Carl H. Jelstrup is a legend in the Puget Sound area of Washington. He is a Norwegian by birth, a chiropractor by training, a cranial-sacral specialist and electro-medicine practitioner by choice, Carl is most of all an iconoclast and an independent thinker. Still competitively skiing in his late 60’s, Carl, who nevertheless says ski machines is ‘bad exercise’ is considered by many to be a ‘genius’ when it comes to intractable head and neck problems. These conditions he manages to fix in days, not weeks or months, thereby earning the enthusiasm of his patients, their families and sometimes the envy, or the celebration of his peers.
‘I work in a field I think I can term ‘electro- medicine’. I consider the body a well-integrated bioelectric system. I and everyone else in the chiropractic, osteopathic, medical, and dental fields, in the first quarter of physics and physiology, years ago, have written papers on subject. We discovered the whole body was run on bioelectric principles.
To our understanding that was the very core of how human beings functioned. We were very excited about this….. and then the quarter was over – so we threw the whole thing out! (Laughter) Next quarter was Anatomy 101, and the stuff about bioelectric properties was totally forgotten. When we graduated, it was stuck so far deep into our subconscious as to never emerge again.
At this time, we started to split up and go into different directions. In the health care system today, one major direction is called emergency medicine. This is basically what the medical system is all about. All the big television programs, ER- Chicago Hospital – all glamorize this: people coming in, it is high drama, and very exciting to watch – if you have nothing else to do. And it is good. Emergency medicine is a real service to people who are in a state of medical emergency of any kind. They are saving lives. They are helping people to pick up the pieces again, giving them a chance to begin again. American emergency medical system – they know what they are doing, and I have nothing but respect for them.
Then you have the other system, where I belong. We may call this the field of preventive care. In the medical field, you have the ‘general practitioner’ (though this is a rapidly vanishing breed), and then you have the osteopathic physician, the chiropractor and the dentist who, instead of practicing regular dentistry, is practicing biocompatible dentistry. Then there is the naturopath. Then, lo and behold, here in the State of Washington, there is a new breed of people coming – the massage therapists. They have a good, basic education, a hard year of training, and then they have the right to touch people. With the exception of what the dentist does, the naturopaths, the chiropractors, the massage therapists, and whoever else is out there – all have one thing in common. We all have the permission to touch people, to deal with their specific problems
Now, speaking for myself and the Bellevue Wellness Center where I work, I base my practice on the concept of an equilateral triangle. The baseline of the triangle deals with the ‘structure’. One of the sides deals with the ‘emotions’, and the other side deals with ‘genetic/chemical stress’. As we have worked with the concept of this triangle, we realized each side of the triangle had an effect upon each other. I always write ‘structure’ on the bottom on the bottom of the triangle, because it is my foundation. It is the very foundation of my thinking. Out from this concept I have, over the years, developed some knowledge and come to certain conclusions in my work, the primary one being is that structure controls function.
I can give you an example of this. If you are dealing with somebody in deep distress – there has been a recent death, the woman is left with no one to help her, she has two children, the house rent is due and her husband has died. In grief like this, you do not see the structural expression of ‘openness’ –(he gestures with arms outstretched,) – it goes into a compressed form that sinks down (gesturing a crumpled, slumped, shoulders moving towards each other position). As it sinks down, it creates actually cardiac compression in the process of sinking down, and gravitational pressure. So you can study people from a structural point of view and just by observing them; you can get a pretty good insight into what has happened. You can study their cranial form, their facial features, the curvature of their spine, their gait pattern, the way their feet contact the ground, pretty soon, you get a good idea as to the health of the individual.
Now, structure is tied into a system in the body, besides muscles and ligaments and articulations – there is a system in the body that protects the nervous system. This is considered to be at the core of structural observations, and this system is called the meningeal system. The meningeal system is the wrapping around the brain and the spinal cord and it is tied down in the area of the sacrum down to the coccyx, in the area called phylum terminalis. These are the big guy wires down at the bottom. Over the years, we have taken x-rays that show structural distortions, but we could not always see the whole story. X-rays at best are limited. The x-rays do tell you the function of the body in certain planes like the horizontal – frontal and lateral plane which is also called the sagittal plane. I feel this plane to be the most important one in determining menigeal stress in the spine which shows the core stress of the system.
This understanding was developed by a Swedish researcher Dr.Alf Breig. He wrote the book called Adverse Mechanical Tension of the Central Nervous System. This is ground breaking work on the body’s reaction to stress.
People say, “Big deal – so we have a wrapping around our brain and spinal cord. So,what else is new? What does that do? What does this mean?” Well, sometimes you get interference in this system, just like if you were to hold the two ends of a pen, where one end represents the head, and the other end represents the tail. Regardless of where there is tension on the pen, or a causative factor for the tension, it will affect the totality of the structure – the pen as a whole will rotate, will be affected by that tension. This is core observation. Out of these observations, we have learned when there is structural tension in certain parts of the body; it leads to any different conditions.
I will give you a few examples of this: If you have a spine, where you have a situation called “pottenger saucer,” in the upper dorsal area (this simply means a compression or flattening out of the spine that sets up an irritation of the menigeal system in that area.) This irritation can be tested by simple applied kinesiological testing, or the area can be palpated and it will illicit pain responses. It can also be tested by a system we have developed in our clinic, called ‘biophonics’ which I will touch upon later. There are many ways to test it, but the most obvious one is if you touch it, the patient hurts. Pretty cut and dry.
If you have some pressure in this area, there are two things that will automatically happen to a person. You will have interference into the pericardial area, and this will in turn stress the heart, and thus deplete the person’s energy. There is no way around this, absolutely no way around it. Furthermore, there is generally a tendency to have gastrointestinal problems, because of stress in the upper G.I. tract. This is just one example, of many examples I could give. By studying the meningeal system you can literally read out what is going on with the patient.
If you have the opposite condition in the upper dorsal area, this is called a ‘dowager’s hump ‘, which we often get as we get older. Once this happens, it sets into motion a whole series of events which affects the whole physiological and biochemical behavior of that individual.
It does not matter what else you are doing to overcome this – it does not matter what vitamins you take, what supplements etc. once you have compromised the meningeal system you feel pain and there is no way around it.
There are however, specific ways to test and monitor this system. Simple tests any doctor can do. You can put the patient on a relatively firm table, not a soft cushioned table but a firm one. Check the leg length and rotate the feet medially. Whenever there is a meningeal stress you will always have a short and tight leg compared to the opposite leg. This is one of the many ways you can look into the system. And this is a 10 out of a 10 when it comes to results. This is what many health care professionals have not really quite caught on to.
In the field of nutrition we think, “Well, if you eat well…” This is fine, but if you eat well, and the pressures in the meningeal system were to be removed, well then you are doing something right. There is nobody measuring this, there is really no way of knowing if this is happening or not. If you are doing homeopathy, naturopathy, chiropractic, or osteopathy, if you do not monitor what is happening to the meningeal system, you have no idea where that system is going.
You can verify this meningeal stress simply by observing structure and comparing it to a normal system – strictly by observation. If you have pronation in the feet, you will always get pelvic stress; you will always get meningeal stress. You will always set up stress patterns which sooner or later will begin a break down effect upon that body sometimes decades later.
If you have a crossbite – which is at the other end of the teeth – if you have a Class II overbite – if you are missing molar teeth completely on one side, just to mention a few examples, you will create a torque in the cranium that will translate into the neck, which will translate into the meningeal system, that will set up a torque that will begin a gradual breakdown of that person, and there is absolutely no way around it.
I met in the clinic today a sweet lady from New Zealand. They gave up on her in New Zealand. She was a bright lady, and she came into the clinic about two weeks ago, completely out of her mind in stress, pain and anxiety. Why? Because her bite was completely deranged because some dentist somewhere had done something terribly wrong, and made what was bad in her mouth much worse. Since they could not see the meningeal system, and did not understand what she was saying, they dismissed her as being maybe a bit disturbed.
When she came to my clinic, the immediate thing I saw in her was a major adverse mechanical tension. Now what does that do? It depends on how much reserve energy one has in the bank. It depends on your body type: are you a Kapha type, a Pitta or a Vata type? It depends on your genetics. How strong are you to take this onslaught of stress?
This lady was a combination of Pitta and Vata. These people are very sensitive. Their nervous systems are simply sensitive. She was beside herself with pain and stress. Because you cannot see it on x-ray, you cannot see it on MRI – the only way you can see it is by observation of the patient, and by going through specific means of testing. If you do not do testing, you cannot see it. You may come to the wrong conclusion that this person is a fruitcake, and all she was doing is crying for help-and you have no idea how to help them or where to begin.
Besides creating local adverse reactions, going back to the meningeal system, that affects local vertemeers, local sections of the body, you also send signals to the adrenals. Anyone who has read the work of Dr. Hans Selye knows when you have ongoing stressors, the adrenals will flip in and out of alarm reactions. Usually they will flip from alarm to exhaustion, then maybe back for a short time to adaptation if the person can rest (i.e. sleep, eat well, etc.).As the person begins living his stressful life again, the adrenals kick right back into alarm. There is not a pill, there is not a counselor, there is not a priest, and there is not a piece of nutrition that can help them. In the case, with the lady from New Zealand, there was a major derangement of her jaw. Now this hits the adrenals. Not only does it hit the TMJ mechanism (Temporal Maniduliar Joint) but it hits other parts of the body and the brain.
There is an area in neurophysiology called the homunculus, which represents among many things TMJ stress. If I am not mistaken; about 85% of the central nervous system is hooked up to this TMJ nervous system area. This creates an onslaught of stress on the adrenals that causes panic in the body. You can feed the body protomorphogens or adrenal extracts – like, if you have a flood, trying to put up a few sandbags here and there. IT is not going to stop the flood. This is why I put such an emphasis on structure. Regardless of whom you are, whether you are a dentist, a chiropractor, a naturopath or an M.D., you have to get to respect what structure is telling you. There is a great difference between a person who is genuinely happy and raises his arms to the sky for joy and opens his chest to a person who is compressed in sorrow. This is the simplest way you can point to structure.