be. Interesting though is the fact that the treatment methods mentioned above are extremely specific in their results. In this lies proof enough of the wisdom of the human body and its ability to heal intelligently when given the chance. The need for medication, which more often than not is toxic to the human system and even surgery may even be alleviated given the efficacy of alternative health therapies.

Below is a video that mentions a few applications of craniosacral therapy.

Body Sculpting Exercises To Shape Your Waistline

Body Sculpting Exercises To Shape Your Waistline

Body sculpting exercises to flatten your tummy is the first in the series of our body sculpting program.

The right food choices are key to trimming your waistline and assisting the effectiveness of body sculpting exercises . Success is based on 2 principles. Stay away from fats and sugars. Eat fat burning foods.

  • Walk away from all carbohydrates. The only thing that they do is to hug your waistline by being converted into fat and stored there.

  • A tablespoon of olive oil a day is necessary for energy and proper metabolism. Anymore than this as butter, margarine or oils found in fried foods is stored as love handles.

  • Burn and incinerate fat with increased protein intake. Protein shakes are fun. Fish is the next best choice. Lean meats of course follow.

  • Increase your fiber. These rid you of fat. Fruits and raw vegetables eaten whole, in salads or juiced are great

To the video available at this link:,  add the following exercises to strengthen your transversus abdominis muscle: Set aside 10 minutes every morning to do them. The tummy tucks described below however you could carry out all through the day.

  • Tummy tucks: Here you suck in your stomach as if you want to touch belly button to your spine. This can be done 24/7 all through the day without designating any specific time of day for “exercising”.

  • Deep breathing: Breathe out with a tummy tuck. Hold for 30 seconds. Breathe in on the relaxation. This will improve your breathing capacity.

  • Planks: These are done by staying in a lifted push-up position. Start by getting onto your stomach. Push up on your hands till your elbows are straight and only your palms and toes contact the floor. Your hands are under your shoulders and your feet are hip-width apart. Engage your abdominals and keep your back flat. Simply hold this position for 30. Slowly increase to 1-2 minutes. Repeat 5 times.

  • Advanced Planks: Graduate to alternating leg-lifts by lifting one leg at a time to further enhance the efficacy of this exercise.

  • Side Planks: Do the same as above turning to your sides and pushing up on your hands and staying in a lifted pushup position sideways.

  • Crunches: Sit-ups  are the time proven answer to getting flatter abs.

  • Heel Slides: Lie flat on your back with both knees bent, keeping your back firmly pressed to the surface you are lying on. Slowly slide one heel down, making sure your back is still pressed on  the surface you are lying on. Stop your heel slide when your back lifts off the surface and hold the abdominal contraction for 30 seconds. Repeat 10 times on each side

  • Pelvic Tilts: These are easy transversus abdominis exercises if you are deconditioned or pregnant. Sit on a chair. Push your lower back flat against back of the chair and hold for 30 seconds. Release and allow your lower back to relax. Do 10 repetitions.

Remember  water is  a very important part of weight loss and effectiveness of body sculpting exercises. Recommendations vary from:

  • Drink 8-8 ounce glasses of water per day

  • Drink water that is a third of your body weight in ounces

  • Avoid tea and coffee as these are diuretics and dehydrate you

  • Reduce salt intake as this stores water and increase your weight

The video below explains “body sculpting exercises” to shape youe waistline

Check back for more on body sculpting exercises for your arms in our next blog

Body Sculpting Exercises

Body Sculpting Exercises

Body sculpting exercises are non-aerobic, muscle-toning  routines with the focus on core strength, using well toned abdominals as the cornerstone for shaping, strengthening and nurturing your body. You don’t just look great, you also feel great with loads of self esteem and confidence. Your body does not just profit from increased tone and strength, it also benefits from the increase in serotonin and endorphins that make you feel good mentally. Studies have shown that body sculpting exercises are not only a shaping workout for your body, but a cardiovascular workout for your heart and a strengthening workout for your bones as well.

Some  of the benefits of body sculpting exercises include:

  • Increased metabolism and fat loss by allowing fat  and calorie burn 24-hours a day, because included in body sculpting is a weight loss program

  • Muscle re-shaping and toning and lean muscle increase

  • Increased bone density and reduced osteoporosis, because of the weighted component of the exercises, yet joint impact is low

  • Cardiovascular conditioning

  • Increased flexibility, strength &

  • Greater self-esteem and confidence

As the name suggests, sculpting means chiseling into shape. This is done by burning away fat and introducing shapeliness to produce the figure you desire. Body sculpting exercises are designed to shape and tone the body without building muscular size or bulk.  In order to do so, sculpting uses weight bars, exercise bands, or dumbbells, or a combination of these gadgets. Load generally is limited to 3-5-7 pounds of weight. You perform traditional weight-training moves and also include free form exercise to the assist the burn and shaping. Prepare yourself for muscle soreness the day or two after your workout. Best of all the results are quick and this a safe form of exercising for all ages, because you can do it according to your pace and capacity. However, as in any physical fitness program, we recommend that you consult with your physician before starting this or any other exercise program.

Below is a 10 minute workout program to give you a general workout and is a great start to body sculpting exercises. You will need a stepper and 3, 5 and 7 pound weights. All these  can be purchased at our store.

Follow our blogs for more body sculpting ideas to increase the scope of what “body sculpting exercises” can do for you.

Transversus Abdominis Exercises

Transversus Abdominis Exercises

Transversus abdominis exercises are very important in maintaining your overall health because weak transversus abdominis muscles can manifest as:

  • Inability to sit up without arching your back thus inviting back pain

  • Decreased breathing capacity

  • Incontinence of urine

  • Medial knee joint pain

  • Groin pain

The video below describes a method to activate the nerve and lymph supply that lies on the inner side of your thigh in order to “clean” out the blocked “functional pathways” for this muscle. Of course this is best done by a trained body worker, but can easily be replicated as shown below even at home using the help of another member of your household. Your effectiveness in treatment would lie in massaging the inner side of the thigh, working from the inner knee up towards the groin, with the flat of your palms to initiate proper drainage of stagnant fluid from lack of proper transversus abdominis muscle exercises.

Transversus abdominis exercises target the muscle group that saran wraps your midriff. This is a deep muscle and extends from its attachment to the base of your ribcage to the top of your pelvic bowl, very much like a corset. No wonder it is sometimes referred to as our “natural weight lifting belt”.

Easy transversus abdominis exercises include:

  • Tummy tucks: Here you suck in your stomach as if you want to touch belly button to your spine. This can be done 24/7 all through the day without designating any specific time of day for “exercising”.

  • Deep breathing: Breathe out with a tummy tuck. Hold for 30 seconds. Breathe in on the relaxation. This will improve your breathing capacity.

  • Lifting a weight overhead: You can start with 5 pounds. Lift and hold the weight slightly behind you for about 30 seconds to start with. Slowly increase to 1-2 minutes. Repeat 5 times. Walking with the overhead weight further enhances the efficacy of this exercise.

  • Planks: These are done by staying in a lifted push-up position. Start by getting onto your stomach. Push up on your hands till your elbows are straight and only your palms and toes contact the floor. Your hands are under your shoulders and your feet are hip-width apart. Engage your abdominals and keep your back flat. Simply hold this position for 30. Slowly increase to 1-2 minutes. Repeat 5 times. Alternating by lifting one leg at a time further enhances the efficacy of this exercise.

  • Pelvic Tilts: These are easy transversus abdominis exercises if you are deconditioned or pregnant. Sit on a chair. Push your lower back flat against back of the chair and hold for 30 seconds. Release and allow your lower back to relax. Do 10 repetitions.

Only good can come from these exercises. Serotonin or the “feel good” hormone is released. Your stomach gets flatter. Your breathing capacity improves. Low back and groin pain disappear and urinary incontinence stops. All these great benefits come from doing your “transversus abdominis exercises”.

Treatment for Seasonal Affective Disorder

Treatment for Seasonal Affective Disorder

Treatment  for Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) aims at reducing the symptoms of winter depression or the winter blues. This is a mood disorder that affects some people when daylight hours are shorter — November to March. Connections between human mood, as well as energy levels, and the seasons are well documented, even in healthy individuals.

These normally mentally healthy individuals experience depressive symptoms in the winter, including:

1.    Anxiety, hopelessness and depression

2.    Loss of energy/interest in normal activities

3.    Oversleeping

4.    Appetite changes, especially a craving for high-carbohydrate foods

5.    Weight gain

6.    Difficulty concentrating and processing information

7.    Social withdrawal

8.    Potential risk of suicide

Many reasons have been postulated:

1.    During the winter, many people don’t get enough vitamin D from sunlight. The decreased sunlight may reduce the efficacy of the brain, retarding the conversion of serotonin into N-acetylserotonin which is a mood enhancer.

2.    Another theory is that the cause of seasonal affective disorder may be related to excess melatonin, a sleep enhancer, which is produced in dim light and darkness by the pineal gland.

3.    The body’s circadian rhythm is disturbed from shorter daylight hours.

There is more than one treatment for seasonal affective disorder including:

1.    Light therapy involves the use of a specialized light as a substitute for sunlight. Patients are exposed to the light for a specified time. This exposure can cause a change in chemicals in the brain that are linked to mood.

2.    Anti-depressants prescription or over-the-counter medications  or vitamin-D supplements up to 1,000 to 2,000 IU a day.

3.    Some individuals need a combination of light therapy, medication, and psychotherapy.

4.    Daily exercise has been shown to be helpful, particularly when done outdoors.

5.    For those who tend to crave sweets during the winter, eating a balanced diet may help one’s mood. Conversely, as the mood improves, craving for sweets may abate.

6.    A few sessions of Healing Dynamics

Healing Dynamics creates physical and emotional balance in the treatment of seasonal affective disorder along with complete structural rebalancing to take you to your full potential. This holistic approach is a synthesis of several anatomically directed healing techniques, resulting in complete physical and emotional healing. This reinstates every ‘body’ to the highest form of one’s true self. Your transformation occurs via natural healing of the body systems, through correction, realignment and reeducation.

Treatment for these sometimes disabling conditions is offered with Craniosacral Therapy (see video below), Somato Emotional Release and Lymph Drainage Therapy in combination, in order to increase the efficacy of Serotonin conversion in the brain. These methods have been clinically proven to be effective in establishing physical and emotional harmony in the treatment of seasonal affective disorder.

Diagnosing ADHD Using Healing Dynamics To Resolve Motor Control Disorders In Children

Diagnosing ADHD Using Healing Dynamics To Resolve Motor Control Disorders In Children

Diagnosing ADHD is clearly the preliminary step to its treatment. Yet vice versa, an effective yet specific treatment can help in confirming and diagnosing ADHD. Researchers in two separate studies have concluded that hyperactivity in the brain in children with ADHD is causative in an inability of these children to control impulsive hand movements. A study of mirror hand movements on children with ADHD showed that testing the non-dominant hand (successively tapping each finger of that hand to the thumb) produced twice as many mirrored hand movements in the other hand during the test. This was four times more predominant in boys with ADHD than boys without the condition. “The findings reveal that even at an unconscious level, these children are struggling with controlling and inhibiting unwanted actions and behavior,” researcher Stewart Mostofsky, MD, of the Center for Autism and Related Disorders at the Kennedy Krieger Institute of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, says in a news release. Besides, on motor development tests, children with ADHD also scored nearly 60% worse.

Diagnosing ADHD will soon be based on clear and specific clinical symptoms rather than being labeled as spectrum disorder.  The following three symptoms are specifically present in ADHD:

  • Mirrored hand movements

  • Delayed motor milestones.

  • Tight cranial sutures.

Dr. John Upledger, DO, of the Upledger Institute in Florida discovered that the craniums of these children are very tight with little or no movement at the sutures. This is especially so for the temporal bone. Releasing this bone on both sides of the cranium at its sutural link to the sphenoid in front, the parietal bone above and the occiput behind, is all that it takes to set free the cranial vault in order to decrease the pressure on the internal milieu of the brain. This has such a powerful effect, that these children have even been able to integrate into normal classrooms.The method described above is known as craniosacral therapy. Along with this using techniques to teach sensory integration, more or less completes the circle of healing. There is also lymph drainage therapy that offers relief through drainage of the dura, a tissue that completely encases the brain. This helps in decongesting the brain and brings relief from decreased pressure. A synthesis of all these techniques is what Healing Dynamics represents and therefore helps to resolve problems with motor control to decrease ADHD severity in children.

By definition a test is an assessment intended to measure a test-taker’s skill, knowledge or physical fitness, or classification in a topic or topics. A performance test is an assessment that requires an examinee to actually perform a measurable task or activity or produce a predictable response to the experience offered by the examiner. Thus Healing Dynamics is helpful in diagnosing ADHD, because the clinical response and results have predictability. Since “the proof of the pudding is in the eating”, the very fact that predictable results are obtained by techniques used in Healing Dynamics, confirms that this is a powerful tool in diagnosing ADHD.

Stretches for Knee Pain

Stretches for Knee Pain

Stretches for knee pain requires that one consciously works towards achieving complete ROM in not just the knee but in all the joints of the leg, i.e.: the hip and ankle as well.  Statistics have shown that 90% of knee pain comes from tightness in the quadriceps, hamstrings and calf muscles. Hence complete flexibility of all the muscles that surround these three joints are key to alleviating knee pain. Stretches for knee pain are done as 5 reps, each with a 30 second hold. You can work muscle groups in pairs.

Stretching the hip flexors and quadriceps together:

1. In half kneeling, i.e. while you are bearing weight on one knee, you are supporting yourself with the other leg bent at 90 degrees at the hip and knee.
2. The foot of the weight bearing knee is placed up on a chair behind you.
3. Bend backward gently to stretch out the quadriceps. You can reach back to hold the chair if you wish. Hold/ repeat as suggested above
4. Lean forward on your supporting knee, so that your hip is flexed well on the supporting leg. This will stretch the opposite hip flexors. Hold/repeat as is required.

Stretching the hamstrings and calf muscles together:

1. In standing, place your toes on a rollthat is 4-6” in diameter while staying on your heel. Place your supporting leg comfortably behind you.
2. Tighten your quadriceps to relax your hamstrings
3. Gently bend at your hips till you fingers reach the floor. Hold/repeat as suggested above.

Along with stretches for knee pain, strengthening of all the muscles around the hip, knee and ankle is also very important. Of these, the exercise to pay most attention to are gentle isometric contractions of the knee. To do this, sit with your leg stretched out. Place a pillow under your knee. Gently squeeze down onto the pillow while your foot lifts of the surface you are on. Hold for a count of 5. Repeat 10 times. This is a set. Perform 5 sets.

Pain is your body’s signal for help. Doing a regular exercise routine will ensure the health and stability of your knee joints. Since strengthening shortens muscles, it is advisable to start with “knee isometrics” to warm up, continue with the strengthening routine and finish with the stretches for knee pain.

Medial Knee Pain-Understanding The Muscles

Medial Knee Pain-Understanding The Muscles

Medial knee pain is sometimes very debilitating. Don’t ignore pain. Pain is your body’s way of protecting you from hurting yourself further. I always offer this advice to my clients: “ When in pain, find out why!” Find out from your doctor what is the cause of  the medial knee pain is. Most often a torn medial meniscus or pes anserine bursitis  are the cause of medial knee pain.

Once the cause is established, physical therapy and exercises are very effective in reducing medial knee pain. It is not unusual to experience mild stiffness and aching of the muscles that lasts up to a day after exercising. But hardly being able to move for a few days after exercising means you have overdone it.

Weak or fatigued muscles are the result of pain. These cannot adequately support, in this case,  the knee joint or absorb shock before it gets to the knee and the extra stress placed upon the knee can cause further injury to the structures of the knee. Strengthening the muscles that support the knee with knee exercises is most important in increasing support and protecting your knees from further injury and medial knee pain. Strength must be built up gradually. Start with a few reps. I recommend starting with 5, increasing by 1 every other day till you are doing 10 contractions per session of a muscle group. This is one set. Usually 3 sets per session is what I recommend to be done 3 times daily. You need to increase the duration of your knee exercises gradually to avoid overuse injuries and knee pain. Be patient. You will see results.

Strengthening exercises shorten muscles so follow strength exercises with stretching exercises for maximum results. Flexible muscles are not as easily injured as tight muscles. Tightness of muscles connected to the knee can also pull the knee out of alignment. When doing stretching knee exercises, be careful to go slowly and not to overstretch. You do not want to tear a muscle. Stretching knee exercises can be done more often. You do need to hold the stretched position for 30 seconds to be completely effective.

It can happen that you have overdone your knee exercises. If this happens, “relative rest” is important for inflamed muscles/tendons. Applying ice wrapped in a cloth can help reduce inflammation and pain and speed up healing. Cut back on the strengthening reps and decrease the stretching program. Lightly exercising the sore muscle help decrease muscle soreness from overuse. However a significant increase in pain, calls for discontinuation of your exercises. Visiting your doctor is mandatory.

Main Muscle Groups Affecting Knee Stability:

Several muscle groups support the knee. The two main muscle groups that control knee movement and stability are the quadriceps and the hamstrings.

THE QUADRICEPS is a four-part powerful muscle that run along the front of the thigh and attach to the front of the shinbone, just below the knee. these are:

  • the rectus femoris,

  • the vastus intemedius,

  • the vastus lateralis, and

  • the vastus medialis.

The quadriceps control the straightening of the knees and movement of the kneecap (patella). the quadriceps is used to extend the leg, and is essential for standing up, walking upstairs and downstairs, walking uphill, and running.

THE HAMSTRINGS are muscles that run make up the back of the thigh, and attach to the back of the shinbone, just below the knee. The hanstrings comprise:

  • the semi-tendinosis,

  • the semi-membranosis, and

  • the biceps femoris

The hamstrings are used to bend the knee and are also needed when you are pushing against something.

Imbalance of the quadriceps is common, especially in women – The quadriceps is divided into 4 divisions. If the inner division if weak, which is most often the case, the stronger outer division tends to pull the kneecap toward the outer side of the leg. Tightness of the quads can also pull the knee towards one side so stretching as well as strengthening of muscles that support the knee is important. Typically, the quadriceps should only be about 25% stronger than the hamstrings. There are cases however when the quadriceps is significantly stronger than the hamstrings. This can cause weakness of the knee. Here, concentrating on strengthening exercises for the hamstrings, and stretching exercises for the quadriceps is recommended.

Other Muscles Affecting Knee Stability:

Since the body functions as a unit and even muscles not near the knee can affect its function. Other muscles that affect knee stability, to a lesser degree than the quadriceps and hamstrings are:

  • the calf muscles(the gastrocnemius),

  • the hip abductors located on the outer thigh,

  • the hip adductors located on the inner side of the thigh, beginning in the groin.

  • the iliotibial tract (fibrous tissue on the outer thigh, extending front the hip to below the knee), and

  • the glutes ( buttocks) inserts into back of the thigh bone and iliotibial band

When exercising the knee, consistency pays off. The plan is to keep your knees from recurring symptoms. Exercises must never be discontinued when managing medial knee pain.

Fascial Release:Craniosacral and Visceral Fascial Release

Fascial Release:Craniosacral and Visceral Fascial Release

Fascial release is key to maintaining tissue health. Fascia is strong connective tissue. Fascia has three layers, starting with the superficial fascia directly under the skin and ending with subserous fascia, deep inside the body that envelopes the viscera or organs.

  • The superficial fascia may be mixed with varying amounts of fat, depending on where it is on the body. This lies directly under the skin and anchors the skin to the underlying layers.

  • Beneath the superficial fascia lies deep fascia, covering the muscles in connective tissue sheaths which help to keep the muscles divided and protected.

  • The subserous fascia lies beneath deep fascia and envelopes the major organs of the body. It is more flexible than deep fascia, and the body leaves for space around it so that the organs can move freely.

Visceral manipulation and craniosacral therapy are two popular methods of fascial release that address the subserous fascia that envelopes the organs. Consider the following orthopedic dictum: any structure that crosses a joint has the ability to restrict that joint.  It is true for muscle and certainly holds true for organs. Research has determined that 90% of neuro-muscular-skeletal problems have a visceral component to them.  Hence lasting change is never possible as long as there is a fascial-visceral problem at the bottom of a neuro-muscular-skeletal problem and we don’t address it. The determination of the need for fascial therapies lies in the fact that every organ has physiologic motion. This occurs differently in the visceral and craniosacral system. A confluence of  visceral and craniosacral movement occurs in the brain. These motions are evaluated with reference to their symmetry (i.e. equal on both sides of the both), quality (i.e. weak and thready or strong and bounding or smooth or vibratory), amplitude (i.e. the range of motion of the movement of the organ in question) and rate (this weakens or slows down when the body is tired or ill). Naturally any variance from normal calls for intervention.

VISCERAL  physiological motion can be divided into two components: mobility and motility. Each organ has an inherent axis of motion. In healthy organs, mobility and motility have the same axes and when diseased these are at variance with one another. Interesting is the fact is that these axes of movements are exactly like those that occur during embryological development.

Mobility is the visible extrinsic movement of a structure in response to its environment.  This motion is in response either to actual physical movement like walking or to the motion of the diaphragm during breathing.  In treatment, we as the practitioner actively move the organ in order to realign and reset its moorings.

Motility is the innate intrinsic motion of a structure  and is of low frequency and low amplitude, generally invisible to the naked eye occurring independently of the causes of mobility. This is an involuntary motion and is governed by the autonomic nervous system.  In motility the organ exhibits an inherent subtle energetic rhythm. Of all the visceral techniques, tracking motility is the one that interacts most with the patient’s energy.Every cycle of motility has 2 phases: expir and inspir.  The frequency is 7-8 cycles/minute. Expir is the movement of an organ closer to the median axis and inspir is the movement of an organ away from it. In the case of organs located on the median axis, inspir moves them anteriorly while expir moves them posteriorly.

Visceral restrictions result in a decrease in the mobility and motility of organs. Any restriction, fixation or adhesion of an organ to another structure, no matter how small, implies functional impairment of the organ. Using visceral manipulation techniques, we are able to get motility and mobility back for each specific organ and by virtue of this reinstate the structural integrity of the entire body.

CRANIOSACRAL motion is the other physiological motion felt in the entire body in response to the craniosacral system’s rhythm and is felt like a pulse throughout the body. This motion is related to the fluctuation of the fluid pressure in the craniosacral system and is felt within the dural tube (the sleeve that holds the spinal cord) which in turn influences the tonus of the body tissues, from where it is picked up by the practitioner. This dural pulse of the craniosacral system is felt as a flexion and extension in the body. During the flexion phase the body rotates outward, away from midline and broadens. During the extension phase the body rotates inward, towards midline and narrows down.

Fascial immobility will always appear as an asymmetry or abnormal alteration in the craniosacral rhythm. While the asymmetry of motion will not indicate what the problem is, it will tell us where the problem is. Because body fascia is a single system, trained practitioners are able to palpate the motion of the craniosacral system anywhere on a patient’s body and can thus determine any restriction or dysfunction in the craniosacral system, no matter where hand contact is made. Impairments to this normal physiological motion within the body are called restrictions.The dissipation of a restriction is called a release which is palpable as a relaxation of the tissues. This obviously forms the basis of fascial release.

Ongoing body problems outside of the craniosacral system can be discovered there by a skilled practitioner. Many layers of fascia along with muscles attach to the skull and sacrum. Therefore muscles pulling upon these fascial layers can affect the craniosacral rhythm. Through the premise of fascial continuity, an injury or inflammation, adhesions (from trauma or surgery) and postural stress cause fascial contracture or edema also always affects the craniosacral rhythm. This only serves to emphasize the great importance of fascial release.

Integrative Healing Dynamics to treat a Torn Medial Meniscus

Integrative Healing Dynamics to treat a Torn Medial Meniscus

Integrating healing dynamics is a holistic approach and is a synthesis of several anatomically directed healing techniques. Here the techniques used  include:

  • Barral’s global joint manipulation

  • Craniosacral therapy

  • McConnell’s taping

Usually after the knee joint begins to degenerate from wear and tear and osteoarthritis slowly sets in, you have a patient walk into your office, unable to straighten out his/her knee. Several reasons contribute to this…here we will discuss one of the more commonly occurring types of tears in the medial meniscus. The meniscii have a front or anterior horn and a back or posterior horn. This tear causes the anterior horn of the meniscus to spread forward and be displaced from its regular moorings. This can be felt like a small bump in the space between the tibia and femur, medially on the inside of the knee joint.

The Upper End of the Tibia, displaying its Upper Surface

Treatment would include the following steps, as in the teachings of Jean-Pierre Barral: The patient lies on his/her back. You place the foot of the patient’s affected side on your shoulder for Steps (1) and (2). In Steps (3) and (4) the patient’s leg is treated lying straight on the table.

(1)    Gently grip the upper border of the tibia with both hands and follow the motion of the knee as it rotates. It does so, first inward then outward.

(2)    Next, continue to grip the upper border of the tibia. This time, make firm yet gentle contact both the sides of the knee cap, with both your thumbs, along the knee joint line. Gently but very firmly (without causing pain), nudge the protruding anterior horn back into its original space, using a series of knee bends/straightenings. This usually completely straightens the knee.

(3)    The knee cap is usually displaced laterally, in these cases. Lift the knee cap upward and pull/push it gently toward the inside of the knee.

(4)    Now open up the back of the knee. Stretching the muscles (in this case the semi-membranosus tendon) from medial to lateral side does the trick. Gently grip the back of the knee with both hands, while holding the knee cap in place with both thumbs and stretch outward , each hand away from the other.

(5)    This is a good time to tape the knee with KinesioTape, pulling the knee cap lateral to medial to maintain the tracking achieved earlier.

(6)    Exercising the knee with gentle knee presses down into the table, is best done now. I advice my patients to do these “24/7”.

(7)    Finally I do a release of the lower back and spine using craniosacral techniques to afford complete relief.

(8)    The patient is then shown a series of home exercises to maintain the range achieved and to strengthen both knees, in order to reduce the strain pattern developing in the normal leg.