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Osteopathy and Breast Cancer

Posted by on October 8, 2012 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Osteopathy and Breast Cancer

Breast Cancer Awareness Month   October is known for many things and breast cancer awareness is an important topic to discuss. Osteopathic manual practitioners deal with many issues in their clinics everyday so why would breast cancer be any different. In order to discuss how OMT can assist a patient who has a genetic predisposition for, is currently fighting or has dealt with a case of breast cancer we must understand the Structure and Function relationship. As we explore the intricate details of the mammary gland it is important to remember that it is a gland and receives a tremendous influence from the Endocrine, Nervous and Immune systems.   Anatomy of the Mammary Gland   The National Cancer Institute defines “the mammary gland as a glandular organ located on the chest. The mammary gland is made up of connective tissue, fat and tissue that contains the glands that can make milk.” As any true Osteopath would know this definition does not effectively describe the intricate details of the glands development, its function or how the rest of the body interacts with this specialized tissue.   Encyclopedia Britannica claims that the Mammary glands are regulated by the endocrine system and become functional in response to the hormonal changes associated with parturition. This definition is starting to explore the tissue in more depth but this still does not provide a complete understanding.   The breast tissue is a very specialized part of the female anatomy. Development is inactive until puberty when the anterior pituitary experiences increased activity. Glandular growth is primarily under the control of estrogen and progesterone stimulation.   During Pregnancy the breasts develop further due to rising levels of estrogen, progesterone, and prolactin. When nursing a mother will experience a neuro-endocrine reflex that will continue to influence prolactin release but will also cause oxytocin to contract the myoepithelial cells surrounding the lobules and ducts.   The breast receives blood supply from the lateral thoracic and acromio-thoracic branches of the axillary artery, and branches of the intercostal thoracic arteries. Venous drainage is into the axillary, internal thoracic, and intercostal veins. Lymphatic drainage is into the axillary nodes (anterior, posterior and lateral nodes and finally the apical) as well as infraclavicular group, the internal thoracic and intra-abdominal nodes.   There is no apparent central or parasympathetic nerve supply to the breast tissue. It does have innervation from sensory afferent somatic fibers which feed the hypothalamus and stimulate the anterior pituitary to release prolactin as well as the posterior pituitary to release oxytocin. Motor efferent fibers transmit impulses from the brain to cause reflex erection of the nipple and reflex vasoconstriction of arterial blood supply and therefore inhibition of milk flow.   The breast is made up of glands (also known as lobules) and ducts. These are the most common areas for the development of cancer.   Breast Cancer   The most common type of breast cancer is ductal carcinoma with the remaining cases following under the title lobular carcinoma. If cancer is found in the duct and then invades the rest of the breast tissue. On the other hand if it begins in the lobules and may metastasize in the other areas of the body like lymph vessels.   Treatment of the Breast Tissue   Dr. A. T. Still wrote extensively about many different ailments and disorders that afflict the human body. The subject of breast cancer was no different. In Osteopathy: Research and Practice first printed in 1910 Dr Still dedicates time to review and present treatment for the breast tissue. Here is a small sample of...

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Osteopathy and Infertility

Posted by on July 28, 2012 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Osteopathy and Infertility

  A basic principle of osteopathy is that structure and function are interrelated. This thesis excerpt shows how that principle applies to the treatment of infertility.   In order to treat the conditions and diseases of the reproductive organs that may be causing infertility, it is important to completely understand the anatomy and physiology involved.   Looking back at the fields of influence to the pelvic organs, the treating osteopath recognizes the importance of these spinal levels. Specific regions of the spine will be associated with particular diseases. Bony lesions in the areas of the lower dorsals and respective ribs, upper lumbars, the sacrum and innominates will affect the pelvic organs and therefore must be corrected with treatment.   Many times, correcting the bony lesions and freeing up the vascular and nerve vessels, symptoms will resolve. Displacement of either the organs or bony framework will lead to abnormal blood flow and nerve force, which are requisite for health.In addition to bony or visceral correction, there are times when stimulation or inhibition can be applied to an area that has influence over other areas of the body thus achieving the desired outcome.   Faulty mechanics or incorrect body posture can lead to physiological lesions and symptoms. With many of the pelvic organ congestion diseases such as endometriosis, it is crucial to remove the pressure being placed on the lower cavity due to poor body mechanics. A low diaphragm and ptosis can lead to circulation disturbances that will give rise to congestion of organs of the lower abdomen and pelvis as venous drainage is impeded by the lack of diaphragmatic pumping in the drooped figure.In many cases, weakened pelvic floor muscles can cause malposition of the uterus. A displaced uterus can cause symptoms like dysmenorrhea, menorrhagia, and irregular menstruation, all of which can interfere with a women’s fertility. These symptoms will often disappear once the body mechanics have been sufficiently corrected to remove the pressure from above. This is consistent with the osteopathic principle that structure and function are interrelated.   Dr. Marian Clarke regards the spinal lesions as most important to treat because of their effect on the nerve supply to the organs. Dr. Clarke recommends letting loose the nerves by springing the spine, therefore separating the vertebrae and correcting muscular lesions.   The ovaries, being endocrine glands, exhibit control over the other pelvic organs and therefore possess some control over the menstrual cycle. Since this is physiologically true, it is important to note that any disease or lesion affecting their function will ultimately affect the functions of the other organs as well. The ovaries are the most important of the pelvic reproductive organs therefore thoughtful consideration should be given them when determining treatment. A slipped rib can cause congestion of the ovary by pressing on the structures over the ovaries or by interfering with the rami communicantes of the sympathetic nervous system. Lesions in the lower dorsal region will also affect the ovaries. Displacement of D9, 10, or 11 will affect the vaso-motor centres of the ovaries.61 Needless to say, correction of the ribs is paramount with treatment of ovarian dysfunction. Intestinal dysfunctions can also cause venous stagnation of the ovaries because their veins are very long and yield to slight pressure.62 With treatment of the ovaries, corrections should...

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Valarian Root and Osteopathy

Posted by on June 25, 2012 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Valarian Root and Osteopathy

Valarian root is a common natural healing agent that could benefit many osteopathic patients.   Valerian root has been shown to be a very powerful aid in dealing with both Insomnia and Anxiety. One of the most common denominators in clinical practice is stress. Heightened sympathetic activity or stress will alter many physiological functions in the human body.   Osteopathic manual practitioners, like those at Paths to Vitality, provide all possible means to assist their patients. Suggesting ways of dealing with daily stressors can be just as important as a more conventional treatments.   It all ties into the overall philosophy of uniting mind, body and spirit.   Gentle activity, meditation, reading, breathing exercises and dietary review all have their place. Valerian root has been shown to positively affect the GABA receptors in the brain to either stimulate them or increase their concentration. This appears to positively affect the patients experience dealing with many stress related symptoms including anxiety. The standard dosage is 2-3g of dried herb or 270-450mg in the form of tea. Generally, it does not cause side effects but it may promote mild GI discomfort, sedation, or compound pharmaceutical depressants.   References: 1. http://altmedicine.about.com/od/valerian/a/valerian_insomnia.htm 2. Bratman, Steve and David Kroll. The Natural Pharmacist: Natural Health Bible. Vol.6 Issue 3. Prima Publishing, 2002. 3. http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/valerian-000279.htm 4....

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Medicine and Osteopathy

Posted by on May 22, 2012 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Medicine and Osteopathy

  What Dr. J. Martin Littlejohn, one of the founders of Osteoptahy, said in an address to an 1899 graduating class remains true today. Here are some excerpts that contain much food for thought.   As we look back over the past history of the healing art we are met at every point by controversy and bitter strife. As we survey these controversial struggles we are prone to ask, how far this modern age has been able to rise above the mere routine of dead orthodoxies and to look at the problems of medicine in the light of modern science and the improved methods of science.   We must first learn that we have to deal with things, the actualities of life rather than mere words, that all that is gained must be reduced to the category of personal observation. To do this everything must be introduced into the fresh and living light of both facts and nature. This represents the modern spirit of scientific research, in virtue of which alone we can arise out of the dead dogmatisms of the past so as to make progress in knowledge and in art. This spirit is to be imbibed in the laboratory, the dissecting room and the hospital.   To attain this there is the wide field of natural history opened up before you, because here you learn there is a true and a central unity in nature which we are apt to lose sight of in our specialization of departments of study. Even in the simple objects found lying in the petals of a flower we find depths of thought more practical and educative than all the scholastic contentions of 1,000 years.   During the middle ages and to a large extent in ancient times the scientific method was exactly the opposite of this, designed to present to the mind the abstract and from the abstract to reason toward facts. Often the facts were not reached and then the process ended in a phraseology that meant nothing. Thus Democritus and Lucretius reduced the essential principles of all things to a concourse of atoms.   The study of medicine was bound up for long ages in nominalism, the study of words and ideas of the mind taking the place of symptoms and causes of disease. The result of this occult nominalism is the polypharmacology of modern times, occult ideas requiring the occult qualities of medicine. It was only gradually that this occultism was laid aside. It came about by the study of external objects, rather than mere ideas or fanciful notions of things. Vesalius in the 16th century laid the foundation for the study of modern anatomy, followed by a long line of illustrious anatomists who paved the way for Harvey.   Other sciences have forged ahead fired by the enthusiasm of Galileo who ventured for the first time to speak of independent facts in regard to astronomy. Medicine alone during these passing centuries has been a laggard. The healing art continues to a large extent to be governed by precedents, largely because the art of medicine is steeped in antiquity and gathers most of its principles from a period that antedates the Christian era. Today the old school of medicine uses as it inherits the language of Cnidus, and...

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Anatomy of the Sympathetic Nerve

Posted by on May 14, 2012 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Anatomy of the Sympathetic Nerve

  The Sympathetic nervous system consists of a series of ganglia, connected together by intervening cords, extending from the base of the skull to the coccyx, one on each side of the middle line of the body, partly in front and partly on each side of the vertebral column; of three great gangliated plexuses situated in front of the spine in the thoracic, abdominal, and pelvic cavities respectively; of smaller ganglia, situated in relation with the abdominal viscera; and of numerous nerve-fibres.   These latter are of two kinds; communicating, by which the ganglia communicate with each other and with the cerebro-spinal nerves; and distributary, supplying the internal viscera and the coats of the blood vessels.   The branches of distribution derived from the gangliated cords, from the prevertebral plexuses, and also from the smaller ganglia are principally destined for the blood-vessels and thoracic and abdominal visceral, supplying the involuntary muscular fibre of the coats of the vessels and the hollow viscera, and the secreting cells, as well as the muscular coats of the vessels in the glandular vessels.   The Cervical portion consists of the Superior, Middle and Inferior Ganglion. The SCG, the largest of the three, is placed opposite the second and third cervical vertebrae. The outer branch distributes filaments to the carotid plexus. The CP communicates with the sixth nerve, sphenopalatine ganglion, and to the dura mater amongst others.   The middle cervical ganglion is placed opposite the sixth vertebrae. The inferior cervical ganglion is situated between the last cervical vertebrae and the neck of the first rib.   The great splanchnic nerve (GSN) is formed by branches from the thoracic ganglia between the fifth and ninth vertebrae. It perforates the crus of the Diaphragm, and terminates in the semilunar ganglion of the solar plexus, distributing filaments to the renal and suprarenal plexus.   The lesser splanchnic nerve is formed from filaments from the tenth and eleventh ganglia. It pierces the Diaphragm and joins the solar plexus. It communicates with the GSN and occasionally with the renal plexus.   The Renal Splanchnic Nerve arises from the last ganglion and piercing the Diaphragm terminates in the renal plesux and low part of the solar plexus.   The Lumbar portion of the gangliated cord is situated in front of the vertebral column of the inner margin of the Psoas muscle. This ganglion separates out into the Superior/Inferior and External/Internal branches.   Lastly, we find the pelvic portion of the cord which can be found in front of the sacrum along the inner side of the anterior sacral foramina. Again there are both Superior/Inferior and External/Internal branches that connect together by interganglionic cords. Below, these cords converge and unite on the front of the coccyx by means of a small ganglion called the coccygeal ganglion.   Reference: Henry Gray. The Classic Collector’s Edition – Gray’s Anatomy. 1977. Gramercy Books. New York,...

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When Having It All Isn’t Enough

Posted by on April 21, 2012 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

When Having It All Isn’t Enough

We are fortunate to live in Canada with all its advantages, freedoms and luxuries. So why is everyone so stressed out?   After all, we do not suffer from the destructive path of natural disasters, religious oppression, political corruption, or the threat of war. Yet the patients Osteopathic Manual Therapists see all have something in common. They exhibit some combination of stress, adrenal fatigue or exaggerated sympathetic expression. Why?   Could it be possible that having everything available to us at all times is simply too much?   It seems a bit odd. Just about everyone already claims to know everything there to know about keeping themselves healthy. Common advice includes: Eat right Exercise Get eight hour of sleep every night Meditate   But common sense is not always common place. The advice goes on: laugh, eat vegetables, visit with family, floss your teeth and do not drink alcohol. just about every Mom makes these suggestions to her children.  So we ask again:  If this is all common knowledge, why does every patient have a laundry list of diseases or ailments to report?   Most patients are taking an even longer list of medications that they have been told will solve every issue imaginable. We are fortunate to have Osteopathy on our side to defend the educated.   We do not need to overindulge every day to live a full and healthy life. But if we choose to completely destroy ourselves physically, mentally and spiritually,  there is a pill to fix it. If you do not have the right one just ask your neighbour because their medicine chest surely has something for you.   But there is another way.  At Paths to Vitality, we unite mind, body and spirit in ways that bring about true...

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Laughing It Up for Habitat

Posted by on April 20, 2012 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Laughing It Up for Habitat

Want a good laugh? Want to help a great charity too? Come on out to Yuk Yuk’s Thursday, May 10th at 7p.m.!   Every year Nancy and I take part in a Habitat for Humanity trip to help build homes in communities around the world. This coming July we’re taking a team to Vietnam as part of Habitat’s Global Village Program. To help raise funds for the project, we’re hosting a comedy night at Yuk Yuk’s, located at 224 Richmond Street West.   Comedian Kate Davis of FunnyMommy.com headlines our show. Davis is a five-time nominee of the Canadian Comedy Awards and has been featured on CTV, the Comedy Network, TVO and Breakfast Television to name a few.   Tickets are $20 and can be purchased through Nancy or myself before the event. We’re hoping to sell all 104 tickets, so get yours before they sell...

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Osteopathy and Juvenile Arthritis

Posted by on April 4, 2012 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Osteopathy and Juvenile Arthritis

    Our friends at eRheumatology.tv asked Paths to Vitality to write an article focused on the benefits of Osteopathic manual therapy for patients suffering from Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA). We were honoured to do so, and to share how treatment based in osteopathic principles can help ease and heal those struggling with this painful disease. The article is featured on their website, which is run by the Journal of Clinical Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Medicine, but read on for the full piece…       Osteopathy and Juvenile Arthritis Arthritis is a common concern for us as we age.  Unfortunately this degenerative disorder can affect all age groups.  The Arthritis Foundation proclaims that almost 300,000 children under the age of 18 are presently suffering from a rheumatologic condition.   Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA) can be defined as a rheumatic autoimmune disease characterized by chronic inflammation of the synovial tissue found in joints.   Numerous sources claim that there is no known cause for this disease, however various streams of science have shown a further understanding of its etiology.  It is important to remember that arthritic conditions display a complex multifactorial genesis.   After reviewing many research articles in Genetics, it is evident that one factor contributing to the existence of JRA is specific gene coding and the evolving mutations of these genes.  Phelan et al explored the chromosomal regions and the genes involved in the complex genetic traits of Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA).  The research team examined various genetic polymorphisms associated with JIA and concluded that there are two sets of susceptible genes consistent with its development.  The first set includes alleles which the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) and Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) polymorphisms contribute to subtype-specific pathologies. The second was that there are specific susceptibility genes which are common to most autoimmune disorders, and this combination equates to a loss of tolerance to self.   Hinks et al believe that there is strong evidence that this general susceptible gene is Interleukin-2-receptor alpha (IL2RA/CD25) because of its role with in the development and function of regulatory T cells and the association of single-nucleotide polymorphisms within this gene.   There are many hypothesis surrounding the importance of deciphering the role of specific gene adaptions with an autoimmune disease.   If we extend our research into histology more evidence can be found concerning the origin of JRA.  Baeten et al demonstrated in a comparison of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and spondyloarthorpathy (SpA) that synovial vascularity was compromised in cases of RA and that lymphocytes were overrepresented in RA compared to SpA.   This would suggest an obstruction to the natural fluid exchange in the local area.  Vascular compromise and a decreased ability to clear lymph cells leads to toxicity and tissue acidity, both indicated in disease states.   It becomes clear that familiarity with the immunological roles of physiology is important.  In addition, it is necessary to take into consideration the potential triggers (viruses, bacteria etc), concerning autoimmune diseases.   Osteopaths have developed their own approach to finding the quality of life in a patient. One of the most important osteopathic principles is that structure and function are interrelated at all levels.  The physical expression of this principle can be validated by quality osteopathic manual therapy (OMT).  Dr Andrew Taylor Still declared that he could determine the exact moment that our body began...

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Osteopathy and Alzheimer’s: What’s The Connection?

Posted by on March 15, 2012 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Osteopathy and Alzheimer’s: What’s The Connection?

Much remains unknown about Alzheimer’s. We do know it affects millions of people around the world. But we don’t know why it affects more women than men.  Nor do we know why it affects some people but not others.   Our brain is the most powerful, but most misunderstood, organ of  the human body. It is responsible for every single emotional and physical action we have. Throughout history it has been intensely studied over and over again. Many thoughts have arisen regarding the attributing factors to ailments associated with its function.   The brain of man was God’s drug store, and had in it all liquids, drugs, lubricating oils, opiates, acids, and antacids, and every quality of drugs that the wisdom of God thought necessary for human happiness and health (Schnucker, 1991). Dr. Andrew Taylor Still, the founder of Osteopathy, proposed that  mobilization of all the spinal joints not in their proper positional and functional relationships was necessary to ensure proper nerve activity and blood and lymph flow.     Osteopathy is founded on four principles, three of which are:   the body is a dynamic unit of function structure and function are interrelated at all levels the body has an inherent ability to self -correct and self- heal   Putting faith in these three principles the Osteopathic practitioner must search for the cause of each disease. Which brings us back to Alzheimer’s. The anatomy of the brain and a consideration of the leading research surrounding may suggest a hypothesis.  The Alzheimer’s Association reports the 20-25 percent of your blood is carried to your brain with each heartbeat to supply the billions of nerve cells with oxygen and nutrients.   Pioneering Osteopath John Michael Littlejohn wrote in 1902:   “In this organic unity, heart and brain seem to be in a special sense vital organs, – the brain is the great generator of force and fluid and heat, using as its accessories in this work all the organs of the body; while the heart, under the stimulus of the brain, which is a mass of neuron cells, rhythmically distributes the fluids, with all nutritive and medicinal substances, to the remotest parts of the organism. These functions arc reciprocal, form the corresponding or parallel sides of a cyclical progress; mutually help and stimulate each other to the great task of preserving and perpetuating in the individual or his progeny this organic existence.”   The densely connected nerve cells located in the brain carry out all necessary functions of the body and form the basis of memories, thoughts and feelings. In Alzheimer’s patients neurons are destroyed, electrical activity is altered, and plaque builds up between the nerve cells destroying mobility. In normal areas a protein called Tau lays straight but as tissue begins to degenerate it forms twisted strands called tangles.   Dr John Upledger, D.O. stated in Cell Talk that he believes that a protein called Prion has been responsible for the build up of plaque on nerve cells. He describes Prion as a disease producing protein which attaches itself to the hydrophobic side of the cell causing the cell to fold incorrectly resulting in the aggregation of the plaque found in Alzheimer’s.   Alzheimer’s is the most common form of Dementia. The Alzheimer’s Society of Canada lists it as...

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Paths To Vitality Supports Breast Cancer Patients

Posted by on February 9, 2012 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Paths To Vitality Supports Breast Cancer Patients

Nancy Medeiros and Jared Postance, Osteopathic Manual Practitioners at Paths To Vitality, are showing their support for breast cancer treatment  by offering free osteopathic evaluations and treatment for breast cancer patients and survivors who attend the Team Galati Hope For The Cure Gala on February 11, 2012 in Brampton, Ontario.    Paths To Vitality is also contributing evaluations and treatment to the silent auction that is part of the event.   “This is a natural outgrowth of our belief in uniting mind, body, and spirit,” said Jared Postance, “so Nancy and I are pleased to support the cause and attend the event.”   In a video posted on its website, Vicki Galati explains that Team Galati is a group of family and friends that got its start a few years ago when she was diagnosed with breast cancer.   The funds raised support Sunnybrook Hospital, the largest breast cancer centre in Ontario, and the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.   More than 1,000 people are expected to attend this year’s Gala and Team Galati’s 2012  fund-raising goal is $500,000.   Team Galati has come a long way form its modest beginnings in 2005 with just a handful and volunteers.  Paths to Vitality is proud to contribute to the cause.      ...

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