23 years into my career and 18 years running my own Practice I find myself moving into the social media world. I am still as passionate about my work as I ever have been – it is not really work / a job – its my hobby and my vocation in life I feel. I feel so fortunate as I believe that there are only a couple of percent of the population who go to work each day feeling this way.
I am forever humbled by how much there is to learn and discover about the human being. I have an expression of which I do not claim ownership and I am sure it is a variation on a more famous and eloquent quote: We should be grateful for that which we think we know, and have the utmost respect for the things we observe to exist but do not yet understand. Apples fell out of trees before Newton discovered gravity!
In my profession there has been a long phase of imbalanced focus on evidence-based practice – fortunately we seem to be finding a more balanced perspective on this in the last year or so. I have always believed that there is more to medicine than drugs and medicine – I am fully supporting of the amazing things my allopathic colleagues do every day – they have saved my life a few times over the years. I believe though that our focus should be upon those patients we are unable to help presently. What do we need to discover / learn, challenge about what we think we know to progress healthcare to be able to help these patients?
I have wanted to be a physiotherapist since I was 11 years old and have never waivered. I honestly have no idea what I would do if not this. I am fascinated by other parallel systems of medicine and have studied several and integrated them into my conventional medical physiotherapeutic way of working. Acupuncture, Ayurvedic medicine, myofascial release, energy medicine, nutritional medicine, psychological approaches, cranial osteopathy, craniosacral therapy, visceral manipulation (addressing the internal organs which of course are connected to the outer skeletal system) and others. What I find fascinating is how many synergies there are – rather like overlaying each system as overhead projector sheets – there are many overlaps / the same thing just with a different name, but some systems fill a gap in our western allopathic knowledge. I have found this invaluable in helping with complex patients who have persistent pains. Most of my patients now have a number of problems and THEY often have made the connection between them but none of their healthcare professional to date have made this connection. This is not the way we are trained in our western medicine / physical therapy schools. I began to notice patterns in some of my patients many years ago: for example patients suffering low back pain who also have irritable bowel syndrome, colitis etc. I noticed their bowel issues would improve when I treated their spinal problem OR more importantly that sometimes their back pain did not respond to conventional manipulations. I wanted to understand how I could help these patients more and so went in search of other ways of treating. Now it makes complete sense to me why they are connected and can thankfully help many more people as a result. This journey of discovery is what keeps the passion alive for my team and I. There is much more to discover about this miracle – the human being. Complex creatures are we. To help another, help peoples recovery and healing and take away pain with our hands is the greatest thing I can think I would wish to spend my life doing!!