CREATIVE HEALING APPLICATIONS FOR SCIATICA
Mr. Stephenson warned against the use of heat applications for low back and sciatic pain. Heat can seem to relieve pain in the short run, yet it can actually increase the problem with the natural tendency for tissue to swell with heat. Different types of substance swell at different rates, which may lead to the connective tissues and nerves becoming unable to properly fit into their best location. Improper alignment may then further reduce nourishment to the injured area, deepening the problem.
Some people will find the comfort of heat too enticing, which will cause a highly mottled and blotchy appearance to the skin. This indicates damage to the tissues that further reduces circulation.
The body operates best if kept at normal temperature, so it is advisable to use warm, rather than hot, water for baths, showers, whirlpools or compresses used. Warmth stimulates circulation in a positive manner. Warming the whole body is much preferable to heating one area only. Often, if heat is used on a site, that area will become more susceptible to chilling afterwards. Any chilling of a damaged area is best prevented by wearing an insulating band of wool next to the skin. Do not use synthetic fabrics. I like silk instead of itchy wool.
STEPHENSON’S IMAGE OF THE SCIATIC NERVES
Mr. Stephenson saw the nerves of the sacral area as a nerve and connective tissue “harness” over the buttocks whose position determines how the pelvis moves. The Creative Healer can evaluate the patient’s carriage and position of the hips and sacrum, to determine how the principles should be applied to affect positive change.
Visualize a pattern that an inverted candelabra would make; with a central stem from which many bilateral matching branches emerge. It is similar at the sacrum, with many collateral branches, with most converging again to form the sciatic nerves near the base of the sacrum. The sciatic descends down the back of the legs and off the last three toes. When there is blockage here there can be difficulty with bending over or straightening up. Another major convergence is closer to the top of the sacrum, where it branches out of the hip, descending through the belly and down the front of the leg from the groin, providing nerve life to the front and sides of the legs. Mr. Stephenson designated these as the upper and the lower sciatic nerves, although Medicine names only the lower as the sciatic nerve. When there is an obstruction in the system, it causes contraction within the muscles controlled by the impaired nerve. As the obstruction progresses, there will be more muscle spasms, pain and impaired movement. All of the life force for the legs and feet moves through the sacral nerves.
Mr. Stephenson said it did not matter how long the condition had existed, as Creative Healing could certainly cause a permanent healing for the problem, sometimes in just one treatment. While that was his experience, I find that the problem may take time to fully resolve, but pain relief often happens quickly, with the effects of treatment lasting longer each time. I find that one must consider the person’s activities, posture, and emotional stresses as part of the healing process. How they use themselves may need to change for better alignment to be possible. The emotions that are often associated with low back pain have to do with the feeling of how one is being supported, either in family, relationship or financially. How can the person better “back themselves up”? What do they need to feel better supported?
Sciatica The pain of sciatica usually affects the buttocks, hips, and can radiate all the way down the leg.
Our intention will be to remove the blockage in life force to the nerve to restore normal function.
During normal functioning, the nerves glide during movement within their grooves in the bone and tissues. Obstructions are usually caused by a displacement of the nerve, muscle contractions or asymmetrical arrangement of the nerve plexus, so treatment will consider each possibility.
Upper Sciatic Nerves
The Patient sits with buttocks firmly on bench, fully supported so that nothing hangs over the edges. The Creative Healer sits behind the patient. If the patient is unable to sit, treat the ankle circulation points while the patient stands. These are located in the hollow on the outside of each ankle at the crease. Use a gentle breaking up congestion motion, with a subtle downward pumping action to help create a vacuum at the same time. This should release enough pain as their circulation increases so that the patient may be able to sit more comfortably. If they are still unable to sit, let them lay with pillows under their hips to ease the lumbar strain of being face down. Sometimes, you may be able to work while they are on their sides. Using well-oiled hands start with gentle upward strokes, lifting the tissues from the base of the sacrum and moving upward towards the lumbar area. Keep your hands soft, palm slightly cupped to create more vacuum, your thumbs extended, pointing inward and touching at midline, while the fingers are extended upward comfortably. Lift repeatedly to help relieve pressure and swelling in the tissues. You can feel places that are warmer or swollen or tender as you stroke lightly over the tissues.
As you work, you will locate the notches for the upper sciatic nerve path just below the crest of the hip bones where you can feel the joining of the hipbones and the sacrum. The notches are usually farther apart on women than on men, as the pelvic structure is somewhat different in order to accommodate child bearing capacity. Place the tips of your index fingers firmly in these notches. If the patient jumps, moves away or cries out, you have located the problem. They may be tender on one or both sides. If neither are, then the upper sciatic is not is issue.
If the notches are tender, with a light contact, use your thumbs to trace a line from the notches back to the center of the spine. Here is located a small groove across the spine, located on the top of the sacrum just below the 5th lumbar. It is not easy to feel. This is where the nerve exits from the spine and should sit comfortably within the groove. Here is where you will re-position the nerve with a quarter twist turn. Sometimes the nerve is displaced at the center when both notches are tender, and sometimes, on one or both sides where the tenderness in the notches will tell you which needs treating. When displaced, the nerve sags downward, so your contact will be just below the groove, lifting the nerve back up and into it. If the nerve is quite swollen, use a vacuuming stroke out over the hips or “cool breeze” to treat. When the swelling reduces, it will be easier to reposition the nerve. Repeat if necessary.
After the nerve has been replaced, return your fingers to the iliac notches and perform gentle breaking up congestion motions for 10-15 seconds, moving clockwise on the right and counterclockwise on the left. Stay within the shape of the notch while the stroke carries the surface tissue with the motion over the deeper tissues.
Create a vacuum leading with your middle fingers tracing the line of the nerve pathway from the notches straight out over the top of the hip to the notches you will find just on the front of the iliac crest. As you stroke, keep an intention to lift the nerve up as you vacuum pain, tension and swelling out. After the nerve enters the notch, it recedes deep within the belly to emerge in the groin and travel down the front of the leg.
Alternate breaking up and vacuuming movements for several minutes, doing so on both sides, even if only one side was tender, to restore the flow of nerve life and hasten healing.
The upper sciatic nerve path emerges from the groin and moves down the medial aspect of the front of the thigh. This nerve is likely to be slack when there has been a problem. It is necessary to lift the nerve to take the slack out. With your right hand for the left thigh, and your left hand for the right, begin just above the knee, medial to the midline, and stroke upward with a positive intention to lift to the groin, there your hand will smoothly make a right angle change of direction towards the hip of that leg. The nerve will be centered in the space created by your index and middle finger to be repositioned better in the groove. Then, make contact with the nerve again as it follows the inside curve of the calf through the inside of the heel, just behind the jutting (malleolus) ankle bone to the great and second toes. If this is channel is congested, vacuum stroke with gentle pressure and the intention to clear.
Near the base of the big toe, there is a notch where a nerve may become displaced. To reposition it, you will center up the nerve in the notch using the edge of your index finger to draw substance from the edge to the center of the notch on both sides. This area is always sensitive to anything but a light to moderate pressure
Lower Sciatic Nerve
The lower sciatic nerves are about 1 ½ inches below the upper sciatic groove and descend from the spine on an angle of about 45 degrees, going deep within the muscles of the buttocks.
Using your index fingers held about 4-5 inches apart, starting where the buttocks meet the bench, rotate your fingers as they work their way through the muscle into the two lower sacral notches. Sensitivity reveals which side is involved. Both may be.
Reposition Substance with the quarter-twist motion in the notches. Then perform breaking up congestion motions with your finger tips for 10-15 seconds in the notches under the buttocks.
Then create a vacuum, with your middle finger leading, to break up congestion from the notches along the nerve pathway close to the bench, just past the boney structure of the hips joining the top of the femur (the greater trocanters) of the upper leg. Perform this action simultaneously on both sides.
Alternate breaking up and vacuuming strokes on both sides at the same time for several minutes to help restore nerve life and reduce swelling. You may also want to combine breaking up with vacuum as a jiggling upward motion as you travel the pathway. This often helps bring more life force to the area and loosens the tension held in the muscles from the strain of having the nerve out of correct placement.
The Sciatic nerve path passes behind the greater trocanters and continues just under the thigh, staying lateral to the back midline of the leg as it travels behind the knees near the lateral hamstring tendons, descends through the calf and foot, coming to an end with the three outer most toes.
The patient may experience pain or dysfunction anywhere along the nerve if it is obstructed. As the patient sits, stroke downward along the pathway to detect tension that may be felt as beaded, knotty, or chained formations. Break up the congestion and continue to stroke downward lightly to create a vacuum to clear the channel. At times, you may feel that the nerve has become attached to the bone with adhesions, primary in the upper half of the thigh. If this is found, the patient usually finds it difficult to walk or bear weight on that leg. Work to break up congestion with the specific intention to free the tissue of this restraint.
Sometimes, it is necessary to have the patient lie face down or on their sides in order to more easily get to the congested tissues around the trocanters. Stroke only downward along the nerve path, but use firm breaking up stroking upward on the rest of the thigh. Sometimes, raking the tissues of the thighs, using your fingers as the prongs of the rack, helps to loosen extremely tight muscles.
Continuing into the calves, you may find congestion and tenderness in points at the outside top of the calf, under the knees. These sore points often have matching tender points in the buttocks around the Sacral Illiac joint. I like to hold both points at once and send the intention to clear along the pathway. Follow the pathway to the outside of the ankles. The nerve moves more to the side of the leg as the calf curves inward near the ankle. About 4 inches above the ankle filter, you may find a ridge-like formation that may feels tender. Stroke downward continuously to create a vacuum with the intention to clear the obstruction and to feed new nerve life to the area.
Sometimes, the nerve will adhere to the fibula (outer bone of the lower leg) and will require loosening with the boney edge of your index finger before the area will open up. If the patient can not help but to put their toes down before the heel when walking, this adhesion is probably the cause.
At the outer side of the heel, near the back, you will find another tender area where the nerve can be contacted. Here you will use a more positive pressure with your downward stroke.
Testing the Results of the Sciatic Treatment
With the pain relieved, it should be much easier for the patient to rise from the bench. Have them draw their feet back directly under their knees, parallel to one another. Have them lean slightly forward and press them self upward. They may be surprised that the pain is relieved and they can move without assistance now. Have them continue with the Stephenson Stretch. If this can be done, then you can be assured that the nerves have been properly repositioned. If the patient’s sciatic problems continue, even after receiving several weekly treatments; or if they complain of pain that is centered between the two points for the sciatic nerves, then they will need the Kidneys treated before the back pain will improve. When the kidneys are not functioning well, they tend to operate above normal temperature which Mr. Stephenson saw as creating an internal “sweating” that irritates the nerves of the low back.
The Stephenson Stretch
With feet about 12 inches apart and parallel, keep your knees soft, unlocked, and bend from your hips so that your trunk, arms, neck, and head hang freely as far, as the weight of the body will allow. Take a deep relaxing breath and let tension go. As you return to standing, do so by slowly and considerately unrolling your spine from the bottom up, while intentionally visualizing restacking the building blocks of the spine, one vertebrae exactly on top of the other, with your neck being the last to come up straight.
When you are upright and balanced, raise each leg with the knee and hip both at 90 degrees. Hold the position for a few moments. If necessary, hold on to something while performing this action.
We have two kidneys which are located in the back of the abdominal cavity, imbedded in fatty tissue for protection, and encased in a sheath of membranous fibrous tissue. They are on either side of our spines, suspended by attachments to other membranes around our internal structures, and by their relationship to the other organs within the confines of the cavity. The right kidney is slightly lower than the left because of the size of the liver above the right kidney. The lower edges of the kidneys are unprotected by the rib cage.
These hard working organs filter and cleanse our blood of impurities. When they are not functioning well, we fell quite sick all over. While they are hardy organs, they do not tolerate abuse well.
When the body is subjected to great violence such as an auto accident, a fall from a high place, or a heavy blow just beneath the ribs and above the hipbones on our backs, they can become displaced from their natural position, sometimes called a “floating” kidney, or badly bruised and battered. You may see this as your patient sits before you as a “collapsed” appearance of the tissues under one or the other kidney, sometimes you will see folds more heavily on one side than the other and the appearance of bowing of the spine towards the fallen area.
We can overload our kidneys by drinking too much or too little liquid or with unnatural substances like some drugs. Our bodies will compensate for the lack of excretion from the kidneys by creating more perspiration, as the skin backs up the kidneys. Sometimes, synthetic fibers can cause the kidneys to slow down.
Symptoms to note for kidney trouble: A person will complain of pain and hold their hand over the unprotected area between the ribs and the hipbones on the back. They will wake with a low back ache. They may want to sit with a pillow supporting that part of their back, and will want to be as erect as much as possible. They may complain of urinary symptoms if the problem is more advanced.
When there is a chronic problem with the kidneys, it is helpful to wear an insulating band of wool flannel next to the skin around the area over the kidneys. Avoid a sagging mattress, plastic or rubber sheeting against the body, a heating pad used over the kidney area and synthetic fibers in clothing worn next to the skin.
We also advise the use of apple cider vinegar, 1 tbs. per cup of water, either warm or cold depending on taste. This is also available in tablets, which are much easier for most of us to handle the taste of. Vinegar changes the ph of the urine to help clear bacteria, debris, and inflammation. For Chronic problems, using once or twice a day should suffice. With acute symptoms of urinary tract infection or prostate problems, I advise using it four times a day.
Applications for the Kidneys
To locate the kidney spots: While seated behind your patient on the bench, place your palms over the area between the lowest rib and the hip bones, so just the edge of your smallest finger is just barely resting above the hip. Your fingers will point to the sides of their body, as your wrists are brought together in the patient’s center back. With wrists held closely together, you then bring your thumbs up to point to the head up, aligned along the spine. The pads of your thumbs will be on or near the kidney spots. This is where the nerves leave the spine to feed the kidneys. There are actually two nerve roots to nourish the kidneys, between the transverse processes of Thoracic vertebrae 10-12. The nerve root that is troubled may be sensitive or painful, feel warm to the touch or show an obvious displacement of the substance of the spine. Check the hollows above and below the tender area. Sometimes, the problem may be so involved as to necessitate checking from L5 up to T10. You will sometimes see the tissues pulling or the spine bending throughout the area. It will be important to address all these areas for the treatment to be successful.
Reposition Substance: Work gently with the quarter twist motion on either side of the vertebrae in need, as well as at the center line in the hollows between the spinous processes of the vertebrae. Center Up the substance of the spine as you gently rock from side to side, alternating the quarter twist on each side of the spine. It may require repetition to accomplish the task. Intention: Think clearly of restoring the nerve life to the kidneys and relieving the spinal stress.
Restore Normal Temperature: Use the palms of your well oiled hands, held slightly cupped with fingers and thumbs together and pointing towards the head; very lightly touching their skin, begin over the spots you have just repositioned and sweep diagonally to the sides of their body so your hands end up just above their hipbones. Repeat this stroke with the Intention to remove the excessive heat from the area as you encourage the flow of life force from the spinal nerves to the kidneys. Repeat softly until the area feels back at normal temperature. When you first put your hands over the kidneys, the skin may feel cool and clammy. Remember that Mr. Stephenson saw the kidneys get over-heated when in trouble and “sweat” internally, this may be the clue to the need to treat. As you normalize temperature, you may see redness and feel the heat being brought to the surface in the shape of the kidneys. If so, switch to using both hands on one side at a time as you continue to normalize temperature with a hand-over-hand “double vacuum” stroke. Continue the strokes until the redness has disappeared into normal skin tones.
Create a Vacuum to Drain: Even if only one kidney has been troubled, this treatment is always done on both sides simultaneously. Again, you will place both palms over the kidney spots, holding your thumbs vertical, pointing to their head on either side the spine; your fingers held together as a unit and extended towards their sides. The tops of your index and middle finger should be level with the top of your thumb, creating a V between your fingers and thumb. Draw your hands downward until your fingertips pass the last rib. Maintaining your hand position, change direction; now draw your hands horizontally towards the sides of their body. As your thumbs follow your fingers in this configuration, it creates a “double vacuum” within that space. Intention: to drain fluids, mucus and debris from the kidney, clearing the ureter tubes to the urinary bladder. Repeat the stroke 8-12 times.
If heat has returned to the kidney area after completing all the steps, repeat Normalizing Temperature.
Repeat the treatment weekly until the patient returns to good health.