I teach on a postgraduate paper that gets students from all sorts of health disciplines to think about themselves as health professionals, their professions, and the ‘others’ that they work with. We use a lot of activities to get the students to reflect on their practice and some of these activities can be really challenging. Students do photo essays, write letters of appreciation, design practice models, and explore critical incidents, but perhaps the most interesting activity involves them taking something every day and obvious and making it strange. We ask the students to identify something about their practice that might otherwise be taken-for-granted, and get them to tell us … [Read more...] about Stating the obvious
For the last two years I've been the academic leader of a team of psychologists and psychotherapists. Part of my reason for taking the role was to move away from physiotherapy for a while, and one of the things I've learnt is how much of what the 'pay' disciplines do should be a standard part of the physiotherapy curriculum and scope of practice. How on earth physiotherapists managed to survive for 100 years without exploring transference and counter-transference is beyond me. But one of the things that characterises many of the psy approaches to health and wellbeing is that they will look to the psyche and the mind for the answers to people's despair, anger and confusion. Today I … [Read more...] about Desperate, angry, confused? Sociology can help
I spent the last two weeks in Norway and Denmark, meeting clinicians, lecturers, researchers and students, and generally talking about The End of the Physiotherapy. I spent quite a bit of time talking about the ways physiotherapy might transform itself to adapt to the future, and one of the ideas we kept coming back to was the importance of 'leaving' the profession. I wrote a little about this idea in a blog post just before I set out for Scandinavia, and the subject kept recurring during my visit. The biggest issue for many people seemed to be not so much the need to change, as much as how to change: how to find new ways of thinking and practicing physiotherapy that kept the best of … [Read more...] about Art as therapy
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
In a recent article by titled Listening-touch, Affect and the Crafting of Medical Bodies through Percussion, Anna Harris discusses the effect that technology has had on the loss of doctors' physical assessment and treatment skills. The article focuses on the technique of percussion - the 'listening touch' as she calls it, that comes from percussing the chest to perceive the density of underlying tissues. Here's the abstract for the paper, and here's a link to the paper itself: Abstract The growing abundance of medical technologies has led to laments over doctors’ sensory de-skilling, technologies viewed as replacing diagnosis based on sensory acumen. The technique of percussion has … [Read more...] about What skills are you losing?
Excuse the shameless plug, but I'm giving a public lecture on Thursday night (NZ time) on the History of Physical Therapies in 19th Century New Zealand, and it will be live streamed and recorded, so I thought some of you might be interested in seeing it. New Zealand offers an interesting case study because, in contrast to Europe and North America, where treatments like massage, mobilisation, hydrotherapy, electrotherapy and exercise were some of the most popular 'medical' remedies, physical therapies were almost invisible. New Zealand was a frontier colony for much of the 19th century, and a lot of settlers had little enough food to live on never mind indulging in such … [Read more...] about History of Physical Therapies in 19th Century New Zealand
The latest edition of the South African Journal of Occupational Therapy includes some papers theorizing OT in ways that might be interesting for people interested in theorizing physiotherapy practice. The links connect you with full access versions of the articles. Thanks to Frank Kronenberg for the link. Guest editorial: Theorising about human occupation Ramugondo, EL; Galvaan, R; Duncan, E text in English · pdf in English Theorising social transformation in occupational science: The American Civil Rights Movement and South African struggle against apartheid as 'Occupational Reconstructions' Frank, Gelya; Muriithi, Bernard Austin Kigunda abstract in English · text in … [Read more...] about Theorizing therapy: Latest research from South Africa