Qiological Community

Would you like more observation skills classes?

I learned lots in yesterday’s class. Toby didn’t get to read the enthusiastic responses when he asked if there is interest in more observation based classes. Please let him know by responding to this post. Thanks!

Feel free to let us know your areas of interest for future classes.

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definitely - more on observation - its such a big topic - could include listening as well. And on asking - how we ask questions, different ways of asking, scenarios, challenging the patient to bring out responses and reactions that may serve to reveal the characteristics we need make a good Sa’Am diagnosis. Just a series of sessions with Toby and all of us on the finer nuances of patient assessment within Sa’Am would be super fantastic.

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Yes, I thought that was by far the most helpful of the short courses. For one thing, I was interpreting eye brightness all wrong. Also, his comments on the relative meaning of interior and exterior dampness was very clarifying. Really every detail was impactful. Another example: different ideas about what thick hair is.

By contrast, analyzing written cases seems like another methodology altogether.

I found it super helpful. I saw a patient today that always dresses in all black. Sixty something, trauma history, says it is just easier…after the sequins and light up shoes conversation, I wondered about the state of her Liv. She came in today saying she was feeling like she was riding in a carriage over cobblestones. The world is a bumpy ride at the moment. Did Liv+ today - gave her some shock absorbers for the carriage.
Yes, super helpful…


I thought that the observation class was extremely helpful and very necessary. In my opinion how to observe through Saam eyes and in general should be included in the intro class. Getting to a correct diagnosis in Saam is the most challenging and most important part of the whole treatment and learning how to observe correctly and effectively will help with the ability to diagnose accurately.
I think we need either a few more observation classes or a longer few hour class.
I think going over a number of cases with pictures as you did with the 27 year old young lady would be so helpful.
I discovered in the observation class that I hadn’t understood the whole concept symmetrical/non-symmetrical correctly and that I was not always discerning bright eyes from light eyes.
I also think a full class of going over intake questions would also be great. We could go through each organ archetype and discuss what type of questions would help uncover imbalances in that organ and its counterbalancer.
Thanks so much!


Yes, I found the discussion very helpful as well. Especially discerning light eyes from piercing energy going outwards eyes.

Toby’s years of working with the system really shows in this kind of presentation. Everything from the moment the patient walks in, to the mask they are wearing to the color of their skin. It reminds me to be attentive to everything from the car they drive up in, to the sound of their footfalls as they enter the office.

So we have think of a way to have these kinds of discussions without Toby photographing his patients.

Perhaps we could do some photos of our patients (with their permission and signed consent as this would be material that would show up on the internet) and we then do a presentation of the case and get Toby’s view and comments as well.

Clinic is hard
Saam is fun

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I love those observational case studies, even as a “not-quite-fully baked” practitioner, a.k.a. student. There’s so much richness in discussing a case this way!

Besides what others have mentioned, going quite literally from the macro to the micro “shot” emphasized the travel of the clinical gaze for me.

Besides that, I’ll never look at sequins the same again :slightly_smiling_face:!


Yeah! It is amazing how dong this work expands our awareness. We have to be SJ excess for this work.

And yes keep the classes rolling especially in this time of physical distancing.

I missed this late latest class but would definitely be interested in more observational classes.

Yes, I found the observation class super helpful. For me, it was really eye-opening and exciting to see how the principles of Sa’am can be adaptively applied in practice. I even didn’t think to pay attention to the colors and shininess of what the patient was wearing (even though it was right in my face!), yet it can be such a useful piece of information to help us better understand what the patient may need.

I also agree that more observation would be helpful. Since the format is only an hour, it might be more helpful to just see pictures to start to see these details on a continuum. As in the recent class, this clarifies big concepts. Laying this foundation will aid future events where these details added to a case are supported by all of us being on the same page.

I would love to share pictures of patients but I can’t bring myself to ask permission to take them and share them even if for educational purposes. Especially of faces.
In the observation class Toby shared the same sentiment.

Until I muster up more gumption and/or we get some clinic rounds with Toby, I wonder how we can help each other get better with observation. One thought is to use our own bodies as well as ask family and friends. Feel free to send in any photos that exemplify certain qualities or that you have questions about.

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Not sure that you need actual patient photos. If you curate photos for particular attributes, we learn and then can take the knowledge to apply in practice. In google you can search image terms like “piercing eyes,” “pale patchy complexion,” “people with large mouth”
Or maybe we could get permission from someone like Lillian Bridges to use her book’s photos to describe particular attributes.

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Good points. Isolating attributes is the easiest way forward.
I’ve been meaning to spend time with Lillian’s book just to practice observing. Upon finding good examples, it wouldn’t hurt to ask for permission.