Medical science equipment. Shot in a laboratory by © Andrey Kiselev.
You have surely heard the term, ‘evidenced based,’ and most probably have a pretty accurate idea of what it means. But do you know exactly what it means? While evidence based has brought us many of the present day health care options, it continues to push us onwards beyond the mainstream paradigms into NEW paradigms.
After all, at one point or another, every great breakthrough has come about because it showed its effectiveness in achieving its aimed for goals. Can you remember back about 40-50 years ago when chiropractic was on the fringes? And yet, it is now commonplace for an individual or company to rely upon chiropractic as a part of their health plan.
Evidence based practices (a term coined by Dr. David Sackett are abounding all around us. One of the compelling methods making progress in shifting paradigms and introducing solid results is CranioSacral Therapy. In fact CST is a stellar example of what is referred to by professionals as Evidenced Based Practice, the practical application of evidenced based research and expertise.
Sitting for all to see on the Duke Library website is Sackett’s definition of EBP: EBP is “the conscientious, explicit and judicious use of current best evidence in making decisions about the care of the individual patient. It is the integration of clinical expertise, patient values, and the best research evidence into the decision making process for patient care.
Clinical expertise refers to the clinician’s cumulated experience, education and clinical skills.
The patient brings to the encounter his or her own personal preferences and unique concerns, expectations, and values.
The best research evidence is usually found in clinically relevant research that has been conducted using sound methodology.” (Sackett D, 2002.)
CST is not only showing results coming to us through the trained clinicians’ recorded data- clinical expertise; but also proving its effectiveness in the research projects attentively relying upon the above mentioned ‘sound methodology.’
This is worthy of lifting your eyebrow and piquing your curiosity to learn more.
There are notably three ways a new method’s results are proven.
The first is the evaluation of a program never evaluated before. The pure canvas can be subjected to investigation without the muddiness of having been around for many years in diverse ways.
Second is antecedal evidence, that is testimonials from patients or clients showing desired results.
And third, research subjected to rigorous scientific methodology showing desired results, which in turn are usually published.
CST is showing up with greater and greater recorded success in a category effecting our nation by the millions- patients suffering early to late stage dementia.
YES, CST is actually showing improvement in those diagnosed with conditions that are determined to be going in only one direction- progressively worse.
This is an exciting time for CST as evidence is opening new doors of confidence for doctors and patients alike. CST is slowly being included in other senior health care programs like art therapy, healing touch, music therapy and more.
As evidence mounts, co
sts decrease and practitioners increase…and the health of our nation takes a turn for the better.
*For more information about upcoming research or to participate as a client or practitioner email: email@example.com and put HP somewhere in the subject line.
Many cultures have a custom of honoring those older in community as elders. And elder has a connotation to it that leaves a sense in the mouth of wisdom, life experience, and worthiness of respect because they have made the journey for many years. In this connotation is a belief the persons have a value meant to be passed on. It is as though they have reconnoitered the land we are just beginning to tread.
In America the place of our seniors has been challenged. We are a free market society where each individual is honored for having control over their future, their success and what constitutes their personal stability. Working hard and working smart for what we want is esteemed highly, and considered the way success is achieved.
This is not unilaterally true, but there is truth in the observation. For years and years people of other nations have seen America as the place of ‘freedom and democracy,’ a place where one can achieve their dreams. These are qualities worth preserving as a way we can mature as a nation. The downside of this personal agency is the relative dismissal of the community as a collection of people all having something valuable to bring to the table. And when someone loses their ability to perform in the ways society sees as valuable, that very someone may be considered a burden or even one in need.
The middle ground is the constant invitation. To preserve free market and to preserve the value of each person based on another set of criteria instead of only one set of social norms.
Could we possibly create a new way to look at the seniors in our midst? Even if they may not be able, or want to, run a corporation to make multi-million dollar profits, they do have unique gifts to share to remind us of what life is about.
As the American dream breaks down before our eyes we have the chance to let the shakeup lead us to a new paradigm. One factor would be to redefine our relationship to those aging among us.
Elders. We could begin to see seniors as elders. The very word differs from the latter. Senior denotes a chronological fact. Elder connotes a relationship to those around them.
Beginning to shift this term leads to practical implications. It leads us to ask different questions. Instead of asking, ‘What nursing home will take care of our seniors?’ We could ask, ‘What type of medical care would preserve the health of our elders so we can continue to have them and their gifts among us?’
This new question leads down a very new road, already paved with alternative modalities for health, new research in the field of gerontology, and even options of social paradigms offering a quality of life for our elders happening in our very midst.
Let’s ask new questions, therein we find answers to a new paradigm to honor our elders.
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.