What Avesenna means to me - July 2016
I know it has been a while since I wrote to you last, but I hope to be speaking to you more regularly moving forward. It is important to me that I stay connected to my patients and those in the community, not just as your osteopath but also as an active member of our local community.
Since changing the practice name a couple of years ago, I have been asked many times about the name Avesenna, and why I chose it. Being a professional athlete for much of my life, and competing at three Olympic Games taught me many things that I have tried to incorporate into the way I run this practice. In fact, Avesenna (Avicenna) was a physician from the middle ages who was regarded as one of the earliest and greatest health and wellbeing philosophers in history. His work was studied and practiced for hundreds of years in the Middle East and throughout Europe. The values that Avicenna stood for, compassion, life balance, freedom and the pride and privelege that helping people afforded him are what we at Avesenna hope to stand for too.
You also may have noticed that the spelling is slightly different. I did this because I wanted Avesenna to be representative of these values, whilst remaining unique to me and my dreams. ‘Ave’ in Latin means to ‘greet’ or ‘welcome’, and ‘Senna’ is a medicinal plant that aids in stomach and intestinal health. Your intestinal health is the strongest guide to your overall health and wellbeing. Avesenna to me is a name that is rich in meaning. I never wanted to simply be ‘Newport Osteopathy’.
Another thing I have been asked many times over the years is why I chose to be an Osteopath. Teaching, helping and ultimately seeing you improve your physical health and quality of living has always been a rewarding experience for me. I never could have imagined that I would get so much out of these experiences, but I am extremely grateful to have chosen such a rewarding line of work. To work in this industry, you need to be compassionate and understanding of everyone’s different needs and goals.
In hindsight, there are many experiences that I would love to reflect on, but one particular one that resonates with me the most is a patient that came to me suffering debilitating and ongoing back issues. The issues presented themselves for a number of reasons, some of which included an unfortunate workplace accident, and some less obvious, like carrying a backpack to work everyday over a number of years.
When he came to me, he had undergone many scans that returned no results. He told me that his doctors had essentially told him there was ‘nothing visibly wrong’. His back had continued to deteriorate and he was no longer able to work. He had reached a point where he was unable to return to his job, a job that gave him a sense of identity, something that he once took a great deal of pride in. Even simple chores around the house proved difficult. He told me he was desperate, and at rock bottom, that not only his physical health was suffering, but also his mental health.
We sat down and had a good talk about these issues, we performed a thorough assessment and followed up with the appropriate treatment. After years of suffering he began to show immediate improvements both physically and mentally. In a matter of weeks he told me that treatment was giving him his sense of identity back. Whilst many years of suffering meant it was and still is a long road to recovery, helping put him on the path to recovery re-affirmed to me why I love this line of work. It may sound clichéd, but it doesn’t feel like work to me, it is a passion that I am pursuing. Seeing you improve your quality of life is the most rewarding and satisfying experience I could have asked for.
I hope this is the first of many experiences that I can share with you in the coming future, and I look forward to hearing and speaking to you personally.
Yours in health and wellness,
Dr. Ali Abdo