Just the other day I was asked by a patient what craniosacral is while giving them a session. Each time I am asked this question I give a different answer. The breath of life is expressed in so many different ways in all of us. It is like asking different people to describe a mountain range. Many descriptions may have similar characteristics, yet each will have their own illustration. What arose is describing it in terms of stengthening one's midline first, and then helping others strengthen their midline.
When it comes to Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy it probably confuses the public, as so many teachers and practitioners have different ways of describing the work through their own lens. To top that off teachers can change their definitions with time, and who they are describing the work to. I certainly explain biodynamic craniosacral therapy differently to a yoga instructor versus an engineer.
We are trying to describe a right brained experience in a left brained culture.
I have taken this powerful and deep work out into my day to day living, applying the same principles to my relationship with work, the world, nature, and my family. What I keep noticing is that the more I orient to my midline, the more differentiated and neutral I can be in an environment where things can sometimes feel upside down. This keeps me more centered during rough seas. Not unlike a punching bag that has sand at the bottom that grounds it back to its midline when a strong wind or punch comes along.
When I pop out of my midline in an energetic way I don’t feel as neutral and centered, and can be pulled away from The Source. I noticed I become more in reaction to what is happening in the world when I am not oriented in my midline. Staying in my midline by holding an awareness of my spine allows me to stay present, and feel less overwhelmed. Some days are better than others, as we all know.
What do I mean by midline? As a Chiropractor I orient to the midline which is the spine. We spend years studying, and working on people’s spines. That is the core of my profession. This is not how I thought about it when I was 21 years old and just beginning Chiropractic school. The spine is the physical and energetic midline of the body. It is the original embryological place where the energetic blueprint is laid down by the Breath of Life to attract our cells to organize as a human body. Our original blueprint is always being expressed each and every second. The more you focus on your original blueprint, the more you are strengthening your relationship to a greater wisdom and Health rather than life circumstances and genetics. Recent science shows that our genes load the gun, and the environment pulls the trigger. This magical blueprint is within us all before life has epigenetically shaped us; the spine and midline connect us all to the Breath of Life/ The Source.
This bioelectric blueprint is an embryological fact. It is the the root of biodynamic craniosacral therapy where we focus on Health rather than what is wrong. We use the word Health interchangeably with the original blueprint/ or architectural energetic plan.
Here is a video of the bioelectric signal/original blueprint being laid down to form a tadpoles eyes:
When I started experimenting on my midline I began noticing that it had a calming effect on myself, as well as people around me. It did not matter if I was sharing a conversation, or giving a treatment.
When I stepped out of my midline and strongly oriented to an emotion, or mental state, I would feel the energy field become more activated by noticing buzzing sensations, and speediness. I think this is what animals innately feel all the time. We can learn a lot from them.
One of the powerful aspects of orienting to my spine is that it is a physical place. The energetic field is quite strong here in the body. That concept is derived from Chinese and Ayurvedic Medicine which are both 5000+ years old...
If you don’t consider the body having an energy field that directs our cells to function, then you are looking at our alive body as if it was a cadaver.
This is a klemerism
If you want to experiment, try noticing where your spine is at first on your own. Then when you are relating to someone, hold both an awareness of your own spine, and body. See if you can notice how the interaction feels. Try just doing that for a while, and then do the same practice and include the other person’s spine, energy field/biosphere around their body, and add in what they are saying, and hold both by bringing your awareness especially to your midline/spine, and theirs. Let the conversation go back and forth noticing all of this. What you may find is a sense of settling between you both. The conversation may deepen, and be more connected
Here is some more science on the presence of energy fields...
This is famous author Dr. Rupert Sheldrake explaining
Morphogenetic energy fields.
He says: “Morphogenetic fields are regions of activity that shape developing organisms. Morphogenetic fields play the role of architectural plans, they are invisible formative influences that shape organisms as they develop”
You can practice this by listening to the recording below when I lead a meditation on the midline in one of my classes.
Stay in your midline, and enjoy life,
In health, Dr Kate
For Cranial Geeks… like myself:
The Palatine Bone and Social Nervous System Activation Titration.
I wanted to share some recent insights that I have been noticing in clinical practice recently. One of the perks of seeing a lot of cranial clients each week allows me to see patterns and receive ‘intensive classes’ from the Breath of Life. If you have not taken a training and do not know some of the jargon, I apologize. One of my goals in life is to write a book that anyone can understand Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy.
Here is some basic jargon.
The Breath of Life is the Intelligence that underpins and connects all life, and creates Primary Respiration which is a quantum/energy breath that breathes intelligence into our body and biosphere.
Biosphere: is the energy field around our body it is about 10-15 inches off the body all around it.
Titration in biodynamic craniosacral therapy: is term that describes following the pace of the body to discharge any holding from a trauma in the tissue field. It is done at the pace that is not overwhelming in any way to the client. It happens in the midtide layer, which is a natural resource that requires settling and grounding to drop into. There can be emotional, spiritual, physical, and /or mental levels of titration.
What the Breath of Life Taught Me
Many times The Breath of Life teaches me things in clusters by showing me patterns in groups of patients. Often I will get a stream of simular cases in the same day. Last week I took a "class" from the Breath of Life about the social nervous system; specifically on the trigeminal nerve. The social nervous system is not just about the vagus nerve… it also includes the V (trigeminal), VII (facial), IX (glossopharyngeal), and XI (spinal accessory) nerves.
During several sessions, I was pointed to inertial fulcrums in the palato-sphenoidal area. I noticed my clients systems were to titrating mild tissue activation, and emotions in the spheno-palatine region. Tissue activation is noticed as heat, cold, buzzing, sparkling, or other sensations. At first the bones would work on the level of motility, then mobility, and then the nerve would start to titrate back through their cranial vault. After titrating the brainstem nuclei the midtide or long tide returned and the session would be complete.
These patients all had a theme of chronic sympathetic activation, and anxiety. They were stuck in activation, but they were functioning in their day to day life. They were resourced enough to titrate. These people are New Englander's; when on the table they often have a hard time settling. I felt that titrating the area around the palatine bone was a way to quickly access and override their “stinking thinking.” The largest block that I see in my practice to healing is dealing with dysregulated minds. People do not take the time to stop thinking so darn much, and their phones have a lot to do with that habituation. ( But that is another blog)
The palatine bone is near the maxillary/sensory branch of the trigeminal nerve, and is sandwiched between the the maxilla and sphenoid bones.
I created a new kind of cranial hold that worked really well for me.
I have tried other social nervous system holds in the books, but this one was more comfortable for me. It engaged the back of the palate and upper back teeth, the TMJ, the cranial base, and the brainstem with its nuclei. It is a very holistic hold.
The hold is to gently place your thumb and 2nd finger in front of the clients ear with the client supine position, and then put the 3rd, 4th, and 5th digits on the temporal and occipital bones behind the ear. I am not one to get super literal about working with inertial fulcrums, especially in the mouth. What I have found is if you know the anatomy visually you do not need to be right on the anatomy. Often times you cannot be right on the anatomy that is holding an inertial fulcrum anyways. Clients nor I settle very much while working in the mouth, so I rarely use that type of contact. I find that you end up only being able to tune into the CRI, and that is not where we work. I have to be super comfortable because I don't move around a lot during sessions.
Background for Learning About This Anatomical Area
I will admit that the palatine is my favorite bone. (I know we are not supposed to have favorites but…) After having some huge releases titrated here myself from past cranial sessions I have found it to be a super charged area for many.
At 13 years old I had headgear, braces, a retainer, a sadistic Orthodontist (just kidding); I also, chipped my front tooth playing tag on a playground in 5th grade. This was also coupled with a sudden death in my family at 8 years old.
After I had my wisdom teeth out at 32 years old, I learned that it was not a good idea from my Harvard Dental School graduate Uncle Paul. I had followed my Dentists recommendations before consulting Uncle Paul and regretted that. My Uncle said I could have left them in, and just made sure they did not get impacted by checking them each year. I bet my Grampa, a Gloucester Dentist would have concurred with Uncle Paul. Can you notice all the layers that influenced my palatine bone and social nervous system?
Currently I have some chronic sinus drip, even though I do not eat dairy.
The Maxillary branch of the Trigeminal nerve /Indirect Palatine Bone hold I made up supports a lot of discharge and titration on many levels from the sandwiched area of the sphenoid-palatine-maxillary bones, and the nerves related to them. There is a strong connection into the brainstem nuclei from here through the nerve. This can be a powerful shortcut for titrating one of the nerves of the social nervous system. Supporting this process can really settle things down. If you notice some inertia in the area of the cranial base and sphenoid see what organizes it; this palato-sphenoid connection may be the primary fulcrum. The session was directed by the breath of life, and was very powerful and safe. The Breath of Life seemed to understand as the practitioner that I knew the anatomy, had a lot of personal experience with this area, and that I am regulated, and grounded (most of the time :). It knew that I was the person that could support healing this particular issue.
I notice when I get super stressed, or feel some strong emotions arising, that my jaw feels tight, and the spheno-palatine area can feel like a vice is tightening there. Most of the time I can soften when this happens, and orient to the tides and motility. When I can’t, I go get a cranial session. Can you imagine how hard it could be for the person who does not know how to soften their system and regulate their nervous system? Maybe they could experience a tooth ache, or sinus pain, or even trigeminal neuralgia could arise.
Supporting titration here can help lower the level of sympathetic activation in the overall nervous system. Especially a nervous system that habitually is in that space. As I work I keep checking to make sure that my patients are not going over the waterfall and getting overwhelmed emotionally. This was not happening during these sessions, even when some of the titration was emotional. It is very safe to use this hold if you stay grounded and wide with your focus while relating to their whole system in the midtide. That is how we teach practitioners in this work.
Social Nervous System
We do know that the social nervous system is our highest and brightest way of coping with difficult times. We connect and Co-regulate by hugging someone, talking with a safe and supportive person, holding hands with someone, or getting a cranial session. It seems that the palato-sphenoidal relationship can be a direct line to helping people’s entire system titrate old imprints, and learn a felt sense in their body of safety and settling. I do believe that since it is in direct relationship with the sphenoid and brainstem nuclei the effect can be global on a persons system. However as we know any inertial fulcrum that re-integrates into the wholeness of one's system can have this affect.
Stimulate social nervous system sensory pathways.
The social nervous system was developed by Stephen Porges. It is a new concept in understanding our nervous system. Our first choice when faced with something that is potentially scary is to connect with others, and co-regulate. We check in with each other to see what that noise was, by using our voice by asking: “did you notice that too”? We are looking for support from our pack, as there is safety in packs. Animals show us this daily. The Canadian Geese fly in formation above us in the sky, wolves live in packs, and horses live in herds. We are wired the same way as them.
The social nervous system is comprised of cranial nerves V (trigeminal), VII (facial), IX (glossopharyngeal), X (vagus), XI (spinal accessory). The nerves of the social nervous system are responsible for head turning, muscles of facial expression, muscles of mastication, middle ear muscles, larynx and pharynx, heart and bronchi, linings of the oral cavity, nasal cavity, and sinuses, the teeth, the sutures, the dura, and the skin and arteries of the cranium.
When we experience our environment as safe, we operate from the social nervous system division which is a good thing. When we have to fight or flight from a threat, this is because the sympathetic nervous system approach has taken the forefront. This can be good for our safety. When we freeze and dissociate before we are about to be a predators kill, this is useful as it numbs us out from the suffering about to happen. The problem arises when we tend to get stuck in one of the lower brain modus operandus, and lose flexibility in our nervous system amidst these three levels.
Our work as Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapists we strengthen the Social Nervous System through the body = by focusing on the brain stem. This is our reptilian brain and is not under conscious or emotional control. We titrate inertial fulcrums/ trauma by combining having our client notice and name physical bodily sensations, and then their resource. As biodynamic craniosacral therapists we orient to and magnify natural resources that arise from the Breath of Life. These are the Long Tide, the Mid Tide, Dynamic Stillness, and Stillpoints. In the process of working with the ‘felt sense’ in the body, physical discharge of the trauma arises. We help discharge/titrate physical sensations and emotions through the body and biosphere. This is called bottom-up processing.
Craniosacral is a very powerful way to support nervous system flexibility, and especially strengthen a sense of safety in relation to another person/the cranial therapist. This is one to the few therapies that can touch this part of the nervous system. Supporting the body in learning to know what it feels like to be safe. We can “re-member” that feeling of safety. Noticing the body sensations helps to regulate the brain and nervous system.
“There is a strong neuroanatomical and neurophysiological justification to predict that stimulation of the vagal afferents would change activity of higher brain structures.” Porges
To Review, The Trigeminal Nerve Points to the Power of Supporting its Titration.
The trigeminal nerve is the principal sensory nerve of the head innervating the skin of the face, mucosa of the mouth, nasal cavity and paranasal sinuses, and most of the dura mater and the cerebral arteries back to the brain stem.
The sensory ganglion of the trigeminal nerve is huge, which explains all the work it does for us. The sensory input from the mouth, sinus, and dural areas has powerful implications. Titrating the activation that has been locked in inertial states from this area can be a shortcut to helping a system settle more deeply and become more resourced.
The sensory component of the V/5th Trigeminal Nerve carrying sensory information from the dura to the brainstem nuclei has powerful implications. This can support titration of the dural tissue through this nerve. Resolution of inertial fulcrums on this level would affect the cranial bowl, the dural tube, and have full body implications.
Biomechanics surrounding the V/5th Trigeminal Nerve
The sphenoid bone articulates with the palatine bones via pterygoid processes of the sphenoid bone. It is a gliding kind of connection between the two bones. This joint relationship helps diminish the force from chewing food to be translated into the sphenoid bone/cranial base.
Things to note about the Maxillary Branch of the Trigeminal Nerve:
We support regulation by non-verbally changing the radio station.
An old Osteopath in England I took a class with said “fear shuts down everything”. You cannot access the Health when a person is afraid. I have felt fear in my clients. You cannot access the tides. The dura feels stiff, hence the nervous system has lost its fluidity temporarily. That is why we teach them about settling, and resourcing, as well as other self emotional regulatory skills.
In these situations as practitioners we resource and reconnect our client’s system to the Breath of Life, by being anchors for them to go into resonance with. We do this by taking the lead and non-verbally orienting our own system to the tides and stillness. This helps shift them off the nightmare radio channel they are on. They have to drop below their ego to follow you there. That may take time and regular appointments. Sometimes they cannot do that, and you don't see them again because they want their mind to be in control and cannot surrender. If they are not patient to give the work time (usually at least 6 sessions to start settling into what our work is really about ) they give up. Strong minds are the largest block to healing. We act as guides to help change the radio station playing in our clients nervous system, and teach them to change the station on their own eventually. In doing so we can clarify, titrate, and support connecting to one’s inner Health and Intelligence.
Why do you want to lift weights after 50?
I started lifting weights again. It is so nice to not wake up with low back pain anymore, and finally my frozen shoulder went away once I began weight lifting.
Here are a few more reasons to start lifting weights. You can use free weights, machines, kettle bells, or your pet! This is especially important for women because we are generally more prone to weight gain, depression, and fatigue/thyroid issues.
I will keep this brief. A pound of muscle is a lot smaller than a pound of fat. When you strength train you make more muscle, and fat starts to burn away, and your clothes fit better.
Strength training builds up and strengthens your bones. Studies show that strength training increases bone density. It also decreases your chances of getting injured and breaking a bone if you do fall. It helps support better balance. When you are stronger, and you have to lift a piece of furniture, or pick something up off the floor (which seems farther and farther away as we get older), it is not going to be a problem.
Strength training burns fat. When you make more muscle, it burns more calories. If you strength train with high intensity interval training also known as HIIT, it will increase your human growth hormone levels exponentially. This will give you more energy, and you will have hormone levels on par with levels you had when you were younger. This hormone drops off as we age, and high intensity training can increase it up to 700% !
Exercise increases insulin sensitivity, which is going to prevent diabetes. Lower levels of insulin will keep your body less inflamed in general, and support a stronger thyroid and adrenal functionally.
Exercise increases your mitochondria. Mitochondria is the part of your cell that provides cellular energy. So more mitochondria means more cellular energy.
Then if you throw in some cardio walking, biking, or get on the
Precor machine after strength training. This will increase your circulation and heart health. It is best to do more aerobic exercise after weight loss to increase fat burning.
Exercise helps brain health and improves your mood. ( as I write on this gloomy February day)... Your brain does better with more circulation and better insulin sensitivity.
There are some great cell phone APPS that show you what to do and how to do it so you do not have to figure that out. There is no excuse. You can even do some of the exercises in 7 minutes. There is an exercise APP called "7 Minute Workout".
Start slow and work your way towards better health and quality of life!
The implications of touch are phenomenal as new research shows how light touch has a profound effect by soothing the pain of social rejection. Here is a recent study... Have you ever wondered why you may not feel like like you need specific bodywork but you just want to go lie down and have someone touch you in a neutral way? Well, it all makes sense, we need touch without an agenda, other than someone just "being" with us.
If you take this out into the larger field of awareness with what’s been happening on our planet it can be very comforting. For those groups that may feel ostracized, and not included, this is important research.
Biodynamic craniosacral therapy is a powerful tool to support those who may not feel included in our culture. The reason for this is that the relational field is the primary focus of this type of work. By the relational field we are talking about the energetic, mental, emotional, and spiritual connection that is established between the practitioner and the client. When the relational field between two people is able to settle and feel safe, profound healing occurs. When a person feels heard and seen by another in a neutral, nonjudgmental way, healing happens. This is an unusual way to connect with another person, since we often lead our relational field with our ego. In order to be a talented craniosacral therapist it requires you to have an open heart. Having an open heart creates a safe, settled, relational field. Not all of us had a consistent supportive relational field growing up. We get rewired when we are able to deepen into this type of connection with another person. It is my believe that the more we can all relate to each other in this way, it will heal the world from suffering. Much suffering has to do with splitting, denying, and separating us from each other as human beings.
As I am about to embark upon starting a new two-year biodynamic craniosacral training with another group of students I tingle with excitement! The reason for that is that I get to share what I have learned through my human existence all these years to maybe help decrease suffering. If I can help alleviate the splitting, dissatisfaction, and judgment in the relational field as a teacher and a practitioner, I will be jumping for joy.
My lineage comes from both grandmother's being Irish, one grandfather being Jewish, and my other grandfather being Portuguese. All of these parts of myself come forth in my teaching and how I am in the world. How can I judge another person’s race, sexual orientation, religion, or gender with my background as a mutt, an amalgam?
My father was the principal and superintendent of schools who tried to support interracial busing in the 1960s, my grandfather was the first Portuguese person to graduate from Gloucester high school, who went on to become a dentist; my mother got her doctorate after being widowed at 40 years old with six kids. inside of me I carry their message in my own way. Here we are again in the year 2017 facing some of the same issues that my immigrant ancestors faced nearly a century ago. The relational field needs to be strengthened on our planet!
Science is catching up to what biodynamic craniosacral therapists have known as common sense. Finally science is showing how we all need to have strong relational fields with each other. No one is perfect, but apologizing, and hearing and seeing what the person is feeling by using our mirror neurons can ultimately shift things in a big way between you and other people. If we repair conflict when we inadvertently step on someone’s toes, we can heal the world! This is a global world, we are not all operating in a nationalistic bubble, with our own race, religion, or creed. Not in America; here most of us are amalgams of all kinds of ancestry.
Ask to put your hands on someone's shoulder's, and if they let you, do it with neutrality, See what happens as your relational field strengthens and you both begin to co-regulate both of your nervous systems. Let the higher forces that really run the show do the wonderful job that they do, as you connect with someone.
Peace be with you, Dr Kate
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Pain and negative emotions activate the reward centers of the brain, causing unconscious addiction to those negative emotions.
Did you know that chronic pain, and painful emotions light up the same pathways as infamous addictive drugs do. People engage in physically or emotionally self-destructive behaviors to get an unconscious “drug” payoff from chemicals your own body creates. These chemicals that create addiction are dopamine, and beta-endorphins.
We are designed as humans to survive. When we are escaping danger, an analgesic called beta-endorphin is released to distract from the pain so you can run away. An example of the analgesic and euphoric effect of these internally made “drugs” is if you’re in pain and exhaustion while running for a long time, and you get a runner’s high, and are able to keep running for another five miles. That is when you have activated the beta-endorphin and dopamine pathways.
Another chemical your body releases is dopamine, which is called the reward neurotransmitter. It creates the AHHH feeling when someone wins at gambling, that can lead to addiction. When you’re stressed, or in a flight-or-fight situation, your brain releases dopamine. The dopamine pathway activates in drive states which are necessary for survival: such as getting away from a threat, moving towards food, and mating. Cortisol, the chief stress hormone, also mediates dopamine release.
These are the same biochemical pathways that also create emotional addiction.
Have you ever been around a person addicted to anger, or complaining? Often they vent their feelings and walk away from the conversation feeling pretty good; leaving you drained and upset. They got their dopamine, and beta-endorphin fix, and you got vampired.
You also may know people who systematically sabotage their own happiness: by being habitually late; by engaging in self-pity; by putting themselves down, or seeing the worst in everything and everyone.
Cell receptor sites in our body are that are related to those kinds of emotions get linked with dopamine and beta-endorphins. These receptors are addictive because certain emotions can create a release of these compounds. When the habitual emotion occurs there is a chemical high related to it. An emotional habit is an addiction. If a person seems to always have a habitual emotion response to lots of things, there is usually an emotional addiction happening.
How can we stop emotional addiction?
There is a detox period for your neurology to return to normal. The receptors, neurotransmitters, vesicles, and reuptake mechanisms involved need time to stop their biochemical habit. This physiological rearrangement takes 7-21 days to get off the emotional/physiological addiction. During this crucial time you must get yourself away completely from the noxious behavior and its triggers. Two weeks of detox is a good rule of thumb.
How to Heal? Long term changes are needed.
The reward centers of the brain are “pleasure centers,” so it makes sense when someone gets addicted to cocaine, or crack. Because these things can make your brain light up, makes you high, and then you want more. If you follow the impulses to use in these substances it will create a physiological addiction.
That’s the addiction that people know. But you don’t need cocaine, or meth, or crack to create a self-reinforcing addictive circuit in the brain. Anything that activates the beta-endorphin or dopamine pathways will activate these addictive pathways.
It turns out that pain and negative emotions (e.g. self-pity, anger, guilt) also activate the beta-endorphin and dopamine pathways. Chronic jaw pain, or painful thoughts, and feelings, light up the same pathways as infamous addictive drugs do.
As a result, we can get addicted to negative emotions. We always can choose how we want to “be” with our emotions. Slowing things down by taking a break, orienting to a resourceful thought in our minds eye, noticing the feeling coming up and pretending the feeling in our minds eye is far away on another planet. All these things can help you stay regulated and break the addiction. It is important to practice self regulation of your emotions regularly as they will continue to arise. The more you learn to regulate your emotions, the easier it gets. However not too different from exercising regularly you have to always practice emotional regulation. These are ways you can self regulate your emotions so that you are not hijacked by your physiology. I am sure there are even more options that I have not even listed.
The prefrontal cortex is what mindfulness meditation develops and strengthens.
Breaking your emotional addiction requires you to focus on your deepest values rather than feelings. Even though feelings are powerful and enticing, they can throw your nervous system, and physiology out of whack. Just remember feelings are not facts. Watch and observe feelings that tend to arise often. They could be an addicition.
When our prefrontal strengthened it creates more bliss. That is the reward that we are aiming for. We all have two hungry “wolves” inside of ourselves. Do we feed the angry/lonely/sad wolf, or the Okay/happy wolf? We do have a choice. We are not just a victim of our chemistry. We can feed either wolf, but one creates a lot more suffering. Feeding your inner wolf that is regulated will strengthen the prefrontal cortex and create more bliss.
Recently in the past 10 years science has showed a whole new understanding of how the brain cleans itself. What has been discovered is that the brain has a lymphatic system, as well as a Glymphatic system. The lymphatic system carries lymph fluid which is connected to our immune system and detoxification. The Glymphatic system contains the fluid area between astrocyte cells and cappillaries, called the interstitial space, The glymphatic system does not contain lymph fluid. Astrocyte cells of the brain cover approximately 99 percent of all cerebral capillaries . This is a slow clearance of fluid in the central nervous system that removes interstitial fluid (assumed to be CSF), as well as waste products. One of the well known waste products is amyloid beta protein and if that builds up in your brain it is associated Alzheimer’s disease.
Two separate teams of researchers; one team at the University of Virginia, and one team at the University of Helsinki in Finland, independently found lymph vessels in the brain. These vessels, which line the dural sinuses in the brain, carry lymphatic fluid (and immune cells) toward deep nodes of the neck (cervical lymph nodes). It is likely that the Glymphatic system drains the waste from the brain on a more cellular level into the brain's Lymphatic system, to then drain into the lymphatics of the whole body.
What else is interesting is that they have found that Cerebrospinal fluid is absorbed and reabsorbed through the capillaries, and not so much the choroid plexus as thought before. Capillaries are everywhere, and surround the ventricles inside the brain, and the brain itself.
Maiken Nedergaard of the University of Rochester Medical Center identified a system of hydraulic “pipes” running alongside blood vessels in the mouse brain carry cerebrospinal fluid around the brain, and that the fluid enters inter-cellular spaces in the brain tissue, picking up waste on its way.
Nedergaard and her colleagues also discovered that proper function of these vessels depends on movements of water around the brain, which are carried out by glial cells called astrocytes, and therefore named them the glymphatic system. They went on to show that inter-cellular spaces expand by up to 60% in the brains of naturally sleeping mice, as well as mice under anesthesia, and that this expansion drives the clearance of waste from the brain.
Researchers from the University of Virginia identified of lymphatic vessels in the central nervous system that extend into the dura mater, the thickest and outer-most of the three meningeal membranes that envelope the brain and spinal cord. These vessels run parallel to the major veins and arteries, and split to send branches deep into the brain’s crevices. The researchers believe that they could be linked to the glymphatic system, and may be the second stage of the disposal mechanism, which would transport waste out of the brain and spinal cord altogether.
Why is all this cellular detail important to us?
This new research is clarifying connections with understanding brain health and disease. In the case exercise it would explain the influence of exercise on brain health. By increasing circulation from exercise we can expedite elimination of waste products in the brain.
Using your brain for new learning creates new pathways; which help your brain, as blood supply follows brain usage. Craniosacral therapy sessions that augment exhalation and inhalation still points could have powerful results from the inside out. The ventricles/ caves in our brains are lined with capillaries. So this could quite possibly enhance the exchange of glymphatic fluid, and Cerebrospinal fluid. It has recently been discovered that cerebrospinal fluid is absorbed and reabsorbed from capillaries. In terms of concussions and traumatic brain injuries it is highly likely that craniosacral therapy enhances the cleaning of the byproducts of cellular damage from injury.
Maybe we can reach out to Dr Nederguuard to see if she would like to do a study on craniosacral therapy!
Dr Nederguuard's Research Studies showed that Good Sleep and Sleeping on your side increase the opening and flow of the Glymphatic system by up to 60%:
Here are other activities that support optimal brain health:
AN ARTICLE FROM DR MERCOLA, DO... HE COULD NOT HAVE SAID IT BETTER:
Chronic pain is an exceedingly common condition impacting an estimated 76.5 million Americans, one-third of whom describe their pain as severe and "disabling".i
Among them, many suffer from neck pain, which is the third most common type of pain according to the American Pain Foundation.
It is estimated that 70 percent of people will experience neck pain at some point in their lives but research into effective treatments is surprisingly limited.ii
If you visit a conventional physician for pain, there's a very good chance you'll leave with a prescription for a medication,as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), acetaminophen (Tylenol) and even opioids (OxyContin, Vicodin, etc.) are the go-to treatment for pain in the modern medical world.
However, there are better options than drugs for neck pain, not only in terms of pain relief, but also in helping to treat the underlying cause of the pain so that healing can truly occur.
New Study Shows Exercises and Chiropractic Care Beat Drugs for Neck PainAccording to a new study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine and funded by the National Institutes of Health, medication is not the best option for treating neck pain.
After following 272 neck-pain patients for 12 weeks, those who used a chiropractor or exercise were more than twice as likely to be pain free compared to those who took medication.
"For participants with acute and subacute neck pain, SMT [spinal manipulation therapy] was more effective than medication in both the short and long term. However, a few instructional sessions of HEA [home exercise with advice] resulted in similar outcomes at most time points."
Why Exercise is Essential if You Have Neck PainBecause exercise often leads to improved posture, range of motion and functionality of your body, it can help treat the underlying source of your pain as well as help prevent chronic neck pain from developing in the first place. Exercise helps prevent and relieve pain through a number of mechanisms including strengthening key supportive muscles and restoring flexibility.
Not surprisingly, repetitive strain injuries have become increasingly common as so many people spend most of their work days sitting in front of computers. Computer work is associated with neck pain specifically originating from the trapezius muscle, also referred to as trapezius myalgia, and many types of neck pain can be traced back to poor posture at work or during your commute.
It's a vicious cycle as poor sitting posture leads to neck pain and once neck pain develops, it can make your posture even worse. For instance, one study showed people with chronic neck pain demonstrate a reduced ability to maintain an upright posture when distracted.iii
The same study further revealed, however, that after following a specific exercise program, people with neck pain had an improved ability to maintain a neutral cervical posture during prolonged sitting, which suggests it may help break the poor posture/neck pain cycle. Other research has similarly shown that exercise is incredibly beneficial for treating neck pain including:
As a general rule of thumb, increase the weight as soon as you can comfortably execute all three sets. As a guideline, the participants in the study roughly doubled the weight used in 10 weeks. After approximately four weeks, you can reduce the number of repetitions of the last sets in order to increase the weight.
The Benefits of Chiropractic Care and Other Alternative Treatments for Neck PainSeeing a qualified chiropractor is another wise option if you suffer from chronic pain. I am an avid believer in the chiropractic philosophy, which places a strong emphasis on your body's innate healing wisdom and far less reliance on Band-Aids like drugs and surgery. Chiropractic, Osteopathic, and Naturopathic physicians receive extensive training in the management of musculoskeletal disorders during their course of graduate healthcare training, which typically lasts from 4-6 years.
Due to their comprehensive training in musculoskeletal management, numerous sources of evidence have shown that chiropractic management is much safer and often more effective than allopathic medical treatments, particularly for back and neck pain. In addition, researchers have also found that chiropractic adjustments affect our bodies on a deep cellular level.
What that means is that chiropractic care may affect the basic physiological processes that influence oxidative stress and DNA repair, so in addition to addressing any immediate spinal misalignment that might cause pain, it can also address deeper dysfunction in your body.
As many of you know I am an osteopathic physician. DOs, like chiropractors, also receive extensive additional training in spinal adjustments and may also be a good option for you. However, in my experience, only a small percentage of DOs are skilled in this area as they have chosen a more conventional allopathic model. So if you see a DO for this make sure they provide this service.
Overall, the important point to remember is that there are many other options for treating chronic pain than drugs. For instance, therapeutic massage has been found to offer clinically significant improvement in function and symptoms for those with neck pain,vii while a variety of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) treatments (including acupuncture, massage, spinal manipulation, and mobilization) were deemed to be significantly more efficacious than no treatment, placebo, physical therapy, or usual care in reducing pain immediately or at short-term after treatment for those with neck or low-back pain.viii
So you have options when it comes to dealing with your pain, and there is good reason to explore them before you opt for medicated relief. Additionally, many massage and physical therapists can provide effective alternatives.
Pain Medications are Risky at BestMillions of Americans depend on anti-inflammatory drugs to relieve pain, but the drugs are among the most dangerous on the market. Aside from significantly increasing your heart risks (such as a two to fourfold increase in the risk of heart attacks, stroke or cardiovascular death), NSAIDs are linked to serious gastrointestinal risks like bleeding of the digestive tract, increased blood pressure and kidney problems. Remember, this applies not only to prescription medications like Celebrex but also to over-the-counter drugs like aspirin, Advil and Motrin.
It's very difficult to find a drug-based method of pain relief that is not saddled with severe side effects. The FDA has even recently limited the amount of acetaminophen allowed in prescription products and added a boxed warning due to liver toxicity concerns. Acetaminophen is actually the leading cause of acute liver failure in the United States.
As for the opioid painkillers like OxyContin, they are among the most commonly abused prescription drugs and are a leading contributor to the rising rates of fatal prescription drug overdoses. Many become addicted after using them to treat conditions like back or neck pain.
But no matter what type of painkiller you choose, the bottom line to remember is that they do not come without risks! Unfortunately, if you visit your conventional physician with chronic pain, a long-term treatment plan will typically include a drug-combination approach, using anti-inflammatory drugs, anti-seizure medications, muscle relaxants and possibly other types of pain medication as well. In other words, the answer for pain relief is drugs, drugs and more drugs -- each one raising your risk of suffering potentially lethal side effects. Is there a better way?
More Natural Solutions for Neck (and Other Types of) PainIn the case of neck pain, the underlying cause is often related to body mechanics, meaning your posture or muscle balance is off kilter. Addressing your posture (or other factors that may be contributing to the strain, such as sleeping in an awkward position) and treating the condition with exercises is often effective at relieving the pain and addressing the underlying cause. If you have chronic pain of any kind, please understand that there are many safe and effective alternatives to prescription and over-the-counter painkillers, though they may require some patience.
Among the best are:
Dr Kate has been in practice since 1989. She utilizes Chiropractic, Nutrition, and Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy to help her patients.