Osteopathic Palpation; A New Understanding of Osteopathy's Oldest Tool / Key Note

In 2006, after 2 years of research, my research paper entitled, A QUALITATIVE STUDY TO DEFINE OSTEOPATHIC PALPATION PERCEPTION AND A PROPOSAL FOR A NEW PERCEPTUAL PATHWAY, prepared for the Canadian College of Osteopathy, was presented to an international jury. It won the Andrew Taylor Still Award. This study investigated osteopathic palpation perception in order to verify its usefulness within the profession. The research sought to understand the essence of osteopathic palpation perception, and to textualize that experience. This examination resulted in the following: establishment of a formal definition of osteopathic palpation, a distinction between mechanical and complex palpation, and some surprising physiological information about osteopathic perception. Examination of such external sources as biology (including neurology and biophysics), complexity theory, consciousness, Phenomenology, philosophy, and quantum physics confirmed much that was understood experientially by the profession about palpation perception. Additionally, by combining this external source data with the experiential data from interviews with internationally known and respected osteopaths, new insights emerged that led to an enhanced understanding of osteopathy’s primary tool. In the end, this study’s findings both corroborated and expanded osteopathy’s understanding of palpation perception, by elaborating on the details of that understanding, and thereby providing overwhelming support for the efficacy of this tool. A surprising finding had to do with an examination of water’s role in perception, and a new proposed physiological perceptual pathway was described. In a 30-40 minute keynote address, the definition of osteopathic palpation perception will be reviewed followed by the physiological pathway that supports it.

PAUL PSUTKA BIOGRAPHY Coming to osteopathic studies in mid-life, Paul Psutka received his osteopathic degree from the Canadian College of Osteopathy in 2006. Having prepared a comprehensive qualitative research paper on the topic of osteopathic palpation perception, he is an acknowledged credible expert on this topic. His private clinic in rural Ontario, Canada occupies most of his professional career. He has taught many private seminars addressing both palpation perception and treatment methods. Prior to entering osteopathic college, he studied CranioSacral therapy to an advanced level, thereby honing his perceptual abilities even before beginning his formal osteopathic training. Paul lives with his wife and children in Winterbourne, Ontario, where, for the last 4 years he has been building an energy-efficient straw-bale house that will act as both his residence and clinic.

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