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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

The top red wave is the result of combining the waves below

The top red wave is the result of combining the waves below

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.

The basic rhythm of slime mold as measured by William Seifriz

The basic rhythm of slime mold as measured by William Seifriz

The underlying polyrhythmic nature of the slime mold is revealed on analysing the basic wave.

The underlying polyrhythmic nature of the slime mold is revealed on analysing the basic wave.

Amazing footage of an operation to repair a cerebrospinal fluid [CSF] leak. In some patients, the CSF may start leaking spontaneously. This type of leakage occurs into the ear or the sinuses. In this surgical video, you will see the repair of a spontaneous CSF leakage that originated in the posterior fossa. This surgery is performed by Dr. Hamid R. Djalilian, director of otology, neurotology, and skull base surgery. Notice the introduction of fascia and bone wax to help seal the leakage.

‘The skull of a man who had been kicked by a horse. This caused a swelling which slowly increased in size; his left eyeball and the jawbone were gradually squeezed outwards. Eventually, the swelling started leaking and began to stink. After 21 years of suffering from the swelling, the man died in 1771. He was dissected by Andreas Bonn.’ Text from exhibition: ‘De ontdekking van de mens. Anatomie verbeeld’ Bijzondere Collecties Dec 2011

Above are images of  a skull I saw in an exhibition about representation of the body in Amsterdam at Bijzondere Collecties. You can clearly see how over a period of 21 years the growing swelling caused the bones to grow into a different shape. Bones grow in response to the forces exerted on them – Wolff’s Law.

You would never see a skull like the above in todays world; hopefully modern medicine, and we would say cranial work, would be able to stop the underlying swelling.

In the cranial paradigm the most common conditional forces that distort skulls are due to birth processes and/or head trauma. Unresolved conditional forces from early experiences continue to shape the ongoing dynamic production of bone. The images show that if we change the forces acting on a skull even adult bones will remould themselves.

Sphenobasilar junction (SBJ) in sagittal section

I have been going back into biomechanics and have reread a few papers that influenced how I think about the skull and the cranial paradigm. Partly triggered by my periodic reading, like picking at a bad tooth, of skeptical cranial sites. (For example, Steve Hartman is a an osteopath critical of the cranial paradigm, you can access his papers here. )

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Notes by Steve Haines on a lecture given by Dominique Degranges, Da-Sein Institut, May 2011. Dominique is a hugely experienced and very inspiring teacher. His workshops are full of laughter and generosity, he has a very playful style and a real passion for birth dynamics. 

This lecture was on seminar five on the undergraduate training in BCST. He has studied with and worked alongside Sills, Castellino and Levine. Dominique is also the illustrator for Franklyn Sills’s books. He runs the Da-Sein Institut in Winterthur, near Zurich, offering courses in biodynamic craniosacral therapy and pre and perinatal work. I was really interested in how he integrated creative resistance into his teaching and treating. After the lecture the group did a table exercise on meeting, acknowledging and supporting any expressions of the birth impulse. The focus on engaging the power behind any movements and supporting natural pauses I am finding very useful.

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Students are frequently far more creative than the tutors. The above was part of a great presentation by current CTET students Rana Ward, Claire-Cecile Desroche, Daniel Kingsley, Hilary Tulloch and Lucy Wrinn. The question was about the differences between a stillpoint and a shutdown.

Here is what Ged and I wrote in Cranial Intelligence about shutdown:

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Below are some interesting quotes on CSF flow from recent research using new computer modelling of CSF flow in the third ventricle from MRI scans. There are also some great images on the site of Dr Vartan Kurtcuoglu. (Many thanks to GP Visser, dentist and current student on the current CTET training, for pointing out the papers.)

‘Unlike the cardiac system, there is no dedicated pump, such as the heart, that directly drives the CSF flow. The CSF is propelled in a pulsatile manner, primarily due to brain motion caused by the expansion and contraction of cerebral blood vessels. Superimposed on this motion is flow generated by the secretion of CSF by the choroid plexus in the ventricles at the center of the brain and cerebrospinal fluid absorption, predominantly at the arachnoid villi in the subarachnoid space that surrounds the brain (Davson and Segal, 1996). Additional drainage into the blood-stream is purported to occur through the cerebral extracellular space (Greitz, 1993).’ (Kurtcuoglu et al 2007)

‘The CSF further serves as an intermediary between blood and nervous tissue, providing the latter with nutrients and removing waste products. Recent research shows that the cerebrospinal fluid flow is much more important than previously believed. For example, the pituitary gland and hypothalamus communicate through the CSF and new neurons follow the flow of cerebrospinal fluid in the adult brain.’ (Kurtcuoglu 2011)

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