A recent visit to St. Clair’s Emergency Room for an incredibly painful rib injury was remarkable for one reason: besides the overnight ER staff being extremely professional and good at what they do, what really stood out to me was what they don’t do.
They do little to no touching of the injured area, preferring to run tests instead. Not once was a good old-fashioned stethoscope used to listen to my lungs to get a diagnosis or, more appropriately, a misdiagnosis. They diagnosed me with pneumonia, which I knew I didn’t have.
When following up with a PCP, he also lamented the lack of touch administered by doctors nowadays. “While on call recently, a patient had all of the indicators of heart disease according to the other ER doctors,” he stated, “until I touched the patient’s ribs and watched him wince.” This patient also had a rib injury which had been overlooked because all of the work was left to the machines.
This isn’t’ a jab against MDs since our own chiropractic profession has too many chiropractors doing next to no touching of the patient, again preferring to let a machine do all of the work.
Touching someone is a window to the inside of the body. “The hard and stiff will be broken. The soft and supple will prevail.” This powerful passage is according to Lao-Tzu from 2,500 years ago. His words were as wise and true not only then, but today as well.
The expression “soft as a baby’s bottom” is a compliment as it reflects being “full of life.” We will continue to touch you towards becoming healthier, and may you always be as soft as a baby’s bottom.