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by Jun 21, 2017

It never really struck me. I mean, I knew it, cerebrally… abstractly even, but it never really settled into my conscious awareness, into that familiar place of innate knowledge where one can FEEL what they know. I didn’t feel it until today. Today I truly saw it, while I was looking into the clear, blue eyes of the patient lying supine on my treatment table, as I palpated his abdominal organs. I saw it again, undulating behind the blue, with his head cradled in my hands as I palpated his cervical spine and moved it through passive ranges of motion as I prepared to adjust him. I saw the desire to trust and, in the same moment, the struggle to do just that. I felt the struggle in his musculature as he relaxed and tensed and relaxed again. It was in these moments that the intimacy of this profession truly struck me. This person, whom I had only met a mere 30 minutes ago, was placing so much trust in me that he was allowing me to physically interact with a few of our most vulnerable areas (abdomen and neck). It was a humbling realization.

Trying not to take this beautiful city for granted either!

We spend so much time working with classmates within the confines of adjusting classes and labs, under the watchful supervision of professors and TAs, that it’s incredibly easy to forget the amount of trust that is necessary. For us it has become a routine part of everyday life that takes place between our trusted classmates and us. It’s easy to forget, or take for granted, the intimate power of manual therapy. It’s something I’ve definitely been guilty of. Being in constant awe of this sacred interaction is something I will always strive for. Because, without that realization at the forefront, our interactions with patients will lose their potency. 

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Gregory Swets

Gregory Swets


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