In the United States, we are used to treating symptoms, not causes. Causes of an illness or pain are often nowhere near the actual pain site!
Take the case of gluten sensitivity, which mainly begins in the cecum (the first three to four inches of the large intestine) but may cause pain in any area of the body.
Here’s the path of gluten sensitivity. When you eat wheat, barley, or rye, the gluten breaks down in your stomach. For many people, gluten irritates the cecum (pictured below in green).
If the cecum becomes irritated, infected, inflamed, or develops hypertrophy, hyperplasia, fibrosis, leakiness, and other problems, a common effect is that tissues in the area around the cecum tighten in response to all this dysfunction.
Meanwhile, this tissue-tightening response in the cecum region (which is interconnected with everything else in the pelvic region), will pull on the bladder, uterus, fallopian tubes, hip bones, sacrum, sacral nerve complex (sacral plexus), ureters (tubes that drain the kidneys), lumbar spine, major blood vessels, lymph nodes, vessels, and others.
All of this tension and pulling can aggravate your large intestines, small intestines, uterus, prostate, and bladder, as well as the digestive and reproductive process. It often causes serious issues such as constipation for many men and women. Actually this tension can eventually spread to cause pain and dysfunction anywhere in the body.
Meanwhile, the pulling and tension doesn’t end there. You can have this tension affect your right hip, which starts to wear on the hip socket, and can lead to bone deterioration and eventually to the need for hip replacement.
Again, the initial trigger may be gluten, yet it can take a long time for the dysfunction the gluten initiated to reach the point where it causes pain. Meanwhile all manner of physiological dysfunction and dysfunction of tissue, muscle, and bone marches on.
There are currently no reliable ways to test for gluten sensitivity in conventional allopathic medicine unless it has reached a severe enough point, such as the onset of celiac disease. There are simple assessment techniques for detecting mild to moderate to severe gluten sensitivity. I use an IMT assessment method to discover the strong suggestion that a person should consider addressing gluten sensitivity so they can experience how much gluten may be contributing to their pain and dysfunction and how much better they can feel when gluten sensitivity is addressed with IMT therapy and nutritional therapy.
Before life spans were as long as they are now, few were diagnosed with gluten sensitivity until this century. Now, one in 100 people is diagnosed with Celiac’s disease. How many more have a milder form of dysfunction from gluten but are still suffering from significant health problems because of gluten?
Why is gluten a concern all of a sudden? Hasn’t gluten been around for thousands of years?
When agriculture first began some 10,000 years ago, people ate wild grasses. Inflammatory diseases didn’t exist when Egyptians created the first bread. Then, as wild grasses were domesticated and altered for different climates, the rate of humans affected by the modifications grew. Today, extra gluten is added to some products such as pretzels to make them chewy and to add protein. Also genetically modified wheat, barley, and rye increase gluten-related health problems.
Meanwhile, researchers are beginning to link gluten to arthritis, ADHD, some autism, and many other health problems.
So, back to the original intent of this article — how integrative manual therapy (IMT) uses an approach that “doesn’t wear off.”
First, let’s look at what does wear off.
If your pelvis is out of alignment because of gluten sensitivity or for some other reason, you may feel pain in the pelvic region but perhaps you will feel related pain in a shoulder also, because of all of the compounding tension issues. You can go to a physician or chiropractor regularly and he or she may continue to align your hips, which does bring temporary relief. But your hips are merely a symptom of the real problem — which could be the result of gluten sensitivity or some other disturbance.
Until you address the root of a problem, your hips will continue to move out of alignment.
With IMT and our other therapies, we work to release the tension and pain that exists while simultaneously searching for and addressing the cause of the tension and pain.
In other words, we don’t treat symptoms, but causes of tension and pain.
You do have the capacity to feel better and stay that way.