Osteopathy is to be Discovered…

AtstillseatedAs the title I chose states, Osteopathy is to be discovered. I make that statement for 3 reasons:

  1. Being an Osteopathic Operator is a process of consistent evolution regardless of whether or not one is attempting to grow, they are forced to grow through experience (if they don’t grow they are ignorant of themselves on a daily basis)
  2. My training at the Canadian Academy of Osteopathy showed me this through the thoughts and discussions I have had with Robert Johnston who demonstrated this to me through his teaching and ideas
  3. Dr. Still told anyone that chooses to read his books that it is to be discovered!

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Model Operator

Still Cadaver 1How does one go about learning to be an Osteopath? What does one need to know? First and foremost a thorough knowledge of functional anatomy is absolutely required (functional anatomy includes physiology in my mind). The principles governing body functions are necessary knowledge as well. Knowing those two broad topics may leave someone out in the cold if they have no exposure to actual hands-on methods. The dilemma for the Principles based teacher or practitioner is how to introduce hands-on methods without having the student taking the demonstrated method as the only way to actually apply treatment? Further to that, how does the Principles based teacher or practitioner bridge the gap between telling a student that they NEED to do something a SPECIFIC way while they are learning it to ensure safety and once they have mastered that method they are required to create their own way? Continue reading

Where Did The Progress Go?

American FlagMy father was an American. My father was a wrestler (he had several scholarship offers but got drafted in to the Navy during the Vietnam War), a boxer, and a running back. He often told me when I was young that if I did not enjoy the feeling of getting punched in the face that I should not fight. When I took martial arts I was taught that the first principle of conflict was that if I was unwilling to match the intensity of my opponent and accept the worst possible outcome that I should not enter the conflict. I am writing what follows in response to an exchange I had on Facebook with a member of the Institute of Classical Osteopathy on the Society for Osteopathic Wellness page. Continue reading

An Ode To Reality And The Blurry Lines That Obscure It

Saints RestIt is a necessity to know things that are really real. This is necessary to live a free life and doubly necessary to be a good Osteopath. There is no room for looking for things you want to find, you must look for what is actually present. I am writing what follows for my own good as well as to highlight some things that lay as the basic foundation of Osteopathy. I am writing what follows because I have a need to share what Dr. Still has said in black and white. Continue reading

It is all in the HOW!

IMG_0109Through my evolution as a young Operator the ART of Osteopathy is becoming more and more clear. It is not that it is an endeavor such as painting a picture or taking a beautiful photograph, it is more so that there is a physiological reality of response to stimuli and the Operator is responsible for knowing that and applying this knowledge to the way in which they INTERACT with the patient (physical touch is not the only part of the interaction, the conversation matters as does the general environment…). As Brandon Stevens often tells students at the Canadian Academy of Osteopathy you need to be easy on the senses (as an Osteopath and as a human being in general). Continue reading

Drainage: Is It All In The Veins?

Andrew_Taylor_Still_1914As seems to happen when reading the written work of Dr. A.T. Still, each time through his work I find another layer that develops more meaning in my still young Osteopathic mind. I have learned many times over the general statement that drainage precedes supply and I have recited it as gospel as we all seem apt to do. I applied it in the manner I thought most accurate to the statement of the principle such that I opened the path of the vein back towards the heart allowing space for venous blood and lymphatic fluid to pass choke points. I have seen good results with this process…until I was challenged by an interesting case that only responded slightly and then came back. Continue reading

The Rule Of The Artery Is Supreme (?)

arteryWhat follows will be a bit of a mental meandering (maybe). I have come across many questions and discussions about what Osteopathy actually is. Common questions are formed as “what is the difference between Osteopathy and (name a hands on practice here)?” I don’t always have a good answer. The reality is that I know what Osteopathy IS while I may not know what other professions are exactly as I am not trained in them or an expert on them. One of the statements I seem to stumble across is that Osteopathy is based on the statement that “the rule of the artery is supreme” which comes from Dr. Still’s writings which are available in many forms and can be found online if anyone wanted to do a bit of searching. Anyone that picks up Dr. Still’s books and actually pays attention to what he put down will know that he said almost everything was of the utmost importance (fascia as the hunting ground for disease). Continue reading