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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 21-02-2007, 05:33 PM   #101
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I think we are in a third flock. There have always been two flocks, neuro and ortho, in our profession, usually flying roughly parallel but apart. Maybe we are part of a thin bridge between them, a thickening along with but distinct from other "thickenings", like the noi group for example. We don't fly quite the same way as any of the others.

Eric, glad you are a growing tip.
Maybe you and all the other tips can grow right out of this PT matrix Jason has alluded to.

The way to provide a new profile (all the better to mentor successfully) is to create a new profile by organizing into a distinct group with distinct standards (i.e., a group that stands for some-thing or things that are distinct).

By the way, I went back in and added a footnote to that historical post.
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Old 21-02-2007, 06:51 PM   #102
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Another thought I've always had about our profession and its internal dis-cohesions, has been the struggle every profession, every walk of life even, seems to have over structuralism versus functionalism. There seems to be some kind of perpetual intrinsic dichotomy here, instead of synchrony or dialectic. Or maybe there isn't and it just feels like there is, to me.

1. Maybe the apparent dichotomy is an intrinsic human foible based on having two minds inside each head , two hemispheres that see the world differently and consider it differently and approach it differently.
2. Maybe it's natural that the PT profession (comprised of hundreds of thousands of individuals kept "unified" by establishing a public perception of "it"-"self") would be no different in this regard than any other.
3. Maybe it's just my own battle inside my own head that I'm always observing and (yikes ) projecting.

Loosely, I'd say that in PT the neuro pole has always been the functional pole, and the ortho pole has always been the structural pole. Which may shed some light on why historically men have gravitated to ortho rather than neuro - they like to work with "stuff" more than with "people", or at least so goes the myth..

Well, hello, turns out there's enough "stuff" in the nervous system to keep everyone enthralled for decades to come, enough to turn even the most entrenched structuralist into the kindest nicest softest functionalist the world has ever seen.
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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

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Old 21-02-2007, 07:35 PM   #103
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Diane,

I'm not sure if this is where I should place this, or if a new thread should be started. I couldn't help but see myself as a fourth group, using the recent analogies. I have always been from the neuro camp and I love to have recently learned that the fascia contains smooth muscle which thus would be innervated, (as an aside). But as I work through constructing what is happening under my hands, I find myself in limbo for lack of a better word. I was planning to take Barrett's course in Madison recently but was turned off when I felt like I was being astrocized for asking some questions on a different thread. Maybe Barrett misinterpreted my line of questioning, maybe many things with respect to communication problems and the filter we all come from as part of our "whole" experiences thus far in life. I love the anatomy work you post here, it is stuff that I easily can immerse myself in. My problem is when I try to move away from constructs that describe what I do and I go to place my hands to manually work, I draw a complete blank. I then fall back to my neuro sensitivity of how I assess and find what I have found before. Again, I try to treat...and then go what?????, and find myself back to my old "hand placements," and then the magic unfolds and the "magic" outcome of greatness occurs and I feel once again back in preschool feeling inept that I can't get through the void. It is asked on this thread how to bring others into what is discussed well here. Well, I have some thoughts on that, since I am in that situation. Is that to be a new thread? I don't know. When one deconstructs major held belief/thought systems one becomes like an infant that needs gentle, contacted, nurturing for learning. This is the part that is hard to find for me with Barrett, I leave myself open and I feel he assumes things about me, and like an infant, I close down from interacting with my outside world. Diane you keep me here and I feel I can trust you to help me deconstruct when I have figured out what I am deconstructing first. (LOL, I hope that makes sense). But, I needed physical contact with Barrett's coursework or anyone else who can present what he is referring to, but I didn't feels safe. Maybe like the polyvagal theory, my cognitive connection gets shut down, and I fall into the autonomic functions and escape. I think I understand what Nari was saying by the division, maybe not. But, if you find a person willing to leave the matrix, or at least entertain it, a nurturing unlearning/relearning process tends to be needed. This happened to the main character in the matrix movie, you couldn't hit him full blast with all the information at once, it would have been to mind-blowing. I'd love to provide other thoughts along this line if that is what I am understanding this thread has evolved to. If a new thread is to be fostered, maybe Diane you can help with how best to start that with what I have said here. I guess to when I alluded to a Wisconsin group, once again I was looking for that physical connection to assist the void I am in, sorry that was also misinterpreted. I tried humor and it didn't work either. I agree this forum is the "ultimate" in communication, but it doesn't help with the manual understanding that physical connection with a mentor provides.

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Old 21-02-2007, 08:02 PM   #104
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Yea, flock #4.
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Old 21-02-2007, 08:10 PM   #105
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Karie, I hear you.. I think all this probably boils down to is a touch of the old cognitive dissonance, first brought up for discussion in this group by Jon, the Linkmaster. We've all been there. I can remember being excited by learning that fascia has nerves too - I was still looking in through the wrong (mesodermal) end of the telescope.

Psst: By the way, don't worry about Barrett's apparent online curmudgeonliness - in person he seems to harbour no trace of it. I'm sure he'd be glad to see you at a workshop, and you'd learn a lot, even though you'd probably still feel dissonant inside, maybe even more, for awhile.

Meanwhile, functionally, as a functionalist, you are doing all sorts of good things. All that's needed is a slight readjustment of what "structure"-al system you think is more important to you as a functionalist.
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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

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Old 21-02-2007, 08:17 PM   #106
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My objections have always been the same, and they have nothing to do with Karie's practice. I simply won't tolerate being told how to behave.

Too old for that.
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Old 21-02-2007, 08:50 PM   #107
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Karie, you can't ask that particular leopard to change his spots for you. It's a self-change project. Nothing wrong with your learning skills, but you will need to take yourself in hand emotionally and not rely on outsiders to "handle" that part of you.

I've started a new thread that I hope can help.
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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 21-02-2007, 08:51 PM   #108
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Hi Karie,

I'd suggest that adding Barrett to your "ignore list" is the most tenable solution to your problem. Coincidently, it's what our profession has done to great effect when experiencing the same problem you describe.
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Old 21-02-2007, 09:34 PM   #109
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Hi Karie,

I think I understand what you are saying; correct me if that is not so.
The thought of a void after years of satisfying clinical applications is scary; but you have one big advantage over those who simply avoid self-change; you want to learn to fill that void, and gain a better understanding of why you do what you do.

Re Barrett; when I first "met" him on another forum, I thought: well, here is a bear living in the woods who appears and scares people with a few roars. But what this bear was saying/writing is what got me going. A literary bear who thinks, so he cannot be all ursine-like. If you listen, you will find the void filling up slowly. Someone else can answer your questions if you like, but as long as you listen to the roar (or song) the singer won't cause you any concern. And if you listen to the song in his class, the same applies.

You might find the 'spots' change without much effort - your perceptions of his spots and yours, too.
You're not throwing away years of hands-on work; don't think of the how being lost, just think of the why. Then the how follows.

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Old 21-02-2007, 09:57 PM   #110
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Nari,

that's exactly what I have been trying to express. I appreciate you and Diane's understanding and patience. Thanks !

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Old 22-02-2007, 01:54 PM   #111
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The truly creative mind in any field is no more than this: A human creature born abnormally, inhumanly sensitive. To them a touch is a blow, a sound is a noise…Add to this cruelly delicate organism the overpowering necessity to create…so that without creating something of meaning their very breath is cut off…they are not really alive unless they are creating.

Pearl Buck

I’ve long contended that ideomotion is a creative act. After all, it has in common with creative activity uniqueness and origins in internal conversation. I know a bit about writing and can tell you that creative writing surprises the writer as they write it. Similarly, corrective movement is surprising to the one doing it.

I’ve written of this extensively in Movement and Creation and Movement and Imagination and of its relation to pain relief here and in about a hundred archived posts here and there.

But there’s more. In An Alchemy of Mind Diane Ackerman writes of creative acts affect us and, in fact, protect us: “Art makes eccentricity safe…the arts teach us about how the brain perceives; they’re forms of knowing. In a sense, artists are ‘neurologists’ who unknowingly study the brain with techniques unique to them.”

Ackerman goes on to describe her dual interest in the beautiful things she might see and the less attractive chemical makeup of those objects. This is precisely Dawkins’ view in Unweaving the Rainbow. She says that artists have an “easily accessible synesthesia” and that this helps them to “combine unrelated things” much in the same way surrealism does.

So, what’s this got to do with magic?

More soon.
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Old 24-02-2007, 01:31 PM   #112
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Legerdemain is French for “lightness of hand” though its definition in English is “an illusory feat; considered magical by naive observers.”

In other words, what simply meant gentleness in one language has come to be associated with trickery in another, and that other is my own.

The method I’ve chosen for my own manual approach is invariably gentle and commonly thought to be magical in its effect. My students continually look for “the trick” I must employ, and, now that I consider the close cultural relation between lightness of hand and deception, I can appreciate why.

I work hard to overcome their suspicion regarding my deceptive abilities by speaking of the things science has taught us about the power of awareness and how that awareness can grow within the patient if manual handling doesn’t attempt to do something it can’t (like specifically permanently elongate connective tissue) and instead enhances another’s sensibilities (the work of Frederic Sachs and attention to Weber-Fechner).

Still, many continue to wonder at my skills rather than appreciate my knowledge; knowledge readily available to them. To the classes I become the magician who immediately explains the method behind the magic. This, of course, is not what they expect when they see some legerdemain, so I become to many a rather odd character and they wonder why I would do such a thing.

I figure that this is what they’re paying for.
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Old 25-02-2007, 03:41 PM   #113
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Default Diversion vs. Distraction

In the Stein and Day Handbook of Magic the author makes a clear distinction between diversion and distraction. From the book’s glossary:

Diversion – A way of fooling the audience by taking their attention away from something they should not notice.

Distraction – A violent way of taking the audience’s attention away from something it should not notice.

I’ve not seen this dissimilarity elsewhere in my reading but assume any skillful magician understands the significance of a subtle change in the size, speed or intensity of their movement. I’m wondering if this distinction might also apply to the manner of handling the therapist employs, and there are two things to consider here.

Currently there is a discussion amongst the moderators of Soma Simple regarding the effect of the depth of physical intrusion and the consequent response in the insula. I’m wondering if the literature would support the notion that gentle handling would invariably produce a different and more desirable output from the brain. Add to that the way I always speak to my patients gently when I first handle them. This is a diversion according to the world of magic, and I think that the speed and power behind most coercive techniques would be considered a distraction.

Might this account for the magical nature of certain forms of care?
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Old 25-02-2007, 04:08 PM   #114
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Barrett, I very much like the distinction this author drew between diversion and distraction (of attention).

Definitely, moving slowly, speaking gently, handling carefully, making the very first physical contact a soft warm one, will get the nervous system interested in what might happen next. If not much happens next, exteroceptively, the nervous system will devise some way to meet its own expectation perhaps - create its own diversion? As long as it isn't "distracted" by noxious exteroception, it will take it on the new info as "normal" and act as if it had always done things that way itself.

Of course, some priming will be in order or the system will be stalled by suspicion.
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Old 26-02-2007, 01:21 PM   #115
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Diane,

Great link. I’m struck by the emphasis on the unconscious here and have currently concluded that when magical therapy is employed a great deal is done and perceived unconsciously by both the therapist and the patient.

In Hiding the Elephant: How Magicians Invented the Impossible and Learned to Disappear by Jim Steinmeyer the author makes it clear that though magicians are are among the world’s greatest keepers of secrets, it is a fact that even if you know how their tricks are done, you don’t know much at all.

Perhaps this explains how I can reveal everything I know about Simple Contact and ideomotion and still can’t get people to employ this method in the clinic.

In fact, I think that this is the main thing this thread has taught me.
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Old 27-02-2007, 02:50 AM   #116
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This thread remains remarkably popular and I've more to say, but before I do I have a question.

Suppose I were to put together a one day workshop titled Manual Magic and used much of what we've discussed here as a way of introducing the neuroscience that supports my method.

Think that would generate some interest?
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Old 27-02-2007, 03:35 AM   #117
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Yes. People would be curious, their imaginations would be encouraged, and they might come away feeling more like magicians.
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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 27-02-2007, 04:04 AM   #118
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It might generate interest in the workshop, but would it be enough to increase the chances of Simple Contact being used in practice? Unfortunately, I'm not sure it would. Hope I'm proven wrong.

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Old 27-02-2007, 04:35 AM   #119
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Barrett,

It still would require that people start thinking and educating themselves, question what it is they've been doing and why. Spend some time doing simple contact not merely as a curiosity but as a practice...

Not that this is what i've seen happen or anything.

How about this for a workshop... "How to feel temporarily uncomfortable in the clinic an survive"

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Old 27-02-2007, 05:03 AM   #120
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Perhaps if there was a scantily dressed magician's assistant too. Just a thought.
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Old 27-02-2007, 05:14 AM   #121
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Hi Barrett,
I really like the idea. Simple Contact as magic, but knowledge of the neuroscience that supports it making a magician.

I can only imagine the variety of ways you could carry out this metaphor in a workshop.

I'm sure it would be wildly entertaining, and may foster a carry over that doesn't seem to often happen currently.

Quote:
it is a fact that even if you know how their tricks are done, you don’t know much at all.
I really like this quote. I feel as though there is an unteachable quality that I've seen from a few therapists that the above applies to. I mean unteachable in that it is the unconscious interactions that they excel in.
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Old 27-02-2007, 05:34 AM   #122
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Not to be confused with Barrett's Magus. A mere coincidence? I hope. I think that would be the risk from this change in tact. Not many are going to truly understand the nature of the magic on offer making it more susceptible to being discarded as just too alternative. Would people attend just to be entertained? Gosh I've become quite the pessimist all of a sudden!!

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Old 27-02-2007, 06:30 AM   #123
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Reluctantly, I'm with Eric.
I think the idea of magic being equated to the supernatural is a connotation that could only hurt your course and make it easier to lump it into the "alternative" category.
I think if people understood magic the way I have come to after reading this thread, that wouldn't be the case.

Also, I think Cory is absolutely right about some teachers having an unteachable quality.
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Old 27-02-2007, 12:54 PM   #124
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Eric and Jason,

I appreciate your concerns - they are my own. But I feel that it will simply be my job to explain what I mean by magic and get the class to understand. I'll holler if I have to, no problem.

Will people come just to be entertained? Absolutely! If there's one thing I've learned over the years it's that therapists for the most part have no intention of actually learning something at a workshop. They see it as "a day off" and the accumulation of CEUs for licensure. Entertainment is just iceing on the cake.
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Old 27-02-2007, 02:29 PM   #125
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Maybe the first point of magic that needs to happen before ideas are accepted is the presenters willingness to believe that the student can learn and will go on with the work. If one does not believe the listener of one's topic will go on and use it, IMO, one nail has already been put in the coffin. According to new Quantum Physic Matrix theory, that's the thought that begins creation, knowing it is already so. There's some wonderful "magic" in the research and work done by modern day physicists that end up finding truths that Albert Einstein and others put forth years before. Just like in martial arts when a participant smashes a board or brick, they don't think about their hand contacting and going through, they already focus on a point on the other side.

Just a thought!
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Old 27-02-2007, 02:49 PM   #126
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Hi Cory,

I too noticed this statement

Quote:
it is a fact that even if you know how their tricks are done, you don’t know much at all.
It's not just "know what's done" magicians who get a gig and thrive in the close-up gallery.
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Old 27-02-2007, 03:25 PM   #127
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Anytime I see the phrase "quantum physics" used to justify something seen in the world I live in I remember what Lawrence Krauss said in Beyond Star Trek: "The macroscopic world doesn't behave like the quantum universe; therefore, classical objects - the objects at macroscopic scales - don't involve superpositions of mutually exclusive possibilities." In other words, don't trust any theory about the world we live in if it includes the word "quantum" in it. See this for more)

I teach professional caregivers, people with enormous responsibilities and therapists with a minimum of a bachelor of science degree. I am often amazed at what they don't know and won't do, but I work continuously to get them to see the possibilities gentle care and modern neuroscience offer us if only we would study a bit and stand up to a therapy culture bent on production above all else. If someone needs the sort of continuously nuturant presence worthy of a kindergarten teacher they might not find me their cup of tea. If they're that needy, I imagine every day in the clinic is a long one because many patients might sense this and take advantage.

I don't enable it.

My pending choice to use the word "magic" reflects my appreciation for effective marketing but it doesn't mean that I "believe" anything at all.
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Old 27-02-2007, 03:39 PM   #128
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I'm reading from present day "Physics," it happens to be one of my passions. I would site you the numerous studies that have been done internationally concerning the subject of a field/matrix/ that has actually been proven "scientifically" in the past 2 years, but the "magic" being discussed here is different. Got it.

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Old 27-02-2007, 03:41 PM   #129
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Barrett, I agree. Thinking about magic is not the same as, does not equal, is not equivalent to, is in a different league than, "magical thinking".
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Old 27-02-2007, 03:49 PM   #130
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Barrett,

I did not see what you did as being tricky. I would equate learning magic with learning tricks. I do not interpret SC as being a trick but as having magical qualities.

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Old 27-02-2007, 03:51 PM   #131
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Hi Karie,

Perhaps you could start a new thread, posting the studies that you think are most relevant to the practice of therapy.
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Old 27-02-2007, 04:08 PM   #132
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Chance,

This is what I'm trying to impart in this thread and, eventually, to my classes i.e. Simple Contact appears magical but that it doesn't require magical thinking to understand and employ.

I think the previous post about how the word "legerdemain" has been altered from "lightness of hand" to "devious" is important to remember here. There are other examples of how ignorance makes all of this quite confusing to the less thoughtful practitioner.

Once the "secret" is revealed the "trick" disappears - but the magic remains.

Pretty good, if I do say so myself. Maybe this belongs on the front of my brochures.
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Old 27-02-2007, 07:30 PM   #133
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I've been keeping up with this thread with some interest and thought of it as I was reading a book Chapter entitled "Understanding the Need for Artistry in Professional Education", written by D. Schon in Educating the Reflective Practitioner. The Chapter caught my attention right away by starting out:

"In the varied topography of professional practice, there is a high, hard ground overlooking a swamp. On the high ground, manageable problems lend themselves to solution through the application of research-based theory and technique. In the swampy lowland, messy, confusing problems defy technical solution. The irony of this situation is that the problems of the high ground tend to be relatively unimportant to individuals or society at large, however great their technical interest may be, while in the swamp lie the problems of greatest human concern. The practitioner must choose. Shall he remain on the high ground where he can solve relatively unimportant problems according to prevailing standards of rigor, or shall he descend to the swamp of important problems and nonrigorous inquiry?"

Schon continues on to define the gaps in practice between research and practice, especially what he calls the "indeterminate zones of practice", and the gap between professional education (based on basic and applied sciences and technical skills) and real-life workplace situations in which there are no right answers or standard procedures.

He states: "In recent years, there has been a growing perception that researchers, who are supposed to feed the professional schools with useful knowledge, have less and less to say that practitioners find useful."

Schon recommends that we should instead focus our education of professionals on the characteristics of artistry shown by outstanding practitioners, who do not necessarily have more professional knowledge, but more "wisdom, talent, intuition or artistry". He defines artistry as "an exercise of intelligence" and states that "it is not inherently mysterious; it is rigorous in its own terms."

These ideas of teaching artistry in professional education spill over into clinical education models, in which a craft can be taught through "deviant traditions" modeled after schools such as music and dance conservatories, fine arts and design, where students learn by doing, coaching by professionals with more experience. In such an environment, "there is often a powerful sense of mystery and magic in the atmosphere" initially.

"Perhaps, then, learning all forms of professional artistry depends, at least in part, on conditions similar to those created in the studios and conservatories: freedom to learn by doing in a setting relatively low in risk, with access to coaches who initiate students into the 'traditions of the calling' and help them, by 'the right kind of telling', to see on their own behalf and in their own way what they need most to see'."

Perhaps teaching this kind of "magic" is done best in a nontraditional format, far from the lecture and pedagogy of traditional institutions, and closer to a creative learning environment such as architectural school. This certainly isn't what is found in most PT schools, yet we continue to insist that PT is both an art and a science.

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Old 27-02-2007, 07:40 PM   #134
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Sarah,

Wonderful post. I couldn't agree more. I'd also like to see some more discussion regarding its implications.

At the moment I've prepared this:

I mentioned earlier that the magician in the movie The Illusionist was primarily a craftsman. As it happened, his father was a cabinet maker.

In The Prestige the magician writes of his boyhood obsession with the magical arts, especially sleight of hand: My father planned a future for me in his business. If I proved as adept as he thought, he would at the end of my apprenticeship set me up with a furniture workshop of my own. Meanwhile, my other skill, the one I saw as my real one, was developing apace. Every possible moment of my spare time was devoted to practicing the conjurer’s art.

You guessed it; this magician’s father was also a cabinet maker.

My father, Andrew Dorko, the eighth of nine children, was the only one in his family to graduate from high school, and he did so from West Technical High School in Cleveland in 1931.

His primary technical training?

Cabinet maker.
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Old 27-02-2007, 08:55 PM   #135
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I wonder if the difference implied and inferred between magic and mystery is part of the teaching challenge. Those who do not accept SC, for instance, may be uncomfortable with their perception of what they see as mystery.
How can people just 'fall' into ideomotion within a second? It is magical practice, but they may see it as mystery, which may be of great concern to the EBPers. Even with neuroscience ed.
They will happily say their manips and mobs work like magic, but will tend to avoid saying mystery. In reality, they may see the two words as synonymous with respect to SC.

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Old 27-02-2007, 09:39 PM   #136
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Nari,

I see what you're saying, but I have to wonder how it is that these same people have never heard of solving a mystery. Haven't they ever heard of Sherlock Holmes?

Perhaps I need to say, "I know this appears mysterious, and until I lead you completly to its solving it will remain so. After that, it's up to you whether or not you still consider it a mystery."

Again, the primary quote - Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic - is perfectly appropriate to this issue. Clearly, many therapists don't possess the "sufficient technology" (modern neuroscience) to make Simple Contact and ideomotion something other than mysterious.

Typically, they never try to acquire it.
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Old 27-02-2007, 11:15 PM   #137
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Barrett,

Solving a clinical mystery is something somebody else does for you. Isn't that the meme in courses? I think with books, TV etc it is different, though I'm not sure how. It's perhaps a leap of faith from entertainment to work-related stuff....but that's another theme.

Definitely true that most therapists do not have the knowledge/understanding to take the perceived mystery out of ideomotive concepts. The academic knowledge may well be there, but the link has not evolved.

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Old 28-02-2007, 06:00 PM   #138
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Barrett, Our family just rented The Illusionist last weekend. I enjoy woodworking, but do not do enough to be any good at it. Watching those who are skilled in woodworking and the spatial skills of cabinet making is somewhat magical to me. Seeing the end work of cabinets that open in unusual ways and use hardware to makes the most of space that is not typically used is wonderful. It does appear magical. But it makes me look behind the doors, or under the space to see how it works. Even then, as I gain some understanding of the "secret", and the "trick" disappears, the magic remains in the appreciation and wonder of the working of the system.

By the way, I really like your quote about the secret, trick and magic. I think would be good on your brochure.

I work a lot with wheelchairs, and it is amazing how technology is used to solve difficulties in new and unique ways. Sometimes it takes quite a bit of exporation and learning to figure out how something is done. While it explains the mystery of how a chair works, it is still magical to see it work.
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Old 28-02-2007, 07:54 PM   #139
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Gerry,

Perfect.

I’m simultaneously reading The Prestige as I watch the movie a few minutes at a time. Turning from one to the next as I travel, I have time during those long moments of airline-imposed reflection to think about how these two ways of learning are intertwined, each doing things that the other cannot.

In the movie, Michael Cain’s voice is first heard explaining that there are three parts to every magic trick. The first is The Pledge.

In the book it is written of in this fashion: There almost invariably comes a moment during the exercise of my profession when the illusionist will seem to pause. He will step forward to the footlights, and in the full glare of their light will face the audience directly. He will say, or if his act is silent, he will seem to say, “Look at my hands. There is nothing concealed within them.” He will then hold up his hands for the audience to see, raising his palms to expose them, splaying his fingers so as to prove nothing is gripped secretly between them…it is established that his hands are, indeed, as empty as it is possible to be.

Do you ever do this in some fashion before you touch your patient?
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Old 01-03-2007, 04:51 AM   #140
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Default More on The Pledge

I anticipated a reply but since one hasn’t been forthcoming I thought I’d add to my comments about The Pledge.

The way I see it, this refers in the clinic to those few moments just prior to handling. Aside from the obvious emptiness of your hands, a great deal more may be implied by your manner. Nonverbally it should be clear that you don’t hurt your patients, that your handling will not threaten them or proceed in a meaningless or random fashion. Above all, your hands will reflect your compassion and knowledge.

If you can manage all of that (or some reasonable approximation of it), you’re ready to move into the next phase of your magical presentation; what the movie refers to as The Turn.
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Old 01-03-2007, 07:45 AM   #141
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Hi Barrett,
I got to watch The Prestige last night. Great flick.

In some tricks the object of the magic was the magician himself, in others it involved something else, like a bird in a cage.

When the pledge involved the bird and the cage the audience comes up to examine them.

I wonder if an analogy would be that time in which the patient is able to tell their story, ask some questions, and see how we respond. A chance to examine us to look for trickery and deception.
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Old 01-03-2007, 11:22 AM   #142
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Cory,

I think that the emphasis here on a mutual examination – not only therapist of patient but patient of therapist – is important when we speak of magical practice. A mesodermal focus fairly eliminates such a thing.

When I reviewed Butler’s The Sensitive Nervous System in 2000 I made sure to quote this line, feeling it came from a clinician with an understanding of the body similar to mine: “The fact that most clinicians think that they are going to sample the nervous system may be restrictive. In fact the nervous system is going to sample you the clinician, and your performance.”

Now I know why I chose that insight specifically. It speaks both to The Pact of Acquiescent Sorcery and The Pledge.

You may recall that in the movie The Pledge also includes the magician showing the audience “something ordinary.” What do you suppose that thing might be in the clinic?
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Old 01-03-2007, 09:16 PM   #143
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Their own body as a precursor? A movement prior to the initiation of magic?
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Old 01-03-2007, 09:34 PM   #144
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Whether by verbal or tactile stimuli, the patients' nervous systems will assess us before we do. What we see, hear or find may be the result of that first assessment; so what we discover could be an anomaly. This is particularly true of chronic pain presentation; their nervous systems have been through all sorts of encounters, good and bad, before we see them.
If every PT appreciated that he/she is being assessed both consciously and nonconsciously, it could change their clinical approach no end.

Diving into ROM manouevres and strength testing is not what the patient's system orders on its initial assessment.

Maybe that is one magical part of clinical encounters; we can alter that initial assessment of us.


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Old 02-03-2007, 01:47 AM   #145
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Default The Patient's Pledge

Nari,

Good point. But what if the eval form insists that you do? (Just kidding, I think)

Looking at The Pledge from the perspective of the patient has been rolling around in my head today. Cory suggests, “Their own body as a precursor? A movement prior to the initiation of magic?” And I presume that when he says “their” that he is referring to the therapist’s body. That’s what I asked about, after all. But when I read his reply something turned my attention to the patient’s body as a precursor, and that’s where it will stick until I write through it, I’m sure.

Is it useful to consider the magic that a patient might perform? If they have their own “tricks” to present in the clinic, and I’m sure they do, don’t they have a pledge of their own to work through before the therapist’s manual contact? And though The Pledge focuses on the ordinary nature and commonplace appearance of things, we should remember that it might very well be full of deception and artifice. Remember, what things appear to be and what they actually are doesn’t always match in magic. They aren’t suppose to, and they don’t call it a magic act for nothing.

Have you ever had a patient rather deceive you with movement prior to care? Have they done this clumsily? With remarkable skill?

Maybe all of this magic stuff is even more complicated than I thought it would be. Maybe it’s even more useful than I suspected.

Time will tell, and there’s nothing like a long, thoughtful thread on Soma Simple for sorting all of this out.

Let’s stick with it, and work out the patient’s pledge before we move on to the next element of magical presentation; The Turn.
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Old 02-03-2007, 02:27 AM   #146
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Hi Barrett,

I did actually mean the patient. My thought was that if we are the magician, and the something ordinary corresponds the object that is about to be the target of the magic, then the patient would be the object.

The state of the object pre-magic is what I was getting at. However, I would also think that the magic has begun as soon as we peak our head through the lobby door and say hello. But the same is true for the magician as soon as he emerges onto stage.

Quote:
Have you ever had a patient rather deceive you with movement prior to care? Have they done this clumsily? With remarkable skill?
Yes. I've also been decieved by their stated motivations. Clumsily and with remarkable skill.
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Old 02-03-2007, 02:52 AM   #147
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There really are two "objects" to deal with, the patient on the one hand and the patient's nervous system itself on the other.
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Old 02-03-2007, 03:17 AM   #148
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The pledge is a diversion though it may be truthful.
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Old 02-03-2007, 03:20 AM   #149
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Yes to the question:
Quote:
Have you ever had a patient rather deceive you with movement prior to care? Have they done this clumsily? With remarkable skill?
This can be conceived now as "fraud" by an unaware observer - cannot flex forward on command, but bends over to move something like a handbag out of the way, quite skillfully. Or clumsily, but not expressing increased pain.

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Old 02-03-2007, 05:24 AM   #150
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Jon,

Quote:
The pledge is a diversion though it may be truthful.
Maybe then, the pledge is not the movement pre-magic, but is instead a change made to that movement under the pre-tenses of "examination."

For example, it hurts to raise the arm. A manual force is applied allowing pain-free motion. Now we've got the person's attention. "Hey. They just changed my pain in a way that hasn't happened for a while." Assuming we don't drop the cards out of our sleeve, we should have a captive audience after that point.
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Cory Blickenstaff, PT, OCS
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