"The almost-Buddha comes to a tree, the Bodhi Tree, the Tree of Illumination, that stands at what is called the Immovable Spot- T.S. Eliot's "still point of the turning world." (Campbell,2003) In this paper, I intend to provide a context for palpation by examining the evolution of Western thought, philosophy and mythology: * by revealing an evolution from a feminine or matriarchal world view (where humans are undifferentiated from nature) to a masculine or patriarchal world view (rational scientific world of objective reality) * in order to situate osteopathy in a transition zone between matriarchal and patriarchal views of the world * and furthermore suggest that palpation is the meeting area between these two. * palpation will be shown as the portal between experience and the intellect/thought. The use of mythology in matriarchal cultures will be explored and shown as useful in teaching palpation. Palpation demands two strengths on the part of the student: * clarity of philosophy (aligning the student's philosophy with that of osteopathy) * physical practice and equipoise (aligning the center of the student with that of the patient) In my experience as External Clinic Supervisor at the Canadian College of Osteopathy, Toronto, the student is often unclear not only as to what palpation is, but as to why they are palpating. In this presentation, I will underline that the implicit relationship between the 'what' and the 'why' should stem from the philosophy of the central tenets of osteopathy. These should guide palpation. Having shown osteopathic palpation in the broader context of western thought, philosophy and in light of the revelatory potential of mythology, I will show how the central tenets can function as guideposts for palpation. In summary, understanding, adjusting and adapting one's world view can be the bridge between teacher and student in learning the art of palpation.
Robert Morelli DO(MP)has a Bachelor of Science and minor in Arts from Fairfield University, Connecticut. He is an assistant professor and External Clinic Supervisor at the Canadian College of Osteopathy and has two thriving practices in Ontario, Canada.