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 If you’ve been around a Dementia or Alzheimer’s patient you notice how withdrawn and deeply inside their psyche they seem to be. Having also worked with a number of autistic and cerebral palsy children, I was also familiar with that withdrawn, “hard to get to” mental place.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.
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!