Thursday, January 21, 2010


Somewhat of an understatement to say it was interesting to hear Paul Stamets riff on the world of fungi courtesy the folks at Longevity Now. But I was surprised to hear the oft repeated suggestion that our ancestors lived out an empirical worldview, that this kind of trial and error approach is what accounts for the evolution of understanding we now profit from in terms of both materia medicum and prosaic usage schemes for the variegated bounty of this earth. Its a frequently repeated idea but I can't get behind it.

It seems more plausible to me that our ancestors enjoyed an unbroken continuum with archetypal consciousness. The human mind was not compartmentalized and fractured as it was to become in the service of all that led to modernity and its exploitation of the rational axis for construct and progress. Instead mind was a part of the numen of matter, the vent of the jungle. It had not yet sought to see itself as distinct for the purposes of abstraction and mastery. It was still in the garden of eden, conversant with the powers of time and place and the mother earth forces. We see vestiges of this in the plant theologies of the Amazon basin, the technology of animal totems employed by shamans thru the ages.

There was no need for a concept such as synchrony for the world was experienced as a defacto interlocutor of both spiritual and practical mysteries, the as yet undivided heaven and hell of pitiless exposure and tender harbour. Our ancestors walked in ever-present communion within the living, ribald world. Ecstatic states and extreme adjuncts on consciousness via deprivation or feats of endurance made the veil between worlds even thinner, permitting knowledge to reveal itself in aristotelean alacrity. The forest taught the man what he already knew, not thru chance observation or cunning experiment, but by silting itself into the deep stream of the unformed mind where everything is at once already understood, already discovered, already known, already cultivated, already employed, already defiled, already destroyed, already returned to the ash of ages and born of light again and again and again...
For further reading I recommend The Origins of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind by Julian Jaynes and anything by Jeremy Narby and Joseph Campbell.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

full research texts available for viewing


Research Associate Professor
Department of Neurology
M.D., McGill University, 1978

Residency: Internal Medicine, Johns Hopkins Hospital, 1985; Certified: American Board of Internal Medicine, 1986

Fellowship: Johns Hopkins Hospital (Endocrinology & Metabolism), 1986; Certified: Endocrinology and Metabolism, 1987

The research interests of my laboratory are the mechanism of action of acupuncture, and the interaction between connective tissue and sensory nervous system. Acupuncture has been practiced for over 2000 years, but its mechanism of action remains unknown. An important aspect of acupuncture treatments is that needles are manipulated after being inserted into the tissue. Manipulation typically consists of rapid rotation and/or pistoning of the needle. In humans, we have found that acupuncture needle rotation causes a marked increase in the force necessary to pull the needle out of the skin (pullout force). In animals, (both in vivo and tissue explants), we have shown that this increase in pullout force is due to subcutaneous tissue winding around the needle, creating a tight mechanical coupling between needle and tissue. The importance of this phenomenon is that, once this needle/tissue coupling has been established, further movements of the needle can transmit a mechanical signal into the tissue. We are currently investigating the hypothesis that transduction of this mechanical signal to a cellular response underlies some of the therapeutic effects of acupuncture.

Our long-term goal is to understand how the effect of mechanical forces on connective tissue matrix composition may influence sensory afferent input originating from that connective tissue. Understanding these interactions may give important insights into the pathogenesis of musculoskeletal pain.

visit Dr. Langevin's site and download the articles here...

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Helen Langevin

Helene Langevin a research professor of neurology from University of Vermont found that most of the Qi points are located in the areas of inter-muscular or intramuscular connective tissue planes. In other words the Qi points are located in areas where fascia planes or network converges. They showed that acupuncture points mostly lie along the fascia planes between muscles or between a muscle and bone or tendon. When a needle is inserted along the fascia plane, it will first penetrate through skin's dermis & subcutaneous tissue, then through deeper interstitial connective tissue. They hypothesized that the Qi meridians are the representation of a network of fascia. A blockage of Qi can be viewed as an alteration in fascia composition. Acupuncture points correspond to the sites where fascia network converges. Thus needling or pressure at the acupuncture or trigger points will have more prominent effect because a point represents convergence of several fascia plane or lines. Thus manipulation produces changes in the cellular level that can propagate along the fascia network (Langevin & Yandow, 2002).

spatial medicine isn't just about myofasciae

its also about the quality of vascular and lymphatic irrigation of the tissue soils that be we. here, a link to an exciting report detailing the discovery of an Italian physician that links improper iron uptake and vascular insufficiencies to MS. it appears (and makes sense) that a simple operation to stent any obstructed veins that drain blood from the brain bag in turn assists plasmic traffic in its ability to remove excess iron from the barrier portal.

As the vessels rupture, they allow both the iron itself, and immune cells from the bloodstream, to cross the blood-brain barrier into the cerebro-spinal fluid. Once the immune cells have direct access to the immune system, they begin to attack the myelin sheathing of the cerebral nerves - Multiple Sclerosis develops.

read the article here... and the original globe and mail article here...

why some shapes are better than others

The BBC has reported that hip fat, unlike abdominal fat, "mops up harmful fatty acids and contains an anti-inflammatory agent that stops arteries clogging."

What's more, the article continues, "Fat around the thighs and backside is harder to shift than fat around the waist. Although this may sound undesirable, it is actually beneficial because when fat is broken down quickly it releases a lot of cytokines which trigger inflammation in the body, say experts. These cytokines have been linked to cardiovascular disease, insulin resistance and diabetes. The slower burning hip fat also makes more of the hormone adiponectin that protects the arteries and promotes better blood sugar control and fat burning."

The scientists go on to conjecture that the calling of medicine might be to learn how to induce a shape limiter as a means to health through prescription of some kind, one that would "redistribute body fat to the hips."

I would say that hip fat performs its virtues by dint of its proximity to major lymphatic activity in the general area where the legs meet the trunk. Clean and well-exercised interstitial fluid, optimum communication of informational substances and nutrition to cells, these are the things that make for higher tissue function and improved system integrity, as when your body like your circumstance, works for you rather than against you.

So the issue isn't to induce body fat, thru chemical contrivance, to lay itself down at the hip and not the belly, it's to improve the body's food supply, it's quality of activity and hydration. It's to expand the posture of mind that it might overcome its own nature, and most important, eliminate the need to hold on to toxic matter.