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November 1997

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Diagnostic factors in relation to the usage of the Perineal and Coccygeal treatments

by Phil Young

The following understanding of the concepts of motor and sensory pain are derived from the work of Leonard J. Allen , N.D. D.O. neuropath and acupuncturist, a colleague of Dr Randolph Stone the founder of Polarity Therapy.

In this context the terms 'sensory and motor pain ' relate to the pain that occurs on movement or the pain that occurs upon the application of pressure, not to the sensory and motor nerves nor to the Polarity concept of centripetal and centrifugal energy flows. When a client comes to you in pain their perception of that pain is conveyed to the brain or central nervous system by the sensory nerves. Pain can be described as either sensory or motor pain in relation to which branch of the autonomic nervous system is conveying the nerve impulses. Before looking at pain and its treatment in any more detail it is important that we make a distinction between Visceral pain and Musculo-skeletal pain. Visceral pain tends to come in waves with peak levels of sensation (discomfort) which fade then re-occur. Musculo-skeletal pain tends to be constant at a certain level of sensation. It does not come in waves. It can be present all the time or only on movement. Sensory-Motor Pain Control Technique deals with the treatment of Musculo-skeletal pain only. The following treatment principles do not apply when visceral pain is the problem, which is not to say that the use of the perineal and coccyx treatments in such cases is unwarranted, they may in fact be essential.

No matter what kind of pain is present in the body both sensory and motor nerves are involved. The motor nerves in the musculature create the spasm which restricts circulation and the sensory nerves transmit the painful impulses when movement is initiated or pressure applied. There are sensory nerves of both para-sympathetic and sympathetic origin. In Polarity terms the sympathetic branch of the autonomic nervous system is the positive pole ( + ) and the para-sympathetic is the negative pole ( - ). The major polarity technique for influencing the para-sympathetic nervous system is the perineal treatment. The coccyx treatment is the basic technique for influencing the sympathetic nervous system. Remember that the positive, sending or supply pole can only dominate when the negative or receiving pole can accept the energy flow. In Sensory - Motor Pain Control because the two branches of the autonomic nervous system work together as one whole unit both systems or poles are worked on during each treatment to ensure proper current flow but with a bias towards one or the other system or pole. Usually only one kind of pain is present at any one time. However, it is possible for both to be present at the same time, if this is the case treat as for motor pain initially until the picture gets clearer.

Motor pain is present in the musculo-skeletal system when pain is present constantly or occurs as you apply pressure to the affected area. Most often the posterior zones of the body are involved. It is the sympathetic nervous system that conveys the impulses related to motor pain. Pressure on the appropriate spinal vertebrae relating to the painful area will elicit increased pain in the vertebrae as well as in the painful area, and it may also create pain in the corresponding anterior zone of the body where previous to the application of pressure no pain existed. In treating Motor pain work on the coccyx and connect it first to the painful spinal vertebrae and then locally to the painful area. The specific contact area for each vertebrae being treated is about 1 inch either side of the tip of the spinous process over the sympathetic nerve ganglia (beside the vertebral bodies). Finish the coccygeal work by balancing it with the sphenoid bone. In treating Motor pain always finish with a short perineal release.

Sensory pain in the musculo-skeletal system is intermittent and occurs on movement. Most often the anterior zones of the body are involved. The para-sympathetic nervous system conveys sensory impulses and pain. Pressure on the appropriate spinal vertebrae related to the painful area causes no increase in pain in either the vertebrae or related area. However, pressure applied to the locally to the affected area will create pain in the related spinal vertebrae. In treating Sensory pain work the perineal floor and connect it firstly to the neck, then the specific vertebrae and locally to the painful area. The exact area to contact for each vertebrae being treated is 2 1/2-3 inches either side of the tip of the spinous process (between the ends of the transverse process). Complete the perineal work by balancing the sacrum and occiput. In treating Sensory pain always finish with a short coccyx treatment.


Dr. Stone's books reccommend working both poles of the autonomic nervous system simultaneously by giving a perineal treatment in which the perineal floor (para-sympathetic reflex area, -ve pole) is connected to the tense muscles on either side of the vertebral bodies (sympathetic reflex areas, +ve pole), with further polarisation occurring through using a positive contact on the perineal floor ( the fire finger ) and a negative contact (thumb, air finger or left hand ) on the tense areas either side of the spine. It is useful to think of the perineum and the coccyx as fuses for the specific areas that you are working on, repair the fuse and as long as the power supply is still stable the energy currents can flow freely again and a full healing can take place.

The key in all this lies in the statements Dr.Stone makes in his first book, 'The New Energy Concept of the Healing Art' in the section on Prana that 'The artery rules', and 'The blood is the life principle'. It is well to remember that one of the basic tenets of Osteopathic practice as laid down by its founder Dr. Anrew Taylor Still was 'The artery rules supreme through the sympathetic nervous system', a phrase Dr.Stone would have had deeply embedded in his mind during his own osteopathic training. In application the rule means that it is the sympathetic nervous system that controls blood flow to ALL parts of the body, the visceral organs and musculature, and that it is the blood flow that holds the key to life and healing. Blood is life, particularly fresh arterial blood. Dr.Stone took this a step further by identifying that it is really the prana, the pure life energy that is the most important factor and that the bulk of the prana in circulation is carried by the blood. This concept is one of the basic theories in Chinese traditional medicine where it is stated as 'the chi and the blood flow together'. A theory that Dr.Stone would certainly have come across in his studies of ancient healing systems. The usage of the perineal and coccygeal treatments to balance the autonomic nervous system will affect the arterial circulation and allow fresh blood and life energy to flow in to painful, blocked and stagnant areas in the body. Whilst all the visceral organs in the body are supplied by both sympathetic and para-sympathetic nerve fibres the musculature is only supplied with sympathetic nerve fibres, and so at the muscular level, in terms of blood and energy flow, it is the sympathetic that is the more important of the two branches of the autonomic nervous system. Tense or spastic muscle fibres are full of stagnant blood, and prana as well as waste materials such as uric acid. In these cases the sympathetic lock must be released so as to allow fresh blood and prana to flow in and clear away all the wastes. The muscle can then relax relieving the pain and normal functioning will then resume. Stimulating the para-sympathetic system through working perineal floor always has a profound affect on the sympathetic system because both branches of the autonomic nervous system work as a whole, so even though the musculature has no para-sympathetic nerve fibres the muscles are still dramatically affected by a perineal treatment because of the general release of the whole autonomic system. Dr.Stones technique of balancing the perineal floor to sympathetic nerve reflex areas gets around the need to identify which particular branch of the autonomic nervous system is involved in any particular problem. However, an understanding of Sensory/Motor Pain technique can give you much more precise information which will allow you to effect an even quicker resolution of a clients problem than is possible using the technique Dr.Stone recommends. Please remember that pain has a devastating effect on the body, the faster it can be relieved the better. Release the diaphragm as severe pain always creates blockages there. Luckily, diaphragmmatic release is one of the inherent effects of perineal and coccygeal treatments but sometimes specific local release is also required.

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