Post Berlin – Part 2

Well here I am again, my mind filled with multiple inter-connecting threads of rumination, and things that need to be said. It is 5 am PDT as I begin writing this morning.

Before I go into the exciting and yet quite complex unfolding impressions on what is happening between and through the two streams of osteopathy,  from my  own perspective,*  I need to give a context for that personal perspective.

I want to very briefly re-introduce something that I wrote about in three consecutive posts last year, The Collective Wisdom Initiative (see here: and/or here:

If you click on this “why-it-is-so-important” link, below, it will open up a “mind map” or flow chart summarizing key concepts from the  book entitled: “The Power of Collective Wisdom – and the trap of collective folly” – Briskin, Erikson, Ott and Callanan.


From the time I was preparing my workshop before going to Berlin, and all through the conference there, and during my explorations of the amazing city of Berlin and all of its torturous history, right up until I was lying awake musing about all this this morning, I was struck by an impression of both great risk and opportunity, the wider world, in the field of osteopathy (and in so many other domains I won’t explore here – at least not now).

Berlin is, of course, a large and vibrant city, and like any other visitor with a limited time to explore it, I had to make some tough decisions about what to see, and what to miss. Given my German-Canadian heritage on my father’s side, I wanted to get an impression of both the build up to the Nazi regime, the holocaust, the effect of the war on Russia/Soviet Union, and how that led to the occupation of east Germany and the Berlin Wall. It strikes me as very poignant just how similar the financial crisis of the early 1930’s (which in part formed the context for Hitler’s rise to power in Germany) is to what is happening in world financial markets now, and what may soon be to come. So that is the wider picture. But also in osteopathy, the present President of the Osteopathic International Alliance (OIA), Dr. Johannes Mayer, repeated the accurate and oft-repeated truism, that if Osteopathy comes apart it will not be because of external attack, but from internal factional struggles [these are my own words, and this is not a quote from Dr. Mayer].

So, with those two trends it seems to me of crucial importance to remind ourselves of the possibiity to act with collective wisdom, instead of taking turf-protective, fearful and blaming approaches to action by one group against another – which always results in collective folly.

Okay, that gives some view of my bias, as I now report on impressions about the political happenings at the conference and OIA meetings in Potsdam.

As I said in the previous post, I am a member of the OIA’s External Affairs Committee. That committee had a productive meeting before the OIA Forum and the OIA AGM which both happened on Friday, September 30th. Now, I won’t go into specifics about those meetings here – that is for sharing only amongst my colleagues and I – but I do wish to share some more about the general impressions I took from those meetings.

They are:

1. Canadian osteopaths were well represented in Potsdam (especially from Quebec, Ontario and British Columbia). There were no representatives present from the osteopathic physician group in Canada, (the Canadian Osteopathic Association).

2. There were (not surprisingly) lots of German-trained osteopaths and osteopathic physicians. I did not speak with any of the German osteopaths directly, but the few German osteopathic physicians I spoke with were very approachable and very supportive of collaboration between the two streams of our profession.

3. I have never had such an encouraging impression of the OIA board’s intention and commitment to fostering its full mandate – which includes promoting and educating the public and policy makers about both streams of osteopathy, in all parts of the world.

(*I emphasize this individual perspective here to make absolutely clear that I speak for myself, and give my own opinions. Nothing I say here is meant to represent the views of any of the several osteopathic bodies of which I am, and/or have been, a member – general member, board member, committee member.)

This post was almost finished in the early morning of October 7th, but it did not get posted before I had to leave on a couple of days sailing around the coast line of the Victoria area. So, I post this now and continue on in Part 3.

About Howard Dieno

I am very interested in dialectic inquiry, and in any and all avenues to enhance communication and co-operation amongst people and groups. I am in private practice as an osteopathic practitioner in Victoria, BC, Canada
This entry was posted in Musings from Here and Now. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Post Berlin – Part 2

  1. Adam Gottlieb says:

    lovely writing, thanks.

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