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Silver Spring, MD
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Notes from the Practice of Harold Goodman, D.O.

Live your dream.  Saturday, January 30, 2010

Today I received an e mail from a man who watched a video interview between me and another doctor. He had sought me out and asked to record an interview. It is on the net and occasionally I hear from people who watched it.

My practice here is a small one compared to almost every other medical practice in the Washington, DC area. It consists of one part-time secretary and me. A couple of exam/treatment tables, a few desks and chairs, some lights, not much else.

I have been doing this for 18 years at this point.

Over that time I have gone through a lot in my life; cancer, heart attack, etc. etc. If I had known I had to go through it I don't know if I would have been able to. Thank God, I don't know what happens next.

As I look back I really am amazed that I have made it to this point. I never realized that I was as strong as I have been. I have gone through the fire, been tempered and am here to live on another day.

I always wanted to do something worthwhile with my life.

Something that would make this a better place than I found it.

However, I had to deal with my own private demons and those of the people around me. It wasn't easy for me to trust and find peace here in this world. The alternative was so much harder that I just forced myself to keep going.

I am not really sure of what will come next. There is a part of me that craves some structure and security but life does not seem to work that way.

My work is very personal.

I want to be the doctor that I would want for me.

The one who listens, who cries with the patient, the one who does whatever is necessary to help.

I want to make a difference for each of you.

When I walk into the room I never know what to expect. I have no treatment plan or agenda. I just want to be real because, in my experience, that is our only hope for real healing.

And we all desperately need real healing.

I wrote this because I need to.

Maybe it will be helpful to someone.

I sincerely hope so.

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Contact  Monday, January 04, 2010

E mail

hrpharold (at) gmail (dot) com

Phone

301.565.2494
(Leave message if no one answers. Speak your name and phone number slowly and clearly and we will phone you back.)

Address

8609 Second Ave., Suite 405-B, Silver Spring, Maryland 20910

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A missing link.  Saturday, January 02, 2010

Several years ago I saw a patient with debilitating low back pain. Since he had previously had surgery his insurance required that I contact his neurosurgeon to get permission to treat him.

The neurosurgeon was very pleasant and readily agreed for me to treat the man. " If you can help him then I have many more people I can refer to you." It was then that I learned that over 50% of patients receiving back surgery are actually worse following the procedure. In addition, of those who do get relief from the surgery, a very high percentage find that the pain later returns.

What did the surgery accomplish if the majority of the patients ended up with more pain? The "problem" was corrected, right? So why are they in pain?

All physicians have patients who seem to not respond to apparently well indicated treatment. This is a given in medicine. I certainly have had my share over the years. I often wonder why they didn't get better or, if they did improve, why the improvement was not long lasting.

Obviously, something is being missed.

All of us carry years and years of unresolved emotions, things that we basically push out of our consciousness because they are just too enormous to even deal with. This is true even of many people who, on the surface, seem at peace, who rarely get angry and appear quite optimistic.

However, on some level, things remain enormously unresolved.

We lead lives where we need, for very practical purposes, to function . There is simply no room for all this repressed baggage to emerge. As the years go by the situation of the unconscious becomes more and more untenable. There is no where for these bubbling emotions to go. They have become repressed.

We are a unified whole. No part is a solitary part unaffected by the rest of what is going on. Even though we do separate the mind and the body, for practical purposes, this is not the way things work. It is like trying to separate two sides of a coin.

Who and what we are is a process, a living, physiologic reality which, moment to moment is seeking balance.

And it has a lot to balance.

The more stress there is in our life, the more extreme the balancing act.

At some point, the unconscious can no longer be simply repressed. The maelstrom that it is must, for the safety of the entire system, manifest in some way.

One way, a very common way, this occurs is via physical symptoms.

We have feelings. The way we feel is via our body. The body is where the physical symptoms of the unconscious appear.

Back and neck pain. Pain in the nervous and connective tissue system. Pain and problems in the muscles of the various organs.

These various pains and other symptoms are never erased for too long by medical and other treatments if they are in any way a compensation for what is going on in the unconscious.

The patients wander from physician to physician without any real relief or resolution.

Naturally, they become desperate. Their lives begin to fall apart.

What has occurred is that the balanced relationship which the system craves has become seriously unhinged.

Things are out of control.

And we all know how much we like control.

Some of the cases that present to physicians are caused by serious disorders like cancer which must be ruled out before it is assumed that the pain is due to suppressed emotions of the unconscious.

When that is accomplished appropriate care may begin.

The first step in this care is for the patient to realize that there is nothing physically wrong with them.

This, in spite of the many lab tests, imaging studies and other evidence that they have a real physical problem, is the foundation for recovery.

However, this is very challenging for most patients to accept. Everyone is telling them that, for example, you have a ruptured disc and you need surgery. The fact that the majority of all people walking the streets of the USA have ruptured and bulging discs but are without any symptoms is rarely revealed to these patients.

In spite of all the medical evidence of physical illness, the only hope is to understand that they are not sick. There is nothing wrong at all.

The system is doing what it needs to do under the circumstances. It needs to blow off steam from the unconscious, so to speak. It is doing this by creating physical symptoms.

Patients rightfully resent the implication that "it is all in your head". This is not what I am saying at all. That implies, in my experience, that the clinician is saying that the patient is making it all up.

These patients are in pain, often very severe and long standing pain. The pain is very real. They are not making anything up.

However, the basis of the pain can be traced back to the system's need for balance. There is a very real reservoir of unresolved, unconscious emotions. They need not be resolved for the pain to disappear.

Rather, the role of the unconscious and the system's need for balance simply needs to be acknowledged. That is the cure.

I know it sounds simple but, believe me, for those patients who make the connection it is a life-changing matter.

Many years ago, John Sarno, MD, a rehabilitation medicine specialist at NYU Medical Center, began to discover that if he educated his pain patients to understand what was actually happening that the majority of them found that their pain would simply disappear.

He has written several books. My favorite is The Mindbody Prescription. It contains virtually everything you need to know about these matters from his standpoint.

I, too, have discovered similar states in many of my patients.

Long ago, a woman who had suffered with years of back pain, came to me. She mentioned that years before, she had journeyed from Washington, DC to NYC to watch Dr. Sarno lecture on what he referred to as TMS ( tension myositis syndrome). Following the lecture, during which she had an epiphany about her situation, all her pain disappeared. This lasted for several years.

What happens is that a light bulb goes on. You suddenly realize what is really going on. You suddenly have an ah-ha moment. You get it.

Nothing is wrong. It was all a misunderstanding based on years and years of believing that they had a physical problem which needed to be fixed by physical means. Now they know that, actually, the mind-body was simply doing its balancing act.

Once this understanding occurs the pain resolves.

For me, a totally new relationship emerges between us ( conscious mind) and the unconscious.

It is like suddenly awakening from a dream or, in this case, a nightmare.

A physician can facilitate this process. That is my role.

If I believe that a patient has what Dr. Sarno terms TMS ( tension myositis syndrome) then it is my duty as a physician to support them in getting better with a treatment that will actually address this condition, a condition of a fundamentally skewed relationship between the conscious and unconscious mind.

When this is successfully accomplished then the pain usually disappears.

Caveat

Dr. Sarno teaches that almost all pain and a myriad of other conditions fall into the category of this conscious/ unconscious balancing act.

However, not all of the TMS diagnosed patients, by his own admission, respond to this approach. The vast majority seem to respond but, like anything in medicine, this is not a panacea. I believe that the diagnosis of these patients needs to be carefully arrived at as a diagnosis of exclusion.

That being said, I am also convinced that this approach to helping patients needs to become a central feature of medical training and practice. I find a psychosomatic component in most conditions. The degree needs to be established in order to truly help the patient. I look forward to the day when the repressed emotional component of suffering will become one of the first and not the last thing to be addressed.

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It's all about function.  Monday, December 14, 2009

Over the years I have come to a better understanding of what my real job is.

Physiology is the science of how biological systems do what they do, how they work or function. The osteopathic approach is to access the functioning of the system via its form or anatomy.

My job is not to make the symptoms disappear though, of course, I realize that this is why the patient comes to me and I, too, want this outcome for them.

However, as an osteopath I understand that the way to accomplish this is to concentrate on the way the system is actually functioning. This is also a lot more satisfying for me since it liberates me from the tyranny of the disease and diagnostic labels which the patient shows up with like so much heavy baggage. A label is carved in stone. It allows for little change. We can all do net searches or read the medical literature and learn all about the label and how the medical profession views it and its certain history. Often this is rather depressing. Patients frequently become overwhelmed, to use a word that one person mentioned recently, with all that they read about their label. In addition, they often discover that many clinicians differ in what their most appropriate label is. That brings in even more confusion and frustration.

All of this robs them of the little energy that they have, energy which is desperately needed for their healing journey.

By concentrating on function, on how the system is doing what it does, I am able to keep from getting sucked into this black hole. If I concentrate on the label then I enter into a co-dependent relationship with the patient and I don't find that helpful.

Also, quite frankly, some of the symptoms and labels are packed with such horrendous cultural and scientific baggage that it brings up many of my own fears and feelings of inadequacy. This is just a huge impediment if I am to be of any use to the person who has come to me for help.

So I am delighted to concentrate on what the body is doing in this moment, how it is choosing to function, and to track the changes in this physiology. I can tell when it is going toward health or not. This is a very honest relationship for me.

I know my job. It is to promote normalized physiology, improved systemic function.

When I stick to this then things go well.

I can always promote better systemic and localized function.

That is very satisfying for me.

I take refuge in this.

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Organs have range of motion.  Monday, November 09, 2009

Every structure in the body has its own specific range of motion.

We learn in medical school that this is true of joints. However, few physicians understand that this is true of all the body's organs as well.

The practical application of this fact of nature is that just as a limitation in joint motion translates into a limitation in the function of that joint, since motion is the key function of the joint, so, too, does limitation of internal organ motion have a negative effect on the function of that organ.

A few recent examples from my practice:

Bladder:
A patient arrived with a lot of bladder pain following a procedure with a well-known university urologist. The procedure was done to help him with a very dysfunctional bladder. While the procedure was judged successful the patient was absolutely miserable. The doctor had counseled him to just tough it out and that eventually he would feel better.

The word eventually was left undefined.

I examined him and found that his pelvic floor was very unbalanced with the muscles on the left in spasm. In addition, the left side of the bladder was very irritated.

However, not unexpectedly, the bladder itself and the ureter were both moving in an abnormal range of motion.

When the above issues were corrected by gentle osteopathic treatment he got better.

Immediately.

He had no more pain following the treatment.

Heart:

A patient had a heart attack and received open heart surgery.
Besides feeling very weak which is natural for a while after this surgery, he also had a lot of chest pain. His breathing was compromised as was his ability to move about.

The heart range of motion was very limited. This is not something that physicians know of and even if they did how would they measure and treat it?

I released the rib heads which were jammed into his back and spine when the sternum was cracked open. I also treated his thoracic diaphragm which was in spasm.

However, the most dramatic thing was to restore the range of motion of the heart.
He was able to visit his extended family for the first time following this and is now doing much better. He is fully ambulatory and able to pretty much take care of himself, drive a car, etc.
Best of all, his entire body is functioning better than it did even before the heart attack.

I am convinced that correction of range of motion of organs can spare us all problems with those very same structures in the future.

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Swine Flu hysteria.  Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Many people are asking me what to do about Swine Flu.

Start by getting a life.

Maybe take up knitting.

Become a Jehovah's Witness, sell magazines, get to travel and have doors slammed in your face.

Go on a hike.

Fast for world peace.

Collect Bolivian postage stamps.

Just do anything except concern yourself with the latest media/ governmental health hysteria.

Some simple facts.

In my opinion,the Swine Flu is no more horrible than the regular flu.

I know many people who have had it. They went through a day or two of feeling like they had the flu and then got back to the business of life, whatever that is. A clinician friend says that it can be much worse than the regular flu.


1976.

The two hundredth anniversary of the founding of the USA.
The year that the government went totally nuts and decided that something really bad would happen if we didn't all take the Swine Flu vaccine.

One man, a soldier, died from what doctors called Swine Flu. Some of his friends got it but recovered.

Subsequently, President Ford was urged to vaccinate every American.

Over 48 million Americans were vaccinated.

The first day, three elderly people died after receiving the vaccine.
Between 500-1,000 people who were vaccinated came down with Guillain-Barre Syndrome. Basically, you are paralyzed. No cure. Over 25 of these died from being suffocated when their respiratory muscles no longer functioned.

More people died from the vaccination than from the Swine Flu itself.

I have seen many people in my practice over the years who came down with medical problems following vaccination. Every single case of autism that I have traced in my practice over 17 years has a history of problems after vaccination. I was hospitalized and nearly died after being vaccinated as a child.

A local MD homeopath annually has a pharmacist produce a homeopathic flu-prevention remedy. Each year, over many years, he takes the government flu vaccine and creates a homeopathic remedy from it. This remedy is then added to all the flu vaccine remedies of previous years. It also includes the 1918 flu pandemic virus. So you are getting lots of flu viral exposures on a homeopathic level; no side effects and those who take it appear to build immunity from what I can tell.

No one in my and two other local medical practices who has taken this over the years has gotten the flu.


I really am not worried about the Swine Flu.

I suggest that you, too, not worry about it.

I am not recommending that anyone get vaccinated for the Swine Flu.

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Osteopathy and Autism  Sunday, August 23, 2009

There is so much that osteopathy has to offer the autistic spectrum patient.

I am currently treating a 21 year old man who has been labeled autistic for much of his life.

He did not use words when I first met him.

Most of his actions are disjointed and spirited with a lot of jumping, chewing, self-mutilation, rapid and loud outbursts as well as seemingly constant tension.

Off and on over the last eighteen years I have had patients who had been given the label autism.

They had little in common once I began to dig beneath the surface.

However, they all seem to have major issues in communication.

My impression is that they communicate quite well.

Unfortunately, many of the people in their lives don't realize this.

Their caregivers seem to believe that if the person labeled autistic doesn't communicate like they do then they don't communicate.

This is absolutely wrong.

If a Chinese speaker can't communicate in English must we conclude that they can't communicate?

If a deaf person can't speak as others do, is it appropriate to assume that they not only can't communicate but, as many formerly concluded, that they are actually dimwitted?

For example, the languages created by deaf people to communicate amongst themselves, the various sign languages, have proven to be highly complex ways of interchange which, in many cases, go way beyond the possibilities inherent in spoken languages.

It is the same with the so-called autistic people.

How do I know this?

I just asked my patient.

His family is very concerned for his well being. They truly love him and he loves them, too. It is quite obvious to anyone who spends even minimal time with them.

After a hiatus of seven years he returned as a patient.

During those seven years a lot of major changes had occurred in my life.

As a result, my entire approach to working and communicating with my patients is different.

I love to see some of the patients who haven't come in for many years. It is like seeing an entirely new patient, someone whom I have never met before.

Indeed, I never had met the person who is now standing before me asking for help.

How do you communicate with a neonate who can't speak?

What would you do to really understand their needs?

It has been repeatedly stated that over 94% of our communication is non-verbal.

Much of this is completely non-physical.

Have you ever been in a room and become aware while you were engaged in speaking with someone that someone else had entered the room?

You hadn't seen or heard the newcomer; you just knew that something had changed, that someone was in the room who hadn't been there before.

There is a part of our awareness that is beyond our everyday consciousness. It is from this awareness that we can track or tune into these phenomena.

Hunters use it. Aborigines do so. And we can,too.

I have a way of using this so that I am able to ask and receive information from patients without verbal speaking.

I asked my patient what he most wanted.

He replied, " To be acknowledged as a human being, as I am."

I asked him if there was some way we, his care givers, could support him in this.

" Just treat me as one of you. Whatever you do, don't treat me like damaged goods, like someone with a problem. I don't have a problem; I am just very different in some ways than you. My frustration is that I am trying, in the only way I know, to be with you. This is not acknowledged or welcomed. I feel very, very isolated and alone. You can't imagine my frustration. I feel lost."

I worked during that visit to support him according to the feedback he was providing me with.

He noticeably calmed down. His parents remarked on this.

When I next saw him his father mentioned repeatedly that he had never seen his son so calm, responding to cues and commands so well. In addition, he had said his first word.

He said, " Hi."

It was a long and drawn out, " Hi". He looked directly into my eyes when he said it. He was smiling.

I use my osteopathic skills to reduce the tremendous stress in the dural membranes of the cranium which I often find in these patients.

I have also started the father and another caregiver in the use of baby sign language to speak with him. We are just using a few signs for now. When these are assimilated we shall build on them. Many of my pediatric patients have greatly benefited from this approach,too.

However, the mainstay of my work is building meaningful communication with him.

I am very excited about this breakthrough.

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It sure is hard to treat a label.  Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Today I treated a man whom I had treated a few years ago for symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis. His symptoms went away for a few years and just started to return. They were all on the left side.

Boy, was I surprised and shocked to find his left sacro-iliac joint, left diaphragm, left temporal bone, left atlanto-occipital joint, left shoulder, clavicle and other joints all with major problems.

Notice a pattern here??

He talked at length about MS. I told him that I find what the body is doing that could cause this and treat it. I don't try to treat the disease; it's just a label, which is something we often forget.

You can't treat a label , though many physicians still haven't figured this out apparently.

It's a lot easier to treat the body than a label. Well, at least that's my experience.

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Treatment of pregnant women.  Friday, February 27, 2009

I love treating pregnant women.

Osteopathy has so much to offer someone who is going through pregnancy. Imagine such an experience minus back pain, morning sickness, depression, and a myriad number of other things which make pregnancy unpleasant.

In addition, by balancing the entire system and restoring normal pelvic function, labor and delivery become much easier.

One of the best things about this treatment is that the child gets treated in utero. This often results in a happy, healthy neonate and avoids a lifetime of possible problems. I also turn babies who are not facing in the best position for delivery.

For moms who have had problem pregnancies in the past such as premature delivery, pregnancy related hypertension, etc., the osteopathic treatment not only normalizes things and permits the mother to reach successful termination of the pregnancy at or near their due date but also ends the cycle of problem pregnancies.

Midwives and obstetricians often remark at the ease of delivery with women treated osteopathically.

The post-partum time is also much easier.

Since newborns are very amenable to treatment designed to improve their function, I routinely offer the mothers whom I treat during pregnancy a free initial visit for the neonate in order to get the newborn started in the very best way. A child treated in utero as well as soon after delivery stands out as an unusually healthy child.

As an example of what can be done for neonates we can take the example of a newborn who has trouble latching onto the mom's breast for feeding. Osteopathic treatment of the sub-occipital area to free up the hypoglossal and other cranial nerves associated with breast feeding leads to remarkable and rapid changes.

Osteopathy has so much to offer the pregnant mom and her child.

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Update.  Saturday, September 20, 2008

Update.

I am now accepting new patients.

The initial appointment is 9:15 am and the last one in the early afternoon.

Patients of all ages are welcome; neonatal, pediatric, adolescent, adults, older patients and those who are ageless, as well.

Just contact me if you have any questions about my practice. See the e mail contact below.

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Double vision after trauma  Thursday, March 27, 2008

An eleven year old girl recently came in with double vision. It followed an episode in May, 2007, where she fell six feet off of a cliff and smashed the left side of her face against a tree trunk. Many of the facial bones were fractured. She was treated at a local children's hospital where she received plastic surgery.

After an interval of over nine months during which her double vision continued and the swelling of the face didn't change too much, she was brought to me. I examined her and noticed that the original trauma to the fascial and fluid systems ( strains) had not been addressed.

In particular, I found that the geometric angle of her optic chiasma (the place in the head where the optic nerve from each eye crosses over the other) was quite distorted. The bony orbit in which the eye resides consists of seven bones. Each is formed in membrane and remains internally connected to membrane which is continuous with the rest of the cranium and body.

Gentle treatment of these strains resulted in a major improvement in her vision which was noticed by her optometrist as well.

Judicious use of homeopathic Arnica and osteopathy also reduced most of the swelling.

She continues to do well.

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E mail contact  Wednesday, July 25, 2007


I welcome your comments:

Best to contact me at: hrpharold (at) gmail {dot} com . Remove the brackets, parenthesis and use @ for at, . for dot.

Contact
me by email.

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How I treat asthma  Saturday, April 21, 2007

One of the conditions which I love to treat is asthma. Why? Because traditional medicine considers this a chronic, life long problem which can never be cured. It can only be held in bay with medicines. These medicines, essentially different varieties of steroids, are administered via nebulizers and many other ways. They help keep things from getting out of hand.

An asthmatic attack is frightening for everyone involved. The patient is gasping. They can't breathe. They feel like they are suffocating. It's horrible.

Recently, I had a child brought in who was a few months old. The wheezing could be heard across the room. When they left the wheezing was no longer to be heard. I had a medical student with me. We both listened with a stethoscope. No more wheezing. The child had also been pulling at one of its ears. Examination revealed a nasty ear infection. At the end of the treatment - no more ear pulling.

How can osteopthy not only help but actually cure conditions like asthma? What I did was carefully examine the child. Besides the regular exam that any well trained physician would perform, I also do a detailed osteopathic exam. I put my hands on the patient and feel for how the body is actually, at the moment of examination, functioning. If there is a problem in function I can often spot it. If you have read my earlier post on sprained ankles you will be familiar with the reality of sprains and strains which, unless removed, really limit the way the body functions. They are present in 100% of asthmatic patients whom I have examined. The same can be said for all of my patients with ear infections.

I remove the strain and the symptoms are gone. This after untold time on nebulizers, inhalers, etc. At some point the patient no longer needs these medical crutches. The problem is solved. There is no nebulizer in the world that can remove a strain. There is no blood test or X ray, CT, MRI in the world that can detect what the skilled hands of an osteopathic physician specializing in osteopathy in the cranial field can uncover - and successfully treat.

So, people get better. The patient is not only free of symptoms, they feel better overall. More vitality, more energy.

For me, it's a no brainer. Osteopathy is my love. I also practice acupuncture, I am trained and licensed in traditional medicine and surgery. I am board certified in homeopathy. However, I am an osteopath in my bones ( no pun intended). After 17 years of treating thousands of patients I know what works. I only wish that more people knew that such an option is not only available but covered by most insurance. People just don't need to suffer from asthma and other so-called chronic respiratory diseases.

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It all started with a sprained ankle  Saturday, April 21, 2007

Sprained ankles are very common. You step the wrong way and twist the ankle. Then it swells up, may get warm ( both signs of inflammation), and is painful to stand or walk on. So far, nothing unusual. What all of us know or have heard is that once you have sprained an ankle it is likely that you will sprain it again.

The typical medical advice is to keep the ankle raised, iced, wrapped or compressed and to rest it, keep off of it. Hence, the large number of people hobbling around on crutches.

Why is it that the same ankle is prone to further sprain?

To be very blunt, the reason is that the original trauma, the sprain or strained connective tissues, ligaments, tendons, fascia ( a type of connective tissue) has never been treated. The above mentioned measures do not treat the trauma. They treat the symptoms of the trauma, the inflammation.

In order to treat the trauma the actual strain pattern in the tissues must be diagnosed and removed. Only osteopathy does this.

I have had people limp into my office on crutches from a recent strain (often young men) and walk out pain free without crutches and not prone to future restraining of the tissues. I have learned how to identify and remove the strain in the tissues.

If I were present at a football game and one of the players sprained their ankle I could have them back in the game, playing within 20 minutes. This is rarely the case with team physicians or sports medicine doctors. Also, the player would be less likely to resprain the same ankle.

I mention this because someone recently told me that a car ran over their foot. They have been receiving acupuncture for some time ( I am a licensed medical acupuncturist, so I believe I am qualified to speak about acupuncture) but were still in quite a bit of pain.

I told them that I often treat such problems with a lot of success. I treat the strain and the symptoms ( read: pain) go away. It is really quite simple and logical. Strains will not show up on imaging studies ( X rays, MRI, CT, etc.). The patient is given the same instructions mentioned above, anti inflammatory medications, and, if they are still complaining, sent to a physical therapist. The problem, the strain, is never treated.

I treat strains. I find them in almost every patient including babies. They result from traumas to the system. How can a new born have a trauma? Being born is quite traumatic. The neonate must travel through a passage which is not large enough to accomodate the body.They have to twist around to get through, their head gets squished which is why it is still soft in parts when the child is born. This is natures way of dealing with the trauma of birth. If the child is large the birth can be even more traumatic. Many obstetricians routinely do an episiotomy where they will cut the muscles so that there will be more give in the mother's tissues to accomodate the child. If this were not done then the muscles might be torn as the large mass ( the neonate) emerges from the relatively small canal. Labor is not called labor for nothing.

People come in with back pain, neck pain, numbness, tingling in their arms or legs, headaches, eye problems, jaw pain, infections, asthma, and so many other problems. In every case I find strains. The strains are removed and the symptoms disappear. It's a no brainer but, unfortunately, something which is not taught and virtually unappreciated outside the community of osteopathic physicians who practice osteopathy in the cranial field.

Incidentally, this is not taught to cranio-sacral therapists, chiropractors and message therapists all of whom receive good training and help many people in need. How do I know they don't receive this training? Because I treat them and they are fascinated to learn what I am doing.

If you have a question on this or anything related to my work, don't hesitate to contact me. I am always happy to answer questions.

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Chronic ear infections in children  Saturday, March 24, 2007

About 30% of my patients are children. Since I treat a lot of pregnant women to get them through pregnancy with a minimum or absence of problems ( back pain, morning sickness, premature labor, etc.) I have long offered a free first visit for the newborn to get the child started off on the right foot. Often this first visit reveals many structural and functional problems ( feeding issues, irritability, reflux and spitting up, asymmetrically shaped heads, asthma and other respiratory problems, etc. etc.) which can be easily treated and quickly reversed.

As the children age they may display delayed development, frequent infections and other common pediatric problems which osteopathic and homeopathic treatment can solve. There are two local pediatricians who have been referring such children to me for many years. Also, word of mouth among moms has been one of my best means of letting people know what osteopathy has to offer these young ones.

By far, the most common pediatric issue I see is the child who suffers from serous otitis media or ear infections. These children receive many rounds of antibiotics and may or may not improve but inevitably come down with yet another infection. At some point the parents are told that the child must receive tubes. This is often when I see the child.

Usually I find that the base of the cranium and especially one or more of the temporal bone are malfunctioning. This impairs normal drainage of the inner ear via the eustachian tube which, in turn, renders the child vulnerable to infections. Hence the ineffectiveness of antibiotics. This is a structural problem which must be treated structurally and will not be cured with a biochemical ( antibiotic) approach.

Often it takes just a few treatments for the pediatrician to notice that the ears look clear. The parents, especially if the child has been in pain, pulling or boring its ear or complaining, will notice earlier. I am able to then discharge these patients. They usually don't require much further treatment unless there is an additional problem.

In 2003 The Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, an MD journal published by the AMA, did a study on osteopathic treatment of ear infections.
This is the link which you can paste into your browser to examine:
http://archpedi.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/extract/157/9/852
The authors concluded that there was a significant positive correlation between children who received osteopathic treatment for ear infections and the subsequent improvement in their health. This was welcome news indeed since I realize many people rely on such sources for their knowledge of medicine.

It was also reassuring that such a study appeared in a prominent MD specialty journal. This lends additional credibility to what many osteopathic physicians witness on a daily basis; osteopathy ( and, I would add, homeopathy) are a veritable God-send to a sick child.

What I regularly have witnessed over the years is that children treated in this way are healthier overall, develop better than their peers, and need far fewer doctor visits. It is the most valuable foundation that can be given them for future health.

We have a saying in osteopathy. As the twig is bent so grows the tree. Imagine a small sapling that is bent over. When the twig is small there is not much to notice. When it grows into a tall tree its "bentness" becomes more obvious. However, then it is harder to reverse what formerly could be treated in just a few visits. The earlier we can get to these bent twigs the easier will their lives be. There are few investments with such enormous and long term benefits.


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