As a physiotherapist I have been taught to observe, palpate, analyse, correct. In some instances, manual therapy has been obliterated totally and the therapist is required to only observe, record and comment.
There is little satisfaction gained when, intrinsically, you ache to get to the root of an issue and manually massage it out or provide a gentle reassuring technique to feed your patient’s need for ‘something to make me feel better’.
John Mandrola wrote an article posted in Medscape recently, about treating the Real Heart. Although I am not a Cardiologist, I related so much to what was being expressed. He was discussing a plenary session presented by Dr Abraham Verghese (Stanford University, CA) during the American College of Cardiology 2015 Scientific Sessions.
Dr Verghese spoke of the heart in two forms:
The hearts that we examine physically that are easy to see and
The Spiritual Heart, the organ that connects us as people.
He wanted to know what makes that connection, how do we treat the Real Heart of our patient?
Firstly, we need to harness the power of words, as words are the glue that makes the meeting between us happen.
Then, another way to carry the hearts of our patients requires that we notice the ritual that happens during the encounter between the clinician and patient. The place beyond words is the encounter between clinician and patient – the actual ritual. “They trust us with their secrets, they allow us to touch them”.
Dr Verghese went on to say that when we recognise our own sense of self and of the patient’s being, something profound and magical happens.
But, if we shorten this ritual, when we don’t hear or touch our patient, we miss the transformation.
If we connect with the Real Heart of our patient we approach the magic of poetry – a place where the mind and the heart say the same thing.
Have you recently experienced this magic?
It can happen during any encounter during our day, not just between clinician and patient. When did you last greet someone warmly and sincerely, and hug them? Smile a greeting and hold out a hand? Listen to a child’s lament and wipe their tears? You have experienced this magic!
We have the opportunity to truly connect with each others Real Hearts multiple times in our daily interactions, if we could just remember it.
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