After careful (albeit rapid) consideration, I decided to leave school at the European School of Osteopathy. It was a decision that took much thought and weighing of options. While I had considered pros and cons as they presented throughout my months there, a last minute unexpected development catalyzed the process.
I don’t have any regrets about joining the course. The school offers a quality education with some top notch faculty in a lovely environment. I can’t think of a better place to study than Boxley! The opportunity to be a student again was challenging, motivating, and exciting. But at the end of the day, the feeling in my gut was that the ESO was setting me up to be a top-notch spinal manipulator, with limited experience in cranial and visceral techniques, the very reasons for my choice to go. While the course is 4 years, the first 2 are spent solely at the academic site, practicing with classmates, learning such skills as anatomy, physiology, and spine-centric manipulation. Only in the 3rd and 4th years are students presented with classes of non-musculo-skeletal focus, and this during the clinic and thesis years. The amount of hours spent in this focus, especially in comparison to the musculo-skeletal, doesn’t add up to meeting my goals in a cost-effective and efficient course. I also got a very mixed feeling from the faculty, some encouraging, some dismissing these ideas I cherish. The tipping point, though, is definitely the fact that the license doesn’t transfer back to the USA, which would severely limit my future as a body-worker if/when I return home. If spine-centric manipulation is what I desire, American chiropractic schools provide more than adequate skill and licensure to meet that.
These thoughts were stewing and brewing for several weeks, but the clincher came when my partner was denied access to the country for a question mark on a customs form. Quite a blow for me, as I was sitting on the other side of the wall, waiting for 8 hours while he was held and questioned, then returned to the US without so much as line of sight. I went home dejected, demoralized, and questioning everything. I spent most of the next 72 hours in consideration, and finally determined that all things considered, I would be happier and more stable moving on, and sooner than later. I suppose both fortunately and unfortunately for me, my student aid money was on a schedule to be dispersed in quarterly increments, rather than the typical European 2, so I saved money and time by leaving mid-year.
In a whirlwind I packed up and moved on, thanks to prior experience in the area and tons of help from my friends. Furniture found new owners, excess clothing found storage closets, and a few belonging traveled with me back to NYC where my sweetie was waiting for me. We’ve since traveled on to Costa Rica, where we are feeling warm and inspired, brainstorming and plotting our next adventure. More details on my travels and plans to come in future posts.
My goal is still to pursue Osteopathy. I have heard good things about a couple of other European courses, but as I’m solely fluent in English, those are less than attainable for me at this point. The biggest obstacle to practicing right now is obtaining a license to practice hands-on. The fastest option is a massage license, which I am investigating. Programs, requirements, and licensure vary by state, and as I have no plan to return home immediately, this presents a conundrum that is as-yet unanswered. Beyond that, there are licensure programs in naturopathy, chiropractic, and physical therapy (and many more!) that offer more flexibility with greater investment. Time will tell which option I choose. Ultimately I still intend to focus my practice in low-velocity, less invasive treatment methods, upon returning home, or traveling for courses.
While the decision was a tough one, I am excited by the opportunity to re-create my vision, this time in tandem with my partner. I feel like the opportunities for me to achieve what I set out to do are still numerous and varied, and my biggest challenge is setting a course for myself. My intention remains unchanged, to develop hands-on skills that I can use to help the people around me, and to continue learning all my days.