Wee blog of a human being working as an osteopath

Chapter 10 – Wax on, wax off

Imagine you have to clean your apartment.

I’ll tell you what, since I started this article with the word “Imagine”, then let’s imagine you live in a freaking big mansion.

Okay, now I can hear people are starting to think that if they live in a mansion, they probably have enough money to pay for housecleaning services. You guys are so annoying it almost put my first rib out of alignment! Ok so you spent all of your money on the mansion so now you have to mop the floor because you are broke. Happy? Now, listen to my story!

Maybe, while you are mopping the floor, you are telling yourself stories about how the energy of the universe is helping you to do your job. After a few hours (coz’ you know, it’s a huge mansion) your house is clean.

The fact that you believe the energy of the universe cleaned the house might not have been really useful. I mean, if you could get a mopped floor without believing the energy is helping you to do so, then you probably don’t need this belief. But is it that bad to believe in something that is useless?

At the end of the day, what you want is to get the floor mopped. That’s what matters.

Now, of course, I tend to think that the energy spent focusing on those beliefs could be better used if it was directed toward the action of…mopping.

But don’t forget, we want the floor mopped!

We don’t want a new theory that is more up-to-date about what happens when we mop the floor unless this new theory helps us get a cleaner house, or helps me to achieve the same work spending less time or less energy. That’s the kind of theory we want.

But again, we want this beautiful expansive marble floor to shine! That’s the goal. Never forget the goal. The goal is not necessarily not to have beliefs. The goal is to mop the floor.

Patients want us to mop the floor

Now that’s where you realize I am talking about my patients as if they were a floor to be mopped and you do find it weird. I find it weird too, my dear unknown reader, but I am too lazy to write the article again.

The point is, I want my patient to feel better. This is my function as an osteopath. It’s like that, people come to see me to feel better. That’s my duty to be efficient when it comes to mopping giving them a session.

How I do it, and what I believe happens during my session is almost anecdotal. The patient will judge mostly the outcomes of the session. Now, I feel that’s something many people don’t want to understand, especially people who are so much into theories. And wether they are dated theories or up-to-date theories doesn’t matter much in this case.

The question, the only one that matters is: Is my floor clean?

If my patient feels better, they will be willing to hear my theories about what happened during the session. But that’s just secondary. It’s like how I am good at making dad jokes with my patients. That’s nice, but that’s not why (most) people come to see me for.

And that’s why an up-to-date, very scientific practitioner will always lose against a very efficient practitioner who just gets the job done, even if their explanations about what they did are totally wrong based on today’s scientific knowledge. We can talk about theories as much as we want and how a text neck just doesn’t exist, your only way to get people to understand that is if you get at least the same results as the guy who pretends text neck is a thing.

Most patients don’t give an F about what it is we do. They don’t care we are nerds and we find it amazing that pain is a defense mechanism. They just want to get rid of it. Tell them you call upon the angels, tell them they are misaligned, or tell them their predictive brain is afraid, but first and foremost get the pain reduced.

Before I am accused of anything, I still stand for the most up-to-date explanation. But I want the floor mopped, and I think that should be the real thing we focus on. And I know that sometimes mopping the floor is actually giving the patient a more up-to-date theory about what is happening to them.

But what I want to tell you unknownreader-san is that I am often wondering if I am I mopping the floor during the session. Am I doing something that is useful? Like why am I working on the 2nd rib when I can feel the place to be is the collarbone? Why am I being a feeble-minded osteopath? And keeping this is mind has helped me to better mop the floor, so I thought maybe you could use it.

Last thing for osteopaths and craniosacral therapists: Look at Still’s books, and how he talks about diseases and what he does to treat them. He even talks about how he sometimes places his hands on the cranium, long before it was called cranial osteopathy, and without giving a theory about it. Now look at Magoun’s book where he describes cranial osteopathy according to Sutherland. We went from books about treating diseases to books about theories. We went from mopping the floor to theories about what happens while we are mopping the floor. This is rampant in the world of softer approaches, such as biodynamic ostoepathy. So many people in love with the word, the theories, but very few have felt a single thing. They are not mopping the floor, they are talking about mopping the floor. That’s not the same thing.

So please my friends, let’s stop talking about mopping the floor.
Find the floor, mop the floor and leave it alone.
Anything else is for people who are too afraid to live. Their problem, not yours.








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