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Barrett's Forums This discussion is devoted to the latest advances in neuroscience and the clinical phenomena it explains.

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Old 21-12-2005, 04:28 PM   #1
Barrett Dorko
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Hello,

I’ve been writing daily for over twenty years, and most of that effort has been in the service of the physical therapy profession. I write of my life in the clinic and the classroom and how these experiences connect somehow to my personal life and the things that I’ve read. Often I include other media, especially film. To me, just about everything is about therapy on some level, and, without any real effort, I sit and contemplate this. One day long ago these thoughts emerged in the form of an essay. This is the latest of those.

My intention is to contribute a few essays to the readers on this site, recently having found my work unwelcome elsewhere. Eventually, I’ll form a discussion group that I will manage myself. For now, I want to say how grateful I am for this opportunity to think and write-and then give it away.

I’ll start where I am today, and today I’m reading the latest words written by the contemporary poet, David Whyte. Speaking of his recent foray into glass blowing, he speaks of how difficult it is to turn what he imagines into the object itself, given the delicate nature of the materials and his lack of familiarity with their properties. He says, “I longed for the utter simplicity of pen and paper, of fingers typing and a laptop keyboard.” Still, he understands as did his intellectual mentor, the poet William Blake, the human need for “a kind of imaginative personal artistry” in order to make sense of their life. I’m thinking today that this is important in order to sustain health as well.

I often wonder how health is like a creative act, and these days I’m focused on the specific contribution of imagination to that way of being. Since I am in the business of treating patients with a primary complaint of pain I always consider this first-and this is where things get complicated.

What I intend to do the next few weeks is to investigate what it is we know-or think we know-about the nature and purpose of imagination. I have a load of books in my office and each has an index. And, of course, I have you. I’m an autodidact, and though that means I have trouble being taught anything, it doesn’t mean I can’t learn.

Let’s talk about this and see where it might lead us.
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Old 21-12-2005, 04:40 PM   #2
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Hi Barrett,
Let me be the first to welcome you to SomaSimple. Your forum is very welcome here. This site is here for individuals who like to think for themselves.

Quote:
...the human need for “a kind of imaginative personal artistry” in order to make sense of their life. I’m thinking today that this is important in order to sustain health as well.
Agree. If we can't find a way to express ourselves and whatever we unfold out into the world, it is like caving in to a cultural 'lobotomy.' Our culture supports our life and growth but only to the extent it wants to perpetuate itself.. then it tends to reinforce self-repression. Maybe some aspect of health (small or large) depends on dancing past "business as usual" and feeling like one's own existance is successfully wrestled with.

True in treatment culture as well, I think.. finding some like-minded (but not necessarily same-minded) people to confer with, --> leads to community -->leads to greater sense of well-being.

As for treating patients, treatment that helps them become more of who they are rather than whatever their "culture" has moulded them into, physically / emotionally /mentally, has to be healthier in the long run.

I'm sure lots of ideas will pop up here.
All the best here in your new camping spot!
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Old 22-12-2005, 02:55 AM   #3
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I want to consider the nature of imagination from several angles and, hopefully, shed some light on its connection to movement and consequent reduction in pain. It seems appropriate to see what many different disciplines might have to say, so I’m moving rather randomly through some material stacked around my desk.

I find a premise is emerging, and this is it: It is necessary to imagine a movement clearly in order to perform it fully, and if persistent pain secondary to mechanical deformation is dependent upon an instinctive, corrective movement to truly resolve, then our individual imagination is necessary to trigger the movement that relieves pain.

If I’m right-and I might be way off-then many things known about imagination, including poetic speculation, may help us discover more about its origin and thus enhance our ability to elicit its corrective expression in the clinic.

Consider this from Mind Time by Benjamin Libet: “(Given what we know of brain function and the timing of neuronal activity in the brain) it should not be surprising that the emergent subjective experience (of motion) exhibits unique unexpected characteristics.” See a connection between this motion, imagination and a creative act?

See “The Analgesia of Movement” on my site, barrettdorko.com, for an explanation of ideomotion and see how this fits in here-and how imagination forms its foundation.
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Old 22-12-2005, 04:31 AM   #4
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The solstice, the darkest day of the year, has now passed and though we enter winter, each day should bring a bit more light. Hello all and thanks Bernard for hosting. I've only seen a bit of your place and I'm feeling a bit lost but I'm sure I'll find my way around soon enough. I figured the following selection from the current book I'm reading would fit right in here. It's from Dark Nights of the Soul by Thomas Moore.

Quote:
Whatever the nature of your dark night, you might consider this basic principle about not being naive in your response to it. Simply to play victim is to cave in to fear and make all the mistakes associated with literal-mindedness. You can always bring wit to your situation, actively reframing what is going on and how your are feeling. Emotions need not be taken on their own terms. The sharpness of your imagination can affect how you feel. You can always inquire into the origin of your fears and dread. You can ask yourself just what it is that bothers you, refusing to accept your situation exactly as it is presented. Irony promotes complexity, and it is simple-mindedness that usually gets us in trouble.
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Old 22-12-2005, 09:36 AM   #5
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Welcome to Barrett and Jon.

Barrett,
I'm pleased you choose this place where your imagination will bring many brains to move their neurons and bodies.
Imagination is certainly a key issue in all therapies and a gift that Natures gave to Humankind. Sometimes it brings progress, many times it gives unfortunate things.

I'm optimistic, your forums will be ever of the first kind.

Jon,
Well, SomaSimple grows and reflects the nature of brain which digests knowledge... Simple and complex at the time. It is very redundant in its appearance but this "explosion" of forums is only brought to differentiate the ever changing tastes of forums' readers.

ps: the archives are read only. Barrett feel free to ask for changes. It is just another imagination...
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Old 22-12-2005, 10:17 AM   #6
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A late welcome, too, to Barrett and jon.
I have been off the air (or should it be cyberspace) due to unforseen circumstances and I think my brain is back in gear and more or less ready to be engaged.

Using imagination, to me, has two slightly different outcomes - one can be pure fantasy in the realm of fiction, and the other employed in clinical practice where logic and sense are required before deciding what one is going to do.
I use the former a lot - transposing some existing situations into expanded prose/novellas which actually enhances one's attitude to everyday happenings no end. Problem is, the margin (which is narrow) between reality as we know it, and fantasy can become blurred.
With the latter, imagining a movement is probably critical to elicit a creative act. But I need to think more about the synopses and resolution more, or I will just waffle. Have been up for about 16 hours nonstop so will write more later.

Glad to have both of your imaginative brains on deck with us.

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Old 22-12-2005, 01:16 PM   #7
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A couple of links on imagining the impossible

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/q...=pubmed_docsum

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/q...=pubmed_docsum
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Old 22-12-2005, 01:43 PM   #8
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Hi All,

Jon,
Feel free to post the entire abstract. We have room and bandwidth of the site is amazing.

Cognition. 2001 Aug;81(1):41-64. Related Articles, Links
Imagining physically impossible self-rotations: geometry is more important than gravity.

Creem SH, Wraga M, Proffitt DR.

University of Virginia, Charlottesville, USA. sarah.creem@psych.utah.edu

Previous studies found that it is easier for observers to spatially update displays during imagined self-rotation versus array rotation. The present study examined whether either the physics of gravity or the geometric relationship between the viewer and array guided this self-rotation advantage. Experiments 1-3 preserved a real or imagined orthogonal relationship between the viewer and the array, requiring a rotation in the observer's transverse plane. Despite imagined self-rotations that defied gravity, a viewer advantage remained. Without this orthogonal relationship (Experiment 4), the viewer advantage was lost. We suggest that efficient transformation of the egocentric reference frame relies on the representation of body-environment relations that allow rotation around the observer's principal axis. This efficiency persists across different and conflicting physical and imagined postures.

PMID: 11525481 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Neuroreport. 2000 Mar 20;11(4):729-32. Related Articles, Links
Imagining the impossible: intact motor representations in hemiplegics.

Johnson SH.

Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH 03755-3569, USA.

Motor imagery is known to involve brain regions vital to the performance of motor skills including primary motor cortex. The present results show that, following cerebral vascular accidents (CVAs) affecting a variety of these regions, many adults with left or right upper-limb paralysis (i.e. hemiparesis/hemiplegia) retain the ability to accurately represent prehensile movements involving the impaired limb. This suggests that during the acute phase of recovery many CVA patients can use motor imagery to activate partially damaged motor networks; a process that may facilitate functional reorganization. This ability was, however, compromised in cases with right posterior parietal or left frontal lesions. This pattern is consistent with the hypothesis that imagined prehension, like actual reaching and grasping, involves a network of highly interconnected areas distributed throughout parietal and frontal cortices.

PMID: 10757509 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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Old 22-12-2005, 03:41 PM   #9
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As I carefully absorb all that Damasio has to say about the topic of imagination (which is considerable), I can no longer think of the word in a collapsed, conventional sort of way. Instead, the word "imagination" has unfolded itself out into "imaging-ation", the making of images.

According to him, that's what our extended consciousness, or usual conscious sense of self and of being awake, mostly associated with the cortex/prefrontals, does. It's what it is there to do. It does this in all sorts of ways, constructing "images" from sensory input. It does this to help the organism survive.

Survival is a feat conducted by an evolutionarily much older part of the brain, termed "core consciousness." It is made up of brainstem and other deep bits that keep the body breathing, the heart adjusting, moniters the hormonal levels, blood sugar, digestion etc. It doesn't necessarily run all of it, but it moniters and coordinates all bodily activity, can speed up or slow down this bit or that bit a little. It does not have the power to create "conscious' images, although he suggests there are still images formed by this part that are "nonconscious." I'm getting clearer about his ideas of emotions: I think he is saying that they are the "nonconscious images" produced by the core consciousness regions.

As extended consciousness evolved(evolves) out of core, image making became(becomes) conscious, effortless, and free of the bodily survival constraints of hard-wired homeostatic necessities.

"Images" according to this neurologist and thinker, include not only pictures formed visually from optical input, but thoughts/perceptions/sensations constructed from input through all senses: hearing, taste, touch, movement, etc. He goes further: Images can be constructed by the extended consciousness out of "relationships" between core and extended consciousness, in the same brain.. Images can be "pictures" therefore (or gestalts.. I like that word) of the sense of self's (extended consciousness's) relationship(s) to emotions generated by the core in response to the outside world or from within.

I think we get a little closer to the idea of pain here, by considering the relationship to it that core might have, that extended might have. There might be conflicting "images" of the same "pain," one that is nonconscious or core generated, and another that is conscious or extended generated.

Movement: Where awareness goes, image-making will immediately follow.
If one can shine a mental flashlight in on the relationship between core and extended consciousness in someone's brain, however briefly, and create a moment wherein that individual becomes aware of the possibility of differentiation between these two main modes of operation, a new relationship between the two, a new image, immediately springs into being, a movement image in this instance. A new image that is mutual to both core and extended, logically could go a long way toward decreasing a pain state based on an incongruency between the two, clashing images that bother the organism and will be trumped eternally by core mechanisms operating to maintain survival.

I think core consciousness has the ability to produce pain "images", but I don't think it can always restore homeostatic peace and tranquility and painfreeness without extended consciousness's help. Extended consciousness's help is perhaps twofold: willingly suspend its own image of this pain, distance itself a bit, and create a new (kinesthetic) image that doesn't hurt.

How? Well, I think Barrett found the way to help the brain do that a long time ago. I think his strategy of asking the person to "allow" core consciousness or nonconsciousness to do some moving of their body/spine, by distracting/priming/supporting the extended consciousness with touch, is elegant and simple.
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Old 22-12-2005, 08:44 PM   #10
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Does the dowser “imagine” that there’s water over there? Does the person with their hand on the planchette of a Ouija board “imagine” an answer to their question? Well, of course they do, though they might not know that they do. As you can see, there’s plenty of interest in the neuroscience of imagination and subsequently almost too much intricate information to fully digest. I’m sure that as this thread continues there’ll be more.

Back to the clinic: At the end of each workshop I tell a story that I first told to a class in Nova Scotia several years ago. I say, “Two weeks ago I sold my father’s house. I sold the house I grew up in. And on the afternoon we were to relinquish the keys to the realtor-which is the final act-my brother and I walked through the empty rooms and we filled them with our imagination. It occurred to me that the buyer had done the same thing the day before, but of course they had filled the rooms with the future, and we with the past. It was the emptiness of the rooms that we had in common, and it was that emptiness that allowed our imagination to take us where we needed and wanted to go…

To me, ideomotion for pain relief is so closely associated with the sort of bodily expression that produces art that it requires of the person pursuing it the same things every creative act requires:

1) A safe place to do it
2) An internal conversation
3) A nonjudgmental attitude toward that which it produces
4) Sufficient attention and awareness directed toward this single yet complex task

How many clinics today provide the sort of “empty” space my father’s house eventually became? How many patients are encouraged to fill that space with what they uniquely need and want to do?

I appreciate what Diane says about my discovery of a way to provide what a creative act requires, and I think it may be true. Today at least.

When you get down to it, aren’t we saying that patients with persistent pain secondary to mechanical deformation lack a place that allows their imaginations free reign and a therapist who understands enough of this? Could it be that simple?
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Old 22-12-2005, 09:49 PM   #11
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Barrett

Re your last sentence:

I think it just might be as simple as that. Both therapist and patient require space and free reign for their imaginationings. (sic)

The challenge is for each to allow the other to do this.


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Old 23-12-2005, 04:01 AM   #12
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I've something to post from the book I just finished reading, Into the Cool, written by Eric Schneider and Dorian Sagan. But first some definitions, also from the book.

teleological--the goal seeking we find in conscious, deliberating beings.

teleomatic-- end-producing behavior

telonomic-- end-directed behavior.

Quote:
Teleomatic is the most basic level and includes things like chemical reactions coming to equilibrium and gravity. A rock doesn't consciously decide to fall, it isn't genetically programmed to fall, yet it falls to an end point on the ground all the same, through the "teleomatic" action of gravity...The teleonomic occupies a middle realm, that of Darwinian structures--such as the heart, whose purpose is to beat, or the blood, whose purpose is to circulate nutrients--whose functions must be understood in terms of their success in permitting survival....A man painting a house has a conscious purpose, but once begun he may work unconsciously, almost teleonomically, and forget about his hand movements as his consciousness pursues other tasks. Meanwhile his heart beats without conscious thought, its ancient function, so important to survival, operating independently of conscious thought, which might interfere with it...Spinoza argued that a rock with free will would think it fell of its own accord. Put in terms of this tripartite division, it would, according to Spinoza, mistake its teleomatic (its law-based) behavior for teleological (conscious) behavior.
What does this have to do imagination? I'll fill in the blanks, per Schneider and Sagan, tomorrow.
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Old 23-12-2005, 01:47 PM   #13
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I look at this thread and feel it is the culmination of years of work by each contributor. Maybe imagination is the linchpin of effective movement therapies for pain. This would certainly explain Feldenkrais’ success as well as the common failure of coercive technique. Given how little therapists normally understand about its origins, nature and expression it is no wonder that so many struggle to help patients with an essential diagnosis of an abnormal neurodynamic. Perhaps future threads will commonly refer to this one as we work to fix the mess therapy has become (in Ohio anyway).

Some of you know that my son Alex is an Army Ranger currently serving in Iraq. He’s two months in and has ten more to do. Consequently, I spend a lot of time thinking of what it must be like for him; I sit and imagine him there. This helps me.

I’m also reading James Hillman’s A Terrible Love of War. On page 4 of this amazing book Hillman quotes Robert McNamara (secretary of defense during the Vietnam war), Donald Rumsfeld (no introduction necessary) and the director of the National Security Agency, Michael Hayden, all saying that acts of war on all sides were and are created by “a failure of imagination.”

Hillman also says that “civilian disdain” for everything military-something I can relate to-must be set aside “because the first principle of psychological method holds that any phenomenon to be understood must be sympathetically imagined. No syndrome can be truly dislodged from its cursed condition unless we first move imagination into its heart.” (I’m thinking of putting that last sentence on the wall in my office) He goes on: “Failure of imagination is another way of describing “persistence in error,” and the origin of disaster lies in the unimaginative mind-set.” I take the word “disaster’ to mean both war and chronic pain.

My son writes from Tikrit: “The paper turkeys on the table at Thanksgiving are there to enhance and support our imagination. Soldiers have a tendency to be lonely all the time. Wherever you are, if you're a soldier you're guaranteed to be far from someone important. All the friends in the world can never make up for this. So we imagine them with us. We imagine familiar circumstances. We look for people who REMIND us of loved ones. I'm reading Emerson lately and discovering the responsibilities of the thinking man. He warns against reading too much and taking others ideas. We need to sit and think on our own and write more. Our own ideas are what are important.”

The simple phrase “our own ideas” stays with me. There’s no more succinct definition for imagination. If you can’t imagine a movement, even if you are completely unaware of that imagining, you can’t do it. If you are fearful of expression, all the imagination you possess won’t be enough to implement the motion you want and need fully. If a therapist cannot imagine their patient moving and improving then they can’t help them, and if therapists refuse to see or sense the worth of everyone’s imagination they will always struggle with their patients in pain.

Maybe this thread will help to change that.

Last edited by Barrett Dorko; 23-12-2005 at 01:52 PM.
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Old 23-12-2005, 02:02 PM   #14
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Quote:
The real-time effects of energy, stored by the organism and released in thought and movement, are dealt with on a second-by-second sensory and behavioral level not under genetic control. In interacting with the environment, the weather, and each other, organisms develop complicated forms and behavioral patterns. The electromagnetic radiation from the sun that presents a sensory panorama is hoarded and rerouted into living matter moving in Earth's oceans, across its land, in the air, and now, with humans, even in orbit. Although genetically informed, living matter seeks energy sources and responds, sometimes very quickly. Living energy transformers possess an intelligence that gives them an edge in preserving their material form and continuity. Perhaps the dim powers of awareness and choice inhere in all living beings. Behavior and motion in real time--at the pace we experience it--are influenced directly by organisms. Cunning, not just luck. If so, then our actions, and our conscious modeling of our actions, as well as our imagination of possible actions, can help us to establish new thermodynamic flow routes. Eventually such flow routes may move out of conscious attention into unconscious, physiology-like control. Indeed, when we repeat our actions until they become a habit, an act of the will--something "teleological" in Mayr's sense of the word--becomes something we no longer have to think about to do--something "teleonomic" in Mayr's language. It would seem, again, that human conscious purpose has connections to older physiological and thermodynamic kinds of purpose.
I agree with Nari, in answer to Barrett's question, "Can it be that simple?".

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Old 23-12-2005, 04:02 PM   #15
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I agree with all who think it can be that simple. Simplicity is elegance.

Nature likes to conserve energy while devising means by which it can make entropy; I'm glad however that nature seems to like/allow plenty of visual variety/diversity of its multicellular creativity.

As a side note, I consider Into the Cool pivotal reading for anyone whose "imaginings" on how things work may need a bit or a lot of pruning.
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"Rene Descartes was very very smart, but as it turned out, he was wrong." ~Lorimer Moseley

“Comment is free, but the facts are sacred.” ~Charles Prestwich Scott, nephew of founder and editor (1872-1929) of The Guardian , in a 1921 Centenary editorial

“If you make people think they're thinking, they'll love you, but if you really make them think, they'll hate you." ~Don Marquis

"In times of change, learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists" ~Roland Barth

"Doubt is not a pleasant mental state, but certainty is a ridiculous one."~Voltaire

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Old 24-12-2005, 07:46 AM   #16
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Hi All,

Barrett is closer to a truth than I thought it earlier.
This idea came to me while reading the Damasio's Book: The Feeling of What Happens. The style is often confusing (even in French, Damasio speaks/writes perfectly French) and it is really difficult to follow.
But... It is like a cloudy day and sometimes a sun ray perforates the grey sky and smashes your face with warmth and light!
And it happens truly. Simplicty and Elegance => Neuromatrices, Brain avalanches... and the importance of unconscious parts of the brain.

We can't escape from these ones! They are the basement of the consciousness and they are the sieves where cross all incoming/outgoing stimuli.
In fact we are appreciating only the things/world that unconscious parts of brain are kind to feed us.

Just an idea of the day.
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Old 24-12-2005, 08:16 AM   #17
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I'm planning to buy In the Cool with some Chrissy money...but it is only one of many books I'd like!

To quote Barrett:

..."If a therapist cannot imagine their patient moving and improving then they can't help them, and if therapists refuse to see or sense the worth of everyone's imagination they will always struggle with their patients in pain."

I think part of the difficulty in interpreting where a patient's best interests lie, is that we have one agenda - a medical-based and somewhat Cartesian agenda - and the patient often has a different agenda. Getting the two to coalesce isn't easy. I never know what to say, accurately, when a patient says: "You are the expert, do as you wish, as long as I get better", or words to that effect. I usually muddle around that and hope it would become clearer as education progressed. Yet for some that is an open invitation to open a toolbox and pull out what seems to fit the symptoms. Oddly enough, it worked sometimes.
But the toolbox never takes into account what the patient is really thinking and imagining, only what could be guessed from body language and language itself.
It is the "failure to improve" which demands imagination, and the putting back of the toolbox into the garage.


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Old 24-12-2005, 02:18 PM   #18
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Dear Barrett Merry Christmas
I got tempted to write after glancing through this thread on imagination with words like imagination, simplicity, pain, therapy, brain etc.
I am not making any judgment or drawing any conclusion.
I am simply putting my thoughts.

I am sure u miss your son during this Christmas as he is in Iraq.
If u imagine he is not happy there, or any negative feelings of course all in imagination u will feel pain in your mind & that can precipitate imaginary &/or real physical pain, specially in the weakest area of your body.
If you imagine the whole world & its children as yours & all r happy as u imagine, u will certainly not feel pain.

Imagination can simplify the issue &/or complicate it & can cause chain reactions, that can be most difficult to untangle by therapist with free will & imagination.

One man’s imagination to cause huge destruction to the country (WTO) with resources of the country with simple manpower that joins hands with him imagining they will be going to heaven! Imagine!

One can imagine about imagination in infinite possibilities in physics, chemistry, Biology, & nature & human nature.

One can imagine & believe that nature works on a very simple law, "THE SIMPLICITY" & his imagination will be influenced accordingly, he/she will easily learn from nature the most complex but the simple thing the movement. (The most important & basic instinct for survival & therefore automatic sub cortical)
One can imagine nature to be functioning in most complex manner & act accordingly

One can make movements very complex in the imagination & if it can be turned in reality it can create most beautiful dance, painting., singing, athletic, gymnastic movement!

Mechanical disorders causing pain can have its root in the imagination (Fear influencing posture & movement) & correcting mechanics, as well as dealing with mind & imagination is crucial, imagining an anatomic movement to solve mechanical problem may solve pain problem in imagination.

Problems of cerebral palsy are imagined to be never ending & most complex & difficult
CNS disorders are also dreaded by all concerned (Although never in open) & are imagined to be hopeless in terms of chances to recover & get back to pre lesion state.

Dogmatic training in the medical field curbs the imagination on the name of science & Evidence. We forget that all inventions are born out of imagination first & then the Need
Need alone is not sufficient for any invention.
Need is needed to be able to sale. Anything can sale if there is a need.
Imagination can sell; Imagination can heal, can cure, and can move
Simplicity is the most essential ingredient in my imagination for one's imagination.
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Old 24-12-2005, 03:12 PM   #19
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Hope this one is relevant to the subject?

Effects among healthy subjects of the duration of regularly practicing a guided imagery program

Eri Watanabe , Sanae Fukuda and Taro Shirakawa

BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2005, 5:21 doi:10.1186/1472-6882-5-21

Published 20 December 2005

Abstract (provisional)

Background
We examined a large number of healthy adults in the general community who had individually participated in a guided imagery (GI) program daily and for various durations, to examine the psychophysiological effects of a GI program within a healthy group.

Methods
We studied 176 subjects who had participated in sessions that were part of a guided imagery program, and who had practiced GI at home for 20 minutes once daily in a quiet place after mastering GI in the group sessions. The average duration of GI practiced at home was 6.88+/-14.06 months (n=138, range: 0 to 72).The Multiple Mood Scale (MMS), Betts (1909) Shortened Questionnaire on Mental Imagery (QMI), and a visual analog scale (VAS) of imagery vividness, salivary cortisol (CS) levels, general stress and general health were used in the sessions. Results: We examined the relationship between the duration of daily GI practiced at home and MMS, QMI, CS, general health, and general stress at baseline. The subjects who had practiced GI at home longer had lower negative mood scores at baseline and lower severity of stress, and higher positive mood at baseline (both at a session and at home), general health, and QMI scores at baseline. The MMS change during a session and the duration of daily GI practiced at home were not correlated. Repeated-measures analysis of covariance showed that the duration of daily GI practiced as the covariate was not associated with changes in the three CS levels.

Conclusions
Although regularly practicing a GI program daily for 20 min did not affect the CS level or mood during a GI session for several hours, it kept a good condition of the general mental, physical well-being and their overall stress of the practitioners as they had practiced it for long duration. We postulate that subjects who have the high ability of imaging vividness showed the better mood, health status and less stress than those subjects who have the low ability of it did. The ability of image vividness of the long-term regular practitioners of GI was higher than its short-term or inexperienced practitioners, which allowed practitioners to produce more comfortable imagery. Consequently, the longer the duration that they had practiced GI program once a day regularly, the lower scores of their stress were and the higher scores of their health were. We suggest that the regular daily practice of a GI program might be connected to less stress and better health.
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File Type: pdf imagery_program.pdf (183.0 KB, 15 views)
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Old 24-12-2005, 03:22 PM   #20
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We suggest that the regular daily practice of a GI program might be connected to less stress and better health.
Less pain too, if the
"imaging-ation" is motor, includes body motion/ awareness of it/ practice of it.
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Old 24-12-2005, 06:02 PM   #21
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Just wanted to post quickly about imagination before I get completely consumed by family and the holidays here in southwestern Wisconsin. Most of this is probably redundant from what was posted previouly, but, I would like to share my personal experiences with imagination. In tai chi we use the concept of "chi" energy while doing the form. The visualization is that "chi" is a globe shape which connects all parts of the body and grounds you to the earth. Also, when doing this with 2 people the imagination is of your chi connecting to the opponent. Now, I can't sit and tell you that there is such a thing as chi (I think Barrett has made a good argument against those energy practices), however, the imagination of such a thing occurring drastically changes the feeling of the form and the application of technique. Also interesting to note is that I was unable to use other's imagined ideas of what "chi" was until my brain was able to get it's own feeling of it. From that point on, imagination and feeling became good buddies. The main ingredient for this is space... a silent place where there is no expectation but a whole lot of potential. In tai chi, a movement emerges from this state that is effortless, warming, softening and often surprising (sounds a whole lot like simple contact eh?). For me the trick is how to give someone space and get them to trust in their own imagination. When this happens in the clinic it's a beautiful thing.

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Old 25-12-2005, 06:08 PM   #22
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The visualization is that "chi" is a globe shape which connects all parts of the body and grounds you to the earth.
I can relate because I live in an almost permanent state of interior globe-shaped sphericality. It's as if some part of my consciousness 'remembers' what it was like to be a perfectly spherical human egg cell, and takes that as base line. My sense of physicality therefore, is of a head sticking up out of the sphere and hands sticking out. The rest is protected by a thick round buffer zone. I've weighed a lot and a little at various times in my adult life, yet this perception is interior and unaffected by how I appear on the outside. It's my own form of body dysmorphic disorder perhaps.. , or perhaps it's a fortunate variety in that it allows me to be in a body without worrying overmuch about being in a body or how that body looks (if that makes any sense).

In Chris' post I noted that it wasn't until he used his own imagination to get his own vision of the "vision" that he connected to his own physiology. There is such a very thin line between imagining something like 'energy' and knowing that you are merely imagining it, giving yourself permission to do so in the moment for a particular task, versus forgetting or becoming oblivious to the fact that you are imagining, allowing such imaginings to harden into concepts and belief systems which can lead to greater quantities of quackery/cultural craziness.

Better to keep all imaginings in permanent dissolved state, not permit them to crystallize out of mental laziness, or even worse, out of not even knowing the difference between imagining and knowing. Better to keep it all solvent so that each individual patient can learn to develop knowledge of their own unique imaginings, pertinent/essential to their own unique physiology.

I think this is such a thin line that it can be a mental razor's edge. I'm glad Barrett is here, because I never met anyone else who keeps that edge as sharp as he does, or wields it as deftly.
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Old 25-12-2005, 07:01 PM   #23
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Bingo,

It wasn't until I met Barrett, that I could take the razor and start whacking away at the fluff. It made practice more efficient and practical. I also had a way to explain it and teach it to others.

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Old 26-12-2005, 06:18 PM   #24
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A few examples of how imagination can get us into 'trouble'. So why not out of trouble?


Schizophr Res. 2005 Jul 15;76(2-3):317-27. Related Articles, Links


Psychophysiological evaluation of stigma towards schizophrenia.

Graves RE, Cassisi JE, Penn DL.

Department of Psychiatry, Howard University, Suite 5B02, 2041 Georgia Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20060, USA. revelainegraves@att.net

Stigma is a potentially destructive phenomenon that may result in negative consequences for individuals diagnosed or labeled as having a mental illness. Several recent studies suggest that contact with various stigmatized out-group members result in psychophysiological reactions indicative of negative affect. It is unclear whether such reactions extend to encounters with individuals with mental illness. Participants imagined interacting with individuals labeled or unlabeled as having schizophrenia, while corrugator supercilii (brow) EMG, palmer skin conductance, and heart rate activity were monitored. Participants were 15 males and 20 females mainly African American students between the ages of 18 and 28 who attended a historically black university in the Southeastern region of the United States. Participants reported higher SUDS ratings and exhibited higher brow muscle tension during imagery with labeled than non-labeled individuals. Psychophysiological reactivity predicted global self-reported attitudes of stigma towards labeled individuals. The findings suggest that one reason why individuals avoid individuals with mental illness is physiological arousal, which is likely experienced as negative.

PMID: 15949664 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Neurology. 2004 May 11;62(9):1644. Related Articles, Links


Imagined movements cause pain and swelling in a patient with complex regional pain syndrome.

Moseley GL.

University of Queensland and Royal Brisbane & Women's Hospital, Brisbane, Australia. l.moseley@uq.edu.au

Publication Types:
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Old 26-12-2005, 07:50 PM   #25
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Don't see why a bit of imagination wouldn't get us out of trouble...

I keep thinking about that study (cannot remember where, I skim through too many journals) where it was shown that imagining movement will improve (or maintain) muscle strength. It was to do with quads while in plaster, or confined to bed. I just can't believe the potential of such an action; and a silly stray thought comes to mind:

Student: I've just seen Mrs Bloggs, she is imagining very well.
Supervisor: Great; just the quads and hams or the lot?

New role for PTs stuck in boring 20x3/reps orthopaedics.

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Old 26-12-2005, 08:05 PM   #26
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HI All,

The abstract cited by Jon is in this thread =>
Lorimer Moseley
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Old 29-12-2005, 05:03 AM   #27
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Thanks for the link Bernard. I'll figure some of this out as time goes on I suppose. Here's an abstract similar to the one you posted (on guided imagery).

Pain Manag Nurs. 2005 Jun;6(2):58-67.
Changes in the meaning of pain with the use of guided imagery.
Lewandowski W, Good M, Draucker CB.

The purpose of this study is to determine how verbal descriptions of pain change with the use of a guided imagery technique. A mixed method, concurrent nested design was used. Participants in the treatment group used the guided imagery technique over a consecutive 4-day period, and those in the control group were monitored. Verbal descriptions of pain were obtained before randomization and at four daily intervals. A total of 210 pain descriptions were obtained across the five time points. Data were analyzed using content analysis. Six categories emerged from the data: pain is never-ending, pain is relative, pain is explainable, pain is torment, pain is restrictive, and pain is changeable. For participants in the treatment group, pain became changeable. The meaning of pain as never-ending was a prominent theme for participants before randomization to treatment and control groups. It remained a strong theme for participants in the control group throughout the 4-day study period; however, pain as never-ending did not resurface for participants in the treatment group.

Publication Types:
Clinical Trial
Randomized Controlled Trial

PMID: 15970919 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

I remember this theme came up over on NOI at one point. I believe David B. said something to the extent that when language changes, pain changes. I suppose since we preferentially access someone's pain experience through language, the use of language and all that that entails might be something worth studying.

Last edited by bernard; 01-01-2006 at 12:10 PM. Reason: added PubMed link
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Old 30-12-2005, 04:05 AM   #28
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Probably Nigel Thomas is familiar to most of you; I liked reading some or most of his essays on imagination, mental imagery, consciousness and cognition.

http://www.calstatela.edu/faculty/nthomas/dualcode.htm

Guided imagery seems to be lurking firmly in the complementary health practitioners' cupboards, making all sorts of claims - but I wonder about its connection with false memories.


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Old 01-01-2006, 11:45 AM   #29
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I think it interesting to consider that although guided imagery is often considered as "lurking firmly in the complementary health practitioners' cupboards" it is also a quite effective method of improving one's sense of self-efficacy, and we know from the research that poor self-efficacy is one of the best predictors of chronic disability due to pain or illness.

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Old 01-01-2006, 02:46 PM   #30
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Luke,

I agree, and I wonder at the tendency to dismiss the use of imagination to promote a kind of health that would connect us to our capacity to change the current situation. Even Richard Dawkins in The Selfish Gene proposes that we can overcome our genetic inheritance toward certain behaviors. He says, “…our conscious foresight-our capacity to simulate the future in imagination-could save us from the worst selfish excesses of the blind replicators. We have the power to defy the selfish genes of our birth.” This comes from a man with a naturalistic worldview-a man who doesn’t take anything on faith unless he absolutely has to. When he says that our ability to imagine can defy our genetics we really should pay attention.

If people look in the archived threads of The Bullypit they’ll find “Why Such Resistance.” Here’s a portion of my opening post: “Yesterday I came across this on the web site for the Neuro Orthopedic Institute (NOIGroup.com): Juggle Away Pain 'Does your pain make you want to wriggle and squirm? This is likely to be a problem with acidic and blood starved tissues. Collections of acid in the tissues can sensitise nerve endings creating the well known postural pain - that makes you want to wriggle and stretch. The juggling position is the opposite of many work postures such as computing, writing and playing some musical instruments. The forearms are turned up in juggling rather than down as in using a keyboard. This offers a randomisation of movement which flushes out acid buildup in the tissues. It is also good for the brain. Look at the juggling posture - it opens you up to the world!!' Also: Important note: Some pain problems may result from acute trauma which damages tendons, muscles and nerves. You will need some care here and advice from a competent health professional and juggling may not even be appropriate for some acute problems.”

Now, juggling is something I happen to know a bit about. I’ve been a member of The International Juggler’s Association for many years and wrote a series of essays for their publication, “Juggler’s World,” back in the 90s. My essay, “Until You Cry” was translated into German for the European juggling community and I occasionally teach others how to juggle. Let me tell you-it doesn’t relieve pain. Of course I understand that moving in new ways can reduce the mechanical deformation responsible for nociception, but it can make it worse as well. It occurs to me that juggling involves a lot of dropping, and unless you have someone around willing to pick up things for you you’re going to spend a significant amount of time in full flexion. Does that sound like a good idea to you? I, of course, never drop when I juggle.

Clearly the people at NOI understand that “randomization” of movement is somehow important for recovery but if they think that a juggler’s movement is random, they need a lesson or two.

Ideomotor activity contains the variety and spontaneity they seem to be after, still they do not acknowledge that it even exists. Of course, no one else in the therapy community does either.

Why do you suppose that is?”

Me again, today-

Something I didn’t mention at the time was my distinct sense that juggling enhances my tendency and ability to imagine motion. In fact, I’m pretty sure that if I can’t sufficiently imagine myself doing a maneuver I’ll never actually accomplish the trick.

Similarly, if someone can’t imagine the motion necessary to relieve their pain they aren’t going to do it. Maybe without knowing it this is what the NOI people were going for but I don’t know, they wouldn’t talk about it.
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Old 01-01-2006, 03:18 PM   #31
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Something I didn’t mention at the time was my distinct sense that juggling enhances my tendency and ability to imagine motion. In fact, I’m pretty sure that if I can’t sufficiently imagine myself doing a maneuver I’ll never actually accomplish the trick.

Similarly, if someone can’t imagine the motion necessary to relieve their pain they aren’t going to do it. Maybe without knowing it this is what the NOI people were going for but I don’t know, they wouldn’t talk about it.
To be kind to the NOI people, perhaps they "know" it at some level, but not with the verbal part of their minds. So maybe they are willing to talk about it if only they could, but don't yet have the language worked out to their satisfaction, or maybe the concepts are still very preverbal for them. Maybe they are still sifting it all through their "underminds."

Would you say, Barrett, that juggling is "choreographed"? Looks that way to me. It would pretty much be the antithesis, then, of anything corrective for pain, as you state.
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Old 01-01-2006, 03:34 PM   #32
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Diane,

Yes, you're right, juggling is choreographed-it's the imagining that isn't.

I don't suppose the NOI people are ever going to acquire the language necessary to understand this if they don't spend some time talking/writing about it. It is during the course of those activities and not entirely prior to that that insight is revealed to me.
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Old 01-01-2006, 04:09 PM   #33
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Quote:
Yes, you're right, juggling is choreographed-it's the imagining that isn't.

I don't suppose the NOI people are ever going to acquire the language necessary to understand this if they don't spend some time talking/writing about it. It is during the course of those activities and not entirely prior to that that insight is revealed to me.

I agree.. Lots of thoughts about this this morning.
It's a messy business (for me it is.. maybe in general) formulating concepts; lots of writing, rewriting, formulating, reformulating, lots of mental juggle-ball dropping before the language and the concepts fit together perfectly. If we each as singular human beings all go off into little solitary mental cells to work out the concepts, without exchange, the results are often indecipherable to others. If the concepts get hammered out collectively (risking the chance of exposing the messiness of the work to the world, and doing it anyway), the churnings of the slow-way "undermind" can become a group process; the work toward clarification and delineation will actually be faster. This happens (I imagine) in an academic setting.. that is the traditional way that groups have thought together, thought new things into existance, or that individuals have found a fomenting environment that enriches and sparks their own thoughts to the point where those thoughts achieve fruition. Of course, in the past, that always left clinicians out of the picture.. they couldn't/didn't participate much. That's how (I think) how PT got so lop-sided and D-mode (see the cells and stars thread) in the first place.

Here's what I am in this moment "imagining," and feeling some glimmers of excitement about:
A collective writing endeavor, either here, in this forum (or if it ends up being too much or too overwhelming or counter to the vision Bernard has for this board, somewhere else).
I think that is what this whole exercise has been all along anyway, in the bullypit. Expanding, reiteration, checking, reformulating, polishing, puzzling, bringing different lights and different focal lengths to bear on the matter, trying to help it become understandable from lots of sides, sustained pondering, seeing how your/one's ideas fit with others' ideas, all very much not D-mode thinking, even while using D-mode published ideas, lots of them.

I can only "imagine" that anyone not wanting to join in is either;
1. operating from a sense of academic snobbery, whether it be conscious or unconsciously generated. I can't "imagine" why anyone interested in PT and its sustaining future would not find this good clean mental fun, otherwise, or;
2. viewing open cogitation on the internet as a bit of a scandal, and are taken aback, the way first contact with a nude beach might seem embarrassing to excessively modestly brought-up and dressed people.
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Old 01-01-2006, 04:46 PM   #34
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Diane,

Again, you’re absolutely right about what the Internet can offer, and it’s clear that though this opportunity is free and immediately accessible to countless therapists it has also exposed the selfishness and fear deeply imbedded within our community.

I just came in from walking Buckeye by the lake near my home and, as usual, a few things came to mind. Like Emerson, I feel that these walks generate thought that wouldn’t be noticed were I to constantly just sit. Of course, I’m no Emerson. Maybe that’s because I have National Public Radio coming through my headset while I walk the dog.

Anyway, back to the juggling thing. If the NOI people know how helpful novel and varietal motion can be, why do they reject the idea of moving unconsciously in this way? Don’t they know that ballet is both the most painful and the most tightly choreographed form of dance and that improvisational dance is just the opposite?

Successful juggling (like clear and concise writing) requires commitment and effort, a point I make repeatedly in my essay “Until You Cry” on my site, in case anybody here is interested in more about that. Ideomotion requires neither of these, and maybe that, like the ease of learning on the Internet, is what makes so many mistrust it. The most powerful and enduring meme in therapy is having an effect here.

Anybody know what that is?
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Old 01-01-2006, 06:40 PM   #35
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Quote:
Ideomotion requires neither of these, and maybe that, like the ease of learning on the Internet, is what makes so many mistrust it. The most powerful and enduring meme in therapy is having an effect here.

Anybody know what that is?
Hmmn.., that bad posture=pain?

I can think of another: that knowlege = commodity to be bought/sold/hoarded.
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“If you make people think they're thinking, they'll love you, but if you really make them think, they'll hate you." ~Don Marquis

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Old 01-01-2006, 07:01 PM   #36
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aaaaaaaaa...no.

But thanks for playing.

Obscure clue: This meme first appeared in Benjamin Franklin's Poor Richard's Almanac.
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Old 01-01-2006, 07:12 PM   #37
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Is this warmer?
http://www.sacklunch.net/poorrichard...,_No_Gain.html

(By the way, I never heard of Poor Richard's Almanac before. Must be one of those American things..)
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“If you make people think they're thinking, they'll love you, but if you really make them think, they'll hate you." ~Don Marquis

"In times of change, learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists" ~Roland Barth

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Old 01-01-2006, 07:17 PM   #38
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Ding ding ding.

See how easy it is to look smart if you use the Internet? Aside from that, it's painless.
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Old 01-01-2006, 07:36 PM   #39
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Another powerful but faulty meme is that the movement dysfunction seen in people with pain is also the likely origin of their pain.

Diane, I tap into the world brain all the time for my smarts too.
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Old 01-01-2006, 08:21 PM   #40
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I agree, the internet is not only easy to use, it is like the "undermind" of the whole mental world. The fact that we each possess a personally, culturally acquired undermind is a minor setback only, overcome by leaving clues such as Barrett's. Together we can all be smarter than we can each be separately.
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“Comment is free, but the facts are sacred.” ~Charles Prestwich Scott, nephew of founder and editor (1872-1929) of The Guardian , in a 1921 Centenary editorial

“If you make people think they're thinking, they'll love you, but if you really make them think, they'll hate you." ~Don Marquis

"In times of change, learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists" ~Roland Barth

"Doubt is not a pleasant mental state, but certainty is a ridiculous one."~Voltaire
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Old 01-01-2006, 08:41 PM   #41
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Time zones are a pest at times - in the Southern Hemisphere one tends to miss out on Internet conversations, such as the one above.
However it is now 0610 and I will try to catch up.

I wasn't canning guided imagery; just being cautious about its use in the wrong hands....

Walking and thinking go well together; not only Emerson thought this, but Rousseau as well. It was also Einstein's 'moment' when he was wandering through the countryside and suddenly realised the 'that's it' about relativity.

PTs around the world tend to follow what is written in the books and papers, rather than in the stars (not meaning astrology, either). I suspect the vast majority believe in the meme of 'no pain, no gain' because they have been installed from Day1 of their undergrad years to take control of patients; they sense that patients come to be told and taught what is right and what is wrong. PTs are also taught to be suspicious of unverified information, including thoughts, and although outside of physiotherapy they entertain all sorts of thoughtful possibilities, it does not apply to clinical practice. Diane said this neatly in the D-mode posts.
From what I have seen, the link with pain and movement dysfunction is irrevocably entrenched. The fact that patients do get better if a movement dysfunction is resolved, enhances that belief. The meme is OK, from my point of view, but the thinking behind it is faulty.

Someone who has a movement dysfunction has also been on the Internet, probably, and seen hundreds of sites promoting strengthening and stretching, and because the sites look soft and beguiling, take them onboard. They then might turn up at a physio clinic, asking for a program of exercises like the ones on Joe Bloggs' site. What does a PT do? Under pressure of time and perhaps, money, they will give out a program. It sounds appropriate, patient enjoys him/herself; then returns to say the pain is still there, but is sure things are better.
I think that is one of the difficult challenges facing PTs - not the complex patients, but lack of understanding about pain. If that was present, I think they would get excited about complex patients; without that understanding, which does not come in neat encapsulated pieces of D-mode thought, they feel they face a blank wall. At the end of it all, it may seem there is still a blank wall - but at least there's been some useful graffiti applied.


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Old 01-01-2006, 11:21 PM   #42
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Nari,

Would the phrase, "Use your powers for good" be too simplistic?
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Old 01-01-2006, 11:33 PM   #43
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jon,

Am not sure exactly what the phrase means...but when I think long enough about the words, I know what you mean; but using one's own powers means he/she has to be aware of this ability first, as a positive sort of repair kit.
Some PTs like the concept of the 'toolbox' approach to clinical practice, and it could be construed that one of the 'tools' is that phrase.....but in the wrong context.
It is much easier to say something like that to a patient than to another PT... and the PT has to understand it first before using it.
Having gone around in obfuscating circles...back to you.

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Old 02-01-2006, 12:08 AM   #44
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Hi Nari,

The phrase is often used in a humorous, trite sort of way. But it has its uses and I was referring to just about everything we've been speaking of here. Imagination has the ability to get us into and out of trouble (expressed in your last post). Thus my comment. There are those who use these double edged swords for dubious if not downright nefarious purposes.
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Old 02-01-2006, 12:35 AM   #45
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OK, jon..

I think I read too much into your intent. Sometimes I do that...imagination working overtime.
Also interesting is the fact that one person's imagination and expression of that imagination, is quite difficult to metamorphose with someone else's; such as the relationship between therapist and patient. Or intratherapist metamorphosis....

Metamorphic rocks (which I am reading about at present) are slightly simpler to come to grips with!

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Old 02-01-2006, 12:50 AM   #46
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Maybe you'll write a book one day titled, Metamorphosis Rocks.
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Old 02-01-2006, 01:49 AM   #47
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Maybe I will...or, how about a book called:

Metamorphosis of Consciousness amongst Physiotherapists...

or

some definitions:

Igneous thought:
original, deep model thinking, bowels of the earth stuff..

Metamorphic thought:
Picks up and blends with other thoughts; comes to a firm conclusion..

Sedimentary thought:
Anything, including detritus, can drift in and settle in layers, forever.




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Old 02-01-2006, 02:13 AM   #48
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Quote:
I wonder at the tendency to dismiss the use of imagination to promote a kind of health that would connect us to our capacity to change the current situation.
Quote:
if someone can’t imagine the motion necessary to relieve their pain they aren’t going to do it
I have a friend who is as New Age as they come and he 'knows' that imagining specific colours in his body can heal any health problem he is faced with. About one year ago he had a episode of severe LBP with lancinating radicular pain down his lateral left leg and mild radiculopathy. Since he had not experienced anything like this before he went to an osteopath. After several treatments he was OK but a two months later it was back again, so he decided to manage it himself. I asked him to show me and describe exactly what he did and he stood quietly imagining a brilliant gold light in his lower back, then he started to move, and the movement was of course exactly the kind we see when using Simple Contact. He did this three times for about 30 mins over 2 days. There has been absolutely no pain since.

He has also managed to remove 2 nasty tooth abcesses (thus avoiding having the teeth removed) and a scary looking sunspot from his nose.

Barrett, I am going to have to read the Dawkin's 'The Selfish Gene', right after I finish his history of evolution that I got for Xmas

Luke

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Old 02-01-2006, 02:42 AM   #49
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Luke, that is just plain spooky.....but thought provoking.

jon's phrase "Use your powers for good" comes to mind.

By the way, the ABC is showing Diamond's Guns, Germs and Steel Pt 1 tonight at 830...worth a look?

Sorry, other people - this is on Aussie national TV.

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Old 02-01-2006, 02:51 AM   #50
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Hi Nari,

If you are enjoying that Guns, Germs, and Steel also consider his new book, Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed
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