Image sourced from the Weston A. Price Foundation
NeuroCranial Restructuring® UK
Image courtesy of Prof. John Mew, London School of Orthotropics
Image sourced from www.dietdoctor.com
In an ideal world the only need for NCR® treatment would be to correct traumas to the head and neck, such as helping a patient recover from a whiplash injury sustained in an car accident or alleviating a headache caused by a blow to the head. Unfortunately we don't live in an ideal world! Almost every human being walking the planet today has a less than optimum skull shape. The head shapes of modern humans are a long way from the more ideal head shapes of our ancestors. Anthropologists have compared the heads of our ancestors from as far back as the Paleolithic and Mesiolithic (about 2.5 million to 20,000 years ago) where it is thought that we evolved into homo sapiens with modern skulls and have identified many degenerative differences. The most striking difference is in the anterior portion of the skull, the face. Our ancestors had more forward growing (prognathic) faces and larger jaws. They routinely had enough space for all 32 teeth with no crowding and even had space behind their wisdom teeth for another tooth! It is extremely rare to find a modern human with such excellent facial development and all 32 teeth. In fact the trend amongst modern dentistry is to extract permanent teeth and retract the face further back creating flatter, less appealing faces and deleterious health issues. This lack of cranio facial development requires many compensatory patterns in the spine and the rest of the skeleton and hinders the nervous system from functioning optimally. There is a lot of debate amoungst a wide range of professionals from various disciplines as to the causes of these issues that are so common amongst everybody in modern society. There is strong evidence that there is a nutritional aspect to the problem. Research carried out by Dr Weston Price DDS in the 1920's suggested that primitive cultures that ate a diet of more traditional whole foods had better cranio facial and skeletal developement. He theorized that whole foods, including organic vegetables, whole unprocesssed grains and animal products from grass fed animals including muscle and organ meats and raw unpasteurized dairy were many times higher in fat soluble vitamins A, D and K² and essential for the development of healthy bones, teeth and tissues. He observed many traditional cultures around the world take great care in providing excellent nutrition for pregnant and preparing to become pregnant women and growing children.
Consider these photographs taken from Weston Price's seminal textbook "Nutrition and Physical Degeneration". The people on the left where raised on a whole foods diet and the ones on the right consumed modern, processed foodstuffs. Note the excellent teeth with no crowding on the left and the poor facial development and crooked teeth on the right.
A fellow researcher named Dr Francis Pottenger MD carried out a series of experiments on cats. One group was fed a whole food diet and the other was fed a modern diet of processed foods including pasteurised milk. He observed gross changes in skeletal development in the cats fed nutritionally devoid foods and after 7 generations these cats became infertile. The cats fed the processed foods diet grew thinner with longer, weaker limbs, had mishapen heads and crowded or missing teeth. Something we observe in almost all modern humans too! It is a sad fact that modern diets of highly processed foods high in sugar and additives are woefully inadequate in terms of vitamins and minerals and the human race is suffering inexorably as a result.
Another aspect to this problem is oral posture. Humans evolved to breathe through our noses at all times, not our mouths. Unfortunately a lot of people adopt a habit of posturing their mouth open at rest and breating through their mouth. This is not only inefficient but causes gross changes to the head and face and results in a poorer state of health. What tends to happen is that the maxilla or upper jaw drops back and down, creating a flatter face with little or no visible cheekbone and as a direct result the mandible or lower jaw drops back and down and actually changes shape, leaving the person with a flat or concave face, weak chin and profile. This face shape is often associated with poor health and chronic ear, nose and throat problems including the potentially fatal obstructive sleep apnea as the tongue blocks the airway. This phenomenom was beautifully displayed by a researcher named Harvold with monkeys and various appliances to enourage mouth breathing. It has also been documented in humans by orthodontist Prof. John Mew.
Consider these photographs of a boy who had previously been a nose breather until an allergy to a pet hamster caused him to become a habitual mouth breather. Note the gross changes in his face as his upper and lower jaws drop back and down and his face lengthens.
There is some very compelling research to suggest that babies that are breast fed and breast fed for longer, up to 18 months, develop better looking faces that are more forward growing (prognathic) and broader (more horizontal growth). This is because the act of suckling postures the tongue against the roof of the mouth and squashes the nipple in order to get milk from the breast. This action develops good muscle tone in the cheeks and face and promotes up and forward growth of the maxilla. Bottle fed babies have the some of the worst facial growth because the action of sucking retrudes the maxilla and develops poor muscle tone. Advice from fuctional orthodontists and orthotropists is to breast feed a baby until they develop molar teeth then start them on a solid food diet. Avoid bottle feeding and pureed food. Chewing of hard foods stimulates correct craniofacial development and good muscle tone.
Other factors that can impede the ideal development of the human head include normal vaginal birth and forceps or vacuum suction delivery. Being born is an extremely traumatic experience and the process, even a normal delivery can leave a lasting impression on the head. The skull bones of an infant are very malleable with two soft spots called fontenelles where the bones are yet to join. This malleability allows the head to be squeezed through the birth canal. However if the mother's birth canal is narrow and the baby spends a lot of time coming through and the doctors or midwives resort to using forceps to pull the baby out the normal process of cranial moulding is altered and the head can be pinched into a less than ideal shape. Sometimes this will ameliorate over time but often the baby grows into an adult with a less than ideal head shape and all that that can compromise unless the abnormal tension patterns and positions of the bones are removed with NCR®.
NCR® is the only therapy that aims to restore the size and shape of the human skull back to its intended genetic optimum. As you can see there are a myriad of factors from birth trauma, poor nutrition, accidents, injuries and poor oral posture which impede the ideal development of the skull and prevent optimal nervous system function. In our modern world with all our environmental stressors it is becoming increasingly important to ultilise therapies such as NCR® to ensure we all look and feel our best.