Its not too late to teach an ‘old dog’ new tricks

Nope, this isn’t about one of my furry patients but about me! I don’t think I’m old but that’s the opinion of my young adult offsprings.

Anyway my difficult run of cancer patients seems to have slowed down for now and  I learnt something ‘way cool’ recently. I was teaching at the Animal Biomechanical Medicine workshop and my osteopathic colleague showed me how to improve circulation around the chest by changing fascial tension. Well it was a bit more complicated than that but that was the general principle. So I went home and played with it and as sometimes happens, I had a run of dogs with heart problems, mostly mitral valve murmurs and a the odd Cavalier King Charles Spaniel or two. In a moment of inspiration I decided to try to change the amount of turbulence and flow currents through the heart and lungs just to see what would happen.

Well, this is what happened to one of my long term patients the next day. Tilly the Cavalier had been distressed for two days because of the ‘heatwave’ and poor heart. Her breathing rate was up to 75 breaths per minute. She went in to the clinic for a chest Xray and I happened to bump into them while I was there. The Xray as it turned out was not that bad and the owner was at a loss. I offered to try this new technique and within a few minutes, Tilly was able to pant and she wasn’t terrified anymore. The next day, the owner rang to say the breathing was back around 13 breaths a minute and Tilly was her usual happy self. That was a metaphoric ‘punch in the air’ moment!

The moral of the story?

  • Never stop learning even if you are ‘old’
  • Stretch the boundaries, if Einstein can do it, why can’t we
  • Turn negative energy (my cancer run) into positives, it is good for your soul

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