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  • Writer's pictureJay Danto

Healing Occurs in the In-between

Most often, when people arise from a treatment table in the Danto Osteopathic Clinic, they are moving with a bit more ease and less discomfort than when they entered the office. I would not be being honest with myself if I did not recognize that part of my attraction to working within my specialty is due to patients leaving feeling better than when they came in. I wish that I could reliably know that, at the end of a treatment, people would arise from the table pain-free and healed, but that is not the way anything I do really works. In the words of Rollin Becker, DO “Healing occurs in between treatments.”

When a person visits my office, I have a conversation with them and the I have one with their body. The next step is to use Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment (OMT) to attempt to return the expression of Health to the body that was not doing what it was supposed to be doing. This body may fail in a variety of ways including decreased joint or tissue motion, diminished function, or even pain. So, if all goes well with the OMT, then joints are moving a bit better, there is diminished swelling, the muscles are more relaxed, and the patient has a renewed sense of vigor, wellness, and/or wholeness.

Studies have shown that the fascia takes 24-hours to return to its resting length. Neurologically, it may take 2-4 days for the nerves and the brain to integrate with the mechanical changes of OMT applied to the joints and muscles. What fascinates me is the role of sleep in the healing process. We call sleep restorative because the body shifts from its daily locomotive and eating processes to being fully invested in supporting and healing at the cellular level. So, it makes sense that after a treatment that rebalances the body it may be necessary to progress through a few sleep cycles to promote optimal healing. The healing comes from within and the OMT simply removes the impediments that have been established through injury, illness, and the downsides of life.

Similarly, in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) it takes 24-hours for chi to circulate through all the acupuncture channels. Consequently, with acupuncture alone the experience mirrors OMT. Patients may feel a bit different immediately after treatment with diminished pain, more relaxation, and increased vigor and wellness. If they do have those feelings, then it usually progresses over the next few days to feel better and better!

Communication is super important and if you have pain at the end of a treatment, then let me know because your body may be still trying to communicate with us. I take people's pain very seriously and I want people to leave feeling the best that their body will allow them to feel. Consequently, there is usually something I can do to help alleviate the pain and at the very least I can get a read on what the body is trying to tell us. My job is helping people’s body’s function at their best given their level of Health and their ability to express it, which may be encumbered by physical and mental stress form a variety of sources. Thriving in Body, Mind, and Spirit is a journey in which the Danto Osteopathic Clinic is dedicated to helping people achieve!

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