LSBT: Dr Lee’s Spine Balancer Technique
Dura mater spinalis passes through the spine which is positioned between the cranium and sacrum. Spinal dural tension may cause pain and muscle tension and restriction of cerebrospinal fluid circulation. Spine Balancer aims to resolve spinal dural tension and rearrange the spine into an ideal position based on the principles of the lever (lump shaped surface of the device) and principles of gravity (weight of the body) which allows the user to enjoy the effects by simply lying on the device.
If Spine Balancer is used together with CST Pillow greater results can be experienced as it allows enhancement of posture and relief of muscle, ligament and fascia tension from the neck and shoulders down to the lower part of the spine.
LPBT : Dr Lee’s Pelvic Balance Technique
PBT is a pelvic adjustment technique developed by Dr. Lee, based on but further improved from the principles of SOT.
SOT is an alternative medicine technique which is helpful in recovering the normal circulation of cerebrospinal fluid and the normal structure of the spine by normalizing the function of cranial motion and sacroiliac joint under the principles of primary respiratory mechanism, gravitational force from the body weight and leverage over the fulcrum of SOT blocks, all of which effect may be enjoyed by just lying on your front on the blocks. A balanced pelvis allows the muscles around the pelvic limbs to have the same strength and also leads to Sacro-Occipital treatment effect.
Related patents National patent (Republic of Korea) : Patent No. 08-0050546 USA patent : US 12/364,424
LCST: Dr Lee’s Cranio Sacral Therapy Pillow
CranioSacral Therapy is a form of bodywork or alternative therapy focused primarily on the concept of “primary respiration” and regulating the flow of cerebrospinal fluid by using therapeutic touch to manipulate the synarthrodial joints of the cranium. It was developed by John Upledger, D.O. in the 1970s, and is loosely based on osteopathy in the cranial field (OCF). The therapy aims to resolve sutural jamming by applying pressure on skull, face, spine and pelvis.
This therapy is offered at the clinic using a pillow rather than direct treatment from a practitioner. The advantage of this is that patients can use it for as long as they like. The pillow allows patients to benefit from CV4 and CRI techniques which are effective in accelerating the circulation of cerebrospinal fluid, strengthening the function of cranial nerves and relieving chronic tension in the stressed sympathetic nervous system.
International patent: Patent-2008-0050540 National patent (Republic of Korea): Patent No, 10-0926484 Design patent: patent number 3020100000667 Registered trademark: 4020090051706
Generally, acupuncture is known to be effective in stimulating the nervous system and causing the release of neurochemical messenger molecules. The consequent biochemical changes affect the body’s homeostatic mechanisms and promote natural healing of physical and emotional deficiency.
With over 30 years experience in acupuncture, Dr Lee typically focuses on two acupuncture techniques – C fiber and YinYang balance. C fibers are found in the nerves of the somatic sensory system. If the C fibers are damaged the related muscles, ligaments, tendons and fascias can over tense or relax which may cause pain. The C fiber acupuncture technique allows recovery of damaged C fiber function. The YinYang balance acupuncture technique helps to regain the left/right, front/back body balance using the Conception and Governing vessel as basis.
FCST clinic offers various therapies that are effective in relieving Dystonia symptoms. Many Dystonia patients may already be familiar with most of them, such as CranioSacral Therapy, Acupuncture and Positive Thinking. However, the therapy that allows full recovery from Dystonia (includes cervical, focal and other types of Dystonias) that is also unique to the clinic is Functional CerebroSpinal Therapy or FCST for short which was developed by Dr Lee. According to Dr Lee, the reason for this is because the therapy resolves the fundamental cause of Dystonia and other neurological disorders.
So What is FCST?
The therapy essentially resolves the following two structural problems:
- Imbalance of Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) using intraoral balancing appliances. Dr Lee uses 3 different types of balancing appliances (CBA, TBA and OBA). These are different to splints or other intraoral appliances provided from ordinary dentists:
CBA – (Cervical Balancing appliance)
A disposable custom made intraoral balancing appliance (to be worn only once upto 1 hour) which allows balance of TMJ at the optimal freeway space (also referred to as zero point) to the individual according to the cranial and spine structure until deflection* (see ‘Deflections‘). This appliance is worn during Chuna (similar to chiropractic) therapy for alignment of C1 and C2.
TBA and OBA – (TMJ Balancing Appliance) and (Occlusion Balancing Appliance)
Made of elastic material to accommodate for different occlusion and TMJ structure in individuals and is effective in balancing the TMJ throughout day and night. Occlusion balancing appliance (OBA) is for patients who also have problems with occlusion (typically for Class 2 and Class 3 malocclusion). Patients are asked to wear this device for as long as possible for faster treatment. Patients may feel pain as occlusion changes but once the optimal occlusion is achieved teeth will no longer move and cause pain.
2. Distorted upper cervical vertebrae C1 and C2, also known as Atlas and Axis, by using Chuna (similar to chiropractic) manipulation to realign them whilst wearing CBA.
Other therapies at the clinic
Other sub therapies, together with FCST, offered at the clinic help to fasten the recovery process. Ultimately, the whole treatment aims to:
- Rebalance the body structure from TMJ to the pelvis
- Stabilize the nervous system
- Regain mental stability
October 2013 aged 24, I was diagnosed with Generalised Dystonia. The symptoms started in June 2013, from the legs which gradually spread upwards to the rest of the body. At first, no one could see that there was anything wrong with me but I had a strange feeling of muscles moving uncontrollably. I thought it was a temporary condition that would soon disappear. However, it gradually spread to the rest of the body and once it reached the jaw muscles I became very anxious. I started to worry that the condition may be permanent and cause serious damage to the body.
From then on (September 2013), the symptoms became visible – quite often I had uncontrollable shaking and twisting, hypertension, panic attacks and vertigo. Not only that, I had episodes of pain randomly attacking different parts of the body and it even got to the point where I thought the condition might be life threatening. I even left last words for my mum as I thought this might be the end. The feeling of despair and hopelessness is almost indescribable. I was lost in complete darkness. At times, it felt like I was on the edge of a precipice with no one to help me and nowhere else to turn.
Finally, with the help from my mum, I made a resolute decision to receive treatment in South Korea although I was unsure whether it would be successful.
Miraculously, on 21st Jan. 2014 I returned to the UK after being fully cured of Dystonia and TMD. It may sound overdramatic but I felt responsible as one of the fortunate ones, to share my experience and make people aware that Dystonia is curable. Thus, I decided to make this blog in the hope that it would be helpful to those (and their families) who are facing struggles every day.
This section explains how TMJ affects the spine structure and the nervous system. Subsequently, explanation of how FCST is unique in treating TMJ to other treatments available is provided.
i) TMJ and structure
Movement of the TMJ is very closely related to the second cervical vertebra, C2 or also known as Axis. One might think that when the mandible opens and closes, its movement is centered around the condyle in the TMJ itself. However, this is not the case. According to the Quadrant Theorem of Guzay, the axis of rotation of the mandible lies exactly at the odontoid of C2. (The odontoid is the upward, toothlike protuberance from the second vertebra, around which the first vertebra rotates.) When the mandible moves downwards, this generates a pulling force, loosening the muscles around C2. Likewise, when moving up (i.e., when closing the mouth), it generates a pressure, which tightens the muscles around C2. This means that in an occlusion with decreased vertical dimension will aggravate muscle tension around C2 when the mouth is closed. Therefore, it is clear that distortion in TMJ will affect the position of the Axis too.
Of all 24 vertebrae in the spine (7 cervical, 12 thoracic, 5 lumbar), there is only one vertebra with an odontoid/axis, which is C2. Therefore, the Axis plays a key role in the balance of the entire spine. Together with the TMJ, C2 is the most significant variable affecting the entire spine structure.
So what happens next after subluxation of Axis? The rest of the spine collapses like in the domino effect even affecting position of the cranial bones and pelvis. This is explained by Lovetts reactor relationship.
According to Lovett Reactor relationship, each vertebra is coupled in motion with another vertebra and the pelvis is coupled in motion to the cranium. C1 + L5, C2 + L4 and C3 + L5 automatically move in the same direction (also known as coupling movement). The other vertebrae pairs, for example C4 + L2 move in the opposite direction. Therefore, impact on one vertebra influences other vertebrae in the spine.
Therefore, TMJ distortion causes subluxation of C2 (Axis) which leads to the collapse of the rest of the body structure.
ii) TMJ and nerves
Nine of the 12 cranial nerves are found near the temporal bones from which the mandible is suspended. Particularly, the 5th cranial nerve (also known as trigeminal nerve) innervates the TMJ and are coupled to C1 and C2 (Atlas and Axis). The cranial nerves together control 136 different muscles (or 68 pairs of “dental muscles”) connecting the entire spine. According to Dr Lee, misalignment of TMJ disturbs the trigeminal nerve and it can lead to problems in the rest of the nervous system. Problems in the nervous system may cause abnormal muscle contractions and pain due to central sensitization and wider range of brain plasticity.
Not only this, TMJ distortion which causes subluxation of C1 and C2 can limit the space of foramen magnum (which is an opening at the base of the skull) through which the cerebrospinal fluid circulates. This can negatively impact the body-brain communication and also cause restriction of the jugular foramen, another opening in the base of the skull transmitting veins, arteries, and nerves. Restriction in these openings can mean less efficient brain respiration due to decrease in the cerebrospinal fluid circulation and can also limit proper flow of blood to the brain.
The link below is a demonstration of how subluxation of upper cervical vertebrae restricts the jugular foramen. (Click slideshow in the file)
In conclusion, TMJ is the most important factor which contributes to collapse of spine structure and disruption of the nervous system.
iii) What causes TMJ imbalance?
Many people think that TMD (TMJ Dysfunction) is mostly caused by trauma (i.e. injury) to the jaw. However, there are many other causes of TMD including the following:
- Chewing on one side consistently
- Neglect of missing tooth
- Trauma due to complications of head and neck injury and traffic accident
- Bad oral habits
- Genetic or congenital problems
- Solid foods and chewing gum
- Mental stress
- Teeth grinding (Bruxism)
- Bad habits such as poor posture
When patients first experience TMJ problems, they may feel pain around the jaw area, develop headache or problems chewing. However, once TMD becomes chronic the symptoms are not only concentrated on the facial area but patients start suffering variety of symptoms including pains going down to the neck and back and psychological disorders such as depression and anxiety.
Below is another study carried out where one TMD patient was sent to different specialists and the following were her diagnosis from each of them:
It can be said that TMJ is the only joint in our body which causes such different symptoms between acute and chronic patients. Usually, for other joint related illnesses, the symptoms do not involve much more than pains around the affected joint area. However, studies have found that many chronic TMD sufferers not only experience pains and depression but also indigestion, allergies, chronic fatigue, dry/soar eyes, eczema, difficulties in hearing, loss of coordination, numbness in the limbs and fingers, tinnitus, asthma, cold hands and feet, apnoea, vertigo and many others. This can be explained by the impact TMJ imbalance has on the rest of our body structure and the nervous system as described above.
iv) How can TMJ imbalance be resolved?
There are various dental treatments, surgeries and other practices in both medical field and alternative medicine today but it may be very difficult to find treatments that are effective for all sufferers. So how is FCST different?
Dr Lee’s holistic approach is unique in that he treats TMD taking into account all of the following factors:
- Freeway space* (see below)
- Position of the Cranium, TMJ, Spine and Sacrum
Ultimately, this treatment aims to achieve the optimal balance (left, right, front and back) from top to bottom of our entire body. Once this optimal balance is achieved in the entire body and patients no longer experience Deflections it is viewed that patients do not require further treatment.
* Freeway space
A freeway space is the space that exists between the upper and lower articulatory members at rest. It is only when we swallow that the teeth make contact in order to create pressure. The space varies from 1-8 mm but most people tolerate a space in the 2-3 mm region. According to Dr Lee, even 1/10 of a mm defect in the freeway space can distort the TMJ (and therefore causing problems with the nervous system). A splint made of hard material, although custom made, does not allow flexibility when there are muscular and/or structural changes in the individuals as a result of wearing the device, making it difficult to settle at the precise freeway space. Therefore, his intraoral balancing appliances are designed to fix this flaw. During treatments he uses special thin sheets of paper for optimal balance (sometimes referred to as zero point).
1. 1 Tics and Tourette’s Syndrome
Like in the case of dystonia, tics and Tourette’s Syndrome are considered to be caused by imbalance of the TMJ, leading to subluxation of the upper cervical vertebrae as well as abnormality of the brain-nerve system.
Imbalance of the TMJ induces distortion of the Sphenoid bone, which in turn causes errors in the brain-nerve system including abnormality in the circulation of the cerebrospinal fluid. This then triggers abnormality in neurotransmitters, which will generate an interference signal that eventually gives rise to tics and/or Tourette’s Syndrome.
(Tourette’s Syndrome is diagnosed when both motor and phonic tics are present for more than one year.)
1. 2 TMD and Facial asymmetry
Asymmetry, i.e., misalignment, of the TMJ can cause temporomandibular-joint disk displacement, one-sided abrasion of the teeth, and skewing of the mandible. This can lead to temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMD) and facial asymmetry.
The mandible is connected to ligaments, muscles, fascia, and the sphenoid bone that together form the skull, and is also linked with the temporal, occipital, and hyoid bones, as well as indirectly with the upper cervical spine through the neuromuscular system. To be specific, there are 9 cranial nerves and 136 muscles (68 pairs) around the TMJ that can hypercontract and become strained due to imbalance of the TMJ. This directly influences the face and the structure of the skull. Therefore, TMD and facial asymmetry are closely related and generally occur simultaneously.
Symptoms include: TMJ pian, trismus, TMJ noise, habitual dislocation of jaw, and bruxism. Most of facial asymmetry, mandibular deviation class 2&3 malocclusions, partial cross bite, and facial asymmetry due to open bite, deep bite.
1. 3 Other disorders
FCST has also proven to be highly effective for treatment of disorders such as depression, anxiety, insomnia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, hallucination and auditory disorders, chronic fatigue, migraine, and failure to thrive.
1. 4 Underlying causes
Apart from the distorted cerebro spinal structure that all of the above diseases have in common, there also appears to be a commonality in their underlying causes. The following list of causes is drawn up based on the anamnesis of hundreds of patients.
- Trauma to head and/or neck
- Mental stress
- Wrong eating habits
- Untreated dental problems, including malocclusions
- Teeth grinding
- Genetic or congenital problems