Wee blog of a human being working as an osteopath

Chapter 1 – Forget the hands

When someone touches my shoulder, do I actually feel someone’s hand? Think about it. Are we ever able to feel something that isn’t part of us? I’d say no. I never feel anything else but my own body.

Why does it matter? I believe it matters, especially for manual therapists. We are trained being told that we need to improve the way our hands feel things. Loads of theories are built upon this idea, and tons of books are being sold across the world.

Now, if you think about this, and if you consider the fact that you are only feeling your body, then what happens if, during a session, you focus so much on your hands that they become the only thing you feel? Don’t you think that you are missing about 99% of whatever is happening?

Hence I’d say forget the hands. Forget them for good. Feel bigger, feel wider. Back up, get back to your world of perceptions.

If you listen to a song that you like, and I ask you to tell me how you feel when you listen to the song, where would you go to answer that question?

Should you be able to answer that question, maybe one could consider that a patient is a music, and I am asking you: How does this patient make you feel?

Once you’ve felt, you can place your hands.

You don’t feel because you place your hands.
You place your hands because you feel.

Now, the thing that could really melt your brain is this: If I never feel anything else that isn’t me, do I actually ever see anything that isn’t purely my perceptions?

Knock knock Neo.

Talk to you soon






6 responses to “Chapter 1 – Forget the hands”

  1. Christian avatar

    Hi Jules, so true! Rollin Becker said in ‘Life in motion, chapter 4.3″: “We do feel with our whole body”. He always emphasized: Listen, Listen, Listen! This includes our mind, our consciousness, all of our being. The hands are synchronized with the motion of life in the patient. They become fluid. We do not move them intentionally, they are being moved by the motion of life. They are used by the patient’s body as tools to find it’s balance. We submit our whole being the Intelligence and laws of life. “Life is the substance of the whole universe” (Still). I am very looking forward to your blog about the essence of osteopathy.
    Bye, Christian

    1. Jules avatar

      Thanks for your comment 🙂 I love Becker. But let’s aim more towards osteopathy :p

      1. Ami avatar

        After reading you this days, I just allowed myself – even more than I usually do – to let every tiny perception be part of a session. The dialogue became a dance, as if the space around my patient and I, was part of my perceiving body with its fulcrum in the peripheria. Like I was treating with space, or I was the space that treated in and out… out of what? Only to find that I was just as happy as the lady after the session 🙂

        Well not looking for your approval as the owner of the blog :P, just trying to say that there’s something about osteopathy as the language of the living, that each live-be-ing speaks, undertsands and expresses uniquely and beautifully once the language is made conscious. Or not so…Some other philosofies call this vital sense or otherness sense..I don’t know the translation in English.
        Please keep posting

        1. Jules avatar

          Thanks for your comment 🙂
          “Now the soul understands the lament of the nightingale and the smile of the newly born babe, understands the deep significance of the mysterious hieroglyphs on flowers and stars, understands the holy meaning of life as well as the beautiful language of nature. All things speak to the soul and everywhere the soul sees the loving spirit through the delicate veil.” Schlegel

      2. Christian avatar

        Dear Jules, I am little surprised that you say Becker was not an osteopath because you mention in your other blog very often Becker as well as Duvall. I would like to have the clinical results that Becker achieved!! It is sad that we osteopaths spend our precious time with debating what is really the only true osteopathy. I believe that everything is osteopathy, whether someone works mechanically, functionally, or biodynamically. Dr. Still says this clearly in “Research and Practice,” page 55: “I want to make it clear that there are many ways of adjusting bones. The choice of methods is a matter for each surgeon to decide and depends on his or her own skill and judgment. It is not a matter of imitating and doing what a successful surgeon does, but of bringing the bone from abnormal to normal.”
        In his writings, Still states very clearly what makes a true osteopath: confidence in the law of nature and life, a good knowledge of anatomy, a receptive sense.
        In Autobiography he writes: “Osteopathy is a science that analyzes man and finds that he participates in the divine intelligence.” “Either God is God, or He is not. Osteopathy is God’s law, and he who can improve God’s law is superior to God himself. Osteopathy opens the eyes to see clearly; it covers all phases of disease and is the law that governs life.“ It is our fortune at this time to raise our beads above the muddy water far enough to have a glimpse of the law that we choose to call the Divine law. That law we use in healing.“ I began to study man, and I found no flaw in God’s work. The Intelligence of Deity is unquestionable; His law unalterable. On this law is the science of Osteopathy founded, and after struggling for years under the most adverse circumstances, it stands today triumphant.“ „You should ever remember that Osteopathy is confined to the immutable laws of nature and an unerring Deity who is its Autbor. As such, it only remains for the Osteopath to conform to these laws, and his efforts in this life will not only be crowned with success, but made rich with thanks of his fellow-man.“ „The result was that in 1874 I raised the flag of Osteopathy, claiming that “God is God, and the machinery He put in man is perfect.” ..I had simply climbed higher than medicine to the Source of all forms of life. The Great Wisdom knows no failures and asks no instructions from inferior man.“

        Still also states that a real osteopath has to ensure harmony in the whole body: „My study during all the years just spoken of has been to know what the machine is, where all its parts are placed, their uses, supports, actions, relations — separately and united — the whole with harmonious action when driven by the power of life at the command of God, who gives power to all elements of force that exist beneath the great throne of mind and from which reason is imparted to all beings who can and do have that wonderful quality.“ „We deal with the brain, the liver, lungs, and the heart. In short, every division of the whole human body, with all its parts.“ With reverential eyes I saw this part of a whole, whose beginning and end we know not! — this branch of the universal life that throbs and pulses through every vein of nature and guides each atom on its way throughout the countless ages of eternity. This life is law, and Osteopathy its latest clause that teaches us its magnitude, and doth direct and guide creation’s crowning work — the living man –unto his perfect, right, unchanging health.“ And in Philosophy of Osteopathy: „We look at it in perfect health which means perfection and harmony not in part, but of the whole body. So far we are only filled with love, wonder and admiration.“
        „Research and practice“ page 18: „I can give the student of osteopathy and the operator who objects to old theories and uses his head as his day star of reason, is to look upon the human body as an organized brotherhood of laborers. The business of the operator is to keep peace and harmony throughout the whole brotherhood. He is a worthy osteopath who realizes the great importance of this truth, and practices it.“ So it seems that one isn’t a real osteopath if he doesn’t feel the whole!!
        Autobiography: „An Osteopath walks out single-handed and alone. And what does he place his confidence in? First, on his confidence in the intelligence and immutability of God Himself. That the strokes of the smoothing-planes of God, the steam boilers constructed by the Divine Being and placed in man here, when unobstructed, act in harmony. What is harmony but health? It takes perfect harmony of every nerve, vein, and artery in all parts of the body.“

        And the last thing: Still himself wrote about the fact that osteopathy needs to make progress: „Let us not be governed today by what we did yesterday, nor tomorrow by what we do today, for day by day we must show progress. In early days we made hundreds of moves of muscles and parts of the system. Some we cured and some we did not. Which did the good and which the harm, we could not tell; still we allowed ourselves to be proud of the great percent of cures that we obtained under this system of hit-and-miss. At the head of our column we carry a flag of progress, and should honor it with greater results by better applications of the principles of osteopathy.“ (Autobiography chapter 16).
        So I consider Sutherland, Becker, Anne Wales, Fulford and Jealous as great osteopaths. Maybe they represent the progress in osteopathy that was necesarry because they are the only one who preserved the treasure of osteopathy. This is my personal opinion.

        Can we understand Still only if we feel the same way as he did?

        Bye, Christian

        1. Jules avatar

          It’s not about the technique, it’s about the philosophy. Don’t take it personally, you are probably right. Don’t forget, this blog is my journal. It’s mostly for me to see how my thoughts evolve, not to tell people what they should do.

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