The big toe event is when I realised I could use my empathy to help people. After my first encounter with synaesthesia (in my case feeling people’s pain in my own body), I had many occasions to realise that something was happening. Unfortunately, I had very little advice offered to me in that field.
You see, synaesthesia is a neurological “condition”. It is nothing magical, but unfortunately we do not have a lot of studies about it, and probably still have a lot to discover. So when you talk about that to people, you will very shortly be sent in to the beautiful world of… ENERGY.
And what many people in that field will tell you is, as I feel it, based on fear. Absorbing people’s energy is bad for your health, you need to protect yourself, etc. Basically, most people will tell you to go against what you feel. Once again, just like during my osteopathic studies, I was told not to trust myself.
You see, we all tend to believe that the way we experience the world is THE way to experience it. And if you don’t trust your own system, believe me, you will find many people trying to sell you the proper way to experience the world, their way.
We might believe that I have been unlucky or that I just like to complain. As I am French, I do like to complain, but that is not the point. The reason why I talk about all that is because if you are not able to deeply understand that we all feel things based on our own system, it means that you will impose your beliefs upon your patients and not help them to develop their own world. If you want to help people, trust thyself and help others to do so. That’s what I do by teaching meditation online.
There is this rampant idea that one needs to be careful about everything: Careful when you bend forward, careful when you run, careful when you feel things. What a strange idea, that can lead to many useless suffering and pain.
Of course, I am telling you all that after 10 years spent working as an osteopath. Back in time, things were not that easy, but another small event happened to me and helped me to deepen my experience.
The big toe event
In 2013, I attended a CPD (a postgraduate training) in France. That’s when I actually met Charles. At this time, I knew I could feel more. More than what I was “allowed” to feel based on osteopathic books. Still I had no idea how to use that. I was being passive and trying to avoid it, which actually leads to more pain.
During that training, Charles Ridley asked us to try to treat a patient (another osteopath) without asking him about his pain, without doing any osteopathic tests or whatsoever. Just feel and trust our intuition in order to decide where that person needed to be touched.
Naturally, I refered to the only thing I could think at this time: I would try to “feel” my patient.
How does it work? Words are a bit short to describe that. It feels like looking at my body as if it is part of the world, instead of looking at the world from my body. We will come back to that also.
It did not really take any time to get the information. Within a few seconds I was clearly feeling that my patient’s left big toe was really painful, and the pulling sensation was going up to his left hip and lower back.
For once, instead of feeling someone’s pain in a passive way, I realised that I could actually decide to collect information.
I treated my patient, being really unsure about what just happened. When he stood up, he told me that his toe had been painful for five days.
A new “oh oh” situation. The feeling that I was beeing told: trust thyself Jules. A feeling that I try to share through meditation.
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