In order to help more and more people to understand what osteopathy can do for them, I often speak about cases I treated. For example, I wrote an article about arm pain and osteopathy, another one about stomach pain and osteopathy, and even one about an unexpected result. Today I would like to speak about headaches and osteopathy.
Headaches and osteopathy: what did my patient feel?
Six months of headaches. What a nightmare! After trying several things, he decided to check on what osteopathy can do for him. The pain spread from the back of his head on the left side, all the way to his right eye. Not mentioning the stiffness felt in his neck. This is typically the kind of dull pain that gets you exhausted.
According to my client, nothing happened. Or at least nothing that he could think of.
Headaches and osteopathy: what did I feel?
After asking my patient a few questions about his health and about the reasons why he came to see me, I started my osteopathic session. If you know how to listen, gathering information doesn’t take too long.
I started by placing my hands under his skull. I could feel that his whole body was functioning around a fixed point situated in the left shoulder. Imagine a magnet that would pull the neck and the thorax, and that is the sensation I got when I started to work with this person: all the tension seemed to go in direction of his left collarbone.
Those tensions are not felt through my hands but through my body. I literally felt a tension in my left shoulder, in my neck, in my head. This kind of reaction is an extremely empathetic phenomenon. I usually refer to it as synaesthesia. I spoke about that in two articles here and here. Technically, my body copies my patient’s and allows me to access more information. And that is the reason why I can offer people tailored 1on1 guided meditation online.
Headaches and osteopathy: what did I do?
I started by decreasing the tension at the base of the skull, between the neck and the head on the left side. The key is to listen. Listen again, listen more. Touch is like wine tasting, and so much information can be gathered if you slow down. The key isn’t the technique. Techniques are important, but anybody can learn a technique. Only a few can learn how to listen.
Later, some work was done on the upper left ribs as they seemed to be restricted. Finally, a few minutes were spent decreasing the tensions of the collarbone in order to help the system to relax and not to hold onto that part.
How did it feel after the treatment?
At first, the whole body seemed to be organised around the left shoulder. But in the end, everything seemed to be much more balanced. And the patient stood up telling me that his body felt really light.
One single treatment tremendously improved a 6 months old ailment. Osteopathy doesn’t cure everything. But a skilled touch and deep listening can really help more people than we think, including babies. Especially if you know how to hold space for them.
As I worked on the shoulder, my patient suddenly remembered a fall he had. That fall occurred…6 months ago. And he thought he broke his left collarbone.
Reading the patterns, a word to my fellow osteopaths
If you read my articles, you might understand that I do not think osteopathy using a mechanical model. After all, patients are not muppets. Even the way I practice meditation is not seen as a way to control my thoughts.
I strongly advocate for osteopaths to feel the Stillness that lies within us. In that silent space, patterns might appear. Probably not the one you were thinking of, but the one that needs your presence. Such as a pattern organised around the left shoulder in this case. And if you sit still and don’t jump onto that tension trying to explain it with your very intellectual vocabulary, then the dance might start and eventually, this pattern, this print of a past event, will disappear in that space.
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.