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The Art of the Musculoskeletal Practitioner - Summertown Clinic
By Sally Evans

The art of the musculoskeletal practitioner, for example: osteopaths, chiropractors, massage therapists and physiotherapists, can be compared to other artists who learn to sculpt, design, paint or play music, but with our art we are nurturing an organic life force. When learning our art, some of us will find it more natural than others, some will be content with a basic level of achievement, where others may go on to develop a natural found gift and work harder to be their most proficient with their art. For example, a practitioner may go on to develop a more holistic approach, as opposed to mechanistic (purely mechanical).

Like exploring artists, exploring practitioners will try-out new and interesting techniques, creating new ones, bringing with them a diversity of continuous learning, special interests and their unique talents, which should all be recognised.  Some of us will go about our art being unpretentious, enjoying the journey of creative development for the pleasure of bringing joy and support to others and running a business. Others will seek to become a master, an educator, and others will be driven by success and fame. All of us will be applying our art with the belief that what we do is authentic. Some people who experience what we do will love it and even admire us for it, where as others will not; we can’t always connect with everyone.

The art of what we do as holistic practitioners, although seemingly more basic than creating a picture or a piece of music, is only basic if used in a mechanistic approach (treating only where a patient feels they need attention and being guided by only part of the whole picture).  Apart from considering the persons whole health, a truly holistic practitioner will have a vitalistic focus applying their art in accord with the life force of the body and brain messages, even being guided by it to help reach a diagnosis, also being aware of emotions influencing the patients health.  Unlike mainstream medicine, where health is dealt with as an event and often faced with life threatening decisions, the holistic practitioner is concerned with long term wellbeing, prevention of poorer health and enhanced physical performance. In consideration of health being a process, not an event, the holistic practitioner applys their art beyond the constraints of what is clinically obvious and scientifically reproducible, dealing with the body, brain and mind as one whole. This art takes time, but like other artists they will also learn how to adapt their art to expectation and deadlines.

The art of the holistic practitioner reads the body’s messages reflects them back to the body’s innate intelligence about how it is feeling both physically and emotionally, evoking healing and improving performance.  Through our art we can slightly modify the bodies environment which helps organically strengthen the body functions, stimulate the self-regulation of the environment, re-engage the brain with the body and vice-versa to improve functional movement, posture, re-calibrating the innate force of energy passing along a nerve at a blocked (immobile) junction, helping re-set a dysfunctional muscle.

As a developing practitioner I was lead to learn the art of McTimoney chiropractic because of its holistic approach. It is this approach, alongside textbook tests, which has helped me deliver referrals leading to diagnosis of tumours, or it has helped me understand that a patients emotional state may also be a primary component underpinning their pain condition.  It is also the foundation for the exercises I give with a mindfulness approach. I recognise the imbalances which the brain is quietly and automatically dealing with, but which the patient is not aware of, and which may be a vital part in causative factors of poor performance, or poor healing. These imbalances remain unchanged if focus is solely on the clinically obvious. Sometimes lesions diagnosed on scans or a pain felt acutely in one region, may lead to a primary cause of pain, but this may not always be the case and the findings may be misleading by only uncovering part of the picture.

With a chiropractic approach, the art of healing has a philosophy, giving a framework of parameters open to change. It  has a science allowing reproducibility, development and kudos. Both the philosophy and science allows our art of working with the living body to be creative, safe and with the hope of endless opportunity yet to be explored.

I am never bored by my art; even faced with the most basic of sport injuries I am tuned in to the whole body at all times and, if a patient allows it, I will always practice this way. I can never claim to be the power behind a persons healing or improved physical potential, the body and brain does all this by itself, I am but the humble mediator.

Over the last two years Sally has undertaken further learning in Functional Neurology with interests in Vertigo, Dizziness and balance disorders and Spinal Cord and Brainstem Influences on Muscle Tone and Posture.

To book an appointment with Sally please call 01865 558561 or visit Sally’s page for more information about her treatments.

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