Drawing Parallels: 002 -The PT & the Sommelier

While patients at OPT are generally happy with their results, one thing many of them can’t wrap their head around in 2021 is how I can know so much without imaging. While this can be a spinoff to other posts on overutilization of medical imaging, limitations of medial imaging, or our general reliance on technology & inability to embrace the physical world around us…I’ll stay on topic & leave those for another day.

Sommeliers are wine experts. They spend a lot of time training their senses (visual, smell, and taste) to identify what type and even year and vintage of a particular wine. I don’t think there exists a machine that can do that.

Similarly, I have spent years with courses and practice with some of the most brilliant and intuitive people I’ve ever known to hone my occupational senses, which are largely tactile through my hands. I put that information & feedback together with the visual and the listening of your story, your symptoms, and my questions. Sommeliers have what they call “mouth feel” and when I get to the end of a range in your body, I don’t just see objectively how far it goes, but what is the “end feel”? hard like a brick wall? springy? viscous?

In every hands-on assessment, I’m essentially taking hundreds of tests. Can I show them to you? Not necessarily. Can you feel them? Most of the time, but sometimes no. If this seems wishy-washy to you, maybe you are not a good fit for this particular brand of physical therapy. However, if you’re one of the many that is in pain despite relatively clean imaging, we may go together like brie & pinot noir.

My goal is that some of the lessons learned at OPT carry over into other aspects of life, and encourage deeper thought as to why we do what we do.

As I evolve as one who treats the body, I believe in learning from my patients, and the world around us.

Please enjoy these stories from the inner workings of my PT brain & my years of experience.

I'd love to know what you think