Don't Look, But See

Originally written as a reflection of a course coinciding with National Osteopathic Medicine Week in 2017 - even through many evolutions of practice, the core principles and these sentiments still ring true.

In a fitting conclusion to National Osteopathic Medicine week, I spent this past weekend at Anatomy 102 in lovely Lebanon, Oregon. Courses provide opportunity to learn more about anatomy and osteopathy, to practice treatment techniques and discuss concepts. In recent years, however, I have discovered that they are also teaching me about myself, and offer unique opportunity to be treated. Through time spent connecting with others and better understanding my role as an osteopath, I often return home with more questions than answers, but am encouraged to explore. And while the expansion of the osteopathic concept certainly benefits my patients, it also shifts my perspective and behavior at home.

The directive throughout the weekend was to listen rather than look when engaging with the patient. To make space and let the pertinent information come through. There were practical sessions designed to transition us from our typical interrogative state to one of observation and, ideally, even further to one simply of love – of the health, of the experience, of the patient. There were profoundly therapeutic moments for me throughout the course and, interestingly, the healing effect was equally powerful both as the person providing and as the person receiving treatment. It was a moving experience to witness mutually beneficial, reciprocated healing and acknowledge that the movement of the patient toward health was not depleting of, but rather enriching for the physician.

During a post-practical discussion, Dr. Jealou