A practioner's insight from Giles Cleghorn
I thought you might like to undertand how I practice so-called “osteopathy”! I say so-called, as the name osteopathy is very misleading. I treat the whole person and the whole body so it might be better to call it “wholepersonopathy” not osteopathy. The practice of osteopathy includes the spiritual, emotional, mental, environmental, dietary and physical aspects of a patient.
I start, like most practitioners with the case history but to me the case history is the person’s presence in the room. They will talk about what they think is wrong with them. But my job is to see, sense and feel what is wrong with them. The patients story and thoughts about their problem might be very far from what I perceive is wrong and what is needed to be corrected to help them get well. This is the art of being a practitioner.
I have learnt to read the patients body and being in many of its gross and subtle expressions. I spend time in analyzing the expression of the body’s anatomy and physiology. I look for distortions in the alignment of the physical form. This includes the muscles ligaments and bones but also includes the organs and how they rest inside the body. I look at how the organs are functioning and if there are any obstructions to them doing their job.
One of the most important aspects that an osteopath should look at is what the founder Dr. A T Still called the “rule of the artery”. By this he meant the free flow and irrigation form the blood to the tissues throughout the whole body. This includes the brain, the organs and the musculo-skeletal system. He meant not only the blood in an artery but the free return through the veins and the lymphatic vessels back to the heart. The more important aspect of the “rule of the artery” is the fact that, the blood and lymph not only impart oxygen and nutrition and carry away waste, but the fluids also impart essential subtle information which informs the cells about their role. Traveling in the fluids are the immune cells and proteins (antibodies). As well as this there are also electromagnetic waves and energies that have a major role in the regulation of cellular health. All the body is made up of cells so each cell needs full contact with the heart through the fluids at all times to maintain health.
The emotional and mental expressions of a person are also readable. Long term and negative emotions and mental habits have an impact on the body’s functions. Emotion and mental activity have an electromagnetic signature in tissue, which I can read through my hands. From experience I have learnt that there are certain target areas in the body where some typical emotions tend to lodge themselves.
The magic of the art of osteopathy is in the ability of a patient to transform these misalignment disturbances on the “rule of the artery” and the emotional entrapments while and because an osteopath has their hands upon them. How this works we can but speculate. But over an over I have witnessed great changes in my patient’s health and being, for which I am, and they are, eternally grateful.
MSc DO Dip Hom