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Notes from the Practice of Harold Goodman, D.O.

Robert Fulford - My teacher and respiration  Friday, March 09, 2007

I studied with Robert Fulford, DO for close to ten years. One of the things he most emphasized was the quality of thoracic respiration in the patient. Like so many things the teachings of osteopathy are like seeds that once planted grow over the years. When they mature they are amazingly potent.

Dr. Fulford once saw my father walking toward him at a course. It was the only time the two ever met but my father has never forgotten him. Dr. Fulford was that kind of man. Unforgettable. Dr. Fulford sent me a holiday card and told me how much he enjoyed meeting my father. He said that he was a gentle, sensitive soul. How true.

Anyway, when we came over together to Dr. Fulford he looked at my father and said, "He's not breathing!" I wasn't sure what to make of this. Of course he was breathing. Otherwise, he would be dead. Later, years later, I discovered that Dr. Fulford was able to distinguish subtle thoracic respiration down to the cellular level. He was able to identify areas where it was diminished and to what degree. Inevitably, when he restored respiration to these areas they would flourish and the patients would usually remark how wonderful they felt. Incidentally, their symptoms would be alleviated or gone.

Recently I have been developing both the skill to identify respiration and its lack throughout the body as well as to restore it where diminished. This has been rejuvenating for both me and the patient! I feel wonderful that the patient is doing better and it deepens my understanding of how the body and its intrinsic Health function.

Today I worked with someone where I was able to identify several of these areas. Both of us were able to appreciate the change that total body breathing makes.

Just take a moment to appreciate how you feel when a part of you (physically, emotionally, spiritually) is shut down. It isn't a pleasant experience as I can attest. However, it can be remedied as I have explained. It makes such a wonderful difference when you feel well. Health is not just the absence of symptoms. It is an actual force like gravity, magnetism, electricity and others all of which have an integral role in body physiology. This immediate grasp of the body's needs without lab tests, imaging studies and other medical workup which was what I was taught in medical school and residency is part of what makes the practice of osteopathy so rewarding for me. It is one of the most powerful ways of which I know to work with the patient as they actually are on all levels.

When every cell breathes you will know it!

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