Thoughts on Attending the Thoracic Visceral Course
I’ve been utilizing Visceral Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment (OMT) for as long as I’ve been in practice. As a medical student, I learned a bit of it when I was in osteopathic medical school. Later, I attended a bunch of Visceral continuing medical education courses after medical school. Over the years, I have even taught Visceral OMT while a professor at a couple of medical schools and I created a whole course on the application of Integrated Neuromusculoskeletal Release in treatment of visceral dysfunction. So, why then would I be attending an Introduction to Thoracic Visceral Manipulation course this past weekend?
There are several reasons for me to take the time to attend the Thoracic Visceral course. First, it was taught by someone whom I had not taken a course from previously. He is one of my peers and a colleague with whom I had attended other Visceral courses with over the years. I wanted to see his unique approach to teaching the material. It turned out he had a different foundational experience in learning osteopathy that created a different approach that helped broaden my own approach.
Second, I took this course because if there was any possibility that there was something I could learn and apply to help even just one patient, then it’s totally worth it. In Osteopathy, we always talk about having more tools in your tool bag. OMT is a big tool that can help a lot of physicians treat their patients in the broadest sense. For instance, there are a lot of different ways to use OMT to help someone with a sinus infection and, therefore, any primary care osteopathic physician should be able to address a mechanical problem affecting the drainage of a person’s sinuses. So, having another method to examine and treat a patient is a great thing.
Third, the course functioned like caffeine for my awareness in understanding the direction of my current growth in my approach to patient care. For instance, there are a whole bunch of anatomic structures that may result in upper back pain, including, for instance, the inner fascial lining of the chest cavity surrounding the lung. I’ve utilized a couple of techniques over the years that I have found useful in treating that inner lining, and now I have a few more. To me, this is very exciting and the neatest thing about it was that it builds upon a direction that I had already been travelling in my practice. Regardless of the exact reason, I feel like it was a boost of warp speed in my professional development.
In short, the conference was great for me on many levels. I’ve been back a day and the knowledge gained has helped me treat people to help them on their healing journey. I realized late in the day that while I was a professor there were a lot of techniques that I had learned that I didn’t have time to put into practice through the trial-and-error method of skill development and growth. I grew in many other ways during that time but developing new treatment skills was hindered by less patient care opportunities. This is another reason that I am so grateful to have the opportunity of being back in private practice.