Then I’ll begin…..
This month I was due to attend a celebration of 40 years in practice with my peers, friends and colleagues. Well, as you can imagine that has been postponed. The actual graduation date is the 4th July (Independence Day!) 1980. I wanted to tell you the story of how I found Osteopathy back in 1976.
It was shaping up to be a very odd year, I had taken my A levels in 1975 and to coin a phrase I could have done better. I went to a technical college (remember them?) to redo said A levels and absolutely hated it there. It was full of 16 year olds who thought they were cool and trendy; plus looking back at it I was fed up with studying. A friend of mine hadn’t gone to university that year so we spent time together; all I remember is being bored, going out and not being able to find the venue or if we did it was dull when we got there. Had a definite feeling that there had to be more to life than this! I wasn’t very clear about what I wanted to do, something medical or teaching. Medicine was out as my A levels weren’t good enough. Anyway one Friday night Theresa and I went to a club in Guildford and there met an ex boyfriend of hers (Jamie)* who was training to be an Osteopath. I have a recollection of sitting talking to him most of the evening about Osteopathy. Was this a light at the end of the tunnel or the oncoming train?
So I found out about Osteopathy, don’t ask me how in those pre internet days. I guess I made phone calls and received prospectuses. Anyway I narrowed my choice down to two colleges, applied and was accepted. On the first day we had 20 students and over the next four years we lost four students and gained one; so there were 17 graduates. The course was properly full time covering anatomy, physiology, pathology, osteopathic medicine as well as a clinic and lessons in how to palpate and treat people. The treatment lessons were great, we got to know each other very well! We graduated with a measly diploma, now students graduate with a Masters degree.
I started off working in N. Wales with an eccentric but marvellous lady called Eleanor Barlow, sadly no longer with us; after two years I came back to London went into practice but also started to teach in college.
Jump forward 22 years when I arrived in the West Country and have never looked back.
Osteopathy is a marvellous profession and I have been able to combine medicine and teaching in the care I offer to people. I see treating as a form of physical (and emotional) mentoring and I never get tired of seeing people transform. I consider myself to be very blessed to have fallen into a career I love, plus having a fabulous group of peers, colleagues and friends. It’s amazing what can happen when you go clubbing!
I am really looking forward to getting back to work post lockdown.
*Oddly enough I have never met Jamie since. I think I must write and thank him as he changed the course of my life.
Take good care and stay well,