Coming home to San Diego from an osteopathic course in San Francisco last weekend, I walked down the stairs to the baggage claim area. Moving in the opposite direction were the incoming passengers going through the security check. I looked outside through the glass windows and doors and saw the uniformed airport workers and the jets on the tarmac. There were security signs posted on the doors and all the workers had badges. I realized that if someone was determined enough and planned and plotted long enough, she would be able to get through the security measures. That is what terrorists do. They are very determined to create damage and destruction for their own ends. Of course, I believe that the TSA and security measures have merit and stop many events. It is the power of determination that I began to contemplate.
Then the thought struck me, what if I was to be just that determined to sow love in the world. And, if others joined, instead of terrorists, we would be love-ists. I realized right away, that I would have to give up a lot of my petty judgements and resentments. What would the world look like if we became (as individuals) determined to spread love in our daily lives? How would our lives and thoughts have to change? Who would we have to forgive? Who would we have to ask for forgiveness? It could be a powerful lens for decision making.
Some things that I took for granted that were fixed and unchangeable took on a new flexibility. For example, in medical school, we learned about the 12 pairs of cranial nerves. These are nerves that arise in the brain or brainstem and exit the brain in some fashion. A British anatomist has spent many years studying the spinal accessory nerve (cranial nerve 11) and he believes that it is not a true cranial nerve and should be re-classified. The spinal accessory nerve is what allows you to shrug your shoulders or (in part) to turn your head and nod. He made a note that we list vision/taste/smell/hearing as special senses, but not our sense of proprioception (the knowledge of where we are in space.) If it is not a special sense, maybe it is less important. Of course, in order for us to stand and move against gravity, it is rather important to know where we are in space. It is sort of freeing and paradigm shifting to think of anatomy as a continuously changing science. It allows for additional insights to be learned from the palpatory experience.
A DO named Maud Nerman gave a lecture and led a lab session on cranial nerve 5 or the trigeminal nerve. She has a book that will be published later this year called Healing Pain and Injury. Details can be found at www.healingpainandinjury.com
More to be discussed about the conference in future posts…
Last Friday morning, I joined a group of osteopathic physicians that met with California State Senator Joel Anderson. He is the Vice Chair of the Health committee. There were several issues that different members of our group brought up, but the one thing that I think is so important (and gets often overlooked in the policy discussions) is the physician-patient relationship. Anything that gets in the way of the physician’s time with the patient, in my opinion, should be scrutinized carefully. The more administrative and regulatory layers that are added to medical requirements will, by definition, cause the physician (me) or an assistant (both of which must be paid for by the patient or the insurer) to engage in work not directly benefiting the patient. If you have a suggestion about legislative issues regarding health care, you can contact Senator Anderson at the following link: district36.cssrc.us/content/my-offices
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