MECHANICAL MEDICINE Exploring the History of Healing by Exercise, Manipulation and Massage. 23 May 2019, Science Museum, London. A symposium at the Science Museum, London, organised by Dr Kay Nias (Medicine Galleries Research Fellow). ‘Physical medicine’ or ‘physical therapy’ has ancient origins. For thousands of years, people with illnesses and disabilities have been treated with physio-therapeutic techniques including exercise, manipulation and massage, as well as air, water, heat and cold, electricity and light. These various healing methods have rich and diverse histories that span time, cultures and medical traditions. While documentary evidence representing the … [Read more...] about Call for Papers: Mechanical medicine – Exploring the History of Healing by Exercise, Manipulation and Massage.
Perhaps one of the biggest points of difference in current debates around the future of physiotherapy involves the question of whether physiotherapy should be evidence-based. It is self-evidence - so some say - that physiotherapy practice should be based on the best available evidence, since to practice otherwise might put people at risk, or damage the reputation of physiotherapy as a science. One of the less-well-often discussed issues with this argument is how much people - and by this I mean the public, our professional colleagues and peers, and the organisations that fund us and legislate for us - actually care whether some therapeutic practices are evidence-based. An article … [Read more...] about The politics of touch
It is an old cliche, but there is rarely anything entirely new in the world, and sometimes some of the newest and most exciting innovations are merely reinventions of old ideas. Over the last few days, a story has appeared in the news of a young All Black rugby player who, only a few weeks ago, fractured his leg in a game. The story is newsworthy for two reasons: (a) the Rugby World Cup starts in a few days time, and (b) he is only being considered to be fit to play because of a rather unusual remedy. Waisake Naholo’s recovery from a fractured fibula has been reported widely around the world, because he chose to return to Fiji to be treated by his local doctor, Isei Naiova, who had … [Read more...] about New: Old ideas
It's been interesting this week to hear from physiotherapists who share my concern for the kinds of objective, detached, depersonalised ways that physiotherapists often project their professional practice identities. I think, as a profession, we're starting to understand some of the important reasons why we do this (we want to be considered professional, scientific, evidence-based, etc.), but it would be nice if we could also see more of the barriers to progress that these discourses are creating, and discuss whether there might be some value in thinking otherwise. I've developed, led and taught a 1st year UG paper called Therapeutic Touch for over a decade at AUT, and in the paper we … [Read more...] about Wrong-doing in physiotherapy is not where you think it is
The physiotherapy profession has a rather odd relationship with sex and sensuality. On the one hand, it lies at the heart of everything that physiotherapists do, on the other it is almost completely invisibly; un-theorized, glanced over in graduate programmes, and almost invisible in models that try to explain what physiotherapy is and isn't. Over the course of the next few blogposts, I want to tackle some of the issues that surround sex and physiotherapy and see if we can't develop a more mature appreciation for it's everyday role in defining our professional subjectivity. To begin with, we should acknowledge the role that sex played in the formation of the physiotherapy profession. … [Read more...] about No sex please, we’re physiotherapists
Originally modelled in plastiline clay in the mid-1890s, this version cast in bronze after 1918. Height 42cm Best known for his impressionist painting, sculpture was for Degas mainly a private activity. He thought of his sculptures like sketches or drawings, as a way of developing a composition. 'La Masseuse' is Degas’ only two-figure sculpture. The masseuse massages the thigh of a naked woman, who holds her buttock in relief or pain. The emphasis of 'La Masseuse' on the effects of physical activity on bare female flesh highlights the artists dedication to depicting human, and in particular female, endeavour. Information courtesy of the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool (link). … [Read more...] about ‘La Masseuse’ by Degas
This article appeared in the New Zealand Herald in 1932 (Vol LXIX, Issue 21296, 24 September 1932, Page 9) Fascist Italy has officially banned about fifty words of foreign origin now in common use in the Italian language. The list issued by the Confederation of Fascist Professionals and Artists includes the words "omelette," "roughly," "taxi," "parvenu," "dancing," and "masseuse." Italian equivalents have been coined to replace them. Thus, "masseuse" becomes massaggiatrice and the once universal "charm" is now "fascino." Many more words will eventually be added to this "black list." They will include "racing," terms borrowed from the English; and many sporting terms for which proper … [Read more...] about Words banned in Italy