osteopathic experience with a humanitarian vocation, a human experience, a profound upheaval.
Apprehension, fears and anxieties combined with an unexplained, immense joy… my limited experience as a therapist was loaded with emotion for this first Docostéocam mission.
The first day, at the first host centre, all senses alert…and smiles on all the faces when we arrived.
The first osteopathic contact with the body of a child whose first name and face remain engrained in my memory.
I place my hands to encounter pains that have no words, giving way to the perception of tissues; my emotion is intense and raises all sorts of questions…as doubt sets in…
Stay concentrated, keep listening, the emotional suffering is perceptible in my hands, then fills all the space, invades all the space…I have learned my first lesson: Find the right space for empathy in the caring relationship.
Understanding and support from a group of experienced therapists help me to stay on course and ride the storm…
Day after day, the children’s faces and their smiles accompanied the treatment and the perceptions. Recognizing the sufferance expressed in the body, however violent it may be, and sometimes the fluidity that has settled in some of them, shows that the treatment delivered in previous years has borne its fruit.
Each child bears a new story filled lessons to be learned, and the exchange is permanent.
The hands question the system, and are placed on heads that are sometimes as hard as rock; they diagnose, come into contact with the lesional schemes, and relentlessly seek out the breath of life as they work on the physiological and autonomous centres.
Staying in contact while keeping the necessary distance, staying neutral, seeking out the point of no motion… Searching for the density written into the tissues and accepting that we are just the fulcrum for the body in our hands. Here there is no room for one’s ego, but just for respect and humility.
Identifying what happens; posttraumatic lesion, torsion, cranial compression, thoracic oppression, pelvis obstruction…everything the body can express.
While the mind searches for techniques and analyses, the subtle touch of the hands is already well ahead of understanding and positioned on the lesion.
It is the posture of the body, a receptacle of physical and emotional trauma, that conveys the extent to which it is blocked off. During treatment, the children’s legs are often crossed and their hands folded back across their abdomen. Then little by little, the treatment starts working, the hands loosen up, their legs uncross, and a sigh is released; they let go, and for some of them who fall into deep sleep, all the beauty of their appeased faces is revealed.
These marvellous encounters, the smiles, the sharing, the support all contribute to making this mission such a rich experience with which each body cell is imbued. Therapists are not always who we think they are …
Dr Jouhaud you are absolutely right… “We never come back the same”.