By Rolland Becker, D.O.
Edited by Rachel Brooks, M.D.
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From Life In Motion:
For more than five decades, Rollin E. Becker, D.O. practiced an extraordinary yet fully practical approach to medicine. Following in the path of Drs. A.T. Still, the founder of osteopathy, and W.G. Sutherland, the originator of “cranial osteopathy,” Dr. Becker did not focus on simply relieving symptoms in his patients. Instead, he insisted on contacting the health within them and allowing their own resources to do the healing. Dr. Becker was always looking for health, and only health, in his patients. He agreed with Dr. Still that anyone can find disease in a person–the trick is finding the health beyond that disease.
The physician, Dr. Becker taught, does not “fix” anything in the patient but assists the patient’s body in the healing process–not passively, but as an active participator, helping to deliver health from within. Dr. Becker devoted his life, both as a practitioner and teacher, to learning from what he felt was the most authoritative source possible–the living forces within the living body.
When Dr. Becker first graduated from the Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine in 1933, he practiced general medicine for a time in Oklahoma and Michigan. A few years after meeting Dr. Sutherland in 1944, he dedicated his practice, then in Dallas, Texas, to osteopathic manipulative treatment. In his patient care, he used almost exclusively the principles found within the cranial concept of Dr. Sutherland, which also contains the essence of Dr. Still’s teaching. However, he never limited himself to treating cranial problems or, for that matter, to treating musculoskeletal conditions. Throughout the course of his successful career, Dr. Becker treated thousands of patients suffering with everything from hypertension to pneumonia to Parkinson’s disease to whiplash, with the principles of osteopathy. Dr. Becker proved the truth of a statement made by his teacher, Dr. Sutherland: “Osteopathy is a science with possibilities as great as the magnitude of the heavens.”
Dr. Becker taught many hundreds of students over the course of forty years the approach to osteopathic manipulative treatment that gently prompts the patient’s body to heal itself. Life In Motion lays out this approach and Dr. Becker’s development of its profound philosophy and practical application. It serves as a thorough presentation of Dr. Becker’s work for the many students of osteopathy who never had the chance to learn directly from him as well as for those physicians who experienced Dr. Becker’s work firsthand. In fact, anyone practicing a healing art will find within these writings a deeper understanding of the nature of health and healing and the practitioner’s role in bringing this about.
Who Rollin Becker was and the meaning of his work can probably best be summed up by the words he would silently say to his patients before treating them: “Thank you for giving me the opportunity to watch you heal yourself.” Life In Motion gives the reader a glimpse into that opportunity.