Wisdom from Dr Karel Lewit

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[Archive – March 19, 2012]
One of my final visits with  my mentor Dr Karel Lewit from Prague took place when he was nearly 95 years old but still full of so much humor & wisdom. I wanted to share a few of the pertinent things he said to me.
“I am the only one of the old boys who likes to steal from everyone. I am open to everyone whatever they do and I have profited from all of them! Many of the original thinkers are self-centered, they can’t think in a different way. This eventually destroys or significantly weakens their school.”
“Most want to create epogones.” (Greek word  meaning those who come after you)


Dr Lewit summarized our objective as he has done so many times in the past on a overhead projector or dry erase board in a succinct list:
  1. We are not interested in a single object
  2. Our object is functional pathology
  3. Even when there is structural pathology  improvement is due to improvement in function
  4. There is not one method & you must adapt your methods to the object – restoration of function
  5. The real world to be conquered is dysfunction
  6. There is no one method
  7. To be dependent on a single method is a tragedy
  8. We should know as many methods as possible & never be dependent on just one
The International Society of Clinical Rehabilitation Specialists (ISCRS) (now including R2P) was born in Prague, while Pr Janda was still alive, in the spirit of a humble group of caring providers wanting to learn as much as they could about how to restore function in the musculoskeletal system. With neurologists, osteopaths, chiropractors, physical therapists, athletic trainers, and allied health professionals from all over the world having travelled to study with Dr Lewit, Pr Janda and the entire Czech School of Manual Medicine it was felt that we should build a group that was focused first on foremost on restoring function in our patients and athletes. No technique would be our master we would all be slaves of the goal of rebuilding the activity tolerance and stability of those who came to us.
As Karel enjoins us it is not about one method, but it is about restoring function. That is why ISCRS/R2P is ‘non-affiliated’ w/ DNS, McKenzie, McGill, SFMA, et al, but supports them all. So long as they are true to the north star of rebuilding function & teaching people self-care strategies in an ‘evidence-informed’ way.
With this in mind ISCRS established a program that helps you track towards the distinguished Rehabilitation of the Locomotor System credential. The goal of which is to create a network of like-minded providers who are true to the ISCRS moniker “Learn the Skills, Master the Art”.
“I don‘t begin treatment until I have examined everything. I must see a picture. The key link may be from a past trauma, repetitive strain, or dysfunction of a key area.”
Final Thought From Dr Lewit:

“I am always aware of how many things which I taught in my long past have since been proved wrong. The most important attitude is therefore to be constantly aware that what you are doing and teaching now you will have to modify and correct in view of new facts. Thus you must keep an open mind for new knowledge , even if it sometimes shows that what you believed and taught before was wrong.”



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