by Marc Frazier
When therapists build their own toolbox, they generally add and refine things they learn in workshops. And, one of the best tools I have found is studying cadavers.
The reason is simple – serious cadaver study helps a therapist more fully understand what it is to be human.
There are, of course, more obvious ways in which this type of work enriches your education —seeing the actual tissues you’ve spent so much time studying; adding the element of touch to understanding the structures; recognizing the three dimensional nature of the body; and so on, But to me (and what I’ve noticed in others) these things don’t hold a candle to how deeply moving it is to be with another person, who has donated their body to help you learn.
I often think that those who have not experienced this work for themselves, might think it dehumanizing and too clinical. However, I have never known anyone who has studied like this, and not been profoundly affected in a very positive way. I have never known anyone who regretted it. In fact, everyone I have talked to about cadaver study has included it as one of the most powerful parts of their training.
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