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Natural Awakenings Fairfield Cty/Housatonic Valley, CT

Osteopathy to Heal the “Burnt Out” Healer

Jan 06, 2017 07:21PM ● By David Johnston

Most physicians are teachers; certainly many in the holistic health profession give heart-centered time and energy to educate clients and make sure they understand how to better care for themselves. It is often assumed that health practitioners take the time to maintain a more balanced lifestyle in managing stress. However, as healers, we often struggle with maintaining our own balance. The reality is we can suffer burn out from the demands of a busy practice, the administrative burden of running a small business, the tension from different personalities of our staff, and the desire to give each and every client the very best we have to offer.

Because practitioners in the health and wellness field have quite a number of people relying on them, time management can be difficult. According to surveys, burn-out and satisfaction with work-life balance in U.S. physicians worsened from 2011 to 2014. More than half of U.S. physicians are now experiencing professional burnout. And each year in the U.S., 300 to 400 physicians die from suicide, mostly stemming from undiagnosed depression.

Recognizing that those of us who are physicians and healers give so much of ourselves to each client, it is imperative to acknowledge that we can become depleted over time. We are more vulnerable to everyday stresses and exhaustion, which in turn leaves us less for ourselves and to give others. Then we need to be sure to establish healthy boundaries with clients, friends and family. It is important to become empowered and maintain enough energy to be effective in our work and still feel the joy of helping others.

Osteopathy is a gentle, noninvasive system in which we learn how to observe the body’s anatomy and cranio-sacral rhythm with the intent to restore health and balance to the nervous system with cranio-sacral manipulation. When gentle, relaxed, hands-on touch manipulates the bones of the skull, chronic strain patterns can be detected and restored to normal.

The body has an inherent ability to heal itself and cranio-sacral treatment does exactly this. Cranial-osteopathy restores balance and health to the whole person—body, mind and spirit. This is important for the healer and the patient.

David Johnston, DO, is a board-certified osteopathic physician in neuromusculoskeletal medicine and osteopathic manipulative medicine, and a Diplomate with the American Board of Integrative Holistic Medicine. He holds additional certifications in cranial osteopathy. He practices at the Osteopathic Wellness Center, located at 158 Danbury Rd, Ridgefield. Contact him at or 203-438-9915. See Community Resource Guide listing, page 67.

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