A cranio-sacral approach to healing temporal lobe epilepsy

Temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) also called Temporal lobe seizures, Psychomotor epilepsy and limbic seizures is the most common type of epilepsy that people can experience and is usually diagnosed in childhood or adolescence.

The temporal lobes of the brain rest on the tentorium cerebelli, a horizontal membrane with an opening at the centre through which the brain stem passes towards its spinal cord connection.

In the western medical model the cause is generally considered to be unknown, but in some cases it has been associated with birth trauma, head trauma and injury, strokes, infections such as meningitis, metabolic disturbance and brain tumours. Epilepsy is generally seen in biomedicine as a disease that is characterized by over-activity in the brain, more specifically the cerebrum, leading to seizures. Seizures can cause damage to the brain and neuronal death, which can lead to a decline in cognitive or other abilities.

If there is restriction to blood sup of the temporal lobes it can lead to bruising and irritation of surrounding tissue. This can lead to cells becoming fibrous and sclerotic, which can then restrict the delivery of fresh arterial blood to surround area, resulting in seizures. It has been found that people with TLE can also experience profound autobiographical amnesia. Another explanation is that epilepsy is the misfiring or over firing of specific neurons in the brain called neuronal resonators. Resonators are neurons which process information coming from sensory stimuli or from other neurons.

Incorporating the lens of medical anthropology, and widening our horizon beyond pharmaceuticals and biological pathways could lead to a holistic understanding of this condition, which affects some 70 million people, 40% of whom are resistant to drug therapy.

Epilepsy is much more complicated than treating the over (or abnormal) activity of the conductor in a machine. The brain and body work together dynamically which make diseases like epilepsy very complicated to treat. Addressing the multiplicity of lived experiences of people affected by epilepsy is crucial. A disease does not merely exist in a one-size-fits-all way for every patient in every situation. It exists inside of the person that is experiencing it, who can perceive and experience disease differently than another.

The narrow-minded focus on the brain that dominates the biomedical understanding of epilepsy is insufficient for treating the epileptic and for understanding his or her lived experience.

In the current research, idiopathic seizure disorder has presented autoantibodies; other forms of epilepsy have also co-occurred with autoimmune disorders. Raising the question of epilepsy being autoimmune in nature. Therefore, the ability for the gut microbiome to both prevent and potentiate autoimmune diseases such as type I diabetes and MS (multiple sclerosis) and the incredible association of epilepsy and other autoimmune disorders introduces the possibility for composition of an individual's microbiome affecting susceptibility to epilepsy and decrease disease progression.

In recent history, more work has been done evaluating possible connections between the brain and gut. This research supports the necessity of going beyond the brain and into the gut to treat epilepsy.

Similar phenomena to those observed in epilepsy have been reported in the kundalini yoga tradition where spontaneous 'kriyas' or body movements, asanas, pranayamas, mudras, and changes in consciousness take place, contorting the body. The individual usually remains conscious throughout the experience, which is said to represent cleaning of the nadis, though the movements are beyond his control. Occasionally the body may perform movements such as turning somersaults, or contortions, that would have previously been impossible. The energy here is allowed to take over in mu