Archive for January, 2010

Into the Mouth, Through the Nose

January 19, 2010

As I watch television, from time to time, I am impressed by the increasing number of conditions claimed by the drug companies (and by extension, the medical profession) under their umbrella of expertise, their offering being, of course, drugs.

According to one ad, depression (formerly a psychological condition related to conditions of life, to be treated by psychotherapists who foster responsible living) is now “a serious medical condition” to be treated by anti-depressant drugs; we have “ED” to be treated by Viagra, Cialis, and — what’s the third one?? — rather than by improving ones overall health and the quality of ones relationships; back and muscle pain, of course, are to be treated with Advil or Tylenol or God-knows-what, rather than by relieving the muscular stresses that underlie most back pain; and sleep disorders have their favorite drugs of the day. Attention Deficit Disorder is commonly treated with drugs, without recognizing that our idiot entertainment media have made a “style” out of one-second visuals that interrupt attention before it can rest steadily upon the object being presented. Even botulism toxin has become a cosmetic! Allergies, wrinkles, breathing difficulties, hair loss, smoking addiction, and acid reflux — a drug for everything — in a time when the phrase, “War on Drugs” is somehow held as righteously meaningful.

Does it make you wonder?

Many people seem to think that the key to what ails them is something they can put into their mouths. It’s “conspicuous consumption” mutated into a health profession serving an unhealthy society.

And, of course, for that, people pay through the nose.

Responsible living seems to have the bouquet of a pipe dream.

Drugs are a major medical expense.

And yet, the one major thing people put into their mouths — food — stays relegated to the mentality of the “fat farm”. The dietary connection to health has been overshadowed by the pharmaceutical one.

Think about this: Drugs are known for their side effects — two common ones being death and suicide — and yet the idea that diabetes, heart disease, and cancer may be side effects of improper diet — is given little credence — this in an age when childhood diabetes is on the rise, obesity is common, and so few people actually look good that good looks are considered a divine gift, like talent, rather than a sign of health. I guess that’s not surprising, since in TV commercials, we are taught to overlook side effects; the side effects of drugs are stated and then quickly overridden by the endorsements of the fictitious characters/customers (drug users) they feature — in other words, side-effects are glossed over.

I’m going to take a moment and endorse a couple of books for you to read. The first, a groundbreaking book on the connection of diet to health, is called, The China Study, which is more than about China, but world-wide dietary studies brought together. Written by a highly credentialed surgeon and university professor who has testified in Congressional hearings, T. Colin Campbell, The China Study is a well written summary of the results of many independently conducted scientific surveys and laboratory studies whose evidence is so overwhelming and conclusions, so persuasive, that the meat and dairy industries have actively suppressed it (acting much as the tobacco industry did in decades, past). The second, a recently released book, The Engine 2 Diet, was written by the son of a colleague of Dr. Campbell’s and contains essentially the same message, crafted for a more popular audience.

These aren’t “weight loss” books, although weight loss is one of the effects of the dietary adjustments they advocate; they are “healthy diet” books. They appear to have major implications for cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and obesity — a range of conditions with something unrecognized in common, something these books talk about with scientific backing.

I’m not big on “What goes in your mouth can save you” thinking, but I believe these books merit your attention.

Having said that, I’m going to point out that other avenues exist for getting things inside you other than your mouth: your eyes, your ears, and your body sense. The thing they get inside you is information, and not just information for your thinking mind, but information for your functioning body. I’m leading up to something.

Our medical system is overburdened with heart disease, cancer (breast, prostate, colon), and a disease condition of an entirely different category, chronic pain.

Chronic pain isn’t something you can cure with something you put into your mouth. It doesn’t result from a deficiency or excess of something chemical; it results from an excess, generally, of the accumulated memory imprints of injuries and stress. Though people try to mitigate stress with things they put into themselves through their mouths, noses and lungs — sleep aids, alcohol, tobacco, food, and various recreational drugs — it’s not the passage into the body through the stomach and lungs that holds the promise of relief; it’s the passage via your senses, through your brain and your nervous system, into your sensibilities, deep into the subconscious and unconscious processes of your bodily, feeling and thinking self-regulation.

Stress-related disorders are related to overwork, repetitive motion, physical injuries, and bad relationships. They include back pain, headaches, depression, breathing difficulties, bad digestion (totally apart from food), chronic fatigue, hemorrhoids, and a host of other conditions commonly “treated” with drugs. Drugs are not the answer; they are, generally, a mask. They interfere, but they do not resolve. Symptoms may abate, but the damage continues.

I’m not going to undertake to discuss the range of stress related disorders, here. That I’ve named some of them, here, is sufficient; the more descriptive writing about their nature and revolutionary methods of relief based on newly developed principles, exists elsewhere.

Suffice it to say that, in the time of “health care crisis” and “bloated healthcare budget”, a solution from a new direction, one that is far more effective and cost effective than a drug or anything you can put into your mouth, exists. You don’t have to pay through the nose; you just have to pay attention. If you pay attention, you will end up paying far less, financially. Of course, you’ve got to want to, and I’m going to leave it at that.

Free instructional Video: First Aid for Back Pain | Emergency Back Self-Care

Stop Sciatic Back Pain

January 5, 2010

As difficult as sciatica is to endure, it’s as simple to understand and to undo — and sciatica is usually a “doing”, not usually a state of damage to the nerve that must heal. It just takes the correct and most direct kind of approach.

What is that “doing”? It’s muscular contractions in the neighborhood of the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve gets entrapped either between neighboring vertebrae pulled too closely together or between contracted muscular tissue.

The muscles involved are usually under voluntary control and relaxed when not involved in movements. The sciatic nerve doesn’t mind momentary compression, as in movement. However, in sciatica, these muscles stay contracted in the grip of habituated postural reflexes — on autopilot, out of the control of the sufferer.

To end sciatica, then, involves freeing oneself from the grip of those involuntary postural reflexes. That gets done by a certain kind of movement training, about which I will say more, shortly.

That’s the simple understanding that explains most sciatic back pain and how to stop it. (The other kind of sciatica results from rupture of intervertebral discs — a much rarer and more difficult situation. I’ll say more about that at the end so you know which version you (presumably, it’s you) may have).

Now, more detail.

Two most common forms of sciatica exist:

* lumbar sciatica
* piriformis syndrome


Lumbar sciatica consists of two habituated muscular contraction patterns at once:

1) low back muscles producing excessive lordosis (spinal curve)

2) waist muscles producing a side-tilt to one side

The combination of these two muscular actions compresses the sciatic nerve where it exits the spine at L3/L4 – L5/S1 (basically, the low back).


The piriformis (or pyriformis) muscles are buttock muscles. When tight, they turn feet toes-out. The sciatic nerve passes around or sometimes through the piriformis muscles and can get trapped and squeezed between the piriformis muscle and neighboring muscles.

Piriformis syndrome is the rarer and simpler form of sciatica.


While words have explanatory value, a video clip shows the process. This clip shows the first of two procedures needed to stop sciatic back pain and deals with the “back pain” part of the problem; another procedure deals with the side tilt. These procedures are called, “somatic education.”

Now, a word on other methods of dealing with sciatica — and that includes muscle relaxants, surgery, and any kind of therapeutic manipulation. If they don’t address the muscular activity behind sciatica and if they don’t teach a person control of that activity, they can’t be effective in the long term. It’s as flat as that.

Finally, words on sciatic back pain from a ruptured disc.


When a disc ruptures, its pulpy center squeezes out of the rupture site into the neighboring space, where the nerve is. The pulpy center (“nucleus pulposus”) squeezes on the nerve root. In such cases, the approach I have outlined doesn’t work — but it also doesn’t hurt.

If you don’t get rapid improvement (two clinical sessions or a week of somatic exercises), it’s likely you have the disc problem. That’s usually a surgical situation, although some therapists claim to be able to get the disc material into the disc via the MacKenzie Technique. Even in that case, the muscles must be freed or the situation is likely to recur.

For more video on back pain relief click emergency back self-care.

For access to the Home Website on this approach, click here. For access to practitioners and self-help instruction, “stop sciatica”.