Paul Tutleman BSc (Hons), DO, ND Osteopathy Unlimited 9 Park View Alnwick Northumberland NE66 9QW Tel: 01665 606708 Email:
My Osteopathic Journey Throughout my childhood I wanted to be an officer in the Royal Marines. The idea of being looked to for leadership and to be decorated for heroic deeds seemed like noble ideals. The older I got and the more soldiers I met, the reality of war seemed less romantic and more horrific and so my ideas of how I should spend my life started to open up into ambiguous grasps at random until didn’t know what I should do. I was twelve years old. It was around that time that I was running through the woods with my friends when I had a realisation. They were picking up sapling and breaking them in half and it occurred to me that it had taken years for these baby tree to grow to that point. Nobody had drawn it out and made it out of wood. It had all happened in some mysterious way and taken a long time to construct and they had destroyed it, mindlessly, in one second. The words kept running through my mind that ‘anyone can break a stick. Nobody can make a stick.’ And I knew that I wasn’t cut out for destroying life. The challenge for me was in restoring the health of anything to make it better than before, but I still had no idea what to do with my life. A year later, my father attempted suicide for reasons that are obvious to me now. Fortunately, he wasn’t successful but it shocked me. Later that year my grandfather passed away and I effectively lost both of my male role models and felt the weight of the world on my shoulders, along with shoulder and neck pain which was holding me back from feeling as happy as I knew I could. I carried this emotion and this pain around for four years until I met a man who gave me a job in an off licence. He saw me rubbing my neck and told me I should go and see Mrs McGregor, who was a chiropractor he used to help him with his health. I respected this man so much that I made an appointment and had my first treatment. In the first 10 minutes with this woman, I learned more about my body than I had in my whole life. She pointed out my asymmetries and tensions and corrected them. When I left that first session, I felt ten feet tall, I had no pain and I cried for three days straight. But the really amazing thing was that she was completely blind since birth. The whole experience got my attention in a big way. I had no idea what was happening to me in those sessions but I clearly remember making the association between my emotional state and my physical symptoms and that they both improved as the sessions progressed. Like many patients I have treated over the years, as soon as my symptoms disappeared, I stopped going to see Mrs McGregor. Why should I if there was no need? After about 6 months of going back to my old habits, my neck and shoulder pain returned and I tried to get an appointment. Sadly, Mrs MacGregor had passed away and so had my hopes of being pain free. Although I was blown away by my experience with her, it never occurred to me to become a chiropractor or an osteopath. And I still didn’t know what I wanted to do. I went through college not knowing what to study but I always like biology because as soon as you learned something about your body, it was happening to you right there and then. And as the time came to choose which university to go to and what to study, I remember being in the library reading a book full of all the options available and felt overwhelmed. Just then, a friend came in and said ‘hi’ and I turned up to see them. In doing so, the book dropped to the floor and fell open at a blank page which was odd for this book which was heavy with text. As I looked the blank page became clearer and I saw the words ‘Osteopathy and Naturopathy’ at the top of the page. I’d never heard these words before and s I ordered a prospectus form the British College of Naturopathy and Osteopathy and as soon as I read it I remember thinking to myself ‘That’s it! If I have to choose right here and now what I’m going to do with my life, this is it.’ I applied, got an interview, got my grades and never looked back. Since then I’ve made every mistake possible in running a practice. It turns out that Osteopathic training doesn’t shape you that well for business. However, I have learned with each mistake and only made each mistake once. I’ve stayed in the game since 2001 and through all of my lessons and challenges, no matter how tough it has been to make a successful business with no training for it, the thing that has kept me motivated to learn more and apply the wisdom, is the effectiveness of Osteopathy and the feedback I get from my patients. Osteopathy isn’t just about pain relief. It goes much deeper than that. Anyone can find disease, that is not what Osteopathy is about. It concerns itself with finding health and restoring it and improving it so that nature can fix itself.