Palpation teaching methods : Challenges and issues / Symposium D: Practical Approaches, Presentation

Written by Andrée Aubin on 29 September 2011.

At the Centre ostéopathique du Québec, our teaching methods on palpation skills are based on a systematic approach that secures the need for validation of the students during the learning process and targets the acquisition of automatic reflexes. The general pedagogical aim is the creation of a reference frame for each of the students. Palpation validation is traditionally external and is imparted by the teacher. It focuses on the results obtained and assumes that the teacher is faultless. External validation can also be obtained by comparison with a description of the palpation’s expected results but it neglects the reality of the tissues. What we propose instead is the implementation of an internal validation. This internal validation is enabled by the systematic search of the effects, known as “relative”, to the setting in motion, known as “primary”, of a structure or a tissue. Automatic reflexes are created by the systematic breakdown of complex palpation tasks into eight small phases with explicit characteristics that are introduced gradually and that can be applied to all structures and tissues. The student having thus a clear idea of the success criteria for each of the phases can manage his learning process in an autonomous fashion. STEPS FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF PALPATION SKILLS 1. General positioning of the practitioner and the subct 2. Precise anatomical portrayal in 3D 3. Contact with the tissue 4. Clear identification of the objective 5. Initiation of the movement through primary tensioning by evaluating the repercussions based on a relative reference point 6. Probing and repetition 7. Parameter setting for the test or technique 8. Time comparison

Graduate of Physiotherapy from of the University of Montreal in 1986 Graduate of Osteopathy from the Centre ostéopathique du Québec in 1992. Teacher of Osteopathy-COQ since 1992 – Presently head teacher in the cranial field, also in paediatrics and advances courses Held various pedagogical functions at the Centre ostéopathique du Québec, and is currently General Manager since 2003. Enrolled in a graduate degree at the University of Montreal in “psychopedagogy”.

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