Besides teaching meditation, I also work as an osteopath (I currently work at the Cavan Osteopathic Clinic). A patient came to see me with a pain in the arm. This is a classic osteopathic case. It is simple if you know how to listen.
The incident that lead to the arm pain
A few weeks ago, while her arm was extended, the lady received an impact on her wrist. Even though the shock wasn’t that strong, the event led to a lot of soreness in the whole arm. Moreover, the whole limb became numb and my patient had had difficulties to move her shoulder for weeks when she came to see me.
Synaesthesia and empathy
If you read my blog before, you might have understood that I use empathy and synaesthesia to feel what’s happening to my patients. This allows me to feel my patients’ tensions and pain in my own body.
As soon as I started to “connect” with my patient, I could actually feel a lot of tensions in my neck. A bit as if I was wearing a neck brace. My palpation confirmed what I could feel through empathy: her neck was extremely tensed. Surprisingly, when I asked my client how her neck felt, she told me that everything was fine.
Starting from the part of the body calling for support
I first placed my hands under her skull, with my finger tips reaching her first cervical vertebra. When I work, or when I meditate, I do not try to align you. I connect to the stillness that lies within all of us. When I do that, when I hold the space for a patient or for a baby, the whole body starts to react. The dance is on.
The neck started to react, followed by the left shoulder, the upper thoracic spine, the left elbow. A pause. Back to the neck, the muscles start to feel a bit softer and a bit warmer.
A few minutes later, I placed my hands on the upper thoracic spine and applied the same principle. I listened and I supported. That’s when the pins and needles started to appear in the left hand. Do you know that the nerves for the arm start from the cervical spine?
When practicing osteopathy, I never lose my connection with the patient. My body reacts along with my clients’ and I can monitor the evolution during the treatment. Tensions are defences, so if you listen instead of trying to pull on them, big things can happen.
When I could feel a whole sensation of Stillness, I knew that we were done for today. And when my patient stood up, she was feeling extremely light.
And the arm pain was gone. Thanks, osteopathy!
When she came back for her second appointment, she was feeling so much better. And she told me:
Osteopathy is not about back pain, or arm pain. It is about treating patients. It is about working with living beings. And living beings are not muppets.
About Jules RampalMeditation teacher and osteopath
I am an online meditation teacher and an osteopath currently working in Cavan, Ireland. My courses are for people who want to learn meditation with guided sessions, and for therapists who want to delve into the way they feel and the knowledge they can gather for their clients.
Learn more about me here