Neurological Disorders Treated with Craniosacral Therapy in New York City

What is a Neurological Disorder?
Treating Neurological Disorders with Craniosacral Therapy
What are Medically Unexplained Symptoms?
What is a Functional Neurological Disorder?
What is Unexplained Organic Disease?
What are Unexplained Neurological Symptoms & Conditions

 

What is a Neurological Disorder?

A neurological disorder is a condition that affects the health, function, and even structure of a person’s nervous system. The nervous system is a collection of tissues and cells that help to transmit electrochemical signals throughout the body in order to stop or promote a voluntary and involuntary action. Your nervous system is driven by your brain, which is like your  “power station”. It sends electrical power and signals via power lines called neurons throughout your body. Neurons are synonymous with nerve cells. These neurons are like the power line post and wire coming off of it that travel to different homes, or your case, to different cells and organs in your body. Some of the processes this electrical signal powers are things you don’t even think about; they’re in the background, like your heartbeat. Other things are voluntarily or consciously controlled by you, like moving your hand up and down.

If anything causes your power plant and your power structure to go haywire, a neurological disorder will result. For example, drugs, toxins, and poisons can cause a variety of problems within your nervous system. Some of these toxins cause power shortages that can cause a person, like a house’s electricity, to shut down. Other poisons create power surges that cause sparks to fly everywhere. One notable real-world example of this is epilepsy, where over-activity of the electricity in the brain causes people to experience jerky movements characteristic of this disease.

 

Treating Neurological Disorders with Craniosacral Therapy

Patients suffering with neurological disorders can support their management and improvement of their health through Craniosacral Therapy. Craniosacral Therapy can help reverse early stages of neurological disorders, for others Craniosacral Therapy can help slow down or stop the progression of advanced neurological diseases. Much depends on which neurological disorder a person is experiencing as there are over 600 neurological disorders, such as:

  • Fibromyalgia and nerve pain syndromes
  • Diabetic Neuropathy
  • Muscular Dystrophy
  • Autism and ADHD
  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Brain tumors and brain injuries
  • Infections affecting the brain such as meningitis and Bell’s Palsy
  • Strokes and mini-strokes

CanioSacral Therapy harmonizes the spinal cord and brain by gently removing restrictions that can be detected and corrected with light touch. Clients with neurological conditions often find “less is more” and report more benefits from gentler therapies such as CranioSacral Therapy.

Craniosacral therapy is based on the construct that movement restrictions at the cranial sutures of the skull negatively affect rhythmic impulses conveyed through the cerebral spinal fluid from the cranium to the sacrum. All structures absorbing cerebral spinal fluid, including the brain, spinal cord, and their associated membranes, are considered part of the cranio-sacral system and are positively affected by Craniosacral Therapy. CranioSacral Therapy focuses on gently lessening the body’s connective tissue strain and decrease meningeal stress.  Remember, each cell in the body is covered in connective tissue, and every cell in the brain and spinal cord is encased within an extracellular matrix. Both connective tissue and extracellular matrix form an interconnected framework that transmits biomechanical patterns. CranioSacral Therapy can help lessen biomechanical stress, improve connective tissue patterns encasing the brain and spinal cord, and optimize the brain’s cellular environment and healthy functioning.

An optimized brain environment supports brain cells in functioning at their peak performance, which may improve molecular production, movement, use and clearance throughout the brain, leading to enhanced brain function and improved brain health.  It should also be noted some theories pose that brain inflammation may be part of the cause of neurological disorders like autism, attention issues, hyperactivity, sensory processing disorder, anxiety, sleep disorders, headache, migraine and post-concussion syndrome. Thus correction and treatment of these conditions is optimized by addressing the following: reducing brain inflammation by lessening brain stress that exists in response to connective tissue strain; optimizing drainage of interstitial fluid and enhancing the flow of cerebrospinal fluid throughout the brain; and helping the brain flush itself of irritating or disorganizing substances like toxins, which may help the brain calm and organize most efficiently.

Medically Unexplained Symptoms

The term “medically unexplained symptoms” refers to a social and clinical predicament, not a precise disorder. Medically unexplained symptoms is a diagnosis fitting for persistent physical problems such as dizziness, headaches, strange neurological symptoms or pain in the absence of any recognized medical condition.   Medically unexplained symptoms are common and the difficulty in properly diagnosing in these situations often leads to inadequate care, inappropriate and excessive “diagnostic” testing, dangerous or ineffective therapies, and multiple, often unnecessary referrals. 

Common medically unexplained symptoms include:

  • pains in the muscles or joints
  • back pain
  • headaches
  • tiredness
  • feeling faint
  • chest pain
  • Neurological symptoms
  • heart palpitations
  • stomach problems

Because little is known about the mechanisms of medically unexplained symptoms there is some stigmatization of many patients who legitimately experience complex and inexplicable symptoms of pain.  Not understanding the cause of pain can make the situation even more distressing and difficult to cope with.  When usual diagnostic procedures such as blood tests, x-rays and scans have been inconclusive and the pain that you are experiencing doesn’t go away, focus should turn to the central nervous system.

Many medical disorders have both psychological and physical causes. Our state of mind has an important influence on how we experience physical illness, impacts on our immune system, and the levels of hormones such as cortisol in our bodies.   Most medically unexplained symptoms tend to be neurologic in nature, and that includes  musculoskeletal pains, abdominal pain and gastrointestinal symptoms, ear, nose, and throat symptoms, fatigue, dizziness, and more.   Fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, chronic pelvic pain,  are examples of pains that can be triggered by either psychological stress, physical stress, or both.  

The autonomic nervous system is one of the primary neural pathways activated by stress. Your autonomic nervous system is a network of nerves running throughout your body that control unconscious processes. These are processes that occur without your consciousness, such as your heart beating and breathing. Research has indicated the autonomic nervous system is central in formulating the perception of pain. It is the autonomic nervous system, through the vagus nerve, that modulates various physiological states and its actions are responsible for many kinds of medically unexplained symptoms.   Click here to read my comprehensive explanation and care in treating your Vagus Nerve.

 

Functional Neurological Disorder

Functional neurological disorder — reflects symptoms rooted in the nervous system that can’t be explained by a medical condition or neurological disease, yet are very real, uncontrollable, and problematic. Typically, this disorder affects your senses, such as the ability to hear, see, walk, or swallow.   Functional neurological disorders can be treated with a special type of chiropractic care, and further supplemented with craniosacral therapy.  

It’s important to be mindful chiropractic care not only treats musculoskeletal conditions but also non-musculoskeletal conditions such as colic in children, asthma, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), dizziness, and more.   Chiropractic care is effective in treating non-musculoskeletal conditions since spinal manipulation can have an effect on the autonomic nervous system

Functional Neurology is a chiropractic approach to also treat non-musculoskeletal conditions however the adjustments are aimed at disturbances to the brain as opposed to the spine – in effort to stimulate the brains’ “neuroplasticity”.   Neuroplasticity is the term that describes the brain’s ability to make new nerve connections in order to achieve revitalized and or expanded brain function.  

Think about how a child learns to walk, talk or write.  While it requires practice, once the task is learned, it becomes hard wired in the brain. Through a developmental obstacle (ADHD) or trauma (concussion) the brain may have a weak, incorrect, or broken wire (neurons).   Functional neurology is a type of chiropractic brain training aimed at promoting rewiring and/or strengthening neural connections.  Functional neurology also assesses subtle changes of the nervous system prior to them becoming significant problems.

The list of conditions proposed to be successfully treated by function neurology is extensive and includes:

  • Neurodegenerative disorders: dementia, Alzheimer’s, Multiple system atrophy, Parkinson’s.
  • Demyelinating conditions:  Transverse myelitis, multiple sclerosis, leukodystrophies.
  • Trauma and brain injuries:  Whiplash, concussion.
  • Vestibular conditions: dizziness/disequilibrium, motion sickness, labyrinthitis, vertigo.
  • Movement disorders: restless leg syndrome, tics, myoclonus, dystonia.
  • Neuro-developmental conditions: dyslexia, processing disorders, autism spectrum disorders, ADHD, Aspergee’s, Tourettes, global developmental delay.
  • Nerve disorders:  Bell’s palsy,  Carpal tunnel syndrome,  
  • Cerebro-vascular disorders: Stroke
  • Chronic musculoskeletal pain: back, hip, knee, arm, leg, feet pain.
  • Headaches and pain syndromes: migraines, fibromyalgia, cluster headache, complex regional pain syndrome, 
  • Functional neurological disorders 

Treatment of course is unique for each patient, based on the assessment of their nervous system. Once I identify where the suboptimal functioning of the nervous system lies,  I can determine what stimulation or combination of therapies would be most effective for that particular area, along with how much stimulation to apply (treatment plan). Neurons require stimulation and fuel to survive and thrive, so functional neurology treatment involves precisely tailored exercises (cognitive exercises, eye exercises, balancing activities, joint adjustments).  

 

Unexplained Organic Disease 

While chiropractors are known to primarily focus on musculoskeletal ailments,  the fact of the matter is that for over 100 years chiropractors have dealt with and resolved a broad spectrum of body ailments and pains.   Since then it’s not uncommon to learn of chiropractors treating musculoskeletal conditions as well as various symptoms and signs associated with visceral conditions (disruption or damage to internal tissues and organs). This approach is founded on the understanding that spinal abnormalities cause nerve interference, which in turn can trigger any number of dysfunctions and disorders involving the internal organs of the body.  

This is of particular interest to neurological patients coping with what is called, “unexplained organic disease”.   Patients diagnosed with a neurological disease occasionally experience symptoms considered to be unrelated from what would be expected from their neurological disease.   This occasional neurological phenomenon can be effectively treated with a combination of chiropractic care and craniosacral therapy.  

If you’re experiencing unexplained organic disease it’s possible the underlying issue you’re actually coping with is a product of  “visceral tension”,  or when an internal organ has lost its ability to properly move due to being mechanically compressed, in spasm, torsioned (twisted), or has an adhesion to a neighboring structure.  Unlike somatic pain — which occurs to joints, muscles, or skin,  — visceral pain that comes with unexplained organ disease is typically vague, happens every so often, and feels like pressure or a deep ache.‌

Probable Origins of Unexplained Organic Disease:

  • Organs are understood to have an anatomical motion tract in response to changes in body posture.  Research has concluded physiological and organ function relies significantly on a neutral posture and poor posture can change the position of internal organs and  lead to disease.  For example, internal organs are in their optimal location and functioning when the diaphragm moves efficiently, and the spine has minimal rotational stiffness or is ‘neutral’.  However poor posture can result in visceral (organ) tension and pain.  Poor posture can emerge from stress, weak or tight muscles, weight gain, pregnancy,  low confidence,  previous injuries, your occupation, or a history of wearing heavy backpacks or high-heeled shoes.  Poor posture can be corrected through a combination of chiropractic care and craniosacral therapy.
  • Healthy functioning of internal organs can be impacted by chemical stress (drinking, smoking, unhealthy preservative or additive foods, inhaled pollution,, and drug use are examples of chemical stressors) resulting from poor absorption,  toxins, restricted blood or lymph flow,  infections, inflammatory reactions, and more.  All these conditions can be improved with a combination of chiropractic care and craniosacral therapy.
  • Neural stress (fear, anxiety, etc) can arise from an imbalance at any level of the nervous system, disrupting  just about every organ and system in the body.  For example, research indicates long-term stress produces visceral pain through sensitization  (increases in membrane excitability) of pain pathways promoting chronic organ pain disorders like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).  Neural stress issues can be treated through a combination of chiropractic care and craniosacral therapy.

I treat and resolve all 3 of these probable origins of unexplained organic disease issues with a combination of chiropractic care and craniosacral therapy.  Visit the following pages on my website to learn in detail how these conditions arise and are effectively resolved:   boosting your immune system, lymphatic drainage, and the vagus nerve function.  

I also apply a technique called ‘visceral manipulation”, which is a gentle technique applied to the mobility of organs of the pelvis, abdomen, chest, and cranium effectively normalizing physiology.  This manual non-invasive approach, can restore circulation and motility, thus resolving internal organ dysfunction.

Dysfunction of the organs produces restrictions of their supportive connective tissues and whole structure. These restrictions in turn disrupt flow of blood, neural elements, lymph integrity and energy. This then has a domino effect on the mobility and function of the internal organ which now become  irritated, altered, under-stimulated or essentially confused (so to speak).  Hence visceral manipulation is often a supplemental therapeutic response to support chiropractic care and craniosacral therapy, in an overall treatment plan to resolve unexplained organic disease.  

What unexplained organic disease issues can chiropractic, craniosacral therapy &  visceral manipulation help?

  • General belly discomfort
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Headaches & Migraines
  • Scar release related to surgical history
  • Constipation, diarrhea or IBS (irritable bowel syndrome)
  • Liver or gall bladder congestion
  • Gastric reflux or hiatal hernia
  • Prolapse of pelvic organs
  • Sinus involvement
  • and many other issues

 

Unexplained Neurological Symptoms & Conditions

The U.S. National Library of Medicine has reported there are  more than 600 neurologic diseases covering a range of disorders, such as epilepsy, autism, ADD, learning disabilities, neuromuscular disorders, cerebral palsy, and Alzherimer’s, just to name a few.  Yet and still, it’s commonplace for neurological problems to go unnoticed and untreated due to how humdrum and mundane the symptoms may appear.  This is why it’s important to have awareness of unexplained neurological symptoms, so they can be recognized and acted  on at an early stage.

When To Be Aware of Unexplained Neurological Symptoms?

Consider these essential questions to understand when specific neurological symptoms warrant a doctor’s visit.

  1. Headaches: Are your headaches or migraines becoming more intense, frequent,  or lasting longer?
  2. Shaking: Are you noticing a tremor (unintentional / involuntary rhythmic pattern of muscle contractions) in your chin,  fingers, or hands, while at rest?
  3. Fainting: Has fainting (losing consciousness) become frequent, and seemingly entirely unprompted?
  4. Vision: Have you noticed any blurred, doubled, or a momentary total loss of vision?
  5. Memory loss: Have you been forgetting things, to the measure that it’s affecting daily life?
  6. Slurred speech: Are you experiencing difficulty with normal speaking, your words garbled, slow, or running together?
  7. Weakness: Are your arms or legs feeling weak or numb for extended periods of time?
  8. Confusion: Are you feeling momentarily disoriented in any way, or just mentally lost?   
  9. Seizures: Have you had moments of unresponsiveness while conscious? When a seizure does not affect awareness, it’s referred to as a simple partial seizure with symptoms of muscle tightening, unusual head movements, tingling, numbness, blank stares, eye movement from side to side, nausea, sweating, flushed face, pain & discomfort, hallucinations, mood changes, feeling a sense of déjà vu (like you’ve experienced the moment before).

Research has documented people with severe neurological dysfunction – without any detectable cause or neurological disease – were ultimately diagnosed as having a probable functional neurological disorder.   What’s noteworthy about this research is that as the unexplained neurological symptoms progressed the only detectable change was that cerebrospinal fluid and nerve conduction proved an underlying polyneuropathy (simultaneous malfunctioning in the body).  Further research has shown how it’s become a norm for unexplained neurological symptoms to be diagnosed as functional neurological disorder

In unpacking this research and focusing on the only detectable change and underlying polyneuropathy,  attention is drawn to:

  • Nerve conduction: refers to a test measuring how fast electrical signals travel through a nerve, which helps identify muscles for abnormalities.  Spinal realignment through chiropractic care can take pressure off blood vessels and nerves, promoting improved circulation and optimized nerve conduction.
  • Cerebrospinal fluid:  The watery fluid encompassing the spinal cord and brain with 3 essential functions: 1) Protect spinal cord and brain from trauma; 2) Deliver nutrients to nervous system tissue; and 3) Transport waste products from cerebral metabolism.  I specialize in craniosacral therapy which centers on the healthy flow of cerebrospinal fluid that lubricates the brain and spinal cord. This fluid is central in maintaining the healthy functioning of all of the major organ systems of the body.  It is the hydraulic, energetic function of the body.

Unexplained neurological symptoms coupled with the fact that there are over 600 neurological diseases covering a range of disorders – mindful that every situation is unique highlights the challenge in comprehensively covering any one circumstance at depth.   Nonetheless and for example, what may seem to be an unexplained neurological disorder can actually be Hydrocephalus, which is an excess buildup of cerebrospinal fluid in the brain, placing harmful pressure on the brain’s tissues.  Hydrocephalus can be present at birth, or surface over time from an injury of some kind.  Hydrocephalus symptoms can vary from person to person and mostly depend on age.

Infants

Symptoms and signs common of hydrocephalus in infants include:

Changes in the head

  • An unusually large head
  • A fast increase in head size  
  • A bulging or soft spot with tension (fontanel) on the top of the head

Physical signs and symptoms

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Sleepiness or sluggishness (lethargy)
  • Irritability
  • Poor eating
  • Seizures
  • Eyes fixed downward (sunsetting of the eyes)
  • Problems with muscle tone and strength

Toddlers and older children

Among toddlers and school age children, signs and symptoms might include:

Physical signs and symptoms

  • Headache
  • Blurred or double vision
  • Abnormal eye movements
  • Abnormal enlargement of a toddler’s head
  • Sleepiness or sluggishness
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Unstable balance
  • Poor coordination
  • Poor appetite
  • Loss of bladder control or frequent urination

Behavioral and cognitive changes

  • Irritability
  • Change in personality
  • Decline in school performance
  • Problems or delays with previously acquired skills, such as talking or walking 

Young and middle-aged adults

Signs and symptoms that are common in this age group include:

  • Headache
  • Sluggishness
  • Loss of coordination or balance
  • Loss of bladder control or a frequent need to urinate
  • Vision problems
  • Decline in memory, inability to concentrate  

Older Adults

Among adults 60+ year,  common  symptoms and signs a of hydrocephalus are:

  • Loss of bladder control or a frequent need to urinate
  • Memory loss
  • Progressive loss of other reasoning or thinking skills
  • Difficulty walking, feeling of the feet being stuck, often described as a shuffling gait or the
  • Poor coordination or balance

 

If you or someone you know is coping with unexplained neurological symptoms,  don’t hesitate to call me at (212) 328-1180.   While everyone’s circumstances are unique, I’m able to leverage my background in both chiropractic care and craniosacral therapy to swiftly identify the likely underlying issues needing attention  to most any neurological a person is experiencing. 

About Dr. Kaminsky & Craniosacral Therapy

Dr. Kaminsky is a 1999 graduate of the University of Bridgeport College of Chiropractic. He is licensed to practice in NY and has completed close to three thousand hours of professional continuing education since becoming licensed in March of 2000.

The primary approach used in his office is Craniosacral Therapy (CST) which is a method focusing on the cranium (head) and sacrum (a large bone at the base of the spine) scientifically proven to control life sustaining fluid flow throughout the body.

Craniosacral Therapy is a gentle, non-invasive, hands-on manual therapy approach that brings about healing via the fluidity of the body. The existence of the Craniosacral System was first discovered by Osteopath Dr. William Sutherland in the early 1900’s, calling it Cranial Osteopathy.  And later rediscovered, validated, and developed by Dr. John Upledger in the late 70’s early 80’s, who renamed it Craniosacral Therapy after doing five years of research at the Michigan State University, School of Medicine. In 1983 Dr. John, as he was fondly called, established a teaching institute in Palm Beach, Florida, to teach this cranial sacral method to all healthcare providers. The Upledger Institute is still very active today.

The craniosacral mechanism pumps fluid which is produced in the brain, called cerebro-spinal fluid (CSF), through the fascial network of the body, the purpose of which is to lubricate joints, muscles, organs, all cells and all tissues. It is the driving life force for your body’s systems to function properly, CSF also carries healing properties to bodily traumas, injuries and past surgeries.

The proper function of your cranial sacral mechanism, via CSF flow, maintains the normal tone of your muscles, provide nutrients to your organs, and keeps you out of pain. It sustains human life and allows your nervous system to stay responsive to challenges of daily living and your mind-body life experiences. The better your craniosacral mechanism functions, the better the flow of this life sustaining fluid, the better your body can handle physical and emotional stress. The uninhibited flow of this fluid throughout your body allows you to thrive, opposite of survival mode.

CSF is part of the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) brain and spinal cord), which is physically encapsulated within the dural membranes of the spine and head.

One of the functions inside of your brain is to automatically generate energetic rhythmic impulses that function to pump CSF throughout your body, regulating your peripheral nerves, nervous system and organ systems, which in turn, sustain your function (physiology) and life. It is an important force that maintains everything functioning in your body. This is what we call the Craniosacral System, or Craniosacral Mechanism. It is the hydraulic, energetic and rejuvenating system of your body.

This measurable life force of moving fluid is palpable to a trained craniosacral therapist, like the heart rhythm, pulse rhythm, breathing rate, that can all be felt, so too can the Cranial Sacral Rhythm (CSR) be palpated and measured. It is the foundational diagnostic tool in real-time used to evaluate your current state of well-being (or lack thereof), and potential for health improvement and healing.

Compromises of your rhythmic impulse, correlates to CSF flow restrictions in the system which the body is unable to self-correct or overcome on its own. This is the reason why over time we develop pain, dis-ease, symptoms, conditions, mind-body disconnect and basically all human physical and psychological ailments.

When the fluid isn’t flowing optimally, your bodily rejuvenation is affected, and this is where the skill of an experienced craniosacral therapist becomes valuable. By placing his or her hands on your body, most commonly on your head and sacrum, for diagnostic purposes, the practitioner can detect, feel, evaluate, and rate the SSQAR (strength, symmetry, quality, amplitude, rate) of the rhythm; then bring forth correction of any limitations with subsequent experienced hand placements on different parts the body during a session.

A craniosacral therapist helps your rhythm reset, restore and renew allowing for healing to take place of the mind-body connection, musculoskeletal tightness and spasms, neurological deficits, autoimmune issues, organ function, many common conditions, and of course pain. Through a practitioners properly focused and attuned touch, your body is facilitated to release channels of fluid stagnation and flow restriction, which ultimately breakthrough, overcome and improve CSR and the function of vital fluid flow.

Dr. Alex Kaminsky is an advanced practitioner of Craniosacral therapy, having studied up to advanced levels including SER and pediatric courses. He has built a solid foundation with many years of experience, treating babies, children and adults.

To learn more, visit the other pages on this website. Call to schedule your appointment with Dr. Kaminsky.