The year is 2012. Imagine if you will, a recalescent mile of concrete – enveloped by thick green shrubbery. A group of filthy, dishevelled men pound the burning pavement at redline pace, gasping for air in the greenhouse-like conditions.
One individual, weary from poor sleep the night prior, and lethargic from too many oats an hour beforehand – begins to stumble and grimace in pain.
What I am describing, is the minutes leading up to a spiral fracture of the tibia at the Potential Royal Marines Commando course in Exeter.
This was it, I was at the final hurdle and the prize; a place in training at Lympstone Commando – home of the elite Royal Marines Commando, something I had worked towards for over a year. This thought at the forefront of my mind, my heel strikes the floor one last time in a desperate attempt to get to the front of the group of men pushing and clambering over each other to beat the timer.
I hear a crack – followed sharply by a sickening wave of nausea which washes tempestuously up my body and I crumble to the ground. Despite his colourful encouragement, both the training Corporal and myself know something is seriously wrong.
What I didn’t know was I was at the beginning of a frustrating 9 long months of crutches, moon boots, and painkillers.
What I had experienced was the first of two episodes in which I would break my tibia – the second being the second time I attempted the very same test, a year down the line – however that is another story. Suffice to say, the door to my potential career in the Marines had been, rather painfully, slammed in my face.
Now, at the close of 2016 – I am moving into the midway point of my third year of Osteopathic studies in London. Such a dramatic shift in career paths could only have ever been brought about by such a dramatic incident – and the long months of physiotherapy, Osteopathy and mornings spent in fracture clinics that followed.
The treatment I was receiving from Osteopaths was not only instrumental in my recovery and return to fitness, but also fascinating to me. How can an individual suffering from neck pain find the answers in the soles of their feet? Such questions drew me in to the very centre of the dynamic nature of the human body, and its rehabilitation -and it wouldn’t be long before I was accepted on a Master’s Degree Osteopathy Programme.
A student of Osteopathic Medicine, by their very nature, still asks such introspective questions – I know I do. The sphere of Osteopathy as a whole is intrinsically dynamic – with new evidence frequently changing perspective on certain techniques and treatment modality. Although one thing I truly believe will always remain the same – the traditional Osteopathic principle that the body is one unit of structure and function, reciprocally interrelated and constantly striving to maintain the dynamic equilibrium that is homeostasis.
It is this concept which, for myself, affixes the field of Osteopathy as a truly gold standard of healthcare, as we strive to not only treat injury, but the patient as a whole.
Speaking from a rather unfortunate amount of personal experience, it is this holistic treatment philosophy which was undoubtedly the catalyst to my own complete and positive recovery.