All parts of the body which have a function, if used in moderation and exercised in labors in which each is accustomed, become thereby healthy, well developed and age more slowly, but if unused and left idle, they become liable to disease, defective in growth and age quickly.
— -Hippocrates

Neuromusculoskeletal Medicine is a broad term, basically meaning medicine for problems that involve the nervous and musculoskeletal systems.  It is not really profession specific.  I like Cathryn Jakobson Ramin’s description of the person/s you would want to see if you have back pain:  Back whisperers. She wrote the recently published book Crooked:  Outwitting the back pain industry and getting on the road to recovery.

Chapter 10 of her book is entitled Back Whisperers.  Here is what she says at the beginning of the chapter:

In their ranks, you will find physiatrists, orthopedic surgeons, physical therapists, personal trainers, disenchanted chiropractors, osteopaths, rheumatologists, and exercise scientists.  One thing they do have in common is that they are able to observe how you walk and sit and stand, and grasp what your posture and gait say about your muscles, tendons, and ligaments.  Generally, they focus on functional training, prescribing exercise regimens that are “non pain contingent” (whining will get you nowhere), quantitative, and regular.

It is hard for me to describe what I do because so much of it is:

Observation and tuning in to the individual I am seeing

Fitting the treatment to the patient by getting to know the patient

Facilitating the involvement of the patient

Empowering the patient to activate his or her own healing potential

Encouraging and holding them accountable for doing the work

Being a model by sharing how I utilize the practices I am asking them to incorporate into their life.


I have some knowledge.  I have some skill.  I bring myself to the table and get to know the patient by listening with ears, eyes, hands, and heart. The wisdom comes in the application of those three things to the problem at hand.

Unlike so much of what medicine has become, the practice of this kind of medicine is not offering a product or a procedure or a fix.  It is offering a relationship dedicated to walking the path to health that is specifically needed by that patient.