A lot is said about physiotherapy being biomedical and following 'the biomedical model', but what exactly is this, how and why does it underpin physiotherapy? Over the next few blog posts, I'll try to explain the idea of the biomedical model in a bit more detail and show why and how it has influenced physiotherapy. I'm going to tackle 7 key aspects of the model. There are more, of course, but these are considered by most people to be the main ones. Specific aetiology Germ theory Cartesian dualism Objectivity and experimentation Reductionism Normalisation Body-as-machine Understanding something about these will give you a stronger sense of why they're so … [Read more...] about What is the biomedical model #1?
Not so long ago, physiotherapists had a very close, perhaps paternalistic, relationship with the medical profession. But it seems now that our quest for professional autonomy is pushing us further away from physicians and surgeons. There are few in the profession, I think, that would dispute the obvious benefits of greater independence for physiotherapists, but this is a critical ideas blog, so I'm going to do just that. Physiotherapy has, for much of its history, been wedded to medicine. Indeed, the modern physiotherapy profession only survived and later prospered because its founders made subservience to medicine a condition of entry. Memberhip of the Society of Trained Masseuses … [Read more...] about Doctor knows best
Today's blogpost comes from CPN member Hazel Horobin. Hazel is a Senior Lecturer in Physiotherapy at the University of Brighton in the UK. I warmly welcome Jonathon Kruger as the new CEO of the WCPT. What an amazing job he steps into, representing physiotherapy/physical therapy globally. I guess though that one of the issues he will struggle with most is the national variations in professional recognition. This concept is frequently encapsulated as professional ‘autonomy’ and I would like to explore this. Our treatments are frequently thought of as being the consequence of reasoning processes (Norman, 2005). However, sociologists talk about issues of ‘structure’ and ‘agency’ when … [Read more...] about Can we establish a global paradigm for physiotherapy treatments?
A few weeks ago we celebrated one year in the life of our little network and our 300th member. Since our inception we've received countless emails from people saying how glad they are that the network exists, and how nice it is that it's being run by such attractive, intelligent and wise people! (They're particularly complementary about our attractiveness). In all seriousness, it does seem as if the network is an idea whose time has come. Maybe there are enough physiotherapists now with the confidence and experience to tackle some of the thorny questions that now beset us? Maybe knowing that there are other people who think 'differently' has given people encouragement to join in? … [Read more...] about What brings someone to the Critical Physiotherapy Network?
The vision for UK physiotherapy from csp.org.uk on Vimeo. The CSP has just released a new video titled The vision for UK physiotherapy, which is in a similar vein, and follows closely on from the Physiotherapy Associate of British Colombia's recent Choose to move video, which I wrote about recently (link), and the APTA's call for a 'transformative year in physical therapy (link). Each of these calls carry a similar message about the transformative possibilities of physiotherapy and the importance of physiotherapists reaching beyond the narrow confines of the body-as-machine. It's hugely significant that physiotherapists are now recognising this and seeing that unless they can connect … [Read more...] about Is this really a vision for physiotherapy?
In this short video, Judith Butler explores the lived experience and some of the social and political dimensions of disability with Sanaura Taylor in a walk through the streets of San Francisco. During the walk they challenge the normative definition of the idea of walking and talk about how disability is often projected on to people by our stereotypical attitudes. One of the things that really moved me was their discussion of the normality of obtaining help from people. This feeds into one of the growing critiques of Western culture - and we see it coming through really strongly in health care, particularly when funding cuts are being made - and that is that we should not be looking … [Read more...] about Walking, disability rights and embodiment (video feat. Judith Butler & Sanaura Taylor)
Last week I posted a compendium of some of the things I had found over the Christmas holiday that I thought might be interesting to people interested in all things critical. Here is another post pulling together some interesting loose strings and ephemera from the last 3 or 4 weeks. Uncertainty is a major theme for me in the pursuit of a more critically-informed physiotherapy. It seems to me that the ability to embrace uncertainty will be a vitally important capability for future practice - a point made in this post from the ever reliable and interesting Steve Wheeler. David Warlick once said 'for the first time we are preparing young people for a future we cannot clearly describe.' … [Read more...] about Uncertainty, luxury and creativity – a brief compendium