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‘The traditional model of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) hydrodynamics is being increasingly challenged in view of recent scientific evidences. The established model presumes that CSF is primarily produced in the choroid plexuses (CP), then flows from the ventricles to the subarachnoid spaces, and is mainly reabsorbed into arachnoid villi (AV). This model is seemingly based on faulty research and misinterpretations. This literature review presents numerous evidence for a new hypothesis of CSF physiology, namely, CSF is produced and reabsorbed throughout the entire CSF-Interstitial fluid (IF) functional unit. IF and CSF are mainly formed and reabsorbed across the walls of CNS blood capillaries. CP, AV and lymphatics become minor sites for CSF hydrodynamics. The lymphatics may play a more significant role in CSF absorption when CSF-IF pressure increases. The consequences of this complete reformulation of CSF hydrodynamics may influence applications in research, publications, including osteopathic manual treatments.’
Chikly, B., Quaghebeur, J., Reassessing cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) hydrodynamics: A literature review presenting a novel hypothesis for CSF physiology, Journal of Bodywork & Movement Therapies (2013), http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/ j.jbmt.2013.02.002
(only the abstract is available here I am afraid)
Wavy millipede legs
I was on holiday in Sicily recently, lazing in the sun, and caught myself watching a millipede. I was fascinated by the waves of activity in the legs as it moved. It struck me a moving millipede is a really good example of rhythms within rhythms, just like the different co-existing tides we describe in cranial work.
I normally try and explain the interaction of cranial rhythms by talking about the waves of the sea going back and forth but gradually moving up (or down) the shore as the tide goes in (or out).
On the millipede we can watch one leg move back and forth, or a group of legs seeming to take part in an undulation along the length of the body, or the whole millipede moving forward. All the movements are there at the same time, all important and all of them perceivable depending on your focus. Nice.
Harmonics and combining sine waves
Above is an image from a website exploring harmonics in music. The top red wave is made up of the three underlying waves below. It is pleasingly similar to CRI (blue), mid tide (purple) and long tide (green).
Below is another link from a website exploring acoustics. There are some good animations of combining two sine waves.
‘The Protoplasm of a Slime Mold’ by William Seifriz
‘The rhythmic forces in protoplasm are even more basic than the flow’
‘The rhythm has continued underneath, so to speak, even though the protoplasm has been asleep, there is still something going on. We must be very close indeed to the question ‘What is Life?’ ‘
‘There is not one rhythm in protoplasm but many rhythms. Protoplasm is a polyrhythmic system.’
The above quotes are from the slime mold dvd. Seifriz talks excitedly about finding out that the rhythm of protoplasmic streaming is not just a single rhythm but is made up of a number of rhythms. Below are the images of the basic wave and the constituent waves from the Seifriz DVD.
First 6 minutes and then to 16 minutes of this video are wonderful – the transcription is good if you only have time to scan.
Click this link for the video and transcription
Some quotes are below. I love the idea of a risky brain that is not hierarchical but is a mix of anarchy and democracy. There is competition between individual neurons – descended from free cells that survived for a billion years on their own – and alliances of neurons. Social interaction and culture provide the drive and rewards for the risk taking brain.
‘because each neuron, far from being a simple logical switch, is a little agent with an agenda, and they are much more autonomous and much more interesting than any switch.’
‘We’re beginning to come to grips with the idea that your brain is not this well-organized hierarchical control system where everything is in order, a very dramatic vision of bureaucracy. In fact, it’s much more like anarchy with some elements of democracy. Sometimes you can achieve stability and mutual aid and a sort of calm united front, and then everything is hunky-dory, but then it’s always possible for things to get out of whack and for one alliance or another to gain control, and then you get obsessions and delusions and so forth.’
‘Realize that every neuron in your brain, every human cell in your body (leaving aside all the symbionts), is a direct descendent of eukaryotic cells that lived and fended for themselves for about a billion years as free-swimming, free-living little agents. They fended for themselves, and they survived.’
‘Maybe a lot of the neurons in our brains are not just capable but, if you like, motivated to be more adventurous, more exploratory or risky in the way they comport themselves, in the way they live their lives. They’re struggling amongst themselves with each other for influence, just for staying alive, and there’s competition going on between individual neurons. As soon as that happens, you have room for cooperation to create alliances, and I suspect that a more free-wheeling, anarchic organization is the secret of our greater capacities of creativity, imagination, thinking outside the box and all that, and the price we pay for it is our susceptibility to obsessions, mental illnesses, delusions and smaller problems.’
‘We got risky brains that are much riskier than the brains of other mammals even, even more risky than the brains of chimpanzees, and that this could be partly a matter of a few simple mutations in control genes that release some of the innate competitive talent that is still there in the genomes of the individual neurons. But I don’t think that genetics is the level to explain this. You need culture to explain it.’
See also http://cranialintelligence.com/2012/03/21/great-pain-video-understanding-pain-in-less-than-5-minutes/
I have just discovered the site http://saveyourself.ca It looks like it has loads of good stuff on and is the source for this video.
‘Recent reports have emerged suggesting that multiple sclerosis (MS) may be due to abnormal venous outflow from the central nervous system, termed chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency (CCSVI).’
Lazzaro M.A. et al (2011)
This is a very exciting article on the how venous outflow could be implicated in MS. The diagram above shows the sites the researchers have identified as being restricted.
There is a long tradition in cranial work of supporting drainage from the head by working at the thoracic outlet (or inlet, depending on what term you prefer, both are used for the same area). The first craniosacral therapist I ever saw would always start at the thoracic outlet, maybe he was on to something.
In the thoracic outlet hold the hands are above and below the base of the neck – upper hand spread over the suprasternal notch, first rib and clavicles, the lower hand underneath the the cervical thoracic junction. I like to try and feel the shape of the hole made by the first rib and orient to the health of all the tubes moving through the region (dural tube, oesophagus, trachea, carotid sheaths). Pulsing arteries softening, spreading of the fascia sheets, easing of the movement of C7 and a shift in the first rib and clavicles all speak of change in this region.
The image above includes drainage routes via ‘spinal column drainage route’, ‘pterygoid plexus’ and ‘vertebral vein’ that are fairly new to me – nice bits of anatomy to appreciate.
Another route for cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) to leave the skull you can consider is shown below. A significant amount of CSF drains as lymphatic outflow from the cranial cavity via the ethmoid (and to a lesser degree perineural spaces of cranial and spinal nerves) and is collected by the lymphatic vessels of the head and neck (Pollay 2010).
This research helped me appreciate the dynamics of the ethmoid and cervical lymphatics as important in fluid draining from the skull. Pollay also indicates that poor outflow of CSF is not good for the health of the nervous system.
‘The lymphatic system has been shown to develop earlier than that of the arachnoid villi and therefore appear to be a dominant CSF outflow route in the late fetal and early neonatal period. There is convincing evidence that the arachnoid villi system loses it efficiency with age, which can influence the total turnover rate of the CSF with possible neurodegenerative consequences.’
See also this post for more on the venous outflow in cranial work
Lazzaro M.A. et al (2011) Endovascular therapy for chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency in multiple sclerosis. Front. Neur., 14 July 2011 | doi: 10.3389/fneur.2011.00044
Pollay, M. (2010) The function and structure of the cerebrospinal fluid outflow system. Cerebrospinal Fluid Res. 2010; 7: 9. Published online 2010 June 21. Accessed 2/10/12 via http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2904716
Do not like to think how it was made, but it is very beautiful and strangely moving.
From article in The Lancet 2007 titled ‘Brain of a white-collar worker’
A 44 year old man presented to the doctor with a weakness in his leg. ‘His neurological development and medical history were otherwise normal. He was a married father of two children, and worked as a civil servant.’ On CT scan they found an incredible brain that is mostly ventricles.
Wild, how does that work?
Below is a link to a really interesting article on how representation of the body affects the experience of pain. The is very affirming of the importance of working with dissociation to improve health.
In this study the results show the pain is reduced more if people self touch rather than them being touched. I wonder/hope that the combination of body awareness work we do in biodynamic craniosacral therapy, plus the skilful nature of biodynamic touch, would trigger the experience of ‘coherent whole’ that seems to affect pain.
“We showed that levels of acute pain depend not just on the signals sent to the brain, but also on how the brain integrates these signals into a coherent representation of the body as a whole.
Self-touch provides strong evidence to the brain about the correlation of sensory information coming from different parts of the body.
This helps to give us the experience of our body as a coherent whole.”