Cranial Nerve Injury from Fall

Doctors overlook cause of symptoms…

Joel Safran develops understanding

of the injury and the related symptoms…

His therapy reverses effects of the injury…

Elderly woman given up for “dead” then… RECOVERS!

Anterior Medulla

The lower portion of this plate shows the Medulla Oblongata. It is just above the Cranial-Cervical Junction where Cranial Nerves originate.

This elderly woman (Elizabeth) was my Mother.  I lived 800 miles from her… and felt totally helpless while hearing the very dismal & depressing daily medical reports provided by my brother who lived 10 minutes from her.  From the reports, I suspected the possibility of issues relating to her Head & Brain, but no one would pay any attention to what I thought.  ‘I am not a doctor… just a lowly therapist.’  My brother assured me that the doctors were doing everything possible for Mom.  The Hospital processed Elizabeth through a variety of expensive testing protocols, but nothing could be done to reverse the symptoms and the severity of her conditions.

I had arranged for Mom to be moved to a highly regarded Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) once the Hospital gave up and discharged her.  During her first two days at the SNF, the doctor and the therapists pretty much ignored her.  They did not know how to work with her.  During those first two days, I carefully observed her… and was able to figure out what everyone else had ignored and overlooked.  The following is what I saw, understood… and what I was able to do so that my Mom could live and recover… instead of waste away and die.

The discharge report from the Hospital had absolutely no information regarding what will be described below.  They had been treating her as suffering from a “mild case of Pneumonia”.  Even though I informed the SNF what I had done… and how Elizabeth had positively responded to my therapy… my information and report was ignored and not made part of her medical records at the SNF.  Such is our HealthCare System.

…Symptoms that were presented…

Labored Breathing

Low tissue O2 saturation levels

Speaking difficulty & not being understood

Tongue Mobility & Dexterity difficulty

          (enunciation & food shifting difficulties)

Dry mouth (no saliva)

Swallowing difficulty

Bowel & Urinary incontinence

Impaired Hand & Finger strength & dexterity

Extreme weakness.  Could not stand.

Now does that sound like “a mild case of Pneumonia”?

Cervical Spine

Greatly reduced Cervical Spine mobility created greater physical trauma at the Cranial-Cervical Junction and also at the Cervical-Thoracic Junction.

…The Fall & The Injury…

Gradually, I was able to determine what had happened.  Elizabeth was found on the floor, conscious but unable to move.  She had fallen face forward, Hyper-Extending her Neck… and causing a shift of the articulating condyles of the Occiput and the Atlas (C-1).  This put injurious pressure on certain Cranial Nerves which coursed from passageways of her Head to various body areas… thereby greatly impeding their functions.  The two most affected passageways were the Jugular Foramen and the HypoGlossal Canal.

Because her Neck was so stiff, it caused even greater damage to the internal delicate tissues within her Upper Chest and Brainstem.  The involved Nerves controlled various motor, sensory and autonomic functions that clearly related to each of the symptoms presented.  The injured Vagus Nerve further compromised the proper functioning of her Breathing Regulation Center… which is based on the regulatory communications between the Brainstem (Medulla Oblongata) and the Carotid Bodies (small clusters of receptor cells) located along the Aortic Arch above the Heart.  This was evidenced by her labored breathing and low tissue Oxygen levels.

Most probably Elizabeth fell because she had been weakened by a mild case of Pneumonia.  But, the impact of the fall created far greater injuries… and all their resulting symptoms were totally overlooked by the Hospital and the SNF doctor.

The Nerves & their Functions…

GlossoPharyngeal Nerve (CN IX)

Functions related to:  Breathing… Cough difficulties… Swallowing…  Saliva production… Taste… Throat functions.

Vagus Nerve (CN X)

Functions related to:  Palate & Throat… Larynx… Trachea… Bronchi… Lungs… Breathing/Oxygen Regulation…  Heart… GastroIntestinal Tract…

HypoGlossal Nerve (CN XII)

Functions related to:  Food manipulation… Swallowing… Tongue muscle strength, mobility & dexterity… Speech articulation…

Other Cervical Nerves & Ganglions & Plexuses

In addition to the above Cranial Nerves, trauma to other nerves arising from the Neck area affected functions of the Shoulder, Arms, Hands, Lungs, Heart and other internal Organs.

Heart - Neck

The physical trauma at the Cervical-Thoracic Junction caused injury to parts of the Breathing Regulation System located along the Aortic Arch just above the Heart.

The Provided Therapy…

Briefly… this is what I was able to do for my Mom…

1.  The compressed and disorganized space between her Occiput and Atlas (the uppermost Cervical Vertebra) was normalized.  This reduced the impingement pressure upon Cranial Nerves coursing from the head to the body.  The injured Nerves could now begin to heal and their functions restored.

2.  The external tissues of her head & neck were treated so as to free nerves and restore muscular functions to her Face, Shoulder, Arms, Hands and fingers.

3.  The IntraOral tissue… such as the Cheeks, Muscle of Mastication, Tongue & Throat… were treated so as to restore food shifting, chewing, swallowing, and clear speaking abilities.

4.  The Vagus Nerve is the most complex of all the nerves.  Its course from the Neck to the Thorax and Abdomen were followed and normalized as best as possible.  Most internal Organ functions are controlled by the Vagus Nerve.  The purpose of the therapy was to quiet the area’s heightened Neurological activity so functions could become more normal.

5.  Breathing Regulatory functions are also associated with the Vagus Nerve.  Specific techniques were used to free up the area of the Neck & Upper Chest so that this Regulatory System could begin to heal.  We also worked to improve the functions of the Bronchial tubes coursing from the Trachea to each Lung.  Mom could feel the softening and quieting of these tissues during the treatments.

6. In five days… by the time I had to return to Charlotte, Mom was breathing much more easily… and beginning to require less Oxygen Supplementation… She was speaking much more clearly… She was able to chew & swallow foods & fluids… Her ability to use forks & spoons with her own fingers was improving.  She was experiencing a miraculous turn around in all her abilities.

The Physical Therapists at the SNF now had a patient they could work with.  Instead of keeping her comfortable while waiting for her to die… it was now possible for Mom to begin to strengthen and recover… and continue to LIVE!

And “LIVE” is what she was able to do for another 8 months or so.  Then the other weaknesses in her body overpowered her recovery… and she died at the age of 95.  She was a wonderful patient and a great Mom.  Being able to help her filled me with so much satisfaction and love.  It is difficult to describe  how much.

…Points to Consider…

1.  This story unfortunately is a sad commentary on the state of our Medical HealthCare System.  However, it also demonstrates that we as “consumers” of that system are obligated to challenge it when it blindly acts in a very incomplete and expensive way.

2.  Doctors and Therapists are not all the same.  Few rise to a level of excellence and compassion that we as “consumers” need.  We need to learn how to recognize, appreciate and reward that excellence with our loyalty and support.

3.  Most probably a non family professional would not have been permitted to do what I did for my Mother.  That professional most probably would have been ejected from the healthcare facility and disciplined by his professional board.  And the patient who might have lived… would have died.  And the system would continue unchanged.

Posted in Organs & Systems | Leave a comment

Migraine with Aura

Migraine with Aura

“Migraine with Aura” is a newly conceived medical term used to describe perceptional experiences that may occur before Headaches, Seizures and/or Stokes. Although doctors and scientists may recommend various products and drugs for dealing with this condition, they really are not sure what causes the aura to happen.

It became of great public interest in February 2011, when Serene Branson, a TV news woman in Los Angeles, began speaking unintelligibly on the air. Similar happenings have been experienced by other. But, doctors seem to be at loss for an explanation.

These “auras”… or ‘sudden unexplained change in perception and/or ability’… are related to specific Brain areas and functions… regarding:

Speech – slurred or unintelligible.
Visual – spots, heightened light sensitivity, lines, flashes.
Hearing – buzzing, heightened sensitivity to sounds & levels.
Smell – altered smells, heightened sensitivities to odors.
Taste – food & drinks now taste differently than before.
Emotions – confusion, anxiety, fear and so on.
Sensatory – Tingling & Numbness on ones face.
Balance issues and more.

Some of the functions of the Cerebral Lobes

The Cause… excessive internal Cranial pressure…

In providing CranioSacral Therapy for patients, Joel Safran tends to identify certain restrictions & abnormalities… and then attempts to correct them. Quite often for a variety of reasons, excessive blood becomes trapped within a patient’s head. This results in increased pressure that compresses various parts of the Brain and/or Cranial Nerves. This seems to be a logical cause for all the symptoms described above.

Once the normal motion of the Cranium is improved… and the variety of Cranial restrictions are somewhat resolved… Venous Blood then is able to flow from the Head and return into the body… The pressure within the patient’s head is then reduced… and the symptoms gradually subside. This is not a theory. This is what I and my patients notice during treatment sessions.

Cross section of the Brain
showing the inner complexities

“Pin Wheel spots” blocking vision… an example…

Greg had been receiving excellent therapy from Therapists in the cities he regularly visited. He wanted to find someone in his hometown (Charlotte) for further work. The first time I worked with him, I noticed that his head was much heavier than I would have expected. At the end of the session, the weight of his head seemed a bit more normal. So, I suspect that the extra weight was a result of blood trapped within his Cranium.

As I explained what I was finding… and what was being done to achieve corrections… Greg told me that for years, he had been bothered with “white pinwheel spots” blocking portions of his vision. They would come and go for reasons no one could understand or treat. However, while working together over a matter of weeks, that problem began to subside to the point where it rarely recurred. It was therefore logical to conclude that as the blood was encouraged to properly drain from his head… pressures on various parts of his Brain and certain Cranial Nerves were reduced. And as a result, this annoying vision problem was greatly reduced.

Cranial Nerves arising from the Brain Stem
at the bottom of the Brain just above the Neck.

Because Heads are structurally different…
Symptoms & causes will be different…

We are structurally different from one another. Those differences can result from a variety of factors such as birth, physical and even emotional traumas that are unique to our own lives. As restrictions and imbalances develop within our very uniquely developed Craniums, experienced effects such as “auras” will be varied. That is the reason, for instance, why one person’s speech might be affected, while another persons’ vision would be affected, and others will be affected in still other ways.

Restrictions & imbalances have dysfunctional affects on Cranial Bones and their tissue contents. This results from excessive pressures which are directed in different ways to different parts of our Head… depending on certain weaknesses that have been created. It might affect the vision center of the Brain… or it might affect other Brain centers that relate to Speech, Memory, Hearing, Smell, Balance, Emotion and so on. Also, pressure may be directed against certain Cranial Nerves, and thereby have an effect on Vision, Facial & Eye muscles, Hearing, Chewing & Swallowing and so on. All this, and more, result from restrictions & imbalances within the Cranium.

 The Vision Aura can present itself in a number
of ways depending on how the Brain and the Cranial
Nerves are affected. White spots, Zig Zag lines, Flashes, etc.

Treatment’s Multiple benefits…

“Pinwheel spots gone”
“Mind more sharp and more aware”

As mobility of Cranial Bones improve, indicated by an increase in range of motion, amplitude and balance… And as the internal tissues within the Cranium also begin to move more freely, Brain & Central Nervous System functions can improve and become more efficient and effective. Fluids can now flow more normally in and out of your Cranium. Blood now is more efficiently refined into Cerebral Spinal Fluid. This is essential for optimal functioning of the Central Nervous System. In a sense, the stage is set for a number of highly desired and essential good things for us.

For instance… Greg originally contacted me regarding a TMJ issue. Regarding this, we were able to identify contributing factors from other issues found in his Neck, Shoulders and Thorax. And then my awareness was directed to the rigidity and excessive weight of his Head. Therefore, treatment had been very productive in much more than just his TMJ concern.

As we continued to improve the mobility of his Cranium, his Jaw and Neck continued to improve. And, quite surprisingly to him, the “pinwheel spots” that occasionally blocked portions of his vision… began to fade and disappear. Recurrence of this annoying problem was spaced out longer and longer. And also quite surprising to him, he noticed that his mind and his level of awareness had become more sharp. And most probably, there were many other good things happening in the background as a result of the Central Nervous System being able to function more efficiently and effectively.

Points to Consider…

1. Undesirable health conditions are most always related to other issues within our body. Choose to work with a therapist who will work with your body as a highly integrated ‘whole’… because it is exactly that.

2. Go beyond “labels” and names placed on conditions. They do not define health issues. They will not direct the doctor or therapist to the “root cause”. You will benefit much more from a therapist who is focused on finding and treating the root cause of health issues. That is what Joel Safran does.

Safran Rehab & Wellness Therapies

Posted in Brain & CNS Disorders | Leave a comment

Fall from Gymnast Bar

injuries from gymnast fall
over 30 years ago… Resolved

When in her teens, Karla fell from a gymnast bar.  She had no training or experience regarding this.  This first and only time with the bar was based purely on her own curiosity.  When she fell on her bum, the pain was so excruciating that she could not stand or walk for about 20 minutes.  She eventually was able to get up, and just assumed that she would be OK.  She had no idea what had happened to her body… or how her body would compensate years later for the damage.

As she became older, she managed to live with increasing discomfort in her Right Hip area.  Being a relatively active person with a good lifestyle, her body was able to better process the developing chain of relationships.  However, at the age of 45 it had become a much greater concern.  Over the next 4 years, she worked with a number of Chiropractors, Orthopedists, Physical Therapists and Massage Therapists.  Yet, temporary relief was the only result she experienced from these professionals.  From X-rays, they could see the distortion, but were not able to help her body make corrective changes.

When Karla found my website, it gave her the feeling that my treatment approach might be more thorough and beneficial for her.  She fit the description of “my typical patient”.

My Typical Patient has been… a person with an unresolved Chronic Condition who would not give up searching for that special professional who… ‘will be able to figure out what is going on’… and then ‘will be able to figure out how to resolve their HealthCare issue’.  The Typical Patient has been a person with a positive attitude, who is enjoyable to work with and who will appreciate and support the provided therapy.

In my 25 years, I have been more beneficial for most people suffering from chronic concerns.  And to Karla’s great joy, I was able to help her as well.  Once we were able to understand the physical and physiological root cause of ‘the problem’… and then begin to get results with appropriate ‘treatment techniques and strategies… “joy” is what both of us felt.

The conditions she presented…

Her main area of complaint was with her Right Hip area.  Then there was the additional damage to her Head, Neck and Shoulders caused by two significant car accidents 22 and 24 years ago.  And then there was the ill effects of not using her computer properly at work.

During the first two sessions, it was noticed that her Coccyx was jammed toward the Right Pelvic Bone… The Vertebral Joints in all three sections of her Spine were greatly compressed… Right & Left side soft tissues, from her Thighs to her Head, were tight and imbalanced.  Her Abdominal area was highly restricted and sensitive to pressure, especially on the Right… Both her Shoulder Girdle and Pelvic Girdle areas were especially tight and sensitive to the touch.  The tissues in the upper and lower parts of her Thoracic Cage were thick and quite sensitive.  But, if anyone met her, Karla’s outward appearance would be that of a very healthy and fit person.

External chain of relationships…

It took a while, but I finally was able to determine the mechanics of her fall over 30 years ago.  When she fell off the Bar, she did not fall on her Coccyx.  It was not broken.  Instead she landed on her Right Ischial Tuberosity (“sits bone”).  The powerful impact on that part of her Right Pelvic Bone caused it to slide up along the Right part of the Sacrum (like a dislocation or subluxation).  That caused the upper part of her Sacrum (the Base) to rotate toward the Left… which caused the Coccyx (on the lower part of the Sacral Apex) to swing toward the Right.  That gave the appearance of the Coccyx being jammed against the Right Pelvic Bone.

That structural distortion then created a wave of other structural distortions all the way up to her Head.  Her Left Leg became longer.  Therefore, when standing she would always stand on her Left leg so as not to lean over to the Right.  It also caused certain LumboSacral Nerves to be pinched, thus creating weakness in her Right Leg.  Spinal vertebral segments were also compressed… with the Lumbar & Cervical segments being the most “jammed”.  And related soft tissues in her Back, Neck & Shoulders were tight and imbalanced as well.

Internal Chain of Relationships…

The impact on the Right Ischial Tuberosity, and its resultant structural distortions, also created internal compressions and imbalances within the Abdominal/Pelvic, Thoracic and Cranial Cavities of her body.  Her abdomen was especially restricted and sensitive, especially on the impact side of the fall.  Please take into consideration the compressive trauma that would take place upon the Organs and internal structures within the Right side of the Abdominal Cavity during her fall.  Most affected and quite sensitive were the Cecum, IleoCecal Valve, Ascending Colon… and less so above that, the Right Kidney and Liver.  Then take into consideration the added trauma on the supporting Ligaments, Nerves and Blood Vessels.  And then take into consideration that her body has had over 30 years to develop distorted compensating tissues around this injury.

Because the Sacrum and Pelvic Bones had been in a distorted position for over 30 years, the distorted structural wave went all the way to her Head.  The resultant Cranial Bone and membrane distortions were therefore having a detrimental effect upon her Jaw and the proper functioning of her CranioSacral System… which includes the Central Nervous System.

The successful Therapeutic Approach…

Our first major achievement was in normalizing the structural relationship of her Sacrum,
Lower Lumbar Vertebrae and Pelvic Bones.  For the first time since her fall, she was able to stand on both feet rather than just her Left foot.  The resultant pinched nerves that had caused her Right Leg to weaken was finally freed.  And we were able to begin restoring proper motion to the Sacrum at its Sacroiliac Joint.  The restoration of proper position and motion of the Sacrum would now enable us to begin the normalization of structural distortions further up.

It was now possible to create space in the very jammed Lower Lumbars.  It was now possible to begin to normalize the shortened Soft Tissues from her Legs to her Lumbar and Thoracic Cylinders… and then to her Head, Neck and Shoulders.  And this we have continued to do.

It was now possible to deal with the internal compressions affecting the Organs and their related supportive structures.  The Left Abdominal area responded more quickly.  But, the highly traumatized Right area improved more slowly.  Most traumatized was the area of the Cecum, IleoCecal Valve, Ascending Colon, Liver and Right Kidney.  During each treatment, this area became less sensitive and structurally more normal.

We are now at the point of supporting these structures and tissues as they slowly regenerate to a more normal healthy state.  Karla did not give up the search for the “right professional” who could figure out her problems.  It is wonderful for me to experience a patient who expresses appreciation and joy.  It was many times more wonderful for Karla.

Points to Consider…

1.  The Chiropractors, Physical Therapists, and Orthopedists who Karla saw, were well recognized in their field… and they had the advantage of machines and diagnostic tools.  Yet, the analytical mind of a good Therapist with good hands and a sensitive and thorough approach can make the difference for someone with any kind of condition… especially a chronic condition.

2.  For treatment strategies to have a higher chance of success, the body needs to be treated as a highly integrated whole… because it is.

3.  Before finding me, most of my patients have been to a number of doctors and therapists without experiencing the satisfaction they were searching for.  When they found me, most of them were very happy that they kept on with their search.  So, don’t give up the search.  The needle in the haystack is there.  Believe in that.

Safran Rehab & Wellness Therapies

Posted in Auto Accident & Fall Injuries, Organs & Systems | Leave a comment

Weakened Circulatory System

A weakened Circulatory System
Understanding and assisting it…

What this article is about
The Diuretic Drug Therapy used to control Edema in Elizabeth’s Legs had caused her Upper Body to become dehydrated.  As a result, her Respiratory System became highly susceptible to infection and bacteria.  She was rushed to the hospital with Bacterial Pneumonia and some level of Sepsis… (see the previous journal post).  If she is to live without the Diuretic Drugs, she will need to do so in a very supportive way so as to enable the damaged tissues in her weakened Lungs, Heart and Lymphatic System to function more efficiently.  This article is about understand how this works.

The medical diagnoses… a brief understanding…

1.  Aortic Stenosis –  This refers to one of the four Heart Valves not closing tightly enough to prevent a backflow of Blood during the pumping function.  Most probably, other Heart Valves are also weak… and the backflow problem is more complex.

2.  Myocardial Ischemia –   This refers to a the Heart muscles themselves being starved of blood… weakening the Heart’s ability to pump blood.

3.  Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD) –  This refers to a wide variety of Lung disorders that are the result of weakened and damaged Respiratory tissues.  Most probably the greatest cause has been her being a smoker for over 50 years of her life.  Other related condition reported by her doctors have been “severe pulmonary hypertension” and “fluid around her left lung”.  This indicated a fluid leakage issue as well as increased pressure within the Lung itself perhaps affecting the gas exchange.

Proper functioning of the Heart…

When the Heart goes “Dub – Lub – (pause) – Dub – Lub – (pause)… what is going on in your chest?.  The “Dub” is the first part of the higher ‘systolic’ pressure that occurs when the upper chambers (atriums) of both the Right & Left sides of the Heart contract at the same time… and push blood into the lower Right & Left chambers (ventricles) at the same time.  There are two check valves to prevent the backflow of blood.

The Tricuspid Valve in the right side of the Heart is to prevent a backflow of blood into the Right Atrium…  And the Mitral Valve in the left side of the Heart is to prevent a backflow of blood into the Left Atrium… and back into the Lungs.  Since Elizabeth has been diagnosed with “severe pulmonary hypertension”, it is possible that this valve may be part of the reason.

So, in Elizabeth’s case all valves may be somewhat defective… and there may be some backflow in the “Dub” and in the “Lub”.  Therefore, the transfer of blood will not be efficient, and the effectiveness of the entire circulation process will be hindered.  And tissues will not get all the nutrients and oxygen they need.  When Elizabeth walks, she often needs to stop and rest for a while so that her systems can catch up in supplying the Oxygen needs of her tissues.

The “Lub” is the second part of the higher ‘systolic’ pressure that occurs when the lower chambers (ventricles) of both the Right & Left sides of the Heart contract at the same time… and push Blood out of the Heart at the same time.

Contraction of the Right Ventricle pushes old blood to the Lungs so that gasses can be exchanged (expel carbon dioxide and take in oxygen)… Contraction of the Left Ventricle pushes the fresh re-oxygenated blood (from the Lungs) back into the body thru the Aorta.  That is how body tissues get Oxygen and other nutrients they need to function efficiently.  There are two more check valves to prevent backflow of this blood.

The Pulmonary valve in the Right Ventricle is to prevent a backflow of the blood that is pushed into the Lungs.  If there is a backflow, less blood can be re-oxygenated… and that will create another reason for decreased Oxygen in body tissues.

The Aortic Valve in the Left Ventricle is to prevent a backflow of the blood that is pushed into the body thru the Aorta.  Here is where the flow of blood begins throughout the body.  This valve has been diagnosed as being defective (Aortic Stenosis).  However, it would not surprise me if other valves were also defective.  And this would reduce the ability of Elizabeth’s body to circulate blood efficiently… which seems to be happening.

The “Pause” in between the “Dub – Lub” beat is when the Heart Muscle relaxes.  It is the lower “diastolic” pressure.  During this ‘relax pause’ the natural flow of old blood from the body (thru the Vena Cava) fills up the Right Atrium… and  flow of new re-oxygenated blood from the Lungs fills up the Left Atrium.  Then the process is repeated with the next Heart beat over and over… “Dub – Lub – Pause”.

Proper functioning of the Lungs…

The Lungs basically are bags that when expanded during inhalation, pull in Oxygen rich air… and when collapsed during exhalation, push out toxins and waste products such as  Carbon Dioxide.  The ability of the Rib Cage to lift and expand will determine how full these bags can become.  In the case of Elizabeth, her sedentary lifestyle over the years had decreased the range of Rib Cage mobility… which resulted in the reduced capacity and efficiency of this part of the Respiratory System.

Air first enters the body through the Nose and the Mouth.  Her years as a smoker had probably damaged the filtering functions of her Nose… and the Diuretic Drug Therapy had caused her mouth to become very dry.  This not only set the stage for dehydration and bacterial formation in these areas… but, during inhalation, all this dry bacterial prone air would be pulled into her Lungs.

The Trachea and the Bronchial tubes are passage ways from the Nose to the Lungs.  Picture them as the trunk and main branches of a tree.  For a number of reasons, muscles lining these tubes could thicken and tighten, resulting in less air passing through them.  This was another problem that Elizabeth needed to handle with the use of ‘Bronchial Dilator’ inhalation drugs.

Then the ‘Bronchial Tree’ would spread throughout the Lungs.  Picture this as the tree above the trunk and big main branches.  Along the smaller tubes spread within the Lungs are 300 to 400 million gas transfer sacs normally in a healthy adult.  Here in these sacs, called Alveoli, Carbon Dioxide is exchanged for Oxygen through an energy free process called ‘passive diffusion’.  Because of Elizabeth’s 50 year history of smoking, many of these ‘air sacs’ may have been damaged or destroyed.  So, that is another reason for her body tissues not being able to get enough Oxygen.  And because of the unhealthy dehydrated condition of the entire Respiratory System, various parts of her body’s Immune System could not properly function… and bacteria was able to overwhelmed it.

Proper functioning of the Lymphatic System…

Complementary to the CardioVascular System is the Lymphatic System which functions as the body’s ‘vacuum cleaner’.  Through a scooping type function, it gathers fluids in the smallest parts of tissues… at the cellular level.  Then it pumps it up to filtration points called Lymph Nodes… so that various toxins and waste products can be removed.

Fluid then continues through the Lymphatic System toward the Heart.  The fluid then enters the Vena Cava where it blends with the Blood… and then into the Heart where the circulation process is repeated… through the Heart, Lungs, Arteries, Capillaries… and then again to the cellular level of tissues.  Then the Lymphatic System again begins to repeat it’s process of collecting and cleaning this “interstitial fluid”… and returning it to the Heart.

However, because this pumping process is totally dependent on muscle contractions to propel it toward the Heart, a sedentary lifestyle will greatly reduce this natural immune process of cleaning blood and body fluids…  And therefore, a body will be more prone to various diseases and “conditions”.  And this is what happened in Elizabeth’s body as a result of her lack of adequate movement every day.  A body is like a city.  Imagine what your city would be like if garbage was just left uncollected.

Summary of issues in her body…

Weakened Heart Muscles –  reduces force of blood pumping.
Defective Heart Valves – backflow of blood reduces quantity & quality of flow.
Fluid around Left Lung – weakened tissues leak fluid.
Bronchial Tube restrictions – controlled by dilation inhalation drugs.
Damaged ‘air sacs’ Alveoli – reduced gas exchange in Lungs.
Restricted Rib Cage movement – reduces air intake capacity.
Reduced Lymphatic flow – promotes Edema & reduces blood quality.
Proneness to – Reduced tissue Oxygen level upon walking short distances.
Proneness to – Edema in her Legs when she does not do as she is advised.

Program to strengthen her weakened body…

A detailed written plan for her included the following.

1.  A Cardiac Diet greatly limiting the use of Salt and Fats… and promoting the use of foods more likely to reduce inflammation and increase tissue quality.

2.  Elevation of her legs for an hour three times a day.

3.  Many walks through her senior community complex.

4.  Upper Body stretches to increase the capacity of her Lungs.

5.  Movement of body fluids thru stretching and exercising during the day.

6.  Proper way to drink water for maximum absorption.

7.  Family and caregiver support to keep her ‘on track’.

During the 3 or 4 times a year I will be able to see her, she will receive Organ Specific Therapies.  Each organ has its own inherent internal rhythmical movement similar to that of the CranioSacral System.  I could feel that her Left Lung was not moving as well as her Right Lung.  Each time I see her, I will attempt to improve and balance the movement of the two Lungs… as well as her Abdominal and Thoracic structures.  The goals will be to increase Lung capacity, Tissue Oxygen capacity and the more efficient flow of fluids.

Points to Consider…

1.  Look beyond words, labels, diagnoses…  Our bodies are far too complex for simple descriptions.  Think beyond the descriptive boundaries of the box.  Consider and understand relationships within the “whole” person.

2.  Yes… in most cases there are things that can be done to help a person.  But, it is greatly dependant on the motivation level of that person… as well as that of their family.

3.  At all times, know and exercise your right and obligation to question your doctor’s approach.  After all, it is your life and body.  A good doctor will appreciate your input.

Safran Rehab & Wellness Therapies
(704) 246-7888

Posted in Organs & Systems | Leave a comment

Bacterial Pneumonia / Sepsis

Bacterial Pneumonia
a result of Diuretic Therapy

What this article is about…
In a doctor’s attempt to control water retention “Edema” in a 94 year old woman’s legs thru the use a Diuretic drug program… the upper body became very dehydrated.  His patient gradually developed a life threatening case of “Bacterial Pneumonia” and a level of “Sepsis”.  This article describes the case history… and the physiological process of this “disease”.

Case history of Elizabeth…

She had smoked cigarettes from about the age of 18 to 65…  Her sedentary lifestyle was relatively void of walking, stretching and exercise….  She did not eat junk food, but her dietary habits needed improvement…  Gradually, various Heart weaknesses had developed that were described as Congestive Heart Failure, Aortic Stenosis and Myocardial Ischemia….  Gradually, various Lung issues had also developed that were described as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD)… and Severe Pulmonary Hypertension…

The Diuretic Drug Program…

Her doctor chose to keep her at 95 lbs.  At this weight, the Edema in her legs could be kept to a minimal level.  On days when her weight increased over 96 lbs, she would take a Diuretic pill.  Then on days when her weight decreased to 95 lbs, she would not take a pill that day.  She did this over and over for at least a year or more.

When dehydration was first suspected…

About 6 months before she was rushed to the Hospital, Elizabeth had mentioned that her Jaw was bothering her.  I put my finger into her mouth so as to treat the intra-oral TMJ muscles.  To my surprise they released rather well.  But, also to my surprise was the level of dryness of the inside of her mouth.  In my 25 years as a Therapist, I had never felt tissues nearly as dry as those inside of her mouth.  Surely she was very dehydrated.

Prior to hospitalization for Pneumonia…

For well over a year, she coughed and cleared her throat quite often.  Also Elizabeth gradually became weaker.  About 3 months prior to Hospitalization, while trying to open a refrigerator door, she lost her balance and fell backward against the stove.  Blood was noticed in her Urine… and she was taken to the Hospital for examination.  When she returned home the next day, her doctor recommended that she be on Oxygen for 24 hours each day… and under the care of a Nurse and Physical Therapist… and that she had around the clock caregiver aids.  Eventually she became stronger… but, still much weaker than she had been in the past.  But, now she only required Nocturnal Oxygen.

Rushed to the Hospital…

Then two months after that she was rushed to the Hospital in an ambulance.  Her symptoms were similar to those of Sepsis… which is when the bloodstream is overwhelmed by bacteria.  She had a very high fever, rapid pulse, rapid breathing, notable wheezing, high blood pressure, chills and general great weakness.  At the time of admission she weighed 94 lbs.

The diuretic drug was discontinued by the Hospital.  She was put on rather powerful Antibiotic IV’s and Bronchodilators and other drugs to combat the infection in her Respiratory System.  A 24 hour per day Oxygen supplement was required.  During the first 2-3 days she needed the use of a bedpan.  By the 3rd day she was able to use the commode with assistance.  And after 6 days in the hospital, Elizabeth was moved to a Skilled Nursing Facility.

There she weighed in at 100 lbs… which was 5 lbs over the limit established by her Primary doctor… yet, she presented absolutely no signs of Edema in her Legs.  I had checked the moisture level in her mouth on that first day… and it felt moist and healthy.  This indicated that the Upper Body was now hydrated in a more healthy way.

By the 3rd day at this facility she was able to wear her regular clothes.  With Physical and Occupational Therapy she became stronger and more capable of daily living and moving about.  The Oxygen supplement was now only used at night.  She soon was able to dress herself, do the bathroom stuff and walk around the facility without assistance.  But, there was still a lot of bacteria in her system… and it would take a very long time to get rid of it.

The Dehydration of the Upper Body…

Too much of her day had been standing in the kitchen… or sitting at her desk.  Gravity caused the water in her body to sink to the lower levels… like to her lower Legs.  Also she ate too much soup.  The salt in the soup caused the body to retain water.  And with Gravity, more water would sink to her Legs.  Because of her lack of activities, muscles were not strongly contracting and expanding.  The Lymphatic System, which depends on the “pumping action” created from Muscular Contraction & Expansion was therefore rather inefficient in moving fluids upwards toward the Heart.  From the Heart, fluids would be pumped thru the Lungs… back to the Heart… and then throughout the body again and again.  However, that process was not as efficient owing to the condition of her Heart Muscles and Valves.

Therefore, too much water was falling to the lower part of the body.  Her doctor called that “Edema” and had her use a diuretic to get rid of this water so as to get back to a weight of 95 lbs.  The Upper Body continually lost water to the Lower Body… and the Upper Body became increasingly dehydrated.  Her Mouth was very dry.  She often coughed and cleared her throat.  And quite possibly, the lack of fluid movement through the body also gradually contributed to the increase of Bacteria in her bloodstream and Respiratory System.  Fluids were not efficiently pumped thru the Lymphatic System whose purpose is to clean the blood.

The “Hierarchy” of Tissues…

Therefore, the Upper Body had become more and more dehydrated. Now Let’s consider what is in the Upper Body… and especially above the Abdominal Diaphragm.  Well, there are the Lungs and Respiratory Track which includes the Nose & Mouth… there is the Heart… and there is the Brain.

Tissues have a “pecking order” which is referred to as the “hierarchy” of tissues.  The Brain has the highest level in the body.  Its needs are met before the needs of any other Organ or Tissue.  If the body is low on Blood, the Brain makes sure that it gets its needed portion first at the expense of all the other Organs and Tissues.  Blood is mostly water.  Too little water causes a variety of problems in the body’s health and physiology.  But the Brain makes sure its needs are met first.

It has been shown that in a “hierarchy” struggle between the Heart and the Respiratory System… the Heart will receive its fluid & nutritional needs at the expense of the Respiratory System.  So, not only was Elizabeth’s Upper Body becoming more dehydrated as a result of the Edema Drug Therapy… the Respiratory System… which begins at the Mouth & Nose was even more dehydrated.  And that dryness in the Respiratory System, I strongly believe, greatly contributed to the great level of infection that put Elizabeth in the Hospital.  The decreased fluids in her body probably also contributed to other weaknesses in a number of ways as well.

Bacterial Pneumonia, Sepsis & Beyond…

The dry tissues in the Respiratory System created an environment that was very susceptible to infection.  Fluids moved at a slow pace thru her Circulatory System due to an inactive lifestyle.  A weakened Heart could not pump Blood thru the Lungs and body efficiently.  All these were possible contributing factors for the accumulation of bacteria that gradually contributed to weakness, infection and disease.  The aggressive Antibiotic Drug Therapies at the Hospital… and the continuing Antibiotic Drug Therapies at the Skilled Nursing Facility, were employed to kill the huge build up of bacteria that had gradually accumulated in Elizabeth’s body.  Slowly, her body became stronger and more healthy.

Her Mouth was now moist.  Her legs did not show signs of “Edema” even at 100 lbs… and even without the Diuretic Drug.  She did not cough or clear her throat.  Her voice was stronger and more clear.  And her mental abilities were very good.  She looked and felt more healthy.  The 100 lb weight seems much better for her.

When Elizabeth would be ready to go home, she would need to alter her lifestyle in order to support what had been achieved in the Skilled Nursing Facility.  She would need to be on a Cardiac Diet.  She would need to be much more active in daily activities, stretching and exercises.  She would need Nocturnal Oxygen for the rest of her life.  And she would probably need a CareGiver Aid from 8am to 8pm for the rest of her life.  And, because of her very good mind and very pleasant and enjoyable personality, she would be sure to enjoy many years to come.  And she should never go back on the Edema Drug Program again.  Instead, she knew that she would need to utilize more natural ways in controlling Edema should it reoccur.

Points to Consider…

1.  A patient always has the right and responsibility to question their doctor’s therapy.  In Elizabeth’s case, the drug therapy which was chosen to handle the Edema in her Legs was causing her Upper Body to become dehydrated and very susceptible to disease.  She was very weak and sick when she was taken to the Hospital.  She could have died.

Safran Rehab & Wellness Therapies
(704) 246-7888

Posted in Organs & Systems | Leave a comment

Brain Damage at Birth

Effects of Brain Damage
Reversed by SafranTherapies

Six months after Peter was born, doctors determined that two conditions had affected him at birth…  Anoxia… which is a total decrease in the level of Oxygen to the blood… and… PseudoBulbar Paralysis… which results in Neural motor dysfunctions affecting speech, swallowing, and other Mouth, Tongue and Throat functions.  The lack of Oxygen in his blood very quickly caused Brain cells to die… and this caused Muscles and Nerves elsewhere in his body to malfunction.

For about a year, he had no voice… he did not cry.  His coordination was reversed, in that his arms and legs would move in a cross crawl way… rather in the way a baby would normally crawl.  He received physical therapy without any positive changes.  As a child his body motions were more fluid.  But as he got older he became much more rigid.  Doctors were not able to determine what cause these conditions.  And all the therapy he received did not seem to increase his ability to live independently.

Parents concerned about his future

When I first saw Peter, he was 24 years old.  His parents were quite worried as to how Peter would be able to take care of himself as he continued to age… and when they eventually died.  He was totally dependent on the care of other.  Progressively, he had lost the fluidity of body motion he had as a child… and now was quite tight, stiff and twisted.  I would suspect that as a child his motion was probably not as fluid as other children.   And now as an adult, he was even more stiff and rigid.  It was very difficult to understand what he said during our treatments sessions.  When he tried to form words, they sounded like one might expect from someone mentally retarded.  His parents had heard of me and my practice… and hoped that I might be able to help Peter.

While other parts of the Brain most probably had been affected, what he had been presenting to people he interacted with year after year surely was more involved with the CorticoBulbar Tract.  That is the part of the Brain which is referred to as the “Old Brain” near the Cerebellum and Brain Stem… as the picture shows below.  This is the part of the Brain that more greatly affects the quality and control of coordination, speech, swallowing… and other “basic functions”.

During the initial “standing structural assessment”, Peter’s body was abnormally upright and stiff… with sidebending to the right and shifting to the left… There were areas of torquing and rotation that reversed directions in his upper & lower Thorax… His shoulder girdle was depressed to the extent that his Neck appeared abnormally long and wide at the base…  The positions of his Eyes and Nose suggested that there were distortions in his Cranial Bones that were probably affecting the Central Nervous System in some way… and certainly his postural structure  So there were at least three main areas that we would address during our therapy.

(1) Softening the Muscle and Fascial tissues so as to permit the structures to move and improve…  (2) Improving the quality of the tissues within his Mouth and Throat in an attempt to improve his ability to communicate…  (3) Improving the motion and structure of his Cranial Bones, as well as the Membranous structures within his Cranium.

During the first few sessions, we focused on the body’s Muscular and Fascial tissues.  His body needed to soften and open up a bit so that body structure might improve.  We also began to work more with the tissues of the Neck… all aspects of the Neck… and especially the deep anterior tissues of the Neck that are hardly ever treated by anyone.  Then we began to work within the Mouth… and with all the intraoral tissues… and especially with the Tongue and the Throat.  From the picture below, you can see how large the Tongue muscle is.  If it is tight and in spasm, it will function poorly… just like any other tight-spastic muscle would function poorly.

Gradually as treatments  progressed, Peter began to speak much more clearly.  Tissues within the Mouth are extremely sensitive…  and especially so when they are as hypertonic (tight) as his.  But, Peter knew I was helping him… so he persevered… and we worked well together.  Gradually we began working more specifically with the CranioSacral System.  The structural goal was to improve the mobility of not only the Cranial Bones and Membranes… but also the Spine, Pelvic Girdle and the Sacrum… the whole system and its many relationships with his body.

His Cranial Bones were very much “stuck” and immobile, so increasing mobility was an initial objective.  Also, the Parietal Bones had been pulled inferiorly so that they were riding under the bevels of the Temporal Bones.  That meant that there probably had been a great amount of contracting pressure within the Cranium probably from the time of his birth.  We were able to improve the motions of the Cranial Bones… and we were able to improve the quality and balance of the whole CranioSacral System.

Peters parents could only invest in 12 sessions.  I made sure that the value they received was much more than 100%.  Parents who choose to invest in their children’s future health are to be greatly admired and respected.  And at the end of the 12 sessions, Peter was a quite different human being.  He was able to speak much more clearly.  He looked and felt more like other people.  When I spoke with his parents a few months later, I learned that Peter was now living in a supervised apartment on his own… and he was supporting himself with a new job.  His parents now felt comfortable in the fact that he could survive on his own.  He finally was free of his greatest limitations.  He could now develop in ways that before were not possible for him.

Points to Consider

1.  Quite often a Mother will ask if I am certified in ‘this or that’ specific technique or therapy.  They are so worried that I might not know what to do… or not have the “right” certificates on the wall.  These are not productive questions.  Actually, the worst thing that could possibly happen during a treatment session is nothing… no results at all.  The possibility of harm is virtually nonexistent.  And based on his 25 years of experience… the possible benefits of working with Joel Safran are quite great.

a.)  That is the purpose of this Journal.  To demonstrate that over the years, I have been able to think about complex and difficult conditions in a different way… and come up with treatment strategies that generally are more effective and beneficial than other professional.  I work with the way the body works.

b.)  Good Therapy comes from years of experience, knowledge of how the body functions or malfunctions, awareness, a creative mind, and “good hands” that can feel problems and enable corrections… and it also takes a good caring Heart.  Good Therapy comes from a special practitioner… not from framed pieces of paper which you will see in any clinic.

2.  Peter was 24 years old when we worked together.  That was almost 22 years ago.  Shortly after our 12 sessions together, he was able to become a productive member of our society.  His level of self worth and self esteem probably skyrocketed.  I have no idea where he is today.  But, I do know for darn sure that he is probably much better off because his parents contacted Joel Safran… and I did my best for all of them.

Safran Rehab & Wellness Therapies
(704) 246-7888

Posted in Brain & CNS Disorders, Children Conditions & Birth | Leave a comment

Able to Walk again

Told to buy a wheelchair…
He was able to walk again
after working with SafranTherapies…

Sydney was the husband of a Barbara, a patient of mine.  He was now in a Rehab Hospital in downtown Toronto because of great difficulties in standing and walking.  Knowing what I had been able to do for her, Barbara wanted me to work with Sydney in his hospital room.  The Hospital having lots of rules to protect them and their patients, would not permit that.  But, Barbara said she would find a way for them to accept me.  She knows how to get things done… and eventually after going through an involved process, I was approved by the Hospital administrator.  They had told Sydney to buy a wheelchair… because he would be confined to it for the rest of his life.  Barbara & Sydney did not want that to happen.

Sydney was now 76.  Some time before I began working with him he had a Liver Transplant… and a Triple Bypass Heart surgery.  He also mentioned that he had fractured a Vertebra years ago probably due to a fall.  Most probably it was a Lumbar Vertebra.  And now major Nerves coursing through his Lumbar Spine were being “pinched” which caused the great weakness and pain in both Lower Extremities.

Not only am I considered very experienced and familiar with conditions like this, patients have consistently told me that … no doctor or therapist of any kind has been as complete and thorough as I have been.  Yes, it does sound terribly egotistical and pompous… but it is quite true.  The root cause of Sydney’s condition seemed to be the compression upon the Lumbar Nerves… which was related to the injured Lumbar Vertebra.  The two major Liver & Heart operations probably also created further compression in his Lumbar Cylinder.  And there were probably other ill effects of an imperfect lifestyle during his 76 years.

So, his therapy at the Rehab Hospital consisted basically of increasing the length of tissues in the Low back & Abdominal areas so as to reduce compression upon the Lumbar Nerves.  We also worked with the related shortened tissues of his Lower Extremities that were adding to the Lumbar Joint Compression.  Stretching of the Legs & Hip areas added even more length.  And each session would end with a ‘walk in the hospital hall’ were all the Physical Therapists could notice his constant improvement.  It was important he did that several times a day to develop increased awareness and strength.  He was also encouraged to gradually become less reliant of his ‘walker’ by walking more upright without leaning on it.

4 weeks after being told to buy a wheelchair…

He walked out of the Hospital on his own…

After 7 treatments on his hospital bed, he was now able to walk without the aid of the ‘walker’.  After only 4 weeks, he was able to walk out of the hospital and go home.

You would think that the Physical Therapists there would have been amazed and curious regarding what had happen before their very eyes.  But, NO!!!  They looked at me as a “threat to their healthcare territory”.  Most people have a hard time believing that all the different practitioners and professions don’t get along and work closely with one another.  But, generally they don’t.  HealthCare is mostly the promotion and protection of their “professional turf”… rather than what is good for the best interests of their patients.  Medical Doctors seem to be the most open minded toward someone like me.  But, in over 25 years of practice, I have never once had a referral from a Chiropractor or a Physical Therapist.  They know I am too good.  They would rather work with others who are less experienced and less effective.

Sydney was now able to come to my clinic for treatments.  It was much easier to work with him on the Therapy table than when he was in the hospital bed.  We were now able to add other areas to the Treatment Therapy like his Shoulders, Neck and Ribcage.  After 5 treatments at my clinic, he felt that he was good enough… and he was.

Points to Consider

1.  Once again… it is the caliber of the Therapist that makes the difference.  After over 25 years of increasing skills and experience… a patient has a much better opportunity for achieving desired results from Joel Safran.  People like Barbara knew that.

2.  I will never forget how I was looked at on the day Sydney walked out of the Hospital.  I was looked at as “the enemy”.  It is important for the public to realize that HealthCare is primarily just a “turf protecting” business.  The professionals that really care about people are difficult to find… but very much worth the search.

Safran Rehab & Wellness Therapies
(704) 246-7888

Posted in Auto Accident & Fall Injuries | Leave a comment