CPN member Blaise Doran responded our call-out to members to write a short statement about why or how they have found their way to a CPN so we could use them as testimonials. However his response was so interesting (and too long for a testimonial) we thought it would work better in a blog post.
Blaise Doran BSc (Physio.), GradDip (Neuro. Rehab.), MSc (Pain Mgt.) originally trained and worked in the UK. He is a physiotherapist and the coordinator for the Children’s Pain Management Clinic at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne, Australia. Previously he worked predominantly in adult neurological rehabilitation. Prior to undertaking his physiotherapy degree, he worked for ten years as a professional actor, primarily in subsidised regional theatres in the UK.
Blaise and I contributed a chapter to the first ever anthology of critical physiotherapy writing – due out very soon. The book Manipulating practices: A critical physiotherapy reader (Eds. Gibson, Nicholls, Setchell, Groven) is a CPN collaboration involving 20 authors from around the world. Our chapter Performative acts of physiotherapy discusses how our performance histories (Blaise was an actor, I was an acrobat) help in our clinical work – and could also help others.
Reflections on a tweet – by Blaise Doran
(or why I joined the CPN)
I received an email from David Nicholls, asking “Could you write at testimonial for the Critical Physiotherapy Network?” How I found the CPN is lost to me now, why I found it may be easier to explain. Paul Lagerman (AKA the Naked Physio) recently tweeted something from David’s book The End of Physiotherapy (Paul’s highlighting):
And I could stop there, as that could probably suffice. But I won’t.
I have had a difficult relationship with academe, and in spite of my attempts to conform through undergraduate to postgraduate qualifications, I often find myself to be shoring up the crumbling structures that are our therapeutic foundations, and discovering that the synthesis of ideas from diverse sources is not popular, and is sometimes considered downright dangerous. I tend to have to take a break after being involved in academic endeavours and do something creative. When I finished my MSc, I decided to take up guitar. Not satisfied with strumming a few chords, I wanted to learn to read music, and play classical guitar.
The guitar is a deceptive instrument, you can pick it up and quickly learn to make a sound, but it is frustrating to learn to really make it “sing” (or at least, this has been my experience.) For example, you can play the note A in multiple places, and in a number of octaves. If you a right-handed player, what you do with your left hand can change a number parameters in how that note sounds, and a broader number of variables come from how and where you pluck the string with your left hand. When I look, say, at the guitarist Igor Lichtman play Poulenc’s Sarabande, I can describe where and what he is doing:
“First finger in 8th position on the D string, the left hand is playing free stroke, positioned between the bridge and the sound hole” and so on.
And, if you are still reading, you should get the point that this description gives you no idea of how beautiful or nuanced the music he plays is. Creatively expressing, interpreting, and giving meaning are all part of human movement. We can watch the person and the instrument become one glorious entity, and transform the hieroglyphs of western musical notation, into this:
Creatively expressing, interpreting, and giving meaning in the context of movement. We ought to be doing more of the same in physiotherapy. And, this, in essence is my “why” I found the CPN back in 2013.