+ Which technique should I use? – September 05

+ Comment from Al Pelowski, principal tutor with The South
African Institute of Cranial Studies. on sciatica- October 05

Hi John,
Found your web site very useful and your URL easy to remember.
I use it as my virtual business card. I have been treating a man in
his late fifties with sciatica. I have had some success but feel I
could achieve more.

Can you recommend any techniques that you have found
particularly useful for sciatica?


Glad you like the site.
I’m going to answer your question in two parts. Let me start by
saying no one technique is ‘the’ technique for ANYTHING.

Techniques are ways we get a handle on the bigger picture.
And the biggest picture is what you need to be available for.
I am putting it like that because describing it as ‘looking’ for
the biggest picture is way too active, eager, inefficient and INTURSIVE.
You need to ask yourself, what is really going on here?
Why has this person got these particular symptoms?
Why are the symptoms in this configuration?
What’s the root cause of this situation?

Symptoms generally manifest physically, meaning they show up
in the person’s body.  But that doesn’t mean the CAUSE of those
symptoms is exclusively physical.

Often EMOTIONAL issues will express themselves as physical symptoms.
It doesn’t just stop there, often the root cause of what is going
on has a physical component, caused by an emotional component
but the root cause is not emotional it is something DEEPER.

That may sound spooky or kooky to you depending on your slant
but I have seen it time and again, where the root cause was deeper
than physical and emotional issues.

How can that be?

Let’s go through it one layer at a time.
Physical problems.
These problems are characterised by very physical causes and
descriptions,  ‘The tentorium cerebelli is pulled inferiorly here,
causing pressure there . . .etc’.

Regardless of the source of a pattern of a restriction, it will show
up physically.  Becoming accurate in identifying the extent and
complexity of physical restrictions takes a lot of practice and is
a prerequisite for working with the deeper causes.

Emotional issues/causes.
Restrictions in the emotional aspect of the person can have causes
like, a person may need to leave a partner or job or it may be an old
emotional abuse.
Emotional restrictions are more difficult to identify accurately
because it’s very easy to start theorising about the person’s problems
instead of simply receiving the information from the person’s body in
the same way you do with physical patterns.

Core problems
These relate to how the person sees themselves in their lives, their
relationship with themselves, with God, with their idea of God.
A feeling that they’re off track.
And no, you don’t need to know what their track is.
Core problems can feel like fundamental disharmonies within the
person.  They are the hardest to perceive because they are so deep
in the person.
Your ability to see and work with these core issues comes with lots
of practice and humility.
Their revelation occurs in the dynamic between you and the person
and what you have to offer each other.

Are you with me?

It generally works its way through the layers something like this.
A disharmony in a person’s core will affect them emotionally and
in turn affect them physically.
For example someone might think they are fundamentally bad.
This could manifest emotionally as anxiety and paranoia, which
could manifest physically as headaches and chronic fatigue.
The skill comes in being able to assess where the root cause of
the problem is.

Before you go charging off into the great mystery, let me add this.
It can be as easy to go the other way and start looking for deep
emotional and core issues as the root cause of a purely physical

‘I just twisted my knee Mate!’

Now the second part of my answer is purely physical.
There are lots of different ways of creating sciatica.
It’s a pain, which means there have to be nerves involved.
The pain generally is in the lower back and travels down one
leg or the other, sometimes both.

Have a look at, [in books and with your hands] the lumbar plexus,
the sacral plexus.  How are the nerves on both sides of the spinal
column as they leave the vertebral foramina?

Scan the nerves up as far as the thoraco-lumbar junction.
Remember tight membranes can pull vertebrae together and pinch nerves.
Consider how long the person has been getting the pain?
Getting a sense of when and how the pattern of restriction was formed.
So, look particularly at the dural tube.
How are the membranes running?
Most particularly how is the cerebro spinal fluid moving?
Find ways to help it come into a harmonious flow.
It’s all about flow.


– On additional physical causes of sciatica.

Some of the rootlets of the sciatic nerve pass through the psoas
muscle – a noted emotional contractor- – slightly bent over posture,
unable to fully extend hips without pain, affected leg externally rotated.
Another sciatica tip: usually on right side, I-C Valve, Caecum.

Yet other possibilities: Leg length differences, real bony differences,
or more likely due to rotations in the leg from protecting an old sprained
ankle or twisted knee — most commonly external rotation in the foot
where there has been damage to the ankle lateral colateral ligaments
— resulting in compression of the S-I joint and thus irritation of the epineuria.
“from the ankle joint to the knee joint…etc” Remember the tune?

Yo. Ta for newsletter. Much food for reflection


Thanks Al. All very useful places to look for the mechanics of
the physical manifestation of sciatica.

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