Over 5 million Americans are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and the majority of them are 65 years and older. Alzheimer’s is the most typical type of dementia that negatively impacts a person’s cognitive and behavioral processes. Symptoms can be spotted as early as 40-50 years old and it is a disease that gradually worsens over time. Michael Morgan LMT, CST-D, has led the innovative application of Craniosacral Therapy for patients suffering from Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Michael’s widespread instruction at the Craniosacral Therapy Upledger Institute has paved the way for cutting-edge solutions merging body-work into the field of Alzheimer’s and Dementia treatment.
The 5 ways Craniosacral Techniques combat Alzheimer’s and Dementia:
1. Increase Flow of Cerebrospinal Fluid
Craniosacral therapy (CST) increases the movement of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). This clear liquid is a natural fluid that is found around the spine and brain dictating mechanical and immunological security inside of our skull. This regulates blood flow, removes pollutants and allows balanced circulation. As we grow older, our bodies produce less CSF putting us at increased risk for aging and health complications. Upledger’s “Still Point Technique” counteracts these issues by eradicating toxins and improving brain function.
2. Lower Sympathetic Tone
Many are unaware of how stress and anxiety affect our body’s capacity to operate correctly. Lack of sleep and toxin build up are just a couple of side effects that can come from this. CST aids in reducing our sympathetic tone encouraging the body to get a full night’s sleep and remove unwanted bacteria.
3. Reduce Inflammation of the Body and Brain
Because inflammation of the brain contributes to Alzheimer’s and Dementia, CST is an effective solution to transmute these issues. Stress, poor eating habits and other life factors can cause inflammation of the body and make its way into faculties of the brain. CST can assist the immune system by reinforcing its defense systems ultimately lowering inflammation.
4. Recovery from Brain Trauma and Concussions
There are startling similarities seen in brain scans of individuals with concussions and those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. These damages are detrimental to the brain’s functionality. Concussions are commonly seen in professional NFL players. Ricky Williams, a well-known football athlete, has testified on the value of CST in his concussion treatment and recovery. If it can work for a competitor in high-intensity sport settings, why wouldn’t CST work for the 5.4 million patients currently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s?
5. Improvement of Overall Memory and Brain Function
As we grow older, many of us have decreased abilities to retain memory and/or recollect on specific remembrances. CST helps in the overall movement of bodily fluid required for optimal brain function. Our blood, CSF and interstitial fluid are key components that support our brain’s ability to perform correctly. When these factors are lacking, the brain receives less oxygen causing it to overexert naturally occurring processes such as memory retention. Therefore, CST is a viable solution for boosting movement of fluid and enhancing memory utilities.
Michael Morgan LMT, CST-D has been teaching CranioSacral therapy nationally and internationally for the last 18 years. His specialty is prevention of Alzheimer’s and Dementia and reversal of the aging process. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
I was recently reviewing some of the system wide effects of normal aging for my Craniosacral Therapy and Longevity-Reversing the Aging Process class. One of the things that became obvious is that aging, according to most theories, cuts across a multitude of body systems. As an overall review of the benefits of CST, here is a summary of the effects of Craniosacral Therapy on the CranioSacral System, Musculoskeletal, Respiratory and Circulatory, Digestive and Nervous System.
1. CST is an excellent way to increase CSF volume. This is important because CSF clears heavy metals across the blood brain barrier and sufficient flow of CSF essentially protects the brain from inflammatory processes. Additionally, the CranioSacral System is a core physiological system that strongly influences the health of the neuro skeletal muscular system.
2. Increased fluid flow from CST techniques relaxes connective tissue and
a. positively influences vision and related structures
b. Strengthens connective tissue fluid flow and the character of the skin
c. Increases 02 intake and therefore positively impacts respiratory function and overall energy
d. Supports increased muscle elasticity
e. Lowers blood pressure
f. Increases nutrient absorption
g. Improves overall aerobic metabolism to the brain and body-both for repair and maintenance
h. Helps promote detoxification due to increased fluid flow in the body
3. CST improves immune and endocrine system function and therefore:
a. Improves the ratio of bone production and re absorption
b. Improves and promotes RBC health and platelet production factors
c. Helps promote protein synthesis
d. Helps promote more balanced liver and gall bladder function
e. Helps promote more balanced pancreatic and insulin function
4. Neurologically, CST
a. Creates more balance between the Sympathetic and Parasympathetic Nervous System
b. Creates more balanced sleep patterns
c. Promotes more balanced cardiac rhythm
I’ve recently found out that my adopted Iowa is initiating a program called Blue Zones, which is based on a book by Dan Buettner, a National Geographic explorer who did a survey of places in the world where people live the longest and fullest lives.
The state of Iowa is launching a project to become the #1 state in the US in health and longevity in the next 5 years.
Here’s the concept: Dan found that in certain areas, 9 key practices are found in common with the healthiest seniors.
The Power 9 and how Craniosacral Therapy (CST) integrates and supports:
Just move. Literally keep moving, the more the better. CST helps as we age in keeping fluid forces moving in the body, and lessens resistance to keeping in motion. Less toxic build of chemicals in the body as well.
Purpose Now. A sense of purpose is worth 7 years extra life expectancy. At least some of this emerges from greater mental clarity, which comes from decreased inflammation in the brain and better circulation, which is part of the CST and Geriatrics-reversal of the Aging process approach.
Down Shift. Stress leads to chronic inflammation in the body, which we discuss extensively in our 4-day class on Reversal of the Aging Process. Find a way to shed stress, which of course CST sessions clearly provide.
80% Rule. As in 80% full when you eat. And eat earlier if you can. CST can’t take credit for this, but if the digestive system is calmer, then it may be easier to stop overeating, which ‘down regulation’ of the nervous system will provide. We’ve found many times digestive CST addresses complaints.
Plant Slant. Not to say meat should be avoided, but veggies and nuts do promote heart health and positive brain function.
Wine at 5. In moderation of course, daily a glass or two. Who wouldn’t like this after a soothing CST session?
Belong. Some connection to a community that holds the concept of a higher power adds 4-14 years to life expectancy. In CST we talk about listening to your inner wisdom. Wouldn’t it be great to share this with an entire community?
Loved Ones First. A positive committed relationship can add up to 3 years of life expectancy. Also, keeping your aging parents in or near you at home makes a difference in positivity and outlook on life. As an aside, take a look at Another Country by Mary Pipher who addresses this subject quite extensively. There is a rhythm to what I call the stages of life. And rituals and ceremonies to augment and accompany them. In turns out grandchildren need grandparents, and they each provide something that the ‘in between’ generation may not have the time or accumulated wisdom to provide. This is what I call honor the elders.
Right Tribe. There’s an old saying ‘birds of a feather flock together.’ Another incentive to create positive communities with a positive outlook for the future. Our comment here is an emphasis on prevention rather than disease
Dan’s website is www.BlueZones.com and it’s about the practices that create community wide well-being and longevity. You should also visit www.bluezones.com/2011/08/iowa-launches-blue-zones-project to find out how this project is being implemented in Iowa.
Through my teaching of CranioSacral Therapy and my study of natural healing practices over the last 20 years, I’ve become aware that in many “traditional” cultures the elders are an integral part of the family, the culture, and the web of life. The elders are, in essence, a resource for the younger generation. I was so struck by this reality that one day I will publish a book entitled “Honor the Elders, Rituals and Ceremonies Throughout All Stages of Life.”
It was upon this realization that I begin to think, “How could CranioSacral Therapy assist the aging population to transition in an easier, graceful manner as their chronological age advances?” Having a stepmother in an Alzheimer’s unit in California and, later on, a sister-in-law who succumbed to some of the same symptoms, I began to think that CranioSacral Therapy (CST) might be a key for their challenges. About this same time my mentor, Dr. John Upledger, wrote an article about the circulation of Cerebral Spinal Fluid (CSF) in the brain, and how even middle to aging adults had half the circulation of their younger counterparts.
There are many coincidences that seem to occur in CranioSacral work. In my case, I had some clients and associates who were retired Professors of Nursing at the University of Iowa. With their help and research they confirmed Dr. Upledger’s findings, and found, even more to the case, that circulation of CSF in patients with Dementia and Alzheimer’s was even less than that of aging adults, even half again as much. To put a number to this, a normal adult produces 800ml a day of CSF, a “middle age” person perhaps 400ml a day, and a person with Dementia and Alzheimer’s 200ml a day.
We quickly began to assess the implications of this lack of CSF flow in the brain. You see, CSF has a “chelating” or washing action which helps removes heavy metals across the blood brain barrier. In addition, immune system factors, which in a normal adult keep the brain free and clear of inflammation, become compromised when CSF flow is lessened. We began to think that if we could somehow increase the flow of CSF in at-risk patients or patients in any stage of Dementia, would it have a positive effect?
Well, it turns out there is one tried and true CST technique that accomplishes just this. It’s called the Still Point. It increases the flow of CSF in any client. We designed a 6-week study to assess the effect of CST on agitation in patients in various stages of Dementia and Alzheimer’s. Agitation is one measure that any institution would like to manage better if they could. Published in 2008, our study shows that regular application of this CST Technique has clinical and statistical significance.
That’s how CSG2 came into being. Building on this research we want to get the information out to the public-to laypeople, caregivers, therapists and others who treat this population.
If you’re a son or a daughter, layperson or caregiver/therapist working with the Geriatric population, you’ll want to read about this:
Michael Morgan LMT, CST-D is an Upledger Institute Instructor and practioner of CranioSacral Therapy (CST) for over 20 years.
For the past 5 years, his BodyEnergy Company has pioneered the application of CST to Geriatrics and was instrumental in organizing research culminating in a published study called CranioSacral Stillpoint Technique:
Exploring its effects in individuals with Dementia(American Journal of Gerontological Nursing, 2008)
Out of this study on individuals with Dementia and Alzheimer’s Michael has just created a new class:
Craniosacral Therapy and Geriatrics-a 2 day class. This class is designed to help prevent, slow the progression, and even reverse the effects of Alzheimer’s and Dementia.
We invite you to participate in this ground breaking class-and with this letter receive a $50 ‘early registration’ discount, and become part of growing national network of therapists and caregivers specifically trained to assist the Geriatric population.
If you are new to CST, this is a wonderful introduction to the work that can be applied to a variety of situations.
If you are an advanced practioner, this is a great opportunity to begin to specialize to an every growing Geriatric population, building on your CST skills.
In your area, our training will be held at the Heart Touch organization in Santa Monica September 21-22nd (Wednesday-Thursday), 9am-5pm.
Go to http://bodyenergy.net/classes/workshops to find out more and register for the class.
(for more information, read below)
It is estimated that currently there are over 6 million people world wide suffering from Alzheimer’s and Dementia, and a recent CNN piece cited Alzheimer’s as the ‘defining disease of the baby boomer generation.’
Anyone who has had a friend or family member who has been touched by this condition knows the consequences. There are currently no known cures, although various medications (a potential $6 billion industry) claim to manage or delay the symptoms.
Many of us have felt fear, concern, anxiety and worry when even thinking about this condition.
Left untreated, as Dementia and Alzheimer’s advances through progressive stages, a shorter and unconscious lifespan is almost certainly the outcome.
However, using our ability to ‘listen to the body’ as CST accomplishes in a profound way, offers hope and encouragement in approaching this condition.
Through the pioneering efforts of Dr. John Upldeger and the cranial techniques he has developed over 40 years, an alternative approach, applied to an ageing population, offers a new and exciting application to this situation.
Imagine if Alzheimer’s and Dementia could be prevented as a consequence of the Ageing process? Imagine if the progression of the disease could be halted? Imagine if the effects of the disease could be partially or fully reversed?
Of course, further research (a $500,000 proposed study with NIH is following our initial pilot study) will bear out our conjectures over time. But at the moment, several easily learned CST techniques contained within the CSG2 class are available to be learned, applied and practiced, right away-time tested techniques that, based on our initial research-lower anxiety, improve memory, and improve social interaction between patients, family and caregivers.
Again, we invite you to go to http://bodyenergy.net/classes/workshops and sign up for the September class!
CranioSacral Therapy and Intensive Therapy Programs
Multi Hands Therapy
Regional Programs in Southern California, Midwest and Nova Scotia
What is a ‘mini intensive?
Background: At the beginning of my CranioSacral Therapy career, I begin to visit the ‘home office’ of the Upledger Institute in Palm Beach Gardens Florida. As part of my long term mentorship, I studied with Dr. John Upledger at the Upledger Clinic, where patients from all over the world came to take advantage of concentrated, multi hands (many therapists at the same time) therapy and the genius of ‘Dr. John’ and a talented team of advanced therapists. Dr. John’s vision was to have an environment where more concentrated, powerful and innovative use of CranioSacral Therapy (CST) could be applied to a wide application of conditions: autism and cerebral palsy in children, pre and post cancer treatment, closed head and spinal injury, post traumatic stress syndrome in Viet Nam Vets, to name just a sampling. With a program lasting one to two weeks at a time, I witnessed over many visits true miracles occur, both for the patients and the caregivers who attended as well. CranioSacral Therapy so powerfully touches individuals on the mental, emotional, physical and spiritual level.
Continuing the work: From the period lasting from 1995-2010, as a visiting therapist at the Upledger Clinic in Florida I had the vision of making this same multi hands, clinical approach and mentorship available on a regional level, for patients who had neither the resources nor time to travel to Florida. Realizing the power of ‘collective consciousness’ I was inspired to create the same opportunity at sites around the country. The result has been the evolution of what we call the ‘3 day mini intensive’ as a first step in this process.
The Program: We have successfully conducted 3 of these programs last year in Southern California. Patients can come for 1, 2 or 3 days in a row for 2 hour sessions every day. 8:30-10:30, 10:30-12:30, 1:30-3:30 or 3:30-5:30. We have designed a sliding scale for the number of days attended. There are 4 therapists for each patient, for each of the sessions. The Florida Intensive is structured for full 10a-5p attendance over 5 days, but the ‘mini intensive’ allows individuals to come from home and enjoy the power of concentrated, deep treatment right in their communities. My inspiration for creating a new Geriatrics class directly came from this work. In addition, therapists on our team have the opportunity to be mentored or ‘extern’ in the way doctors or surgeons learn their craft. I also provide the opportunity to allow that teaching to take place, ‘holding the space’ and weaving my advanced training of immunology, visceral manipulation and other modalities into the mix. Everyone safely benefits from this collective collaboration. This is the inspiration of Dr. John Upldeger has passed on to me and that I wish to pass on to others…
To find out more.
We have 3 of these programs scheduled over the next 4 months.
July 22-24th in Fairfield Iowa which is filled.
September 17-19th in Orange County California which is rapidly filling.
October 12-14 in Halifax Canada.
If you have an interest call us at 312 543 4719 or email me at email@example.com. I’ve been through two of these programs myself and I call it a ‘100,000 mile overhaul’. These sessions are for children or adults, very involved situations or just for a tune up. This is the basis of what we call ‘reversal of the aging process’.
Thanks for allowing me to share.