Posts Tagged ‘Palpation’

MAYBE THOSE PHYSICAL FINDINGS… AREN’T…

Friday, July 18th, 2008

THE MIND BODY CONNECTION

Within our chiropractic training and culture is a diverse range of physical indicators that we observe, measure and monitor to help us to diagnose our patients’ physical state: The history is used to narrow down our list of disorders or even diseases which may be causing the problem; Posture tells us how misaligned someone’s body and spine is; Radiographs show us how much decay and degeneration has developed; Range of motion tests measure how stiff they have become; SEMG assesses how tight muscles are; our palpation skills feel where there is contraction, restriction, fixation and misalignment.

And then we apply a physical therapy to try and intervene on the physical disorder that we have isolated.

It has almost become a cliché that there is a mind/body connection. But have we tended to minimise this relationship? Or have we even missed the point of this revelation? Are we persisting with the convenient separation and compartmentalisation of these two dimensions? We say, “oh yes the mind can affect the body, and the body can affect the mind” – but in saying this do we miss the paradigm of the mind/body relationship?

In other words the mind IS the body, and the body IS the mind.

When you are feeling certain emotions like anger, resentment, guilt, frustration – your physical body is different to how it is when you are feeling emotions like love, acceptance, peace, joy, reward. And if your physical body is different, then your thoughts, feelings and emotions are different. One doesn’t lead to the other – one is the other.

Let’s take another look at our list of “physical indicators” from another point of view, to see if we can see what they might really mean in terms of the mind/body:

The History is really someone’s story about the suffering they currently feel. And we are very good at asking questions about how the suffering feels: Where it hurts, how much it hurts, how big an area does the hurt cover, when does it feel a bit better and when does it feel a bit worse? But do we miss the most important question? What does the hurt mean – to them? Here’s another way of asking this question to help those who can’t make a connection – “if this hurt didn’t go away what would it mean you couldn’t do?”, or “if this hurt didn’t go away what aspect of your life do you think would be most affected?” Do you know that if something in your therapeutic relationship and encounter doesn’t allay or release this connection between their pain and suffering, that their mind/body will resist healing?

Postural Assessment: Why does anyone have bad posture? Because they don’t know they have it! Why would anyone carry their head too far forwards when that skull and its contents are as heavy as a bowling ball? Because they don’t recognise that it is where it is – they have poor somatic awareness. Here’s a thought – they will also have a proportionately poor psychic awareness. In other words they will actually have poor somatopsychic awareness. Check it out next time you examine someone with really bad posture: Ask them how they are feeling emotionally, ask them how aware they are of each of their internal bodily functions: More often than not the same disconnect will exist.

What about those protective buttresses that are being layered down inside their body – the ones you see growing around their skeleton on their Radiographs? Ask yourself this question: How strong, thick and solid are the protective mechanisms that this person has built around their emotions and memories? What will it take to chip away this person’s emotional fortress? The resistance, slowness of their recovery and the common poor prognosis could be reflective of their hardened interaction with the world in a more general sense.

And that stiffness that has built up in their Spinal Range of Movement, that you prescribe stretching exercises to reverse. Here is my observation: Range of motion is directly proportionate to range of emotion. My saying goes like this – “concrete body – concrete mind”. Observe how flexible these people are to suggested changes in their state of mind or lifestyle, and you may see a mirror image of their body’s flexibility.

What about that tension that you see on their SEMG? You may interpret it as physical tension: And you might ask; “maybe you are working too hard”, “maybe you did too much gardening on the weekend”, “maybe you aren’t sitting up straight”? How about this one – muscle tension is proportionate to neurological tone, which is dependent on emotional state. Maybe their body hasn’t been working overtime – maybe their mind has.

And all those things you “feel” while you are Palpating: Stiffness, resistance, swelling, and misalignment. Have you ever taken a moment to ask yourself while you have a direct connection with this person’s field of intelligence: “What am I feeling as I palpate this person?” You may be great at palpating, but, if you get good at feeling, then you will get even better at FEELING. You may even glean more insight into that person’s state of wellbeing in thirty seconds of palpation than sixty minutes of talk…

How does any of this help you to become a better healer, or a more profitable businessman? When you GET IT, that you are a body/mind and that your practice members are body/minds – Then you will experience greater quality and wholeness in your life, and your customers will receive greater quality and wholeness from you as a healer – and people pay for quality

(ps. If you think that this is suggesting that you have to become more of a psychologist or counsellor to be a better chiropractor – then you have missed the point – this has nothing to do with analysing and identifying the past hurts and experiences and helping someone to cognitively overcome the related dysfunctional thoughts and feelings. What this is about is that there is a whole new dimension awaiting you when you become more conscious of the mind/body synergy – what you are doing right now therapeutically will offer a much deeper meaning for both you and your practice members. In other words I am not talking about a change in procedure – but a change in consciousness.)

Find Out More About Training To Help You Make This Transition at http://www.torquerelease.com.au/TRT-Training.htm