August 27, 2012 § Leave a Comment
Since beginning this blog nearly a year ago, I have written several articles about scar tissue, fascia , liquid crystalline properties of living tissue, the connective tissue matrix, post-surgical issues like trauma, pain and adhesions, and acupuncture in connective tissue remodeling.
At present, I am writing a book on the subject of scar tissue and I need your input.
What information would you like to see covered?
What questions do you have?
Are you a lay person interested in self-treatment protocals to ease discomfort associated with scar tissue?
Are you a practitioner who is looking for helpful treatment approaches?
Your comments, contributions, and questions are eagerly awaited!
May 30, 2012 § 22 Comments
When I first became acquainted with Mae-Wan Ho and James Oschman‘s theory that the human body’s connective tissue matrix is liquid crystalline in nature, I was completely intrigued. This made so much sense to me since I was already aware of the body’s bioelectrical capacity to move blood and transfer energy or Qi between body systems and the extremities via acupoints along meridian pathways. I had also been exploring the use of microcurrent and colored light therapy to address chronic pain in my clinic. All these modalities proved effective because the human body is bioelectric as well biochemical in nature. However, at that point in my career, I was applying treatment according to the principles of meridian theory even though there were no coherent scientific theories in place to explain how energy could travel between the skin and the muscles—the first principle of meridian theory in Traditional Chinese Medicine. The chief reason that it was so difficult to identify the mechanism of action is that the meridian system is not an actual physical structure. Instead, meridians behave like a series of interconnected energetic pathways.
Eventually, as scientists began to research acupoints found along the meridians pathways, they noticed that the points and the meridians each possessed distinctive electrical properties when compared with surrounding skin. This finding correlated with research into the properties of the body’s connective tissue matrix which gives the body, body tissues, organs and cells their shapes. Many years ago it was discovered that the proteins making up the structural components of cells and tissues were closely aligned in an array of atoms. Szent-Gyorgyi, an early pioneer in connective tissue research, predicted that this molecular array would enable electrons to mobilize and form an energy continua that would belong to the whole system. He also suggested that with adequate hydration, the cytoskeleton of each cell would behave like a semiconductor, able to support high-speed communication across the body through the conduction of electrons, protons, and other subatomic entities across the collagenous protein network. The discovery of these properties led to the conclusion that the connective tissue matrix behaved like liquid-crystalline tissue and was the likely means by which energy and information moved instantaneously across the body. This working theory may well be the mechanism of action by which the transfer of energy occurs in acupuncture’s meridian and acupoint system.
In the image below you can observe the molecular order of liquid crystals in organic tissue. Mae-Wan Ho and David P. Knight identify the following properties inherent to liquid crystals and suggest that these also apply to the body’s connective tissue matrix:
- liquid crystal molecules have an orientational order
- liquid crystals are malleable, flexible, and responsive
- individual crystals can flow or have the properties of a solid
- liquid crystal molecules respond when exposed to changes in hydration, pressure, shear forces, and temperature
- exposure to electric and magnetic fields can cause changes in orientation
As a holistic practitioner, I feel it is extremely important for me to stay open to novel ways of understanding the human body and its systems in order to remain progressive in my chosen field of holistic medicine. Since change is the one real constant that we can depend on, how do you stay current with changes in your field?
May 22, 2012 § 20 Comments
As a practitioner of holistic medicine, I really enjoy talking about non-invasive methods that support health and resolve illness. One of the tools that I use is LED color-light therapy. LED is the acronym for light-emitting diodes which act as semiconductors, releasing electrons in the form of photons or little packets of light. I use LED color-light therapy (light projects through colored gels) with patients on a near-daily basis to ease pain, restore internal balance, and support vitality.
Were you aware that the use of light or phototherapy in medicine is well established? According to the Mayo Clinic, specific wavelengths of light evoke specific responses in the body. Some of the common medical uses of light therapy include treatment for seasonal affective disorder (SAD), sleep/circadian rhythm issues, and even depression. For example, full-spectrum light is thought to effectively address SAD because it appears that its wavelengths alter brain chemicals linked to mood. Ultraviolet light has been effectively used to treat skin disorders such as eczema, acne vulgaris, or psoriasis while a specific frequency of blue light successfully treats neonatal jaundice. Light has even been found to accelerate the healing of wounds.
Even if we don’t completely understand the science behind light therapy, we all know how good it feels to step out into the sunshine and be warmed by its radiant heat. Ponder for a moment how sunlight travels through space at the speed of light to influence all life processes on this earth. It is no wonder that the properties of light have intrigued scientists throughout the ages as highlighted in this quote from the Photon Science Institute at the University of Manchester:
Photon science encompasses all aspects of creating, measuring and using light for science. Photon science allows us to discover new things about the properties of all kinds of physical and biological matter, enabling us to answer questions of what things are and how and why they work.
I suggest that understanding some of the basics of how and why the body responds to the therapeutic application of light is empowering since it offers us one more non-invasive tool to support our health or to treat illness. The series will explore newer theories of biophysics such as the bio-electrical nature of body and the crystalline-like properties of body tissues which are thought to sustain a body-wide state of energy continuum. I find this new line of research to be exciting and thought-provoking and I hope you will ‘catch the wave’ of excitement with me!
Question to ponder: Do you think that understanding the marvels of the human body motivates people to take better care of themselves and their health?
November 13, 2011 § 2 Comments
The long-established metaphor, body as a machine, a by-product of reductionism (the primary scientific method of inquiry used in the study of living systems) is losing its relevance in the face of advancing scientific knowledge. Why should this matter to you and me? It matters because according to medical anthropologists, Robbie Davis-Floyd and Gloria St. John, the cultural manner in which the body is defined determines how it is viewed and treated within the medical health care system.
Most of us were introduced to the reductionist method in our high school science classes. In bio-medicine, this method involves the breaking down and dissecting of anatomical structures and physiological pathways into biochemical and structural components for analysis with the aim of developing more effective ways to intervene in the disease process. While this approach has supported advancements in molecular biology, pharmacology, and surgical interventions, it is proving to be too limited in understanding and intervening in chronic illnesses as these tend to be whole-body-systems disorders. More importantly, this perspective nearly discards what physiologist Dr. James Oschman calls “the single most important attribute” of every living organism: it’s systemic interconnectedness.
With chronic disease becoming epidemic and health care costs skyrocketing out of control, it behooves researcher and consumer alike to examine the emerging evidence of contemporary models of the human body which have incorporated the principle of holism, the idea that the body must be studied as a whole interconnected system. This series will explore the emerging idea of body as information system and discuss how this novel perspective can help you take charge of your health and wellness in order to avoid or reverse chronic disease.
How do you experience your body, as a machine that can have its parts reworked or replaced when needed or as a dynamic interconnected system? Do the two concepts mutually exclude each other?