January 19, 2011
Just a short note on the on-time arrival of our first precious grandchild – a healthy girl who is, of course, quite simply beautiful!
She did enter the world with a little Ventouse assistance after a relatively easy labour, (according to our daughter), and apart from being one of the first to have a cuddle, I was thrilled to be asked to check her over for any cranial problems. Happily, there were no issues to deal with, but I will be keeping one professional eye cocked, while I use my ‘grandad’ eye to look admiringly on.
It has, however triggered me to think about a niggling doubt that has been at the back of my mind for some time. As a practicing Osteopath, I normally see patients who have an existing problem or concern and indeed, this includes producing ‘a result’.
I am, therefore used to treating the halt and the lame! People with actual physical issues and injuries. We examine, test and treat physically with our hands and they get better and this includes babies and infants.
So, where is the issue?
If the patient is ill or injured, of course there isn’t one. However, when parents of young children bring their first child with, perhaps an infantile colic problem and this is happily resolved, they are often happy to bring in their subsequent children ‘just for a check up’.
Until now, I have not been used to examining and not treating patients when they are fine. It feels odd, yet the client is still getting what they want, which is further reassurance that their precious child is fit and well.
Perhaps I am just an old-school osteopath from the old pre-statuary registration days, when giving value for money did mean working hard physically at an intervention-type treatment.
Suddenly, the light has gone on as I contemplate our newest family member and what changes she will bring. It’s not how long the treatment lasts, or how much of a sweat, clicks and pops, (not on babies, of course), that you generate that matters.
I now understand that the important element is not what we Osteopaths actually do to our patients. It’s what we can give to our patients and their relatives in confidence, support and reassurance. Treatment is almost an afterthought.
Perhaps I am a slow learner and all this is obvious to the rest of you, but there’s nothing like a personal experience to make the scales fall away.
Thanks little one!