What Do You Have to Lose?

What Do You Have to Lose?

Are you suffering from any form of dementia, Alzheimer’s or memory loss? Or do you care for someone with these challenges?

If so, you have become quite intimate with loss.
So what do you have to lose in exploring new options to reverse the loss of your mind or the mind of the one you love?

The statistics are showing the need for caregivers is growing at a disturbing rate. Our loved ones are living longer and instead of having quality of life they are needing more and more care.

I believe we can change this paradigm.

Do you believe it is possible?
Or would you like to believe it is possible?

My work preventing and reversing Alzheimer’s has led me to not only see the possibility becoming reality but is also igniting new projects and research that will offer compelling results resulting in hope and true change.

The upcoming intensive is just one of those projects and it is happening soon! This August we will bring in skilled CranioSacral practitioners to work every day on chosen clients.

It is truly a win-win situation.

The clients will receive treatments that will help them in the very malady challenging their lives; CST therapists will be part of a pioneering mission; and Upledger Institute hosting the intensive will increase awareness of their life changing technique; and the results will be subject to the highest standard of research assessment and analysis which will make a solid stand for the possibility of reversing Alzheimers.

And all of this will bear fruit for the caregiver by not only offering a technique you or they can learn easily but also changing the ever growing demand for the all consuming care that Alzheimer’s disease demands.

An intensive like this has never been done before.

Right now the mortality rate of Alzheimer’s disease is 100%, what is there to lose if we could demonstrate that the rate could be reduced to 80%, or 50% or even 20%? And with a modality that is non-invasive.

The stark reality is that left untreated those in the mid stage of Alzheimer’s will eventually require full time care which will bankrupt most families.

Here is an outline of 5 potential benefits of our intensive for caregivers:

  1. Time. The quality of life for loved ones will be extended and improved. This means less time spent caretaking, more time for the caregiver, less worry.
  2. Money. The loved one has a larger window to remain at home which has been shown to give greater happiness and also save the ever increasing cost of senior care centers. This is quite possibly a savings of 3-8000.00 per month!
  3. Survival. If our intensive shows us what we intend, CST will become a forerunner in arresting the mental and physical decline associated with Alzheimer’s. As caregiver you have helped save a life.
  4. Quality of Life. Reduction of symptoms means you have your loved one available to enjoy life with you. So not only do they live longer but you have the opportunity to enjoy life together.
  5. Family Growth. Oftentimes the demands of intense caregiving falls upon one available individual, and at times the discernment needed among the family can be challenging and tense. They are difficult waters to navigate. The more your aging loved one has use of their faculties and quality of life, the less pressure is upon the family. Perhaps even more members will step forward to take on small tasks to lighten the load for all and even contribute to the family coming together in new ways.

With all the possible benefits, what do you have to lose?

NOTE: If you would like more information about participating in our intensive email me at info@bodyenergy.net

Defining The Players Of A Healthy Brain

Defining The Players Of A Healthy Brain

With Alzheimer’s and dementia on the rise it can be empowering for us to understand what is actually happening in the brain when it deteriorates. Why?

Because there are choices we can make to help increase brain health for ourselves or our loved ones even in the presence of decline or diagnosis.

The key players here are neurons, synapses, glial cells or the glymphatic system, cerebral spinal fluid and plaques such as amyloid beta. What is the relationship of all these pieces? Let me first define each one separately, then we can put the puzzle pieces together.

The most obvious or known to most of us are the neurons and synapses. The brain functions by way of firing electrical information across synapses from neuron to neuron. When the brain is healthy, the firing is healthy and contributes it’s part to the health of the entire person.

Cerebral spinal fluid, or extracellular fluid, sits like a thin membrane right inside the skull and around the brain. It both protects the brain as a whole and nourishes the neurons and neurotransmitters as it washes around and through all the cells.
This brings us to the glial cells, or glymphatic system.
Cutting edge research is shining a light upon the newly defined (and Nobel Prize winning) research identifying this system that runs through the body and brain.

The glial cells surround all the cells in the body to provide a way for waste to move out. In the brain they work a little differently. Billions, about a hundred billion to be a bit more exact, of glial cells form tendrils as fine as a web that extend from the periphery of the brain down deep into every single tiny space inside the brain. The tendrils are sometimes called astrocytes.

This vast network provides a way for the cerebral spinal fluid to move through the brain to do its nourishing job and to remove toxins. When the flow is steady the brain maintains greater health. When the flow is constricted, the neurons cannot do their job and sometimes even die. Inflammation is named as the chief cause. Inflammation comes from many causes but one to mention here is the last player in our series of definitions.

Amyloid beta. It is a protein toxin that clogs the brain. It is called a plaque, so you can think of plaque that collects on objects like our teeth, or on a mored boat. When this plaque increases, inflammation increases and the astrocytes become constricted.

Which means the cerebral spinal fluid cannot wash through all the places of the brain to refresh and renew.
One chief result is memory loss, from simple decline all the way to Alzheimer’s and dementia.

So now knowing the players we can change our choices to increase the flow of the cerebral spinal fluid, to decrease inflammation through diet, exercise and the focus of the next article, sleep.

Summary of our Alzheimer’s and Dementia Reseach

I’d had a number of requests for a summary of our Alzheimer’s and Dementia, which I’ve outlined below:

Summary of our research

Published in the Journal of Gerontological Nursing in 2008

Title of the Study: Craniosacral Still Point Technique:
Exploring its Effects in Individuals with Dementia

Study Design

A pilot group of individuals with moderate to severe Dementia and Alzheimer’s were administered the Craniosacral Still Point Technique at the same time every day for 5-10 minutes.

Individuals in rest homes in Iowa and Minneapolis were the study candidates.

One of the key variables that were studied was agitation-a key behavior in patients with this condition. An improvement in just this one behavior would be seen as a positive by administration and staff.

Therapists trained by the Upledger Institute were utilized in this study.

Premise of the study:

It was felt that the Craniosacral Still Point-an easily administered and learned technique-would increase the
volume and production of Cerebral Spinal Fluid (CSF) in the brain. It has been documented that a normal adult
produces about 800ml a day of CSF, and over time, as aging occurs the production drops to half of that, or 400ml a day. In individuals with senile dementia or Alzheimer’s, the production could be as low as 200ml a day, or 75% less than that of normal adult production.

The suspected consequences of this decreased CSF flow this that there is a decrease in the ability of the brain to chelate, or wash away, heavy metals in the brain. Secondarily, immune system factors which prevent inflammation from occurring in the brain are diminished. Regular application of the Craniosacral still point on a daily basis is thought to increase the flow of CSF and aid in the removal of metabolic waste and toxicity in the brain.

Results of the study:
There were both clinical and statistical results that were of significance.

1. A decrease in agitation-both during and after the study. After the intervention stopped, the patients still experienced a decrease in agitation which was monitored before, during and after the project.

2. It was reported that clients were more interactive and could remember names of caregivers and children previously forgotten, as well as displaying increased cooperation with staff.

3. At about week 3 of the intervention, it was noticed that these results and changes in behavior begin to be exhibited.

4. It was generally concluded that ‘further investigation is warranted’ into this technique.

A proposal for a more expanded study is now in process.

For more information or a copy of the original study contact me at michaelm@bodyenergy.net

The CSG2 Story: Art and Science

You’ve heard the expression “this is as much of an art as it is a science.” This was never as true as in our research on CranioSacral Therapy and Dementia and Alzheimer’s. I learned in the process of coordinating this study that a scientific study is not just all white lab coats and clipboards. There is a lot of subjective “behind the scenes” observation and assessment.

One of the things I begin to notice as I would check in on the patients in our six-week study is their starting point. If you’ve been around a Dementia or Alzheimer’s patient you notice how withdrawn and deeply inside their psyche they seem to be. Having also worked with a number of autistic and cerebral palsy children, I was also familiar with that withdrawn, “hard to get to” mental place. Although the mechanism of why these kids display their symptoms is a bit different, the outcome is the same-lack of connection and communication with the outside world.

We began to notice that about halfway through our six-week Alzheimer’s study the patients started to change-get more interactive, more cognizant, more changes in verbal and social behavior. I began to ask our key investigator, “Do any of these patients have any prior disease process or history?” It was as if I’d asked the stupidest question in the world. “Of course” was the answer.

It turned out when I was able to examine the medical history of these patients that many of them displayed indications of sometimes decades old inflammatory processes diabetes, arthritis, and a whole host of problems that we commonly associated with the aging process. I would notice that our subjects seemed to be sitting on a mountain of accumulated issues, and as the momentum of our 5-10 minute daily treatments took hold, not only would they display momentary clarity but also begin to process and release restrictions that might have been lodging in the body for decades. We had one 100-year-old woman in a nursing home in Minneapolis who started speaking in complete sentences and was able to start feeding herself.

In my own experience of treating early onset dementia I found a common first response is that patients feel more relaxed and less anxious. This is also something the caregivers and family members notice as well. The less stress there is on the body, the healthier the immune system and the greater the fluid flow.

Another effect we noticed was that family members and caregivers were able to have much more interaction with the patients. As the patients began to retrieve some memory of who they were speaking with, sometimes surprised caregivers had the opportunity to interact in a more meaningful way. This is not usually the case in the degeneration that is associated with this condition. Our hope is that continued application of these CST Techniques will offer even more improvement.

The CSG2 Story

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.