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Feel first, think later.

feel Nov 08, 2020

Why it matters and what I've learned in work, in life.

My analytical, critical thinking, answer seeking and curiosity are each attributes that have served me in meaningful ways over the last 2+ decades.  Those skills have allowed me to grow, to become more, to succeed, to make tremendous impact, to serve and to thrive.

The educational system, endless professional paradigms, the healthcare systems of best practices and cultural/societal expectations each have only strengthened my way of being.  Yet they also have had some consequences and limitations.  Stress, suboptimal health, emotional balance, relationships, identity, and beliefs were amongst the areas that I struggled with.

Notice the common thread?

External drivers were supporting and influencing my continued 'thinking' all while my internal environment stagnated and suffered.  

My struggle went on for some time as of course this was simply who I was, a thinker.  It all came to a crossroads when I had a clinical situation arise that led to me reaching out to a mentor of mine and the shift began.

The details of the patient presentation and the conversation with my mentor that followed are quite lengthy but the nuts and bots of it is this....  thinking was my barrier to guiding my clients to health.

I had to switch my way of being.  I had to feel first, think later.

Ok, well I'm a manual therapist so this wouldn't be a difficult transition.  But I experienced the struggle of letting go of belief and skills (collectively my armor) and being in a whole new place of NOT KNOWING.  All with a client sitting across from me seeking greater function, less pain and results!

Wait, really?

I recalled that my initial experience with my mentor showed me that FEELING could explain what years of education, training and hundreds of hours of coursework could not.  I only had one option.  To feel first, think later.  And to trust it.

Feel first, think later clinically has enabled me to have physicians from multiple specialties refer to me as a cash based provider.

Feel first, think later has taken the burden off clinicians of knowing an abundance of information about the complex human body and it's physiology and the impact of external variables on both.

Feel first, think later has diminished the responsibility we place on clients to provide detailed, complete, and accurate medical histories, symptom behaviors and subjective information in which we utilize make informed decisions upon.

Feel first, think later has minimized the focus on diagnostics that have value for structural and to a lesser extent functional issues, yet a limited scope to define what's wrong and more importantly why.  

Feel first, think later created results for clients with a frequency of care of 1-2x/month.

Feel first, think later has created a truly collaborative dialogue with other practitioners focused on principles of physiology rather than techniques and who owns those techniques.

Feel first, think later has created an abundance of impact, fulfillment, joy, trust, confidence, wellness, health, hope and gratitude.  

I encourage each of you to expand your skills in the realm of feeling.  For some of you that will be through manual assessment and techniques and your ability to trust the messages that the body are conveying to your hands.  For others, feeling may be in your intuition and sensing more and thinking less.  Jump in and try a technique or approach that feels right for that particular client.

Think.  Feel.  Live.  Differently. 


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