Some things that I took for granted that were fixed and unchangeable took on a new flexibility. For example, in medical school, we learned about the 12 pairs of cranial nerves. These are nerves that arise in the brain or brainstem and exit the brain in some fashion. A British anatomist has spent many years studying the spinal accessory nerve (cranial nerve 11) and he believes that it is not a true cranial nerve and should be re-classified. The spinal accessory nerve is what allows you to shrug your shoulders or (in part) to turn your head and nod. He made a note that we list vision/taste/smell/hearing as special senses, but not our sense of proprioception (the knowledge of where we are in space.) If it is not a special sense, maybe it is less important. Of course, in order for us to stand and move against gravity, it is rather important to know where we are in space. It is sort of freeing and paradigm shifting to think of anatomy as a continuously changing science. It allows for additional insights to be learned from the palpatory experience.
A DO named Maud Nerman gave a lecture and led a lab session on cranial nerve 5 or the trigeminal nerve. She has a book that will be published later this year called Healing Pain and Injury. Details can be found at www.healingpainandinjury.com
More to be discussed about the conference in future posts…