A few months ago, an English translation of Frédéric Gros's book 'A Philosophy of Walking' came out, which prompted me to think about what walking means to physiotherapists and whether some of the more recent philosophies of walking might help us think about what walking means to us as practitioners, philosophers of movement, and walkers. Walking is a subject that hasn't received a lot of philosophical attention. Like movement, posture and function, they are ideas we, as physiotherapists, claim some ownership over. We certainly teach a lot about these concepts and do a lot of research into aspects of these phenomena, but do we don't really know what we mean when we say physiotherapy is … [Read more...] about 3 books on the philosophy of walking
Today is a momentous day! After some weeks of planning, I am proud to announce the formal arrival of the Critical Physiotherapy Network. For a long time now, I've been thinking about bringing together a group of critical-thinking physiotherapists from around the world who were interested in philosophy, history, cultural studies, sociology, qualitative research and education. A few weeks ago I decided to step down from my role as Head of Physiotherapy at AUT University, and that induced me to think about some of the projects that were lying in wait ready for when I had more time. So I began by contacting half-a-dozen colleagues I knew around the world who were critical … [Read more...] about Critical Physiotherapy Network is born!
Now it's the end of the semester and the exams are over, I thought I would share a few student bloopers from our health programmes. These are all authentic out-takes from student assignments and, I think you'll agree, some are pure genius: New Zealand has had a poor oral rate for many years. Contact with live stick for example pigs has been proven to have infected some people with MRSA. This website gave me full detention of congenital heart disease. Many people who consumed aspartame surfed the effect of blindness. By restoring and maintaining health in the developed world beginning in New Zealand we aim to eradicate the 27-28 percent of all children in developing countries … [Read more...] about ‘The male race’ and the great things students write…
The BBC has recently compiled a series of amazing documentaries which show what life was like for ordinary people in Northern England in the first years of the 1900s. The documentaries (click here to view on YouTube) derive from the work of pioneering film makers Sagar Michell and James Kenyon (more about them here), and have been restored to their former glory by the National Film Archive in the UK having been lost for many years. Documentary film of ordinary people's lives is commonplace now, but in 1900 - only five years after the invention of the film camera - people were still experimenting with its possibilities. There are many things that can be said about this film series, … [Read more...] about Movement/life in early 20th century England
As a follow up to the piece I wrote earlier this week, this article in Vox this week is interesting. … [Read more...] about Sitting is the new smoking…really, again!
Sitting, we are told, is the new smoking (see, for example recent articles in Runner's World, Wired, LA Times.) Apparently, 'Sitting for hours on end, every day, is bad for your health. Sitting at work is bad for you. Sitting after work is bad for you. Sitting is the new smoking, except that the furniture lobby probably isn't as powerful as the tobacco one' link. Now while I don't for one moment decry the volumes of research that are supporting this recent phenomenon, my question is why now? Why has prolonged sitting become what Gilson, Straker and Parry recently described as 'a contemporary and highly topical area of study within public health research'? It's not like people … [Read more...] about Sitting is the new smoking…really?
I did some research into the writings of Hanne Blank, the author of 'Straight: The Surprisingly Short History of Sexuality,' see this brief interview with Thomas Rogers at Salon. I realised that there are some surprising and interesting links between Hanne's work and the history of physiotherapy. Firstly, Blank reminds us that heterosexuality was a social construct invented to normalise sexuality at a time when late-Victorian anxieties imposed some now taken-for-granted, but no less draconian notions of 'normal' sexuality. This was exactly the time when physiotherapy as a profession was being formalised. Normative values around (hetero)sexuality were pivotal to the founders of … [Read more...] about Blank H (2012) The surprisingly short history of heterosexuality. Beacon Press