We, as individuals, live a life of voluntary mechanisms and involuntary mechanisms. Our voluntary mechanism allows us to do everything from jog down the street to sleep quietly. On the other hand, the quiet primary respiratory mechanism is a totally involuntary unit of function, physiology, activity and livingness that allows us to be an active, living voluntary mechanism.
The cerebrospinal fluctuation is one part of the primary respiratory mechanism that also includes the central nervous system motility and the mobility of reciprocal tension membrane, cranial bones, and sacrum. We can’t separate any of them- they are all one unit.
The fluid drive is a mechanism. We use the word “tide, simply to get the thought into our minds that it is coming in and going out rhythmically. This tide-like movement of cerebrospinal fluid is a mechanism constantly in motion, and we call it a fluid drive.
The easiest to find is the longitudinal tide. It is the one with which everything in the body is going rhythmically into a simple flexion and extension for middle line structures ans external and internal rotation for bilateral structures., 8 to 12 times per minute. The total body structures are following this rhythm throughout life.
There are lateral fluctuations in which the cerebrospinal fluid will rhythmically go from side to side. We can induce this type of pattern or it may occur spontaneously.
There are also spiral fluctuations. There are little eddies of coiling and uncoiling. They are like the times you can see the spiral in the swaying of the seaweed near the shore. They are possibly part of local changes taking place.
There is another tide which came from outer space. It begins to expand, stop, expand, stop, expand, stop. When this tidal wave reaches its maximum filling state, there is a brief pause and it then begins to ebb out. There is another pause and it begins to come in again, pause and ebb out 6 times in 10 minutes period. We call it long or slow tide. Where it comes from and where it goes to, we don’t know, but its influence is certainly modifying the trophism of every cell of the body. The quality of long tide varies in different patients’ problems and in the same patient at different times. Unlike the fast tide, 8 to 12 times a minute, which can be modified in its functioning by a number of techniques, the slow tide seems to be an inherent entity in itself and in the physiology of the patient. It’s a self-regulatory process with no need to be modified. The long tide doesn’t show itself in every treatment.
The discovery of the cerebrospinal fluid is ascribed to Domenico Cotugno, but the first serious study was made by Francois Magendie in 1825. It is now widely accepted that the greater part of the cerebrospinal fluid is elaborated by choroid plexus, although there are still some questions as to whether it is formed by secretion or by dialysis. In addition, there is evidence that small quantities of cerebrospinal fluid are made by cerebral structures in the perivascular spaces and from structures in the central canal of the spinal cord.
The choroid plexuses are tufts of small capillary vessels of the tela choroidea which are fringe-shaped and which are covered by a very fine layer of ependymal cells. A choroid plexus is found in each ventricle of the brain. The venous drainage for the choroid plexuses of lateral and III ventricles is by way of the great cerebral vein of Galen. The IV ventricle is by way of other venous sinuses in the floor of the occipital portion of the cranial base.
The circulation of cerebrospinal fluid has been determined by radionuclide studies. These have demonstrated the flow of cerebrospinal fluid from the lateral ventricles through the foramen of Monro into the III ventricle, down the cerebral aqueduct of Sylvius to the IV ventricle, and from the IV ventricle through the foramen of Magendie in the roof of the IV ventricle into the cisterna magna or through the two lateral foramina of Luschka into the lateral recesses. From these three openings in the IV ventricle, the movement of cerebrospinal fluid proceeds into subarachnoind pathways towards the apex of the brain, where resorption takes place principally in the pacchionian granulation along the superior sagittal sinus. Part of the cerebrospinal fluid descends down the spinal canal to then reached and rejoin the general circulation. There is slow absorption by way of the perineural spaces of the cranial and spinal nerves into lymphatic system.
In addiction to the circulatory patterns of the cerebrospinal fluid described, there is reference in some studies to an ebb and flow within the cerebrospinal fluid, a characteristic of a fluctuation. This statement is observation made, and has no explanation for it.
An understanding of cerebrospinal fluid is essential to approach the anatomicophysiology of the whole body. The key to understanding cerebrospinal fluid is that it can be used by the physician for both diagnosis and treatment by way of its fluctuation patterns. One might say that through the understanding of cerebrospinal fluid and its fluctuation patterns, one is dealing with the rechargeable battery of life and health of human physiology.
-from “Life in Motion”, Rollin E. Baker lectures-