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Notes from the Practice of Harold Goodman, D.O.

Treatment of pregnant women.  Friday, February 27, 2009

I love treating pregnant women.

Osteopathy has so much to offer someone who is going through pregnancy. Imagine such an experience minus back pain, morning sickness, depression, and a myriad number of other things which make pregnancy unpleasant.

In addition, by balancing the entire system and restoring normal pelvic function, labor and delivery become much easier.

One of the best things about this treatment is that the child gets treated in utero. This often results in a happy, healthy neonate and avoids a lifetime of possible problems. I also turn babies who are not facing in the best position for delivery.

For moms who have had problem pregnancies in the past such as premature delivery, pregnancy related hypertension, etc., the osteopathic treatment not only normalizes things and permits the mother to reach successful termination of the pregnancy at or near their due date but also ends the cycle of problem pregnancies.

Midwives and obstetricians often remark at the ease of delivery with women treated osteopathically.

The post-partum time is also much easier.

Since newborns are very amenable to treatment designed to improve their function, I routinely offer the mothers whom I treat during pregnancy a free initial visit for the neonate in order to get the newborn started in the very best way. A child treated in utero as well as soon after delivery stands out as an unusually healthy child.

As an example of what can be done for neonates we can take the example of a newborn who has trouble latching onto the mom's breast for feeding. Osteopathic treatment of the sub-occipital area to free up the hypoglossal and other cranial nerves associated with breast feeding leads to remarkable and rapid changes.

Osteopathy has so much to offer the pregnant mom and her child.

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Double vision after trauma  Thursday, March 27, 2008

An eleven year old girl recently came in with double vision. It followed an episode in May, 2007, where she fell six feet off of a cliff and smashed the left side of her face against a tree trunk. Many of the facial bones were fractured. She was treated at a local children's hospital where she received plastic surgery.

After an interval of over nine months during which her double vision continued and the swelling of the face didn't change too much, she was brought to me. I examined her and noticed that the original trauma to the fascial and fluid systems ( strains) had not been addressed.

In particular, I found that the geometric angle of her optic chiasma (the place in the head where the optic nerve from each eye crosses over the other) was quite distorted. The bony orbit in which the eye resides consists of seven bones. Each is formed in membrane and remains internally connected to membrane which is continuous with the rest of the cranium and body.

Gentle treatment of these strains resulted in a major improvement in her vision which was noticed by her optometrist as well.

Judicious use of homeopathic Arnica and osteopathy also reduced most of the swelling.

She continues to do well.

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It all started with a sprained ankle  Saturday, April 21, 2007

Sprained ankles are very common. You step the wrong way and twist the ankle. Then it swells up, may get warm ( both signs of inflammation), and is painful to stand or walk on. So far, nothing unusual. What all of us know or have heard is that once you have sprained an ankle it is likely that you will sprain it again.

The typical medical advice is to keep the ankle raised, iced, wrapped or compressed and to rest it, keep off of it. Hence, the large number of people hobbling around on crutches.

Why is it that the same ankle is prone to further sprain?

To be very blunt, the reason is that the original trauma, the sprain or strained connective tissues, ligaments, tendons, fascia ( a type of connective tissue) has never been treated. The above mentioned measures do not treat the trauma. They treat the symptoms of the trauma, the inflammation.

In order to treat the trauma the actual strain pattern in the tissues must be diagnosed and removed. Only osteopathy does this.

I have had people limp into my office on crutches from a recent strain (often young men) and walk out pain free without crutches and not prone to future restraining of the tissues. I have learned how to identify and remove the strain in the tissues.

If I were present at a football game and one of the players sprained their ankle I could have them back in the game, playing within 20 minutes. This is rarely the case with team physicians or sports medicine doctors. Also, the player would be less likely to resprain the same ankle.

I mention this because someone recently told me that a car ran over their foot. They have been receiving acupuncture for some time ( I am a licensed medical acupuncturist, so I believe I am qualified to speak about acupuncture) but were still in quite a bit of pain.

I told them that I often treat such problems with a lot of success. I treat the strain and the symptoms ( read: pain) go away. It is really quite simple and logical. Strains will not show up on imaging studies ( X rays, MRI, CT, etc.). The patient is given the same instructions mentioned above, anti inflammatory medications, and, if they are still complaining, sent to a physical therapist. The problem, the strain, is never treated.

I treat strains. I find them in almost every patient including babies. They result from traumas to the system. How can a new born have a trauma? Being born is quite traumatic. The neonate must travel through a passage which is not large enough to accomodate the body.They have to twist around to get through, their head gets squished which is why it is still soft in parts when the child is born. This is natures way of dealing with the trauma of birth. If the child is large the birth can be even more traumatic. Many obstetricians routinely do an episiotomy where they will cut the muscles so that there will be more give in the mother's tissues to accomodate the child. If this were not done then the muscles might be torn as the large mass ( the neonate) emerges from the relatively small canal. Labor is not called labor for nothing.

People come in with back pain, neck pain, numbness, tingling in their arms or legs, headaches, eye problems, jaw pain, infections, asthma, and so many other problems. In every case I find strains. The strains are removed and the symptoms disappear. It's a no brainer but, unfortunately, something which is not taught and virtually unappreciated outside the community of osteopathic physicians who practice osteopathy in the cranial field.

Incidentally, this is not taught to cranio-sacral therapists, chiropractors and message therapists all of whom receive good training and help many people in need. How do I know they don't receive this training? Because I treat them and they are fascinated to learn what I am doing.

If you have a question on this or anything related to my work, don't hesitate to contact me. I am always happy to answer questions.

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Chronic ear infections in children  Saturday, March 24, 2007

About 30% of my patients are children. Since I treat a lot of pregnant women to get them through pregnancy with a minimum or absence of problems ( back pain, morning sickness, premature labor, etc.) I have long offered a free first visit for the newborn to get the child started off on the right foot. Often this first visit reveals many structural and functional problems ( feeding issues, irritability, reflux and spitting up, asymmetrically shaped heads, asthma and other respiratory problems, etc. etc.) which can be easily treated and quickly reversed.

As the children age they may display delayed development, frequent infections and other common pediatric problems which osteopathic and homeopathic treatment can solve. There are two local pediatricians who have been referring such children to me for many years. Also, word of mouth among moms has been one of my best means of letting people know what osteopathy has to offer these young ones.

By far, the most common pediatric issue I see is the child who suffers from serous otitis media or ear infections. These children receive many rounds of antibiotics and may or may not improve but inevitably come down with yet another infection. At some point the parents are told that the child must receive tubes. This is often when I see the child.

Usually I find that the base of the cranium and especially one or more of the temporal bone are malfunctioning. This impairs normal drainage of the inner ear via the eustachian tube which, in turn, renders the child vulnerable to infections. Hence the ineffectiveness of antibiotics. This is a structural problem which must be treated structurally and will not be cured with a biochemical ( antibiotic) approach.

Often it takes just a few treatments for the pediatrician to notice that the ears look clear. The parents, especially if the child has been in pain, pulling or boring its ear or complaining, will notice earlier. I am able to then discharge these patients. They usually don't require much further treatment unless there is an additional problem.

In 2003 The Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, an MD journal published by the AMA, did a study on osteopathic treatment of ear infections.
This is the link which you can paste into your browser to examine:
http://archpedi.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/extract/157/9/852
The authors concluded that there was a significant positive correlation between children who received osteopathic treatment for ear infections and the subsequent improvement in their health. This was welcome news indeed since I realize many people rely on such sources for their knowledge of medicine.

It was also reassuring that such a study appeared in a prominent MD specialty journal. This lends additional credibility to what many osteopathic physicians witness on a daily basis; osteopathy ( and, I would add, homeopathy) are a veritable God-send to a sick child.

What I regularly have witnessed over the years is that children treated in this way are healthier overall, develop better than their peers, and need far fewer doctor visits. It is the most valuable foundation that can be given them for future health.

We have a saying in osteopathy. As the twig is bent so grows the tree. Imagine a small sapling that is bent over. When the twig is small there is not much to notice. When it grows into a tall tree its "bentness" becomes more obvious. However, then it is harder to reverse what formerly could be treated in just a few visits. The earlier we can get to these bent twigs the easier will their lives be. There are few investments with such enormous and long term benefits.


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