Reading a Guitar Bench interview with luthier Kevin Hall recently allowed me to appreciate challenges encountered during my own professional journey.
One of discovery, in the search for back pain liberation. For my patients, and for all who suffer beyond the reach of my clinic.
Hall, who began repairing guitars in the late 1960s, shares a wealth of experience, from guitar styles and tonewoods, to the wisdom behind his build philosophies:
“Builders who start off as repairmen tend to look at instrument design and construction a little differently than those who come to the trade directly as apprentice builders. Working as a repairman gives you a…jaundiced view of the world, since most of what crosses your bench has some form of problem…”
“If you have to repair distorted tops on a number of examples of one make or model, or see a disproportionate number of neck resets needed in another, you…start looking for the causes of such [problems]. That serves you well when you start to build your own [guitar].”
As a young doctor in general practice, I acquired my own jaundiced view of chronic back pain patients. Neither I nor anyone else could help them, and any recovery seemed random. The longer they hurt, the less likely they heal. Repetitive visits to my clinic began with hope and too often ended in disappointment.
It was an outcome I dreaded.
In spite of this dread, I accepted a fellowship in pain management for the unique skill set it gave me paired with my sports medicine specialty. My frustration in treating those in chronic pain remained however.
To channel this frustration, I threw myself into searching for the cause of chronic back pain.
Says Mr. Hall, offering an instructive comparison:
“[Performing many stringed instrument repairs]…invariably makes you think about instruments in a different way and teaches you something which may…improve your own product.”
I found myself thinking about our medically accepted patient treatment system in a different way, and seeking answers challenging over four decades of medicine’s “wandering in the wilderness.” My treatment protocol evolved and improved, leading to my “a-ha” moment to help patients heal from back pain, by creating the Body Guitar framework as the new way of thinking about the cause of, and effective treatment relief for, chronic back pain.
My epiphany included a recognition of the incredible design of our musculoskeletal system: Our backs are designed perfectly.
We can learn to redesign our lives to remain physically active.
Throughout a lifetime.
And as medical professionals, we too can learn to modernize our healthcare system to accept and treat the cause of chronic back pain.
Achieving pain liberation.
As nature intended.