In this case, I finally got to see the huge impact ABC™ can make with neurological issues. Particularly with what may appear as a severe form of depression called catatonic depression.
What is Catatonic Depression?
Medical News Today defines catatonic depression or catatonia as “a subtype of depression characterized by not speaking or seeming to be in a daze for a prolonged period. A person with catatonic depression does not respond to what is going on around them and may be silent and motionless.
Catatonia used to be a separate subtype of schizophrenia. However, doctors now recognize that catatonia can accompany many different mental health conditions, including schizophrenia, depression, mood disorders, and personality disorders.”1More info: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/322199
Mutism (not speaking) and stupor (state of being in a daze) are considered the most common symptoms of catatonia. Doctors diagnose catatonia when three or more of the following symptoms are present:2Source: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/322199#symptoms
• Agitation, or anxiety or restlessness.
• Catalepsy, or being in a trance-like state.
• Echolalia, or senseless repetition of the words another person says.
• Echopraxia, or the meaningless repetition of movements another person does.
• Grimacing, or making a face that looks like a person is in pain.
• Mutism, or the inability or refusal to speak.
• Negativism, or adopting behaviors that are the opposite of their emotions. For example, feeling hungry but refusing to eat.
• Posturing, such as adopting a rigid or unnatural posture, often for extended time periods.
• Stereotypy, or ritualistic movements, such as rocking or crossing and uncrossing the legs repeatedly.
• Stupor, or decreased response to stimuli, including when people talk to the person.
• Unusual mannerisms, such as irregular speech patterns or movements or staring.
• Wavy flexibility, where a person does not respond to commands and has an immobile posture.
I knew nothing about catatonia when I started treating Martha, a nineteen year old Amish girl. Her mother brought her to see me at an Amish house where I had been seeing clients since early February of 2022.
At first glance, Martha seemed like a vegetable in a human suit for all practical purposes. She just stood off to a side in the hallway with her head down and tipped on one side and hands locked in the front – didn’t move or interact with anyone. From what we know about catatonic depression, she exhibited catalepsy, mutism, and stupor, which would have probably earned her a diagnosis of catatonia had she seen a psychiatrist.3This is not to assign a diagnosis to Martha’s condition but to indicate that sometimes illnesses labeled as a particular mental disease may have their root in structural anomalies that can be handled well by ABC™. More information on this in the later part of this article.
I asked the mother what was going on with Martha and she told me they had seen all kinds of specialists to try and help her. Although they never had her tested for Autism, the unofficial verdict from some doctors was that she is on the spectrum.
Martha was born prematurely, weighing a pound and 11 ounces. Then half way through her school (which I imagine to be 4th grade being they’re Amish and go to school up to 8th grade), she started getting quieter and quieter and stopped interacting with people, in general. Her mother especially seemed disappointed with her behavior. She told me she was convinced that Martha understood everything but had just decided to be withdrawn and refused to participate in the world.
I told her that judging by her posture she may have what neurologists would call tethered-cord syndrome, which can present as a myriad of problems including depression. I told her Martha likely didn’t register what was going on around her. That she likely was living in a sort of a haze because of that stretch in her spinal cord and pull in her brainstem. The mother asked if I could help and I told her I was willing to try.
The first time, I avoided checking for meningeal adhesions to ensure I gave her a gentle start. The body undergoes a tremendous amount of change with the very first ABC™ treatment, so it’s a common practice to avoid giving a full protocol until the body has adjusted to the positive effects of spinal alignment.
I applied the usual protocol and, by the time I got to working on her feet, she was giggling, probably because she was ticklish and had regained enough sense to register it and respond.
Later that week her father brought her to see me a second time. He said Martha was looking forward to come and see me. I commented, “We must be doing her some good here then!” But he thought it’s probably because it was just a different activity from the routine. I assured him that “people like to see their ABC™ practitioners not because it’s an activity but because we help them feel better!”
As her father watched her pop up after each maneuver, I commented as I continued to examine her for anteriors, “You see how she’s popping up as her bones get fixed?”
He nodded. “That’s what is going to slacken her spinal cord so she could think straight and function normally.” I think he finally got it!
The following week when I arrived, Martha was already there and she smiled as soon as she saw me. Unfortunately, the parents decided not to heed my advice of bringing her at least 2x a week, so after seeing her twice the first week, I’ve only seen her once every week.
By the fourth treatment, Martha was not only more active but also followed my English instructions so her mom didn’t have to interpret for me. Perhaps, more importantly, her mother wasn’t irritable and stressed like she was the first time we met.
Martha’s parents didn’t share this but after the first two treatments, at church that weekend, Martha took half a slice of bread to eat. According to another Amish woman who had also been noticing improvements in her, that had “never happened before”.
Depression from a Structural Health View
In his book, Dr. Richard Gliddon, a London based ABC™ Chiropractor, explains how structural anomalies in the body can present depression type symptoms in a person. To understand how that works, you have to first appreciate that our entire central nervous system – the brain and spinal cord – is engulfed within a very strong three-layered sheath of tissue called the meninges.
Not only that, the spinal cord and nerves jutting out of it are designed to have some give so that when your head moves through its range of motion – especially forwards and back – they stretch by 2-3 cm without any negative consequence. When, however, you have enough vertebral misalignments, not only does the spinal cord and nerves overstretch but the meninges overstretch too, which narrows down its diameter, essentially squeezing the spinal cord, brainstem, and brain.
Dr. Gliddon writes, “When the spine is optimally aligned in the upright position, there is no stretch on the meninges and zero mechanical pressure on the nervous system. In this relaxed state, function is normal and optimal neurologically.
Stretch in the meninges beyond the normal range can cause a much more significant traction and compression effect on the spinal cord and nerves that branch off of it, leading to many potential health problems. In some people, the stretch goes up the body, affecting their arms, neck, and even into the head, causing brain fog or the inability to think well.”4Unlocked: Release Your Peak Potential and Rebuild a Body that’s Future-Proof by Richard Gliddon DC. Publisher Finn-Phyllis Press, Incorporated (September 3, 2019)
During the fifth treatment, when I fixed one or two of her lumber vertebrae, Martha started giggling spontaneously. It seemed like she was trying not to but couldn’t help it. I am not sure if it was because of a memory trigger, which ABC™ treatments are known to invoke, or just feeling so much better that she felt like laughing. At any rate, it was nice to witness her bursting with life!
After these initial results, I am eager to see Martha start functioning independently to the point of getting married and raising her own family. Martha may have some ways to go to achieve that but her parents are hopeful. And that indeed is a wonderful thing.
- 1More info: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/322199
- 2Source: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/322199#symptoms
- 3This is not to assign a diagnosis to Martha’s condition but to indicate that sometimes illnesses labeled as a particular mental disease may have their root in structural anomalies that can be handled well by ABC™. More information on this in the later part of this article.
- 4Unlocked: Release Your Peak Potential and Rebuild a Body that’s Future-Proof by Richard Gliddon DC. Publisher Finn-Phyllis Press, Incorporated (September 3, 2019)