Tribute to Dr. John Edwin Upledger, DO, OMM. (1932-2012)
We miss you at the office, we miss your light, it was always turned on. Your light shone so bright, like no other human. And now that you are gone, this light continues to shine, brightly in all of us as we continue to shed it through the work you brought about and taught us all, so well.
There is this little picture of an autumn scene… hanging on the wall in John Upledger’s treatment room. It was there while he skillfully, diligently and with great generosity “did his work” as he would say. And on it, this quote:
“Do not neglect the gift that is in you which was given to you
with the laying on of-hands.
Give yourself entirely that your progress will be evident to all.”
There was an incredible magic in his hands. Every time he would put his hands-on someone, people would gather to capture the magic, to witness and to learn. His hands, his touch, his presence, his words, his energy, his way to penetrate so deep within, would touch you to the core and transform you in one way or another. It was so unique. It was well known; Dr. John had this very special gift, the gift of healing. People would travel from far away to come and put their lives or their loved ones into his hands. We would just trust him and trust that each time his hands would be on you, you would receive a healing that would have the power to transform you and your life…. He had developed his gift with much diligence and intelligence, acquiring great skills with great humility, determination to give and share it.
tough as you were sweet,
swearing like a drunk sailor
till the end… Dr. John
your hands were just right
soft pillows, supple like clouds
they knew what to do.
Dr. of Osteopathy, John Upledger or Dr. John as we affectionately called him has become a legend. His legacy is one of intelligent generosity, boldness and humility. His legacy is in awakening and empowering people into their own health and their own lives. He developed a system that follows a natural flow of the nature at work within our lives.
The day Dr. John assisted the surgery on his patient Delbert, is a turning point in his life and the history of mankind, as this is the day that our perception of self has changed forever. This day, for the first time a human felt tangibly the CS Rhythm. This experience led Dr. John on to developing his own craniosacral work, following the classical teachings of Dr. Sutherland, the first cranial osteopath. He insisted that what he developed was not osteopathy anymore, that is was CST/SER. He continuously followed his inner-guidance boldly and humbly and taught us to do the same. The work that he pursued and we pursue with him evolves naturally. It is part of the gift of life.
Dr. John described the craniosacral system around the craniosacral rhythm he had touched, and through research and practice, he progressively started relating to it with all his human tools and eventually taught us also how to relate to it.
The way we relate to the CS Rhythm is simple, it is in palpating it and in asking it questions.
Dr. John taught us to feel the cranio-rhythm for answers.
He taught us to understand that the inner wisdom would communicate via the CS rhythm, and that this is a moment of truth, of “significance” and that we are meant to listen to and to follow it both as a person in our own lives and as a therapist in the context of the facilitation of the flow of energy for the therapy.
The cranio-rhythm leads the wisdom from a place of truth to help us decipher the language of the soul within the body.
And, in order to do properly our work, we have to live in truth and trust only and always to exercise it and live by it.
“Trust in your inner physician first” as he would say. He aligned us with the light and wisdom of the inner physician that shines in all of us. These words have become his signature in our lives.
Dr John loved to help people. He loved people. He had such compassion for people. He loved teaching and empowering people to help themselves.
He cared deeply for nature and the nature of life in our lives. He stood up against greed and voiced his opinion against the corruption of conventional medicine; drugs and unnecessary surgeries. He continuously focused on the caring of health in healthcare, the source, not disease or symptoms.
Just recently, my son Dorian hosted Thanksgiving. It brought such feelings of joy and happiness, since Dorian is now 26. And especially proud, since at the age of 3, he was diagnosed with DMD (Duchene Muscular Dystrophy).
Now, Dorian is independent. With help, he lives on his own, cooks, works; he graduated from FAU, Magna Cum Laude at 21. With the exception of his physical limitations, he lives a normal life. I can’t express in words the triumph and gratitude I feel. As a mother, I have been on a quest ever since my son received this diagnosis, which had felt like a death sentence to the whole family.
We were told he would live to be 18. I was on a race against time. Nothing would stop me. My quest led me to John Upledger, my greatest teacher. Dr. John understood and supported my quest to help my son.
I knew the importance of Dorian seeing Dr. John so I put Dorian on the waiting list and wrote him a letter. I met Dr. John while he was teaching SER 1. He exclaimed Ahhhh, pairing my letter with my eyes, which he described as standing out from the rest of the class. He moved Dorian up the 5-year waiting list and gave us time the following week. We worked on Dorian together, it was at that time he asked me to join his clinic, the Upledger Clinic. Dorian has always been feeling really happy that our response to his condition, manifested such an extraordinary opportunity for our family instead.
Dorian received many hours of treatment from Dr. John, both privately and in Intensive Programs. And he is living a happy, healthy and pretty normal life despite his debilitating life challenges. This was Dr. John Upledger’s most precious contribution to my family and my life but far from his only gift.
Because of the work I learned from him I have a thriving practice today, and am honored to have it in his very own treatment room with an amazing group of people and their families who have trusted my work over the years.
The gift of being around him was to be able to witness his gift at work. How he could transform someone’s life just by placing his hands on and touch their lives to the core. He did that over, over, over and over again. I wanted to be there when he put his hands on. That’s when the magic happened. I didn’t want to miss that ever. I took all of the classes taught by him, I systematically put myself as a TA, I worked with him elbow to elbow in the intensive programs every chance I had. I didn’t want to miss a moment he had his hands on. Working with Dr. John was learning by osmosis. It was so exciting to be around him. There was always something happening, he was shining so bright, so full of light.
It was like he was lit from the inside out. He was an enlightened being. I feel so blessed to have had close relationship with him and grateful to have had the privilege of working along side him. He invited me to the very core of his organization, being a single mother with no proximal family, I received a family full of wonderful people, John Matthew, his son and Donna, his wife who are like my brother and sister, LISA, his wife and the other practitioners with whom I have been working over the years at the clinic and all those who came and left, all the wonderful staff of IAHE and all the amazing IAH Practitioner network that connects us in the world in over 100 countries. I have made such quality human friends from all over locally and globally, a truly incredible support system and an enormous family.
That is what he bestowed me with, a profound ETERNAL LOVE that will keep shinning throughout my life. Thank you John. Thank you for helping my son. You have given me so much, words can never truly equate. You have given so many so much. Most importantly, your gift carries on, we continue from this source in Spirit with you. Keeping the faith, we continue to facilitate, healing, life force, with a most soft, light, touch just as you taught us.
Yes, he shed his body but he lives forever through us, in the work he taught us, our lives, our hearts, our hands.
With deep gratitude from the bottom of my heart, here is to you, my beloved teacher, Dr. John.