Q & A about the Kiso Method… Why is the Kiso Method so popular in Europe? Because the Kiso Method works and it answers so many questions that have either gone unnoticed by the chiropractic profession or have just never been answered by other techniques.
The Kiso Method takes a practitioner through the ins and outs of clinical operations. When in school at Palmer College of Chiropractic West, I didn’t think about it then, but I was confused. I personally worked very hard at being the best young chiropractor that I could be. This meant taking seminars constantly, I went to some helpful chiropractors for extra training at least twice a week for several years. But still I was confused. I was confused about how to treat a patient. What was I supposed to do with this patient? What would be the best approach to helping this individual? Now, looking back, it was due to so many unanswered questions. I didn’t even know that I had so many unanswered questions until my later years as a chiropractor. Am I just mobilizing the bone structure, and hoping for the best? Am I just popping the spine and joints and hoping to make my patients feel better? Why do patients have to seemingly come back so often to the chiropractor? Well, I proceeded, through the last 25 years, to answer all my unanswered questions.
When you are learning the Kiso Method, you’ll find many answers to previously un-explained phenomena that occur while treating patients.
- How does the spine go out of place? what cause nerve impingement? The spine goes out of place in a backwards direction. If you study Gonstead listings and most other listings from other systems, the “P” in the listing, for example PRIT, stands for posterior. PRIT all together would stand for: the vertebra moved in a posterior, spinous right, inferior on the side of spinous rotation, transverse process. While in school, our teachers and in our training, we did not talk that much about why all vertebrae move in a backwards position when they move out of place. It’s significant.
- Why do vertebrae only move in this direction? Because the structure of the facets only allow this movement. If you look at the structure of the spine, the facets are a protective anatomical structure, there to give “armour” for the spinal cord. The spinal cord is in the posterior part of the spine. If you look at all the facets in the spine, located behind the spinal cord, they all have a flat plate on each side of the spinous. Each of these flat plates stack up, one above the other, from the sacrum to the C2 vertebra, guarding the spinal cord. That’s why vertebrae cannot go too far forward. They are in their anatomically correct position when they are all the way forward. This anatomically correct position is termed “The Primary Soft Spot”, where all the vertebrae are in a forward position. That’s why our Kiso Ball helps the patient to “train” their vertebrae to stay in their home, to stay in this anatomically correct position called the primary soft spot.
- Why is it termed Primary Soft Spot? It’s the place all vertebrae were meant to be in. It’s the place the vertebrae was born to be in, the place where, as an embryo the structures of the spine were created. This concept helps explain many things concerning the clinical findings and clinical outcome of a patient’s treatment program.
- Why do patients have to keep coming back to a chiropractor for further treatments? Remember, “life is adjusting you”! Your computer, your posture, your sitting to much in chairs, sleeping with too many pillows, looking down constantly texting or reading….all these things cause flexion and flexion is the root cause of subluxation. Does it mean we should not ever flex forward? No, it means that too much flexion without your core muscles being toned causes subluxation. I’m not a pain doctor, I’m not just hear to only relieve symptoms, that’s only part of it. I’m here to help YOU heal yourself. Of course, when you first come to my clinic, especially if you have a specific issue, I will see you more often at first, but as you get better and hold your adjustments, I will space out the treatments. But even if you are symptom free, one should come in for an alignment once or twice per month. There is much evidence that shows just the chiropractic adjustment alone stimulates the connection from your spine to your brain, waking up this connection means that homeostasis will be “jump started” again. Making your body “aware” again of the joints in your spine. This allows communication between your spine and your brain. So lifetime care is the goal!
- What causes the vertebrae to go back out of place once it’s been adjusted? good question, one that was never answered for me during my seven years of schooling required at the time I became a chiropractor (now it is a minimum of 8 years of full time college in almost all states). Because a vertebra is happy in it’s primary soft spot, but it’s movement from the primary soft spot to it’s subluxated spot is done through the patient having undergone some type of spinal FLEXION. Looking at the spine and how it moves into a posterior position when subluxated (this is the only direction possible when looking at the anatomical structure of the facets) can only be accomplished by the patient flexing the spine. When spinal flexion occurs (great when doing yoga or stretching when not having back pain), this flexion “pushes” the vertebra backwards into this subluxated position call the “Secondary Soft Spot”.
- What’s so important about the secondary soft spot? The Secondary Soft Spot is an anatomically bad position in the spinal column. The vertebrae was allowed to enter this new, bad position for several reasons. First, the musculature holding the spine together ie fascia, muscle etc. was week. The second reason, the posture of the patient or inappropriate continued flexion of the spine, for example, slouching and lifting wrong for low back pain and excessive flexion and curling forward of the thoracic spine or the constant flexion of the neck while texting and sleeping with too many pillows for example, causes various areas to go into this secondary soft spot. The third reason is the communication of the brain to the spinal cord has dulled allowing the spinal cord not to be protected my the homeostasis that naturally occurs when brain communication to the spine is normal. This is why getting adjusted at least once or twice a month for life is important.
- How can we train the spine not to go into the secondary soft spot once they’ve had a manipulation to correct the subluxation? When the patient is out of severe pain, they can start to do light exercise first to start to strengthen the spine. This strength will help “hold” the vertebrae in the primary soft spot. After strengthening the spine for one to two weeks, the patient may start to stretch lightly at first, then using the Kiso Ball and the Para-Stim to help train the spine to hold this new position…the vertebra in the primary soft spot.
- Why does the patient first have to exercise then stretch? Because the secondary soft spot called the vertebra out. The patient did not have sufficient strength to “hold” the vertebra in it’s anatomically correct position, it’s primary soft spot. Why did this occur? Perhaps the patient has allowed him or her self to become weak in the area of subluxation. How did this occur? By not exercising or using their spine in any way to build strength. The other reason is that, if you stretch first, right after a manipulation, it’s likely that the vertebra will move into the subluxated position again. Stretching causes the spine to often times go into a flexed position. For example, when you stretch the back of your legs, you bend forward and try and touch your toes. This puts the spine in flexion, if I had just adjusted your vertebra into the primary soft spot, which is forward in the spinal column, this forward flexion could have re-positioned the vertebra right back into the secondary soft spot setting up more pain and discomfort. It may feel good at first, to stretch forward, stretching the tight leg muscles in the back of the legs, but this movement could have drawn the vertebra back into the secondary soft spot again. This is precisely what happens in most other chiropractic offices, over and over again, making the patient have to come back in over and over again forever to reposition the vertebra. The other reason the vertebra has come out into the secondary soft spot again is due to the brain communication has been dulled which is re-awakened by the adjustment process and allows homeostasis to re-establish itself again.
- Is there another exercise that patients can do to help hold their vertebra in the primary soft spot? Yes, using the Kiso Ball properly helps gently push the vertebrae forward into their primary soft spots throughout the spine. The Kiso Ball is used from the T1 area, near what I call the hump just below the neck, down about half way down the spine to about the T10 vertebrae. The ball is also used in the sacrum and L5 area. It can be used in the lower back from the sacrum to about the L3 vertebra. Any higher than this is not recommended. So the areas in the spine the Ball should not be used is between the T10 vertebra to the L3 vertebra. The Para-Stim, a wooden device used like the Kiso Ball but for the neck. It’s so named because it stimulates the Para-Sympathetic nervous system. Many patients with neck pain have something called “sympathetic over-ride”. This condition lets the sympathetic nervous system go wild. It can cause panic attacks, shortness of breath, sensitivity to light and rapid heart rate. It’s caused from the relationship of the cranium to the atlas vertebra. The atlas is the very top vertebra in the spine. It’s the only vertebra that moves sideways when it subluxates. All the rest of the spinal vertebrae move in a posterior direction. So the primary soft spot for the atlas vertebra is in a neutral, “normal” position under the skull and the C2 vertebra. In the Kiso Method, when the atlas vertebra subluxates, it moves either right or left with possible posterior or anterior direction of the transverse processes. This makes the cranium compensate. The atlas moving, for example, right would usually cause the cranium to lift on the opposite side of the atlas. This compromises the brain stem, putting pressure on the spinal cord covering setting off a response in the body called the fight or flight system. The Para-Stim is used in three areas of the spine. One is at the top of the cervical spine right under the skull. This position helps stimulate the para-sympathetic nervous system. It’s used in the mid neck to help accentuate the lordodic cervical curve. Just adjusting the patient to help alleviate their reduced cervical curve could take numerous adjustments. Using the Para-Stim quickly helps train the neck to allow a beautiful cervical curve. Finally, the Para-Stim is used in the lower neck from C5 to C7 for patients suffering from a brachial nerve problem. For example, if you have a brachial nerve problem with radiating nerve pain down the arm at the C5-6 nerve root or radial nerve, you will obviously try and manipulate this vertebra to reposition it in a better position, close to the primary soft spot. Using the Para-Stim will greatly improve the patient between visits, doing something that can’t be accomplished in your office, daily training of the vertebra to HOLD it’s proper position.
- What are some other concepts in the Kiso Method that explain phenomena associated with patient care? When a patient has low back pain, often they experience leg cramping in various areas down the leg. When having a new patient and determining what area of the lower back this patient is being afflicted by is actually fairly simple. Symptomatology helps lead us to the right area of the spine. If a patient comes in with strong low back pain, localized to the L5/S1 area of the spine, I ask the patient if they have any leg pain, as in sciatica. They patient may say “no, I have know leg pain”. I proceed to push on the musculature starting at the buttock and moving down the legs to the lower calf. I often feel what I call “abnormal tightness”. This abnormal tightness of the leg muscles is sometimes not felt by the patient, or was unnoticed by the patient. The patient may say “I often get leg cramps when I run”, or say ” I get leg cramping when I sleep”. This phenomena is termed “Latent Sciatica” in the Kiso Method. It’s not overtly noticed by the patient when undergoing a bout of back pain, or with chronic back pain. Often times when I draw the patient’s attention to the situation, they will say “oh wow, now I know I have been feeling tight muscles in my legs.” In the Kiso Method, feeling tight muscles either in the arms or legs, clue us into what vertebrae are affecting the patients condition. Pain down the buttock, down the back of the leg and into the outside calf, for example, is caused from a subluxation of the L5/S1 vertebra. It’s amazing in Kiso Seminars, we find someone with “latent sciatica”, with a tight posterior thigh for example, and adjust the vertebra on the Kiso Bench, non force, and we all can feel the leg muscle relax immediately after the adjustment. Also the softening of the muscle lasts.
- Are there many other concepts in the Kiso Method that define it as a unique healing art? Yes, many more. Too many to address here. Concepts like “spill over”. A phenomenon where the patient experiencing tenderness at the top of the head in various places caused from the upper cervical spine being subluxated. This is due to energy raising up from the back of the spine over the top of the skull as it makes it’s way down the front of the body. This “stagnation” manifests as pain, often accompanied by swollen pockets and headaches. Yes, there is a simple fix for this problem.
- What other factors influence a persons ability to hold an adjustment? Food is very important. Over the years, I’ve seen many patients have trouble holding adjustments if their food intake is poor quality. I have written an easy to read, fun book called the Kiso Diet and it’s successor Eat for Sex Diet. The Kiso Diet is succinct and the Eat for Sex Diet is more expanded into hormones and foods that specifically help vitality. Both books are for patients and practitioners alike. If patients learn to eat well, they will feel better, have more energy and have a greater ability to hold their adjustments.
- Is the Kiso Method a non force technique? It has non force throughout the entire technique. It also has force techniques. What sets the force techniques apart from other techniques is the posterior to anterior direction of force that is stressed when making an adjustment. The Kiso Bench, which is the number one aspect of this art that is entirely different compared with any other technique in the world. It is extremely powerful, completely non force and takes only seconds to perform. All the other areas of the spine can be adjusted with either force or using an oscillation non force method. This oscillation non for method is what is taught to non chiropractors.
Now for Dr. Cain’s newest book!
Dr. Craig’s new book The Eat for Sex Diet!
Why a book about food, supplements and sexual function? Because your sexual vitality is a barometer for health. If you are young or old, this book will teach you something about food and sexual function that you did not know. This ground breaking book breaks it down to reveal the truth about food, herbs and supplements that will either elevate your hormone levels or just to eat foods that will allow your blood to flow, bringing you nutrition and oxygen to all areas of your body. This is not a boring, calorie counting book designed to put you a sleep, it’s a book written to change your life. A book packed with new ways of looking at food, supplements and herbs. Lake a look and buy from Amazon.com!
Dr. Cain is the founder of the Kiso Method. It’s a technique now in 22 different countries. The 4 manuals, two for chiropractic practitioners and two for non chiropractic practitioners like massage therapists, physical therapists, acupuncturists and cranio-sacral therapists, are presented in well done manuals. These manuals are detailed in every way and make learning the Kiso Method fast and as easy as possible. We also have a double DVD set that follows the manuals for additional learning.
“If I were to say anything about the Kiso Method, first I would say that every chiropractic college in America needs this technique. It has so many concepts that were totally unanswered when I was a student and to this day, they are still unanswered for all those students and chiropractors alike going through school and those who have already graduated”. The Kiso Method is extremely practical. The low back technique alone will change the way you practice just taking one seminar or learning about it in his manuals and DVDs. All the concepts are geared for incredible results. In the Kiso Method, the patient participates in the healing process, this is the only way it could work. Using the concepts of the Kiso Method written in his book “Secrets of Healing Back Pain”, the patient learns how to sit, stand, exercise and stretch. The patient also utilizes the Kiso Ball and for those with neck pain, the Para-stim. Together…the patient and the Doctor generate true lasting healing.
Once you study these materials, you will study our book, Secrets of Healing Back Pain. This is essential. This book goes into how back pain occurs and is explained in laymen’s terms and enables the practitioner to explain, in detail, how pain pain occurs. Each chapter focuses on new details concerning back pain like ergonomics, exercise and stretching as well as how stress manifests into back pain and how stress can be managed. In the exercise and stretching portions of the book, everything is graded into levels depending on your patient’s back pain level. Through following this book patients can regain their health and vitality.
The Kiso Diet has already changed many lives. It’s an informative book from beginning to end and can guide you into a healthy lifestyle. It’s very important everyone eats well, otherwise it’s difficult to maintain the alignment that they had received during treatment. Our book, Life, longevity and the Kiso Diet is a plant based diet that gives your patient the option of being a vegan, a lacto-ovo vegetarian or what I call a flexitarian. No matter where you end up after reading the Kiso Diet, the patient starts for one week as a vegan. This way they can understand how milk and cheese is in many foods. They are keen to reading labels and they actually experience how a vegan eats. Many patients introduced to veganism stay here. The following week, if they choose, lets them expand a bit to a lacto-ovo vegetarian diet but is still very light on milk products, but not as strict as a vegan diet. Then if the want to expand further, the third week lets them eat only fish and chicken, but only three meals of fish and chicken per week unless they EARN the right to eat more by exercising. Yes, exercising is a big part of the Kiso Diet. Our book is forwarded by GILAD, the hall of famer Gilad has been in the fitness and diet field since 1985! The Kiso Diet has all the research and common sense that will satisfy all of it’s readers. Much of the research was originally found from the China Study, a book written by Dr. Campbell, who conducted the longest nutritional study in the history of the world. This book has changed many lives and a must read while studying the Kiso Method!
Personal Therapy for Dr. Craig…
My life is full. I believe in having no boundaries. “Life enhances life” in other words, living your life to not only sustain your current value of life, but to enhance the value of your life. For me this means pursuing the adventures that make your life more complete, more energizing. I enjoy Yoga, meditation and the shamanic arts. This makes magic in my life and keeps me moving forward!
Doing a talk on the Kiso Method to a crowd at Kalani Resort…