Author Archives: Mukul

Egoscue

Description:
Egoscue is a postural therapy designed to eliminate chronic pain without drugs or surgery. Founded by Pete Egoscue in 1978, the Egoscue Method focuses on a series of gentle stretches and exercises to correct misalignments in the musculoskeletal system of the body.

The core belief behind Egoscue is that pain, whether acute or chronic, is the result of misalignment in the body as it loses its correct posture. When the body works with gravity to find realignment through Egoscue, comfort will increase and pain will decrease naturally. Personally, I’ve used the therapy for back pain relief and consider it another effective natural remedy for joint or bone pain.

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It is believe that both chronic and acute pain is due to misalignment in the body as it loses its designed posture. The human body is designed to move! However, with most of society becoming more and more sedentary, the body develops musculoskeletal dysfunctions and compensations. When those are present, pain and injury set in or are lurking right around the corner. The Egoscue Method restores the body back to its designed posture, alleviating pain and returning you back to an active, pain-free lifestyle.

The method :
The Egoscue Method uses a series of gentle exercises and stretches to return musculoskeletal balance and symmetry to our body. It’s no secret that muscles move bones. If our body has looses its designed posture, it’s because muscles have moved our bones into a new, dysfunctional position. Pain is the body’s way of alerting us to the fact that our body isn’t aligned—and therefore isn’t moving—properly. Through The Egoscue Method, our muscles will be reeducated and reminded how they need to function in order to maintain proper alignment.

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The body has an amazing ability to heal itself; we just have to give it a chance. Most likely we will not get into our current position overnight, and won’t get out of it overnight. The Egoscue Method is a process, but one with a remarkable 94 percent success rate since its inception.

Benefits of Egoscue:

Egoscue can benefit anyone experiencing pain in the neck, shoulder, back, hip, knee, ankle and foot. Plus it can help naturally treat arthritis, scoliosis, spondylosis, spondylolisthesis, sciatica, tennis elbow, frozen shoulder, disc degeneration, and a variety of other chronic pain symptoms as well as those trying to improve their posture for their general health and/or performance in sports.

Some of the most common benefits of Egoscue include:

1. Improved Posture:

Ideally everyone should have good posture without trying. In other words, our natural posture should be correct posture. Egoscue helps to appropriately align the musculoskeletal system and gives exercises to improve your posture, which becomes optimal over time.

2. Less Pain:

By identifying the cause of the problem rather than just focusing on symptoms, Egoscue can quickly decrease acute or chronic pain and often end it all together. When it comes to joint pain, joints do what muscles tell them to do — so when muscles become imbalanced through specific action or inaction, the joints become compromised and lose that full range of motion, often resulting in a loss of mobility and pain.

Egoscue can help to regain that full range of motion and naturally reduce joint pain. In general, Egoscue improves posture, which can decrease pain throughout the body, especially the back.

3. Avoidance of Surgery:

People who have success with Egoscue often avoid very costly surgery and a lengthy recovery process. Specifically, back and knee surgery can be avoided by improving posture and alignment. For example, pressure on your back can be increased by 50 percent just from leaning over the sink incorrectly to brush your teeth. (5)

By improving posture, pressure is taken off of the nerves in the back, which reduces back pain. Once pain is reduced or eliminated, surgery is no longer needed. Another good reason to try Egoscue before surgery is that studies have shown that the outcomes of knee surgery are no better than those after a placebo procedure.

4. Long-term Improvements:

Once correct alignment is achieved and an effort is made to continue exercises, improvements are very long lasting. A body appropriately aligned is a body that is more likely to have all of its systems working optimally.

Of course, the right diet and lifestyle are also key to success. With the appropriate nutrition, weight management, stress reduction, and elimination of unhealthy habits (smoking, excessive alcohol intake, etc.), Egoscue can enhance well-being into old age — maybe even into the longevity enjoyed by folks living in the blue zones.

5. Anyone Can Benefit:

Regardless of age or athletic ability, anyone can benefit from the postural improvements that come from a successful Egoscue protocol. Egoscue exercises are relatively easy to remember and easy to practice at home or on the go. There are also many exercises that can be practiced by disabled individuals. By restoring postural alignment and function, quality of life can improve for anyone practicing Egoscue.

6. Better Balance & Athletic Performance:

Better posture equates to better balance, so there is a direct improvement in balance once posture is improved through Egoscue.  In addition, as a result of improved muscle balance the body will be able to perform more effectively while putting in less effort.

Known Hazards:
If you are looking to try out Egoscue with a certified practitioner, there are many practitioners in the U.S. as well as internationally (including Canada, Japan Mexico, Sweden and the United Kingdom). When practicing Egoscue without a certified practitioner, one must be mindful to follow instructions carefully so that exercises are done in a way that promotes healing rather than creating further issues.

Most Egoscue exercises are easy to follow from written instructions or video format, but the specific positioning of the body for each exercise is absolutely key to receiving optimal results. As with any physical exercise, it is important to pay attention to how the body reacts so that pain is not encouraged or increased.

Egoscue is not designed to be painful, but it is natural to feel some stiffness after some of the exercises and maybe even as you walk around the first few days, but that stiffness is most likely the result of reengaging long dormant muscles. If any pain worsens or persists after Egoscue exercises, consult a medical professional.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only.

Resources:
https://draxe.com/egoscue/
https://www.egoscue.com/getting-started/faq/

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Red Light Therapy

Description:
Red light therapy is a skin care treatment being offered as an alternative to physician-administered laser therapy. Most studies involving red light therapy revolve around the treatment of acne, rosacea, and of its ability to get rid of wrinkles. While research is not yet conclusive on the benefits of red light therapy, studies suggest that concentrated red light is absorbed by the mitochondria in the cells and stimulates the generation of more collagen: the building block of skin structure.

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Light therapy was first discovered by NASA astronauts as a way to grow plants in space. It has since been used for the treatment of certain psychiatric condititions and sleep disorders. Red light therapy in dermatology was investigated as doctors noticed an increasing amount of patients who were immune to the normal antibiotic treatments used to get rid of acne. The studies recently expanded to observe whether red light therapy can also be used to get rid of wrinkles.

But before learning about how this treatment can help improve skin health, it is important to understand that there are two kinds of red light therapy. The first type of light therapy is called light box therapy. It is a more generalized treatment that does not target specific areas of the body. The second one is Targeted phototherapy and it is designed to send rays to specific areas of the skin through the use of an excimer laser.

How Red Light Therapy is Administered:
Red light therapy treatments can be administered as both: professional skin care procedures in doctors’ offices and as at-home treatments. Some salons and spas have tanning beds that have been equipped with red lights for light therapy. Most at-home and salon treatments offer generalized, light box therapy. The treatment of specific areas is usually reserved for doctors’ and skin care specialists’ offices.

Red light therapy is a derivative of color light therapy, which involves shining red, blue, or violet light directly on a patient. Some treatments also involve the use of lights flashing at high frequency.

Red light therapy can sometimes be used in photodynamic therapy to get rid of acne. In this procedure, two different chemicals are applied topically to the face, and the red light is administered to improve the effect of the chemicals. For best results, photodynamic light therapy does require three to four treatments, so improvements will not be noticeable overnight. The procedure is considered cosmetic, and is not normally covered under health insurance.

Benefits of Red Light Therapy:

1. Increased Immunity and Reduced Side Effects of Cancer Treatments:

Research done by NASA in conjunction with the University of Alabama at Birmingham Hospital has shown that red light technology can successfully reduce symptoms experienced by cancer patients, including painful side effects caused from radiation or chemotherapy. Using far red/near-infrared light-emitting diode devices (called High Emissivity Aluminiferous Luminescent Substrate, or HEALS in this case) has been shown to release long wavelength energy in the form of photons that stimulate cells to aid in healing.

NASA tested whether HEALS could treat oral mucositis in cancer patients, a very common and painful side effect of chemotherapy and radiation, and concluded that 96 percent of patients experienced improvement in pain as a result of the HEALS treatment. Patients received the light therapy by a nurse holding the WARP 75 device, which is roughly the size of an adult human hand. The WARP device was held close to the patient’s face and neck for only 88 seconds daily for 14 days. Researchers stated, “The HEALS device was well tolerated with no adverse affects to bone marrow and stem cell transplant patients….The HEALS device can provide a cost-effective therapy since the device itself is less expensive than one day at the hospital.” (6)

Similar HEALS technology is also now being utilized for the treatment of pediatric brain tumors, slow-healing wounds or infections, diabetic skin ulcers, and serious burns.

2. Wound Healing and Tissue Repair:

Light in the spectral range of 600 to 1,300?nanometers has been found to be useful for promoting wound healing, tissue repair and skin rejuvenation, although it does this through a different mechanism of action compared to many other laser resurfacing treatments. Most laser therapies used in dermatology offices use intense pulsed light to promote skin rejuvenation by inducing secondary tissue repair. In other words, they cause intentional damage to either the epidermis or the dermis of the skin in order to trigger inflammation, followed by healing.

Red light therapy actually bypasses this initial destructive step and instead directly stimulates regenerative processes in the skin through increased cellular proliferation, migration and adhesion. Red light therapy has been shown to positively affect skin cells through regeneration of fibroblasts, keratinocytes and modulation of immune cells (including mast cells, neutrophils and macrophages) all found within skin tissue.

3. Anti-Aging Effects for Skin and Hair Loss:

One use of red light laser therapy that’s growing in popularity is reversing signs of aging on the skin (i.e, wrinkles and fine lines). Results from a 2014 study published in Photomedicine and Laser Surgery demonstrated both efficacy and safety for red light therapy in promoting anti-aging skin rejuvenation and intradermal collagen increase when compared against controls. Researchers concluded that red infrared therapy “provides a safe, non-ablative, non-thermal, atraumatic photobiomodulation treatment of skin tissue with high patient satisfaction rates.”

Subjects treated with red light therapy experienced significantly improved skin complexion, improved skin tone, improved texture/feeling, reduced skin roughness, reduced signs of wrinkles and fine lines, and increased collagen density as measured through ultrasonographic tests. Patients with rosacea and redness have also found relief using LLLT, even those who are unable to tolerate higher-heat laser therapies.

Yet another anti-aging effect of red light therapy is reversing hair loss and stimulating follicle growth, which works in many of the same ways as red light therapy for wound healing. Results have been mixed according to studies, but at least a moderate portion of both male and female patients have had positive results for reversing baldness/hair loss when using LLLT.

4. Improved Joint and Musculoskeletal Health:

Red light therapy is now being used to treat arthritis symptoms thanks to its capability of stimulating collagen production and rebuilding cartilage. A 2009 Cochrane review of red light therapy for rheumatoid arthritis concluded that “LLLT could be considered for short-term treatment for relief of pain and morning stiffness for RA patients, particularly since it has few side-effects.”

Even in those who don’t suffer from arthritis but have other signs of tissue damage or degeneration due to aging, LLLT can still be beneficial. A 2009 study published in The Lancet showed, “LLLT reduces pain immediately after treatment in acute neck pain and up to 22 weeks after completion of treatment in patients with chronic neck pain.” (10) Other studies have found that even when patients with musculoskeletal disorders don’t experience less pain from red light therapy treatments, they have a high chance of experiencing “significantly improved functional outcomes,” such as better range of motion.

Cellular rejuvenation and increased blood flow due to red light therapy are two key aspects of improving joint and tissue health. Decreasing oxidative damage, which degenerates joints, and modulating inflammation are other ways that LLLT benefits soft/connective tissue.

5. Reduced Depression and Fatigue:

Another way to explain the benefits of red light is through the lens of Eastern medicine. Ask a Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner how light helps improve health, immunity and recovery, and he or she will likely compare it to acupuncture’s mechanism of action:

*Light is a form of energy, and our bodies are just big energy systems. Light has the power to stimulate specific meridian points and chakra zones in the human body.

*Red is said to stimulate the first chakra because it correlates most strongly with our survival instinct (hence why it gives us energy and makes us act quickly, in order to motivate us to pursue things like money, food, sex, power, etc.).

*While acupuncture uses tiny needles to achieve bodily harmony through stimulating certain points in the body’s energy system, light therapy uses focused, visible, red wavelengths in much the same way.

*Red light has been shown to be naturally energizing and correlated with improved moods by increasing self-confidence, positivity, passion, joyfulness, laughter, social awareness, conversation skills and sensory stimulation. While results vary from patient to patient, there’s reason to believe that LLLT has mental and emotional perks in addition to physical benefits.

Difference Red Light Therapy And Blue Light Therapy :

*Blue and red light therapies, two forms of phototherapy, have some similar benefits and uses, although they work in different ways. The mechanism of action of both is still not entirely well-understood, but it’s believed that LLLT devices produce light with wavelengths similar to those of blue light lasers only with broader output peaks (they’re less monochromatic and don’t produce heat or friction).

*Blue light is more commonly used at home from light-emitting devices, especially for the treatment of acne. It’s been found that blue light reaches the sebaceous (oil) glands in the skin and can help kill porphyrins, which are compounds inside acne bacteria.

*Red light is believed to penetrate the skin deeper and may also help acne and other skin disorders by reducing inflammation and improving healing.

*Blue light and red light can be emitted from tabletop light therapy devices (which are used at home and usually weaker, requiring about a total of 30 minutes to one hour of treatment time twice per day) or from stronger devices used in doctors’ offices that work quicker (sometimes within just several minutes or less).

*The Wellman Center for Photomedicine at Massachusetts General Hospital explains that there’s still widespread uncertainty and confusion surrounding the mechanisms of action of these light therapies, especially LLLT, at the molecular, cellular and tissue levels. There are also a large number of parameters for doctors to consider before treating individual patients (wavelength, fluence, irradiance, treatment timing and repetition, pulsing, and polarization) that can add to the confusion and patient variability in terms of results.

Known Hazards:
The FDA has indicated that there are not many side effects associated with the use of red light therapy, although blue light therapy may be linked to a higher disposition for macular degeneration. Physicians recommend that people who have photosensitivity use caution when undergoing red light therapy.

Before beginning red light treatment, make sure to talk with your doctor and disclose all prescription and over-the-counter medication you are taking. Many anti-aging creams and medications are known to cause photosensitivity, which can significantly damage your skin. Even if you are using something as simple as herbs, definitely mention them to your doctor, as a precaution. For example, supplements containing St. John’s Wort, can cause the body to be sensitive to light, which would be a problem during red light therapy.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only.

Resources:

Red Light Therapy

Red Light Therapy Benefits, Research & Mechanism of Action

Oil Pulling


Description:
Oil pulling is an age-old remedy rooted in Ayurvedic medicine that uses natural substances to clean and detoxify teeth and gums. It has the added effect of whitening teeth naturally and evidence even shows that it may be beneficial for gum health and that certain oils may help fight harmful bacteria in the mouth!

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Practitioners of oil pulling claim it is capable of improving oral and systemic health, including a benefit in conditions such as headaches, migraines, diabetes mellitus, asthma, and acne, as well as whitening teeth. Some of its promoters claim it works by “pulling out” toxins, which are known as ama in Ayurvedic medicine, and thereby reducing inflammation. There is no credible evidence to support this.

The basic idea is that oil is swished in the mouth for a short time each day and that this action helps improve oral health. Just as with Oil Cleansing for the skin, the principle of “like dissolves like” applies, as oil is able to cut through plaque and remove toxins without disturbing the teeth or gums.

The practice of oil pulling (also called gundusha) started in India thousands of years ago, and was first introduced to the United States in the early 1990s by a medical doctor named Dr. F. Karach, who used it with success in his medical practice.

How to do Oil Pulling:
The concept is incredibly simple. Basically, a person swishes a couple teaspoons of a vegetable based oil (ediable coconut, sesame or olive) in the mouth for 20 minutes and then spits it out and rinses well. Oil pulling is best done in the morning, before eating or drinking anything, though Dr. Bruce Fife suggests that it can be done before each meal if needed for more severe infections or dental problems.

1.Put 1-2 teaspoons of oil into the mouth.

The oil traditionally used in oil pulling is organic sesame oil, and this is also the oil that has been the most studied for use in oil pulling. It is also possible to do oil pulling with organic coconut oil or pre-made coconut oil chews. Whichever oil you choose, place 1-2 teaspoons in the mouth.

2. Swish for 20 minutes.

Apparently the timing is key, according to Dr. Bruce Fife, author of Oil Pulling Therapy, as this is long enough to break through plaque and bacteria but not long enough that the body starts re-absorbing the toxins and bacteria. The oil will get thicker and milky as it mixed with saliva during this time and it should be creamy-white when spit out. It will also double in volume during this time due to saliva. At first, it is difficult to make it the full 20 minutes, and so, only swish for 5-10 minutes in the begining and then gradually increase the timing to 20 minutes.

3.Spit oil into a plastic bag  & throw it in the trash can.

Do not swallow the oil as it is hopefully full of bacteria, toxins and pus that are now not in the mouth!
Rinse well with warm water. Warm water seems to clean the mouth better (my opinion). Some sources recommend swishing with warm salt water.

4.Brush well.
This can also be done with coconut oil, which is naturally antibacterial and has a milder taste that other oils. Anyone with a sensitivity to coconut oil or coconut products should avoid using coconut oil in this way. Sesame oil was traditionally used in the Ayurvedic tradition and is another great option, just make sure to use an organic sesame oil.

Benefits:
Oil pulling seems to be a practice with a plethora of anecdotal support but a lack of extensive scientific studies (though there are some… see below). Most sources do agree that oil pulling is safe, but debate how effective it is. Though more research is needed to determine any scientific backing to oil pulling, I’ve noticed the benefits personally and dozens of readers swear by its effectiveness as well.

It is observed that hundreds of testimonials online from people who experienced benefits from oil pulling, including help with skin conditions, arthritis, asthma, headaches, hormone imbalances, infections, liver problems and more.

Safety factors:
Thankfully, this is one point that all sources seem to agree on! Some sources claim that oil pulling doesn’t have the benefits often attributed to it or that it doesn’t actually detoxify the mouth, but all of them agree that it shouldn’t hurt anything.

All of the oils that are often used are completely edible and considered to be healthy when eaten, so they aren’t problematic when swished in the mouth. The only potential danger I’ve seen is if the oil is swallowed after it has absorbed any bacteria or toxins from the mouth.

Research:
Research is lacking, it could be considered an effective and safe alternative to mouthwash and that there shouldn’t be any harm.

Studies about oil pulling:
S Asokan, J Rathan, MS Muthu, PV Rathna, P Emmadi, Raghuraman, Chamundeswari. Effect of oil pulling on Streptococcus mutans count in plaque and saliva using Dentocult SM Strip mutans test: a randomized, controlled, triple-blind study. Journal of the Indian Society of Pedodontics & Preventive Dentistry. 26(1):12-7, 2008 Mar

TD Anand, C Pothiraj, RM Gopinath, et al. Effect of oil-pulling on dental caries causing bacteria (PDF). African Journal of Microbiology Research, Vol 2:3 pp 63-66, MAR 2008. (PDF Link)

HV Amith, Anil V Ankola, L Nagesh. Effect of Oil Pulling on Plaque and Gingivitis. Journal of Oral Health & Community Dentistry: 2007; 1(1):Pages 12-18

S Thaweboon, J Nakaparksin, B Thaweboon. Effect of Oil-Pulling on Oral Microorganisms in Biofilm Models. Asia Journal of Public Health: 2011 May-Aug. (PDF)

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only.

Resources:
https://wellnessmama.com/7866/oil-pulling/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oil_pulling

Prolotherapy

Other Names:

*Proliferation injection therapy
*Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy
*Regenerative injection therapy
*Sclerosant therapy or sclerotherapy
*And sometimes nonsurgical ligament reconstruction

Description:
Prolotherapy is an injection procedure that helps resolve tiny tears or injuries to connective tissue located throughout the musculoskeletal system (ligaments, tendons, muscle fibers, fascia and joint capsules). Often connective tissue becomes injured when it is torn away from a nearby bone. Prolotherapy is most often used in the case of injuries or conditions that cause chronic pain which don’t respond well to other natural therapies or medications (nonsurgical treatments). It has been characterised as an alternative medicine practice.

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Proceedures:
Prolotherapy involves the injection of an irritant solution into a joint space, weakened ligament, or tendon insertion to relieve pain. Most commonly, hyperosmolar dextrose (a sugar) is the solution used; glycerine, lidocaine (a commonly used local anesthetic), phenol, and sodium morrhuate (a derivative of cod liver oil extract) are other commonly used agents. The injection is administered at joints or at tendons where they connect to bone.

Prolotherapy treatment sessions are generally given every two to six weeks for several months in a series ranging from 3 to 6 or more treatments. Many patients receive treatment at less frequent intervals until treatments are rarely required, if at all.

Latest proceedures:
Prolotherapy uses our body’s own platelets and growth factors to heal damaged tisues
naturally. It is cutting-edge form of regenerative medicines leading the way in helping to treat both acute and cronic injuries, aswell diffucult to resolve joint pain.

The way  Prolotherapy Stimulate Healing:

The way that prolotherapy works is by causing a purposeful, mild inflammation response near damaged tissue that helps new fibers to grow. While usually “inflammation” is thought of as a bad (and sometimes painful) thing, it also has important benefits for stimulating repair-work and healing damaged tissue fibers.

Prolotherapy College describes this process as follows:

When ligaments or tendons (connective tissue) are stretched or torn, the joint they are holding destabilizes and can become painful. Prolotherapy, with its unique ability to directly address the cause of the instability, can repair the weakened sites and produce new collagen tissue, resulting in permanent stabilization of the joint.

Essentially through performing a very directed injection to an injury site, prolotherapy tricks the body into repairing an area. In the past, prolotherapy injections contained a mix of substances that helped to dull pain and cause a mild inflammation response, including dextrose, saline, sarapin and procaine.

Recently, platelet-rich plasma (PRP) procedures have been developed that use adult stem cells (from the person being treated) that are removed from the bone marrow or adipose (fat) tissue. These stem cells have the remarkable ability to transform themselves, making them highly valuable for treating many conditions.

*When stem cells are injected into soft tissue that is experiencing tiny tears, “natural healing” takes place near the area of the injection — which really means that new blood vessels and fibers form, helping to tighten, repair and strengthen the damaged joint or tissue.

*Prolotherapy treatment involves a series of injections. Patients receive anywhere from 3–30 injections depending on the severity of their injury. Most people need about 4–10 injections to experience results.

*Injections are administered every 2–3 weeks over the course of several months (usually 3 to 6 months).

*Substance used in “Detroxse Prolotherapy” injections include “natural irritant agents” (such as dextrose or glucose, which are types of sugar molecules, or glycerin and phenol).

*Irritants are often used with a local anesthetic (lidocaine, procaine or marcaine) to help numb the affected area and injection site. Sometimes other substances such as cod liver oil (sodium morrhuate) are also used to regulate inflammation and healing.

*There are certain differences between standard prolotherapy injections (using dextrose for example) and PRP injections.

*PRP Prolotherapy utilizes substances taken directly from the patient’s own body. PRP (or “platelet-rich plasma”) is defined as “autologous blood with concentrations of platelets above baseline levels, which contains at least seven growth factors.” Platelets contain a number of proteins, cytokines and other bioactive factors that initiate and regulate basic aspects of natural wound healing.

Medical uses:
A 2015 review found limited evidence that prolotherapy is safe and effective for Achilles tendinopathy, plantar fasciosis, and Osgood Schlatter disease. The quality of the studies was also poor. Another 2015 review assigned a strength of recommendation level A for Achilles tendinopathy, knee osteoarthritis and level B for lateral epicondylosis, Osgood Schlatter disease, and plantar fasciosis. Level A recommendations are based on consistent and good-quality patient-oriented evidence while level B are based on inconsistent or limited-quality patient-oriented evidence. Two 2016 review articles expanded level B strength of recommendations to include low back/sacroiliac pain and rotator cuff tendinopathy. As of 2016 evidence to support the use of prolotherapy in acute pain, myofascial pain or as first-line therapy, could not be determined.

Benefits:
1. Helps Repair Tendons Injuries:
Prolotherapy can increase platelet-derived growth factor expressions that kick off repairment of damaged tendons. A 2010 JAMA study compared two forms of prolotherapy (saline and PRP) for treating tendon injuries and found they had similar effects. Both treatments helped treat chronic Achilles tendinopathy, although some speculate that PRP might be best suited for this kind of injury.

2.Helps Treat Chronic Back & Neck Pain:
According to Spine Health, prolotherapy can help heal small tears and weakened tissue in the back that contribute to inflammation, reduced functioning, bulging discs and back pain. The mechanism by which stem cell therapy helps to treat back pain is by shutting down “ligamentous laxity,” which is the activation of pain receptors in tendon or ligament tissues that send painful nerve signals up the back. (6)

Damaged tissue in tendons or ligaments are sensitive to stretching, compressing and other forms of pressure, so by reducing these tears, prolotherapy helps to eliminate the root source of pain.

Prolotherapy has successfully been used in pain management for common conditions that affect the back including:

*Neck pain due to spine related conditions
*Sciatica/sciatic nerve pain
*Bulging or herniated discs
*Degenerative disc disease
*Sacroiliac problems
*Rotator cuff injuries extending to the upper back
*Whiplash

3. Resolves Shoulder Injuries & Pain:
Prolotherapy have been shown to be effective in the treatment of shoulder injuries and pain, which are often a result of the rotator cuff being overworked (sometimes from not resting enough between workouts). The shoulder is one of the body parts exposed to the most repetitive use, repeated traumas and degeneration, so athletes, laborers and aging adults are most susceptible to shoulder injuries of all kinds.

A 2009 Journal of Prolotherapy study reported that up to 82 percent of patients treated for chronic shoulder pain (also called frozen shoulder) experienced improvements in sleep, exercise ability, anxiety, depression and overall disability. And 39 percent of these patients were told by their medical doctors that there were no other treatment options available for their pain!

4. Treats Elbow & Wrist Tendonitis:
A 2008 report published in Practical Pain Management states that adults who play golf or tennis frequently are some of the more prone to elbows injuries. Prolotherapy is now considered an effective non-surgical treatment option for sport-related injuries. And not only those that affect the elbow (like lateral and medial epicondylitis) but also those causing subsequent pain in the lower back, wrist ligaments or shoulders, plus sprained ankles and other musculoskeletal damage caused by repetitive use and joint degeneration.

5. Treats Injuries to the Hands & Feet:
Prolotherapy is now being used to lower pain associated with common hand injuries experienced by younger and middle-aged adults, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, Skier’s or “Gamekeepers” thumb and “Texting thumb,” which are caused by repetitive use and damage to the ulnar collateral ligament. Recently, doctors have seen a steady increase in injuries triggered from everyday activities like typing, computer mouse use or playing sports.

The thumbs, fingers, hands and feet are also prone to pain caused by osteoarthritis and aging. One study involving over 600 patients with ankle and foot pain that was published in Operative Techniques of Sports found that prolotherapy treatments helped reduce ankle and foot pain associated arthritis, tendon ruptures, plantar fasciitis, misalignments, fractures and ligament injuries.

Known Hazards:
Prolotherapy side effects can sometimes include:

*Swelling at the injection site
*Increased pain and stiffness
*Headaches
*Signs of an allergic reaction
*Although very rarely, cases of spinal fluid leaks and permanent nerve damage have also been reported

Final Thoughts on Prolotherapy & PRP:

*Prolotherapy/PRP is a type of natural soft tissue/connective tissue treatment that promotes long-term healing without the use of surgery or prescription medications.

*They work by stimulating the body’s ability to repair itself through causing a mild inflammatory response in damaged tissue, which triggers the release of proteins and growth factors to strengthen the weakened area.

*Conditions that can be treated with prolotherapy or PRP include sports injuries, tendonitis, back and neck pain, arthritis, whiplash, joint sprains, degenerative disc disease/osteoarthritis and more.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only.

Rersources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prolotherapy
https://draxe.com/prolotherapy/

Craniosacral Therapy

Description:
Craniosacral therapy (CST) is a form of bodywork or alternative therapy using gentle touch to palpate the synarthrodial joints of the cranium. A practitioner of cranial-sacral therapy may also apply light touches to a patient’s spine and pelvic bones. Practitioners believe that this palpation regulates the flow of cerebrospinal fluid and aids in “primary respiration”.

It is a non-invasive, manual therapy performed on the head, skull and sacrum by certain trained chiropractors, osteopaths, physical therapists and massage therapists. Craniosacral massage involves light, “barely noticeable” adjustments, which is why CST is referred to as a “subtle therapy.” CST practitioners take a holistic approach to helping their clients, combining mind-body practices including soft tissue adjustments, massage, “healing touch,” deep breathing and other relaxation techniques.

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Craniosacral treatment normal sessions:
They typically last about 45 minutes to 1.5 hours, in which the craniosacral therapist treats the patient while they lay down in a relaxed, prone position on their back. Treatments typically consist of the practitioner first evaluating the patient by using their hands softly to massage and feel the patient’s skull and sacrum. This allows the therapist to evaluate “craniosacral rhythms” and detect what may be contributing to symptoms like pain or tension.

The therapist then manipulates bones of the sacrum and cranium to help reach deeper layers of fluid and membrane. The hands are the only “instrument” used in CST, which work to apply very mild, manual traction on the patient’s cranial bones in order to intervene in functions of the autonomic nervous system and to help to release bone and membrane.

Principals of craniosacral therapy:
The underlying belief behind CST is that the human body is capable of self-healing, given the right tools and circumstances. In addition to reducing pain and tension held in the body, CST can increase someone’s understanding of their own “inner energy” and healing potential. Gaining self-awareness of one’s own body and senses is considered to be an important part of staying in good health, since this allows someone to identify their body’s stress signals at an early stage in order to intervene.

One theory behind craniosacral therapy is that touch involved in manual therapies provides rhythmical, small vibrations that help different parts of the body to communicate more effectively, especially different parts of the central nervous system (CNS). CST applies touch to various bones of the skull, face, and backbone which helps to gently move cerebrospinal fluid while also provoking a relaxation response, both physically and mentally. Cerebrospinal fluid is the fluid that surrounds and cushions the brain and spinal cord. This is still some debate whether CST actually helps fluid to circulate, or if it’s simply pumped almost entirely by functions including respiration (breathing).

Specific craniosacral therapy procedures that therapists use include:
Still points, compression-decompression of temporomandibular joint, decompression of temporal fascia, compression-decompression of sphenobasilar joint, parietal lift, frontal lift, scapular waist release and pelvic diaphragm release. “Still points” are quiet intervals between manipulations which happen about every three to four minutes and last up to one minute, during which the patient quietly rests.

History of craniosacral therapy:
Techniques used in craniosacral therapy are based on initial discoveries of the skull by a man named Dr. William Garner Sutherland in the early 1900s.Another osteopathic doctor named John Upleadger, considered by some to be the “modern founder of CST,” then further developed CST techniques in the 1970s into a practice that thousands of practitioners now offer to their clients around the world. As an osteopathic physician, Dr. Upledger spent years in clinical testing and research at Michigan State University where he served as professor of biomechanics and pioneer in the field of craniosacral manipulation.

Benefits:
CST may offer benefits for people with any of the following symptoms: anxiety, depression, migraines and/or headaches, neck and back pain, stress and tension, motor-coordination impairments, infant and childhood disorders, brain and spinal cord injuries, fatigue, TMJ, fibromyalgia, scoliosis, ADHD and many others.

The most common ailments that therapists use craniosacral therapy to help treat:

1. Promotes Relaxation & May Reduce Anxiety or Depression:

CST is considered one type of “mindfulness-based treatment approach,” due to how it helps patients feel calmer while focusing their attention on their breath and away from their thoughts. One of the most beneficial things about craniosacral massage is that it often helps people to relax, reduce muscle tension in their body, and deal with various types of stress better.

Craniosacral therapy involves finding certain”pressure spots” or points of tension in the craniosacral system and gently manipulating them in order to reduce tension and increased relaxation. Many practitioners purposefully provide CST treatments in calm, comfortable environments that have a peaceful ambience, helping to facilitate pain relief and decrease symptoms associated with anxiety or depression. CST sessions are usually very comfortable, as the maneuvers are slight and gentle. Clients can also focus on breathing deeply during treatments to further help them relax by increasing activity of the parasympathetic nervous system.

A 2011 descriptive outcome study that was published in the Journal of Alternative and Complimentary Medicine reviewed the effectiveness of Upledger CranioSacral Therapy (UCST) treatments received by 157 patients being treated for a variety of reasons. Patients sought help for reasons including dealing with headaches and migraine, neck and back pain, or anxiety and depression. The results showed that 74 percent of patients reported a “valuable improvement in their presenting problem,” 67 percent reported an improvement in general well-being and secondary symptoms tied to pain or chronic stress, and 70 percent were able to decrease their medication use or discontinue use altogether.

2. May Help Lower Neck Pain:
One of the difficult things about studying the effects of craniosacral therapy is that treatments are so “subtle” it is often hard to determine whether they are directly causing any measurable changes in the body. However, proponents of CST point out that just because CST’s effects cannot always be precisely measured doesn’t mean that certain benefits don’t exist. One 2015 study published in the Clinical Journal of Pain that compared CST to light touch for neck pain found evidence that CST offered more benefits. The study involved 54 blinded patients that were divided between two groups: one receiving “sham treatments” and one receiving CST.

CST patients reported significant and clinically relevant effects on pain intensity at week 8 of the study and again at week 20. At the week 20 follow-up, 78 percent of participants within the CST group reported “minimal clinical improvements” in pain intensity, while 48 percent reported other “substantial clinical benefits.” (9) It was found that there were significant between-group differences reported at the week 20 follow-up, as the CST group experienced greater differences from the start of the study regarding levels of pain when moving, functional disability, physical quality of life, anxiety and overall improvement.

Additionally, at the 8 week follow-up, pressure pain sensitivity and body awareness were significantly improved by participants in both groups (this was not reported by either group at week 20). Also importantly, no serious adverse events were reported by participants in either group.

3. Can Help Reduce Headaches:
Factors such as emotional stress, tension in the neck or jaw, frowning and clenching the teeth or forehead can all contribute to headaches, as well as pain in the face, neck and shoulders. Craniosacral massage can help to reduce pressure surrounding the head and also decrease migraines or headaches tied to high stress levels.

A 2012 randomized clinical trial that was published in the journal BMC Complimentary and Alternative Therapy tested the effects of CST on migraine pain intensity and frequency over an 8 week period. Adults with moderate to severe migraines were randomly assigned to two groups: those receiving 8 weekly CST treatments and those receiving 8 weekly low-strength static magnet therapy (LSSM) treatments.

Results showed that both treatment groups appeared to benefit from their treatments, but that the CST group experienced greater reductions in mean headache hours per day 30 days following treatment. A between-group difference was also found at the 4 week follow-up point, when the CST group reported greater significant differences in headache-related disability, headache intensity and medication use. By the end of the 8 weeks, headache intensity was reduced more in the CST group compared to the LSSM group, however the difference was not statistically significant. After 8 weeks of treatment, pain-killing medication use decreased substantially in both groups.

4. May Help Manage Fibromyalgia Symptoms:
Findings from a 2011 study that was published in Evidence Based Complimentary and Alternative Medicine points to the fact that craniosacral therapy can contribute to improvements in quality of life and decreased anxiety in patients with fibromyalgia. The study included 84 patients that had been diagnosed with fibromyalgia who were randomly assigned to either an intervention group receiving craniosacral therapy for 25 weeks, or a placebo group that was receiving simulated treatments with disconnected ultrasound for 25 weeks. Measurements included changes in anxiety, pain, sleep quality, depression and quality of life at baseline and then again at 10 minutes, 6 months and 1-year following treatment.

The results showed significantly greater improvements in fibromyalgia symptoms, including anxiety, pain, quality of life and sleep quality in the CST intervention group compared to the placebo group, both after the treatment period and again at the six-month follow-up. One year after treatment improvements in sleep quality were still reported, while other improvements were not, which suggests that this type of fibromyalgia treatment needs to be ongoing in order to have the most impact.

5. May Be Beneficial for Autism:
The use of hands-on therapy approaches for the treatment of symptoms associated with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) remains controversial, but there is some evidence that patients respond well to mind-body practices including healing touch, “energy medicine” and biologically based manipulative practices. (12) A preliminary study that appeared in the Journal of Bodywork and Manipulative Therapies introduced craniosacral therapy as one possible treatment option for symptoms of ASD based on findings that CST is already recommended by therapists/doctors due to how studies have found positive responses.

The authors of the study concluded that “there is worthy cause to further investigate how CST benefits Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).” (13) The combination of conventional practice and complementary/alternative techniques is often called “Integrative Medicine.” More research is still needed, but it’s possible that CST may help to reduce symptoms associated with ASD including irritability, sensory abnormalities, difficulties with motor coordination, or hyperactivity by positively influencing the nervous system.

Known Hazards:
CST is considered to be safe for the vast majority of people, but in order to reduce the risk for further aggravating symptoms, it’s not recommended that CST be performed on people with any of the following conditions in which an increase in intracranial pressure would cause instability: acute aneurysm, cerebral hemorrhage, recent spinal cord injury or severe bleeding disorders

Final Thoughts on Craniosacral Therapy:
*Craniosacral therapy (or CST) is a non-invasive, manual therapy performed on the head, skull and sacrum. CST is offered by trained chiropractors, osteopaths, physical therapists and massage therapists.

*Benefits of craniosacral therapy may include help treating: anxiety, depression, migraines and/or headaches, neck and back pain, stress and tension, motor-coordination impairments, infant and childhood disorders.

*There is still debate over whether CST is necessarily effective, or simply beneficial because it promotes relaxation, as well as how exactly it works.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only.

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Craniosacral_therapy
https://draxe.com/craniosacral-therapy/