What is potency? Exploring practitioners’ experiences of the phenomenon of potency in osteopathy in the cranial field
Citation:Harrison, H. (2009). What is potency? Exploring practitioners’ experiences of the phenomenon of potency in osteopathy in the cranial field. Unpublished thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the degree of Master of Osteopathy, Unitec Institute of Technology, New Zealand.
Permanent link to Research Bank record:http://hdl.handle.net/10652/1345
This study explores the phenomenon of Potency as experienced by five practitioners of Osteopathy in the Cranial Field. Phenomena can be elusive. The aim of investigating Potency, as a lived experience, is to gain an in-depth knowledge that will help to deepen understanding to help guide osteopathic practice. In recognition of the increasing trend towards Evidence-based Practice, this study will contribute to the emerging body of research which osteopathy needs to support its position as a mainstream healthcare provider. The exploratory nature of this study fits the qualitative research design and is a hermeneutic phenomenological study guided by the ideas of van Manen. Practitioners for the study were selected using purposive sampling. The data were collected from the five participants by conducting individual interviews. The aim of phenomenological research is to uncover the themes that give a phenomenon its uniqueness and thereby contribute to a greater and deeper understanding. Thematic analysis identified two themes each comprising sub-themes: Practitioners’ Journey and Essences of Potency. The practitioners’ ability to understand the phenomenon of Potency constitutes a journey comprising many influences. The practitioners appeared to be influenced by many experiences occurring before, during and after osteopathic education. The experience of understanding Potency evolved with the phenomenon having qualities that empowered the practitioners to continue on their journey. This study concludes that the practitioners’ experiences of Potency appear to depend on the context of the practitioners’ reality. Practitioners’ perceptions of Potency start and continue to evolve in their experiences of Potency. However, these perceptions included Potency as an expression of the Breath of Life. Sometimes this is experienced visually as light and at other times experienced as energy. It appears Potency emerges from stillness, a place of harmony and returns the organism to its originality and health. The study places the phenomenon of Potency in its professional context by discussing current beliefs and experiences of Potency in the osteopathic literature. The purpose of this study is to contribute to an emerging body of literature on osteopathic phenomena. The study provides suggestions for future research, and gives implications for osteopathic practice and education.