Document Type


Date of Award

Fall 10-31-1997

Degree Name

Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering - (M.S.)


Biomedical Engineering Committee

First Advisor

Stanley S. Reisman

Second Advisor

David S. Kristol


A pilot study was performed to test the theory that manual medicine techniques known as the CV4 (compression of fourth cerebral ventricle) maneuver and a sacral hold/iliac bridge hold combination increase parasympathetic activity. Manual medicine techniques are widely practiced by Doctors of Osteopathy and Chiropractors to treat physical and mental health problems. Those who have received manual therapy have reported to experience less pain, better mobility, and a greater feeling of relaxation. To help us learn about the effects of manual therapy, autonomic activity was measured scientifically rather than subjectively in this study by monitoring respiration rate and heart rate, and computing heart rate variability. In order to establish a baseline for comparison we measured activity during intervals without any contact. These were then compared to intervals where interventions took place. In addition to the CV4 and sacral/iliac bridge holds a sham technique called the shoulder squeeze was used to test for placebo effects that the patient-physician contact may have had upon the results. Results indicated an increase in parasympathetic influence as a result of the CV4 maneuver and sacral holds.



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