You can’t get enough of Sam Cooke’s live performance of a medley of songs (Try A Little Tenderness / (I Love You) For Sentimental Reasons / You Send Me), and you certainly can’t get enough of his perfectly mastered laughter. While talking with the public, he jokes about “observation, baby!”, and I thought that could be a great way to start my article. Turns out it was not such a good idea and now you don’t understand if you are still reading a blog about osteopathy.
So yeah, observation, baby! Scrolling on my Instagram feed, and reading osteopaths’ posts about osteopathy, I thought that maybe we were doing it all wrong. Just like how I mentioned last time osteopathy is out of place, today I have the feeling that osteopathy is topsy-turvy. Or maybe more inside-out. I don’t know exactly, but I just feel there’s something odd.
On the internet, I see osteopaths quoting medical books and authors about a lot of different things. I see complex words, I see tons of sentences that are not at all useful to what we can do as osteopaths. I read people quoting other people, but I don’t read no observation.
Typically, the osteopath will name an ailment, give the definition of the ailment as you can find it in a medical book, discuss the medical treatments, and sometimes add that osteopathy can help to decrease the side effects of the ailment. I see many things here, but osteopathy. And more importantly, I see no observation.
What I want to know is what you find for this patient. I am not very interested in getting some medical definitions. I want simple language and I want to know what you see, what you feel, and what you can do about it.
A bit as if someone tells you that they feel angry. When you ask them about what is anger, and how it feels, how surprised would you be if they opened a dictionary and gave you the definition of anger? How useful would that be?
Maybe what could be done is to take an Indian look at the patient, like A.T. Still used to say. “If I should give my opinion on some subject by telling in a nice scholarly manner what Edison, Franklin, Lincoln, and a thousand other witnesses have said, what court would listen to such testimony? Any judge would laugh and say, “Mr. Writer, please tell what you know in this case, if you know anything; if not, please retire. It’s what you know that the court wants from you, not what John Doe never knew.” says Still in the Journal of Osteopathy of May 1900.
So maybe, tell us what you know about your patient if you know anything. If not, please retire. And in order to know, observation, baby!