Paul Tutleman BSc (Hons), DO, ND
9 Park View
Tel: 01665 606708
My Osteopathic Journey
Throughout my childhood I wanted to be an officer
in the Royal Marines. The idea of being looked to
for leadership and to be decorated for heroic
deeds seemed like noble ideals. The older I got
and the more soldiers I met, the reality of war
seemed less romantic and more horrific and so
my ideas of how I should spend my life started
to open up into ambiguous grasps at random
until didn’t know what I should do.
I was twelve years old.
It was around that time that I was running through the woods with my friends when I had a
realisation. They were picking up sapling and breaking them in half and it occurred to me that it had
taken years for these baby tree to grow to that point. Nobody had drawn it out and made it out of
wood. It had all happened in some mysterious way and taken a long time to construct and they had
destroyed it, mindlessly, in one second. The words kept running through my mind that ‘anyone can
break a stick. Nobody can make a stick.’ And I knew that I wasn’t cut out for destroying life. The
challenge for me was in restoring the health of anything to make it better than before, but I still had
no idea what to do with my life.
A year later, my father attempted suicide for reasons that are obvious to me now. Fortunately, he
wasn’t successful but it shocked me. Later that year my grandfather passed away and I effectively
lost both of my male role models and felt the weight of the world on my shoulders, along with
shoulder and neck pain which was holding me back from feeling as happy as I knew I could. I carried
this emotion and this pain around for four years until I met a man who gave me a job in an off
licence. He saw me rubbing my neck and told me I should go and see Mrs McGregor, who was a
chiropractor he used to help him with his health. I respected this man so much that I made an
appointment and had my first treatment.
In the first 10 minutes with this woman, I learned more about my body than I had in my whole life.
She pointed out my asymmetries and tensions and corrected them. When I left that first session, I
felt ten feet tall, I had no pain and I cried for three days straight. But the really amazing thing was
that she was completely blind since birth.
The whole experience got my attention in a big way. I had no idea what was happening to me in
those sessions but I clearly remember making the association between my emotional state and my
physical symptoms and that they both improved as the sessions progressed.
Like many patients I have treated over the years, as soon as my symptoms disappeared, I stopped
going to see Mrs McGregor. Why should I if there was no need? After about 6 months of going back
to my old habits, my neck and shoulder pain returned and I tried to get an appointment. Sadly, Mrs
MacGregor had passed away and so had my hopes of being pain free. Although I was blown away by
my experience with her, it never occurred to me to become a chiropractor or an osteopath. And I still
didn’t know what I wanted to do.
I went through college not knowing what to study but I
always like biology because as soon as you learned
something about your body, it was happening to you
right there and then. And as the time came to choose
which university to go to and what to study, I remember
being in the library reading a book full of all the options
available and felt overwhelmed. Just then, a friend came
in and said ‘hi’ and I turned up to see them. In doing so,
the book dropped to the floor and fell open at a blank
page which was odd for this book which was heavy with
text. As I looked the blank page became clearer and I saw the words ‘Osteopathy and Naturopathy’
at the top of the page. I’d never heard these words before and s I ordered a prospectus form the
British College of Naturopathy and Osteopathy and as soon as I read it I remember thinking to
myself ‘That’s it! If I have to choose right here and now what I’m going to do with my life, this is it.’ I
applied, got an interview, got my grades and never looked back.
Since then I’ve made every mistake possible in running a practice. It turns out that Osteopathic
training doesn’t shape you that well for business. However, I have learned with each mistake and
only made each mistake once. I’ve stayed in the game since 2001 and through all of my lessons and
challenges, no matter how tough it has been to make a successful business with no training for it,
the thing that has kept me motivated to learn more and apply the wisdom, is the effectiveness of
Osteopathy and the feedback I get from my patients.
Osteopathy isn’t just about pain relief. It goes much deeper than that. Anyone can find disease, that
is not what Osteopathy is about. It concerns itself with finding health and restoring it and improving
it so that nature can fix itself.