It was in 1982 that I met Dr. Harry Shapiro who was the former curator for the Department of Anthropology at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, and a leading expert on the design of the human skull, artificial skull deformation and trepination.
It was this relationship that put me on a course that I would never had envisioned. In 1978 I graduated with high honours from Sherman College of Chiropractic with particular focus on specific corrective care of the upper cervical spine, which is the most critical and important area of the spine. Following graduation I spent several years studying Applied Kinesiology and Sacrooccipital Technique, which includes specific pelvic analysis and corrective care procedures for the foundation of the spine, as well as craniopathy which is described below.
The pelvis contains the tail end attachment of the cord. Except for the tail, the brain and cord float within the cranial vault and spinal canal. The human pelvis is complex when it comes to health problems and requires specific analysis and correction. In my opinion, it is just as important as specific upper cervical care. Craniopathy, on the other hand, is the study of the musculoskeletal system of the skull, as well as cerebrospinal fluid flow, called CSF, in the brain and cord.
It was because of my interest in craniopathy that I met Dr. Harry Shapiro through a friend. The doctor became a patient and we had many long conversations regarding the design of the sutures and base of the skull, as well as craniopathy and chiropractic. While Dr. Shapiro was intriqued by basic chiropractic and craniopathic theories, certain craniopathic concepts clearly conflicted with his extensive forensic findings. In particular, he disagreed with issues regarding deformation of the base of the skull and the state of its special joints called sutures. Consequently, he insisted that I use the museum to do my own research.
When I got there he handed me a well used canvas sack with a set of old calipers strapped to the inside. Honestly, I had no idea about how to use them. He then gave me an old monogram he had published in 1928 called, “A Correction for Artificial Deformation of Skulls.” That’s how my chance investigation into the sutures and the design of the base of the human skull got started. It was supposed to be finished in just a few days. Instead, it turned into decades.
I spent several years examining hundreds of normal, pathological and artificially deformed human skulls. It was the artificially deformed skulls from former indigenous people of Peru and Bolivia, however, that started me looking into hydrocephalus. Hydrocephalus, in turn, led to normal pressure hydrocephalus (NPH) and Alzheimer’s, which led to Parkinson’s and later mutliple sclerosis. Early on I recognized the close similarity between narrow angle glaucoma and NPH. Both are related to low pressure drainage issues due to similar causes. The difference is that glaucoma puts pressure on and damages the optic nerve causing blindness. NPH, on the other hand, puts pressure on the brain and causes dementia.
In addition to human skulls, I studied some primate skulls along with bats, whales and giraffes. I studied the later three because of the extreme circulatory challenges to the brain during head inversion and deep dives, which are similar to inversion and Valsalva maneuvers in humans and known to increase intracranial pressure. I was looking for answers and compensatory mechanisms these animals use to control intracranial pressure, and for possible clues as to how humans contend with challenges caused by upright posture. I found plenty of forensic evidence.
I wrote my first paper on the potential role of the spine in venous drainage issues and neurodegenerative diseases in 1987. A Google search for “stenosis Alzheimer’s” will produce an article I wrote for Dynamic Chiropractic in 1990 calling for research into the potential role of venous drainage isssues in the brain and Alzhiemer’s disease. I subsequently published many other papers on similar subjects, including Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis. After three years of additional study, in 1990 I became certified in chiropractic neurology. In additon to my professional publications, I recently published a book called THE DOWNSIDE OF UPRIGHT POSTURE – THE ANATOMICAL CAUSES OF ALZHEIMER’S, PARKINSON’S AND MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS, based on more than twenty years of research.
The book is written as a story to make it easier to digest and remember some important and difficult concepts. It is packed with relevant information. It was written for lay people, as well as physicians and scientists to stimulate further research. It was also written for anyone interested in physical anthropology, upright posture and the human brain. You can learn more about the book by visiting my website at uprightdoc.com. No one has all the answers to the mystery but we have some new and important pieces to the puzzle that may bring us closer to solving it. I will be discussing topics from the book on this blog. It is an important subject that needs further investigation.