Archive | March 2013

Castor Oil Therapy

Castor oil is derived from the seeds of the castor bean plant (Ricinus communis).  It has been used for thousands of years to promote tissue healing in the body.  Edgar Caycee recommended using castor oil packs to assist in healing wounds of the skin and dermis, and women have used castor oil for reproductive health.

Castor Oil Pack Use a small square of wool or natural fiber cloth.  The cloth fiber will be folded into several layers and measure about 12 inches square or large enough to cover the area you are treating, about the size of your heating pad. Saturate the cloth with castor oil by placing the cloth in a flat container and pour enough oil to just saturate the cloth.   Place the cloth on the skin above the organ or area to be treated.  For wound healing, place the pack a few inches above the wound; not directly on the wound if the cut or abrasion is still open.   I recommend covering the pack first with saran wrap or a plastic bag to protect the heating pad or clothing.  Apply heat to the pack. Do Not Wash the cloth pack.  Simply fold it up in the plastic and reuse by adding more castor oil for each use.  You can keep the pack in the refrigerate until needed again.  Heat helps the oil penetrate deep within the body.

Castor has traditionally been used to help in cases of inflammation, pain, unwanted  growths such as ovarian cysts, to increase circulation and for relaxation.  It will also alkalanize the colon.

The lymphatic system consists of vessels, lymph nodes and their fluid called lymph.  lymphocytes are the immune cells within the lymphatic system that provide immune defense against disease.  Lymph nodes are found throughout the body, and especially in the moveable joints of the arms and legs, but especially in large numbers around the colon and reproductive system.  When applied to the abdomen the castor oil pack promotes detoxification of the colon by decreasing the acid level, and promotes reproductive health by increasing circulation.  Lymph nodes rely on external movement in order to flow properly which explains their concentration at the moveable joints and the abdomen.  Exercise, vibration and manipulation will increase the flow of lymph throughout the body.  For this reason, Ann Wigmore recommended bouncing on a mini-trampoline to increase lymphatic flow in an exercise she terms “lymphasizing.”  I recommend 30 minutes a day or several times a week for all patients.  Lymphasizing creates better cardiovascular flow, so it exercises the heart, lungs, and tones all the muscles all at once.  Movement is medicine, so what better way to heal the body than to move to the music!

I had a patient years ago who was 65 years old and had very good muscle tone throughout her body.  I asked her what she did to keep so healthy.  She replied that she does her own housework, and she bounced on her mini-trampoline 15 minutes every day while watching her television show.  She had it figured out, and the results were truly amazing.  Her daughter who was half her age, was tiddled with pain and sore joints, while her mother had a sweet temperament and appeared to be in excellent health.  What a simple solution that anyone can enjoy!

The liver makes about half of all the lymph in the body.  It is important that the liver is healthy and able to process chemicals for different purposes.  If the liver gets overloaded with toxins it can lead to ill health and contribute to hormone imbalances and disease.  Detoxification of the liver can be accomplished with dietary changes and a simple regimen of organic whole plant foods.  Wheat grass is an excellent chlorophyl rich food that helps to gently detox the liver.  I recommend starting with one ounce a day, and gradually building up to several ounces a day during a detox program.  This involves specific diet changes and incorporating organic food into a regimen of diet, exercise, water, fresh air and lymphasizing daily.

Green Energy Soup This recipe was recommended by Ann Wigmore during the detoxification programs.  Make a batch in the morning and consume for all three meals of the day for three days, along with a fermented food such as Rejuvelac rich in probiotics.

On the evening of the third day of using the pack, A.R.E. (the Edgar Cayce foundation) recommends taking a teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil.  Take more if you can tolerate a few teaspoons more.

See related blog on detoxification for recipe for the Green Energy Soup and how to make Rejuvelac fermented beverage.

Yours in Health Doc Wah

Resources <strong>The Oil That Heals</strong> by William A. McGarey, M.D., (Virginia Beach: A.R.E. Press, 1993). <strong>Castor Oil! It’s Healing Properties</strong> by Beth M. Ley, PhD. (BL Publications, 2003)

Interspinous Ligaments And Their Relationship to Chronic Low Back Pain

by Dr. Rev. Wanona Wellspring DN LMT MDiv

The human spine is made up of bones ligaments and tendons that are connected on the tissue level. Ligaments attach to bones to stabilize the spine. Tendons are an extension of the muscles that attach to bones allowing the body to move. Nerves are distributed throughout the body to communicate with the brain so that movement occurs.

Ligaments are also a major sensory organ. Along with mechanical receptors in the joints, ligaments monitor proprioception in the joints. However the lack of blood supply to the ligaments does not allow them to stretch unlike muscles who are highly vascularized.

Following a traumatic event the body will contract and get tight in its ability to protect from future injury and as a response of the initial trauma. It is necessary therefore to stretch the tight musculature in order to maintain proper alignment of the spine. The deep muscles in the spine include the rotators, multifidi, and work with the interspinous ligaments and the mechanico-receptors located between the joints.

Within the fascial system that integrates I her entire body are spindle cells that provide feedback to the central nervous system. Often after a traumatic event, such as an automobile accident or a severe fall, the patient will experience tenderness along the spine including the supraspinous ligament.  Friction massage reduces pain and tenderness along the spine where the fascia adheres to the spinous processes.

Interrupting the mechanicoreceptor through fascial manipulation removes the restriction of motion of the deep fascia over the muscle. This is done through manual massage, myofascial release, and gentle massage over the affected area. Stretching of the tight musculature affects also the type ligaments, bringing about normal range of motion to the joint and alignment of the spine. Ligaments stretch slower than muscle and will take longer to heal, but with movement both muscle and ligament regain balance.

In my upcoming book, “Reafferentation:  Reconnecting the Body with the Brain”, I illustrate various movement techniques that will reconnect the function of the muscle with the brain to remove the tension within the fascial system. Movement is required to excite the nerves that innervate the muscles and communicate to the brain.

For example, a pronated ankle sends pain information to the brain along the muscles of the leg. This results in weak muscles such as gluteus medias. This could also be a factor relating to hip rotation which also involves the sacrum. The pain signal runs from the ankle all the way to the brain sustaining the weakness, because the signal returning to the body is weak. Therefore, manipulating they hit up to remove the rotation clears the pathway for a stronger signal from the ankle to the brain. It is necessary to also address the pronation, the knee, the hip and low back in this syndrome.

Naprapathy addresses all connective tissue disorders. Hip rotation is a very common problem relating to chronic low back pain. When the pelvis rotates the sacrum is also involved. The ligaments from the sacrum to the lumbar vertebra must also be involved. In flamed ligaments can be found in the low back region of the spine resulting from long-term exposure of ligaments to the cyclic load placed on the sacrum. The pronated for that leads to long-term exposure of ligaments to static, high number of load repetitions and results in acute inflammation which require long periods of rest to resolve. However, a Naprapathic treatment removes the cyclic load on the hip, the sacrum, and the static load on the ankle. The pain fiber firing is quiet and the muscles regain their strength. Gentle exercises are required to retain the strength in the muscles involved in hip rotation.

I recommend weekly Naprapathic visits to regain balance of ligaments and strength in the muscles until the hip rotation has resolved. This could take a number of weeks or months depending upon the activity level of the patient. For example, a whiplash injury if treated with Naprapathic manipulation could resolve in 6 to 8 weeks. However, most patients who undergo physical therapy without Naprapathic care may take over one year to resolve. The brain and the body communicate better when the spine is aligned. This is common sense. Unfortunately, it is not practiced in most physical therapy or chiropractic clinics.

By integrating Naprapathic care within the physical therapy protocols the doctor of naprapathy can address the connective tissue and associated chronic neuromuscular disorder known as cumulative trauma disorder or connective tissue disorder.