Marking the launch of the new edition of the Journal of Humanities and Rehabilitation – itself a notable and new creative venture – this post is about creativity.
Physiotherapy ought to be a vehicle for all sorts of creative expression, given that so much of what we do is about bodies and movement.
I know many physiotherapists who love dance, martial arts, singing, performance art and other forms of physical expression, as well as creative thinkers, ideas people, artists, musicians, poets, photographers and writers of fiction. But there are few creative outlets for their work within physiotherapy itself. It seems there is physiotherapy, and creative expression is something that sits outside.
Why is this? Why is it that we have consistently undervalued creative expression, in favour of rigorous scientific objectivity? And at what point did we decide that we could have one but not the other?
As our practice becomes increasingly humanistic and social, we need to find new ways to express the full breadth of our work, and one way would be through the creative arts.
WCPT has run an ‘Arts and Health‘ competition for a number of years, but these works often express safely literal renderings of traditional physiotherapy motifs, where people regain movement and overcome adversity. But there is much more that physiotherapists can say and do with the arts than this.
Physiotherapy might not only find new ways of expressing itself through creative arts, it might also find new ways of ‘being’ that challenge convention and lead the way in the next phase of the profession’s maturation.