Dr. William Garner Sutherland (1873-1954) was one of the first graduates of Dr. A.T. Still’s School of Osteopathy in 1900. In osteopathic college, the anatomical texts of the day reported bones of the cranium were fused by the time one reached adulthood. In school he disarticulated a temporal bone from a skull, noticed its beveled edges and was struck with the thought, “beveled like the gills of a fish indicating primary respiration.” This was a transformational insight and he dedicated the rest of his life to exploring this discovery.
Dr. Andrew Taylor Still (1828-1917) “discovered” the secrets of hands on healing when devastating personal tragedy convinced him that administering medicine was not the cure for disease. He believed there must be a better way to cure the sick and embarked on a lifelong quest to understand the complexities of health and disease, life and death.
We human beings are wired for connection and safety. This wiring is a primitive survival mechanism built into our neurobiology. As we engage in connecting with one another in this New Year, understanding of The Polyvagal Theory and Social Engagement System is an integral part of how we relate to one another, how we self and co-regulate and how healing can manifest in our bodies and in relationship.