Hiatal Hernia
An hernia is a situation where a tissue or organ is located in a place where it normally does not reside.

 

The “Hiatus” is the opening in the diaphragm that the esophageus passes through. An hiatal hernia occurs when the diaphragm weakens (see diagram below left) and allows part of the stomach to pass through the diaphragm to some extent. This weakens the diaphragm further. This makes it less efficient to breath and is contributed to by crowding of the heart and lungs by the a part of the stomach which should not be there. Gases are easily trapped in a pocket formed in the stomach above the diaphragm contributing to belching and gurgling.

Symptoms
Symptoms vary depending on severity (degree of herniation).

  • Small Hernias

    • none noticeable

    • mild shortness of breath and/or

    • may induce weakness in muscles critical to maintaining spinal and         pelvic stability.

  • Larger hernias

    • the above plus a more pronounced shortness of breath

    • stomach upset / indigestion,

    • nausea

    • hiccoughs

    • belching

    • reflux (see GERD/GORD)

  • Sometimes or rarely seen

    • chest pain or pressure, that can mimic some of the symptoms of a heart attack, cold sweats

    • difficulty swallowing

    • obstruction of esophageus

    • closure of blood supply to the stomach - may require surgical intervention

    • Barrett's esophageus - can only be verified by endoscopic examination. This is considered to be a pre-malignant change in the esophageus due to repeated exposure to stomach acid reflux. It has about a 10% occurrence in people who have chronic reflux.

Types
The Sliding hernias can be corrected with the process described below. Sliding hernias can come and go with or without symptoms. These are the ones that often go untreated. They are easy to alleviate.

Fixed hernias may need surgical correction. Luckily these are rare.
     Underside of Diaphragm                                                     Diaphragm in rib cage
              
Note that the last segment of the spine shown is L4 the next to last in the low
back
. Without a strong diaphragm, the low back is likely to be unstable. This is why it is important to have the diaphragm strong in spinal instability.
Whenever the diaphragm weakens it always leads to some degree of lumbar spine instability. Two parts of the diaphragm help stabilize the front part of the low spine so long as they are strong. See diagram above. This is usually my main concern for the correction of Hiatus Hernias.

The Diaphragm is critical to breathing and also influenced the heart and its action, especially if weak, which allows crowding of the thoracic cage causing less ease of oxygenation and heart motility especially during relaxation of the heart the time when the chambers fill with blood ready to be pumped during the next contraction.

Optimal oxygenation also helps control virus and anaerobic bacteria from proliferating as well as cancer cell presence since most cancers thrive in an oxygen depleted environment. (1)

WHEN TO DO THIS PROCESS
It is best to do this process twice a day
- first thing when getting into bed and first thing getting out of bed.

WHAT TO DO
1       Sit on the edge of the bed.

2       At the mid point of the tummy just under the ribs, reach up under the ribs as
high s you can. Then apply a downward scooping pressure on the stomach. While
maintaining downward pressure on the stomach, give 5 big coughs, with enough
force to see your hands move.

3      Reach in under the lower edge of the ribs and give the underside of the ribs a
rub. The tissue in this area may be tender.
If it is tender, it really needs to be massaged for a short time, do this gently.

4      Rub the
breastbone. Apply pressure onto the breastbone by sliding the skin in
an up-and-down motion over the bone while applying pressure to the breast bone.
Again
if this pressure is tender, it is a sign that it needs to be done.
Be gentle but firm here too.
Stay off the very lowest (tender) part of the breast bone as this may be
easily bruised.

CONSISTENCY
To get the best results with this process, it is best to develop a routine of doing the
above regularly.

POSTURE
Initially it will be relatively easy for you to cause the Hiatus Hernia to recur.

Watching your posture will be very important. Slumping or slouching is bad for both
the hiatal hernia and your spine.

The most common cause of recurrence is bending forward from the waist, as can
sitting slouched or slumped. The next most common ways is to lift heavy objects,
cough or sneeze.  

Watching your posture will be very important. Slumping or slouching is bad for both
the hiatal hernia and your spine. It is  important to pay attention to posture in the
beginning phases of retraining your body's functions. After a few weeks it will
become part of your good habits to use you body in a better way that doesn't cause
your structure and your health to deteriorate.

HOW LONG WILL THIS TAKE?
The retraining process often takes somewhere between 2 to 3 months. So be
patient and be consistent.

I routinely check for the presence of the hiatal hernia at your future adjustments
times.

OTHER SELF HELP

The erosion of the oesophagus due to chronic reflux can be helped by eating fresh strawberries.2, 3 These studies do give an indication that the plant chemicals in strawberries are likely to powerfully heal the tissue breakdown found in chronic reflux.

Other strategies for healing tissue erosions associated with reflux can be seen below.4
References:

  1. Toshikazu Yoshikawa et al, "A Novel Cancer Therapy Based on Oxygen Radicals" [Cancer Research 55, 1617-1620, April 15, 1995]

  2. Alvarez-Suarez JM, Dekanski D, Ristic S, et al. Strawberry polyphenols attenuate ethanol-induced gastric lesions in rats by activation of antioxidant enzymes and attenuation of MDA increase. PLoS One.2011;6(10):e25878.
  3. Chen T, Yan F, Qian J, et al. Randomized phase II trial of lyophilized strawberries in patients with dysplastic precancerous lesions of the esophagus. Cancer Prev Res (Phila). 2012 Jan;5(1):41-50
  4. http://www.lef.org/protocols/gastrointestinal/gastroesophageal_reflux_08.htm?source=search&key=reflux%20strawberries

     

     

 

How a
Hiatal Hernia
often starts
Accident
knock or bump

Neck impacted

Soft tissue damage

Increased
range of joint
movement

Joint moves too far

Joint gets stuck

Joint irritated
nerves

Subluxation
Nerve function to
diaphragm
functions poorly

Diaphragm weakens

Bend, lift cough sit
slumped or sneeze

Stomach pushes through
diaphragm

HIATAL HERNIA

Click on pictures
to enlarge

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Mornington & Beechworth, Victoria, Australia
 

 

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Symptoms

Types

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