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14 Australian Osteopathic Association
When tutoring, there is huge satisfaction
in watching and helping osteopaths
develop. It all helps to create a stronger,
more capable and skillful profession -- and
that can only be a good thing.
QWhat do you hope to achieve at
the AOA Conference?
A: I will be presenting four, 45-minute
lectures over the three days on a range
I hope to teach, inspire and alert the
profession to the immense scope of
osteopathic practice and the enjoyment
I get from my work. Plus, I always try to
make my lectures as clinically relevant as I
can. I'm honoured to be asked to speak at
the AOA National Conference.
QIt's always exciting to go from
one hemisphere to the other.
What do you think is Australia's
A: I have been invited to teach in
Australia on several occasions in the
past, and I have always enjoyed my visits
to such a great country. I feel a natural
affinity with the Aussies that I've met.
I also find the Aussie no-nonsense
and direct way of dealing with matters
enjoyable, and I've always found a real
honesty about Aussies -- as long as we
keep sport out of it!
I'm involved with encouraging
research in the UK, and for a long
time now I've felt Aussies have led
the way in getting research work
published. It seems that the greatest
percentage of contributors to The
International Journal of Osteopathic
Medicine are always the Aussies, and
I think everyone else has much to learn
from their willingness to do research
and to publish.
In addition, in my previous trips to
the southern hemisphere I've met
and now know many talented and
dedicated osteopaths in Australia who
are well able to contribute to raising
the standard of osteopathic work
And let's be honest, the Australian
climate is much better than the UK's!
QTalking about research, you're
working on a study at the
moment, is that right?
A: It's about the day-to-day practice of
osteopaths using osteopathy in the cranial
field -- a national survey by means of a
standardised data collection tool.
This is current research that should be
published in the first half of the year. As
Chairman of the SCC Research Committee,
this is my and my team's first 'baby'.
We have tried to create a low-cost
model of research that could be used
across the profession. The study compared
the performance of Full (experienced
members of the SCC) and Pathway (less
experienced) members of the SCC, with
results of a nationwide survey of all UK
osteopaths conducted by NCOR (National
Council for Osteopathic Research UK) to
see if 'cranial' practice varies greatly from
structural or classical approaches.
Who gets the bragging rights? You'll
have to wait and see!
As a subplot, we were able to compare
the performance of Full against the more
inexperienced Pathway members. What
emerged is useful information that can
only help us all to work together as well
as understand our patient 'market' better.
QYou've also done a lot of work on
infantile colic in clinical practice:
'finding your way through the maze'.
Tell me a little about it.
A: It's a guide to differentially diagnosing
and treating this challenging condition. If
you treat kids, then this is a condition that
will frequently challenge you -- and almost
always challenges the parenting skills of
I studied it for my Masters dissertation
and was able to do a pilot study RCT that
was subsequently published. I learnt a lot
about colic and have continued to study
and try to understand it better.
There is a logic to it that means it can be
broken down in a more understandable
way that can only help the effectiveness
of our treatment.
The AOA and I have co-funded the
guidance booklet I wrote, so all delegates
at the Conference can have a free copy.
QYou'll also be speaking on
'The lungs -- underpinning the
patient's response to treatment: a
clinical perspective' at the Conference.
Such varied topics! What can
A: I love treating the lungs. They are so
responsive and getting them working
better can make a huge difference to a
patient's energy, and thus their response
This applies to small babies --
caesareans especially, but also to adults.
And patients are so grateful when their
In the lecture I shall review some
useful anatomy, and then explain some
physiology of energy production in the
body. I'll also talk about how to best
assess the lungs and how to treat them,
as well as various patient cases and
QAnd the final topic you'll be
speaking on at the Conference is
entitled 'Treating the neurologically
impaired Child: a clinical perspective'.
A: In my opinion, osteopathy should
be the first therapy that parents of
affected children should turn to. I firmly
believe that we have a unique role to
play in treating cerebral palsy children,
for example, and that the changes that
are possible to achieve by osteopathy
underpin the response of these children
to other therapies.
"...IT IS A CHALLENGE
MUCH WE CAN
HELP OUR PATIENTS."
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