It was in 1984 that the journey of upright doctor bagan. That was when I met Dr. Harry Shapiro who was the former curator for the Department of Anthropology at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, and a leading expert in the design of the human skull, artificial skull deformation and trepination. It was this relationship that put me on a course that I would never have envisioned.
In 1978 I graduated with high honors from Sherman College of Chiropractic with particular focus on specific corrective care of the upper cervical spine, which is the most critical and important area of the spine. The x-ray below is called and open mouth odontoid view, which is used to visualize the upper cervical spine.
Following graduation I spent several years studying Applied Kinesiology and Sacrooccipital Technique, which includes specific pelvic analysis and corrective care procedures for the foundation of the spine, as well as craniopathy which is the study of the musculoskeletal system of the skull, and cerebrospinal fluid flow in the brain and cord.
It was because of my background in craniopathy that I met Dr. Harry Shapiro through a friend. The doctor became a patient and we had many long conversations regarding the design of the sutures and base of the skull, as well as craniopathy and chiropractic. While Dr. Shapiro was intrigued by basic chiropractic and craniopathy theories, certain craniopathic concepts clearly conflicted with his extensive forensic findings. In particular, he disagreed with issues regarding deformation of the base of the skull and the state of special joints called sutures. Consequently, he insisted that I use the museum to do my own research.
On my first visit to the museum Dr. Shapiro handed me a well used canvas sack with a set of old calipers strapped to the inside. Honestly, I had no idea how to use them. He then gave me an old monogram he had published in 1928 called, “A Correction for Artificial Deformation of Skulls”. That’s how my chance investigation into sutures and the design of the base of the human skull got started, along with the beginnings of upright doctor. It was supposed to be finished in just a few days. Instead it turned into decades.
I spent several years examining hundreds of normal, pathological and artificially deformed human skulls. It was the artificially deformed skulls from former indigenous people of Peru and Bolivia, however, that started me looking into hydrocephalus. Hydrocephalus, in turn, led to normal pressure hydrocephalus (NPH) and Alzheimer’s which led to Parkinson’s and later to multiple sclerosis. This was the path the upright doctor would follow for the next few decades.
Early on I recognized the close similarity between narrow angle glaucoma and NPH. Both are related to low pressure drainage issues due to similar causes. The difference is that glaucoma puts pressure on and damages the optic nerve causing blindness. NPH, on the other hand, puts pressure on the brain and causes dementia.