The importance of sleep, and a functional cranial fluid system

There has been recent news of research suggesting that in sleep the brain house cleans. Little surprise here. But the scientists now conclude this is why we need sleep!! The parenchyma or packing material shrinks at night easing the transport of the detritus of metabolism via the sinuses with CSF, out of the brain matrix. These cells and therefore the brain contract at night: Yin, moon phase: extension! Partial emptying of CSF from the ventricular and subarachnoid spaces and matrix of the brain occurs in the extension phase of the brain. This may clear away amyloid plaques and prevent both dementia and Alzheimer’s!

This totally collaborates what the osteopathic community has known since the early part of the last century, with W. Sutherland’s research into osteopathy in the cranial field. Research has shown that repeated osteopathic cranial treatment on the brains of older subjects appeared to provide a constancy and dynamic state to the ‘normal’ fluid ebb and flow of the brain, and thus an emptying and cleaning of the detritus of physiology from within the matrix of the brain. The flow is mediated by the parenchymatous rhythmical expansion and contraction, the partial refueling with CSF or infilling and partial emptying in the ventricles, and the rotation, counter-rotation of the whole dural envelope creates a cyclical expansion–contraction, flexion-extension of the whole neuro-axis, so that the normal emptying of the fluid within the brain tissue and its ventricular and subarachnoid spaces is augmented, as it goes into the sinuses of the brain (the anatomical equivalence to veins). The suggestion is that this augments the prevention of Alzheimer’s and dementia apart from a myriad of other age-related ills.

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