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Old 02-03-2007, 06:36 AM   #151
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Does the patient’s pledge bear any similarity to a poker player’s tell? When Barrett asked “The Pledge also includes the magician showing the audience “something ordinary.” What do you suppose that thing might be in the clinic?” The therapist, as magician, reveals his hand readily whereas most patients may strive to conceal theirs initially. It seems to me most patients probably go home after the first session and think to themselves, gee that therapist did nothing to conceal his hand! Cory, this links in to your second visit discussion as it’s then that I see the patient more comfortably reveal their own.

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Old 02-03-2007, 03:20 PM   #152
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Hi Cory,

I think the whole process is magical (No one part of it is "the magic") and Barrett is onto a useful metaphor. I'll qualify my comments as novice (if not simply wrong) but it seems the pledge amplifies the magical nature of the whole process.
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Old 02-03-2007, 03:53 PM   #153
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There is a process happening, invisibly, as soon as a patient comes in.. just from a primate perspective, they are on your turf so they feel uncomfortable. One has the advantage there. There is a therapeutic relationship that must rapidly form if anything is to be achieved. They need to feel as though they are in control over their own process, even on your turf. The inner tension heightens their senses.

Showing them your hands (which I literally do, come to think of it) is a good submission gesture if you are the HPSG. The room itself (the "stage", the therapeutic crucible) should be neutral, non personal, well-lit, suggestive of no subterfuge, so they feel they can 'find' their body (themselves, control) easily again should they happen to 'lose' it (themselves,control) for a few seconds.

The pledge? I'm guessing that it's a promise to explain to them what you're doing, and then stick to it. The edge we play as therapists is the patient's hope that we will change them versus their will not to let us change them without their permission and their fear of letting us. We have to be solid but not willful, perform our tricks as minimally as possible letting their systems do all the work so they can feel themselves changing, then give them all credit due.
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Old 02-03-2007, 04:41 PM   #154
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Hi Diane,

I agree that if a good trick is performed, it done so by the patient's nervous system/physiology.
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Old 02-03-2007, 04:45 PM   #155
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Default On to The Turn

More than I could ask for, but nothing less than I’ve come to expect from the moderators here. Are we the only ones performing magic do you suppose? Is the thing that separates us from the lurkers and non-contributors our willingness to practice in this way? The mysterious silence from our peers with an equal or greater amount of clinical experience and knowledge might become less mysterious in light of this thread.

On to The Turn. From the movie. “After showing you something ordinary, the magician makes that thing do something extraordinary.”

Where is this within the context of manual care?

(Diane's last post is a great place to start considering this)
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Old 03-03-2007, 05:56 PM   #156
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I guess I have trouble putting myself in the shoes of the magician or conceptualizing that way because I always sense the magic coming from the patient and I'm the observer if I'm doing it right so to speak. I figure my part in the magic is similar to the magician who asks an audience participant to come up on stage and help him with the "trick." Thus the audience member (me the therapist) is needed to assist the magician (patient) perform to completion a particular magic trick (therapeutic outcome). Since I talk alot with my hands, I guess I see your point about our hands showing something prior to contact.
I haven't seen the movie, so I am not referencing to the direct analogy your making Barrett, but I hope this follows the pattern of what you are leading us through
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Old 04-03-2007, 10:54 AM   #157
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Default The Turn - Emptiness and Ideomotion

Some of you know that I end my workshops by telling the story of how my brother and I walked through the house we grew up in after it had been emptied in preparation for sale. I say, “We filled the rooms with our imagination. And it was the emptiness that allowed our imaginations to take us where we needed and wanted to go.” (In fact, the first post I ever offered on Soma Simple, found here covers this subject quite well) Then I say, “Put your hand on a patient and empty the room.” At that point the course itself is over.

It occurs to me that the “empty hand” of The Pledge in Simple Contact says a bit more than might be implied by a manipulator. Not only is my hand empty but its touch creates an “empty room” into which the patient’s imagination can take them. Coercive care, no matter how gentle, fills the space, massively reduces the patient’s tendency and ability to act as they wish and pretty much destroys the magic. Other than that it’s perfectly fine.

But if The Turn is something that ordinary things do in extraordinary ways, than I must conclude that the nature and usefulness of ideomotion and all that follows from it is what we’re referring to when the phrase “manual magic” is in play.

In short, the magic won’t appear unless The Pledge includes an “empty hand.” The patient’s body and all it contains is then the ordinary thing performing in an extraordinary way.

Now the hard part: The Prestige.
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Old 04-03-2007, 09:18 PM   #158
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I’ve finally seen the movie The Prestige now and am left with the impression that this thread could go on for a while yet. My brain is getting a workout keeping up. Barrett forgive me if this is tangential, but it seems to me the hard part about The Prestige, is The Secret. The movie makes it clear that there is nothing more important than The Secret. The characters go to great lengths protect their secrets including living their act throughout their lives. What effect does divulging The Secret have on The Prestige, for that is what the therapist as teacher must do? Is there even a Prestige when therapy is done right? Maybe I’m getting a little lost.

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Old 04-03-2007, 09:48 PM   #159
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Default Intro to The Prestige

Eric, glad you asked.

As you’ve seen, The Secret is not included in the three parts of any magic act, but that’s okay. In order to sort this out you have to read the book while you watch the movie. It helps to be alone for days at a time as well, which is common for me but you might have trouble achieving this.

The Prestige is the final effect; it is the product of magic and it is distinct from the secret. From the book: “The wonder of magic lies not in the technical secret, but in the skill in which it is performed.” And, “Magicians protect their secrets not because the secrets are large and important, but because they are so small and trivial.”

Think about that last line in light of our work and your observation regarding the length if not just the intricacy of this thread is understandable.

Let’s stay with it anyway.
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Old 05-03-2007, 01:56 PM   #160
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I compiled a few reviews of the movie from the Internet and would like to add some of their comments before I go on to The Prestige in manual care.

“On one level, it’s disappointing to find out the magician’s secret: That’s all? He palmed the coin? He forced the card? Then again, I never was one to subscribe to Mark Twain’s sad belief that learning to pilot a riverboat robbed the Mississippi of its beauty; to me, learning the trick only enhances the showmanship used to pull it off.”

"The secret impresses no one," Michael Caine's character reminds his proteges in The Prestige. In other words, you better have something else up your sleeve besides actual "magic" because magic is lousy entertainment. It's cold and impersonal and usually has no dramatic heft. Most magic tricks are performed at a quick pace because the whole thing depends on a moment's misdirection and because if it didn't go by quickly, no one would ever sit for it. Even when it's successful, a magic trick earns nothing but a polite clap.”

“The prestige is the final act: "the twists and turns, where lives hang in the balance." It is the piece de resistance, the communal release of breath, when objects or people that disappeared in the first act reappear to general astonishment.”

For our purposes i.e. what all of this has to do with magical manual care, I propose the following questions:

1) What is the extraordinary thing our ordinary body can do?

2) What is the “trivial” secret behind the effect of Simple Contact?

3) When is The Prestige evident in the clinic and what makes it so?
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Old 05-03-2007, 07:21 PM   #161
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here is a good trick .......
http://uk.news.yahoo.com/05032007/14...s-morocco.html
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Old 06-03-2007, 05:36 AM   #162
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Quote:
1) What is the extraordinary thing our ordinary body can do?

2) What is the “trivial” secret behind the effect of Simple Contact?

3) When is The Prestige evident in the clinic and what makes it so?
1) Find its own way out of pain.

2) How simple the contact really is!

3) Upon the removal of contact when the newly expressed nervous system is able to function in more comfort.
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Old 06-03-2007, 01:50 PM   #163
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Cory,

Well, it only took 162 posts and nearly 3700 views to get here but it appears we’ve finally done it.

The way I put it to the classes is this: Human beings are self-corrective, making others aware of that is easy and getting patients to do this on their own is the point of your care.

You’ll find all three elements of a magic trick in there.

There’s this as well: When is a therapist not magical? I found an answer to this important question in The Prestige’s second magician, Rupert Angier. He’s played by Hugh Jackman in the movie and these details about his thinking appear in the book.

He says, “I know that I can reach the top of my profession simply by the excellence of presentation. My weakness is that I never understand the working of an illusion until it is explained to me. I have a poor magical imagination, and find it difficult to apply known general principles to produce a desired effect. I am dazzled by the shown and confounded by the unseen.”

This sounds like a lot of therapists to me. Their "presentation" is kind and engaging so they rise in the profession. But their knowledge of the deep model is deficient so they struggle. Their lack of knowledge leads quite naturally to the “advanced technology” of Simple Contact appearing “indistinguishable from magic.” Sound familiar?

When asked again and again how my work is different from the “unwinding” seen in the MFR courses, perhaps it would be best to say, “I am a magician, and therefore I understand the deep model and the principle behind this work. Our colleagues who do something similar without that understanding are making a mistake. In an effort to outdo all other therapies (not my intention) they end up doing some awful stuff.”

Consider what the Angier character does in the movie because his understanding is lacking but his ambition is enormous.

It’s pretty awful.
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Old 06-03-2007, 10:16 PM   #164
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http://www.csicop.org/si/2001-11/alternative.html

this is good information .

ian
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Old 07-03-2007, 01:44 PM   #165
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Ian,

Great link. I read this when it first came out in the magazine.

Here's a detail about Angier, the magician in The Prestige with no "magical imagination." Unlike Borden, he wasn't a craftsman of any sort. He was a child of privilege, lived in a mansion and bought all the apparatus he needed to perform. Without question he was obsessed with practice and the repetition needed to perfect his presentation.

But without any true knowledge of the materials he was working with, the kind of knowledge a carver has of wood for instance, something crucial was lacking.

Do you see where I'm going with this?
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Old 07-03-2007, 09:09 PM   #166
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Barrett,
I'm curious about your interpretation of the character Tesla in the movie, played by David Bowie by the way.

Michael Caine's character called him a wizard because his magic was real.
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Old 08-03-2007, 02:54 AM   #167
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Default Tesla the Sorceror

Cory, Good question.

From the Wikipedia entry: “Tesla was widely known for his great showmanship, presenting his innovations and demonstrations to the public as an artform, almost like a magician.”

I’d recommend reading the “personality” section of the Wikipedia page linked above. Tesla, according to some, “invented the twentieth century,” and you could make the case for that. According to the film’s director (yes, I watched the director’s commentary as well), Tesla was known to bury some of his amazing inventions before anyone in the public saw them. Fascinating.

In the book there’s a passage I underlined on page 52. Here Borden is discussing differing presentations of the same trick. “He performs the same illusion, using the identical secret, but he claims aloud that he is (doing the effect) by sorcerous means. Would not his performance be judged differently? He would appear not skilled but mystical and powerful. He would not be a mere entertainer but a miracle worker who defied natural law.”

Here we have a special situation, chiefly because any magician seeing such a thing has to decide what they should or shouldn’t reveal to the audience. They are, after all bound by professional honor.

We are not.

With Tesla you have the ultimate “advanced technology” and it is no wonder his manipulation of electricity appeared magical and he apparently did little to dissuade the public’s impression of him in this way. On the other hand, he was critical of Edison (an Ohio boy) because “His method was inefficient in the extreme, for an immense ground had to be covered to get anything at all unless blind chance intervened and, at first, I was almost a sorry witness of his doings, knowing that just a little theory and calculation would have saved him 90 per cent of the labor. But he had a veritable contempt for book learning and mathematical knowledge, trusting himself entirely to his inventor's instinct and practical American sense."

This sounds like a few therapists I know.

Tesla was such a contradiction. The ultimate scientist but full of ideas that would have required repudiation of natural law, an advocate of “free electricity” who kept huge secrets regarding his unique scientific advances.
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Old 09-03-2007, 02:18 PM   #168
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Default The therapist/magician and the abnormal neurodynamic

“When magicians invent their illusions, they usually follow a certain formula: think of something completely impossible, then figure out a way to apparently accomplish it.”

From Hiding the Elephant

This thread will soon become an essay that I can offer my classes and may form the basis of my teaching one day. I see the word “magic” as an incredibly powerful hook. No matter how people may feel about it, it gathers their attention for a few moments. During those moments a good performer will turn that attention into curiosity, concentration and intrigue. In the tension between the magician’s invitation to watch (“Are you watching closely?” is the tag line from The Prestige) and their careful attempts to hide all sorts of things, something surprising and unforgettable will occur, but only if everything is in place.

I flipped open Hiding the Elephant this morning and my eyes landed on the line above. It was on page 242 of the book and I haven’t read that far yet. I must say however that I would have expected it to show up earlier in a book about the nature of a magician’s thinking.

Therapists faced with pain of a nonpathologic nature whose mechanical origin lies in the nervous tissue are commonly of two sorts. They are either the one person in the department crazy enough to deal with this regularly or they are so low on the totem pole that they get stuck with these conditions. The essential diagnosis is abnormal neurodynamic, and it seems to me that these patients need a therapist/magician who understands what can’t be easily seen or measured and then performs the impossible; they make it disappear.

Teaching the patient how to do this on their own is clearly The Prestige, and now I know that my teaching must emphasize this.

Only this thread could have gotten me here.
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Old 10-03-2007, 03:59 AM   #169
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Default Juggler/Magician

A conjuror is not a juggler; he is an actor playing the part of a magician.

Robert-Houdin

I tried to quote this accurately earlier in the thread but missed it by just a bit. It struck me that Houdin’s appreciation for juggling, if it was that, reflected this very famous man’s transformation of magical presentation in the mid-nineteenth century. He recognized that a blend of actual skill and subtle but continuous deception would draw and maintain an audience’s attention like nothing done previously, and he was right. Interestingly, as a young man he was an excellent craftsman; specifically a watchmaker.

As I turn my attention to manual magic these days, this quote reminds me of a sort of trick I performed many times publicly in my younger days – juggling three bowling balls. (pictured below in 1987).

Now that I think of it, I came close to all three aspects of what I’m now calling therapy/magic; I’d demonstrate the weight of the balls (they weren’t Nerf bowling balls), I’d get them to fly about over my head in a few unlikely patterns and then I’d catch all three. I can see that I was a little weak on The Prestige part but would often get real close.

Ordinary to Extraordinary to Reappearance

Here I thought I was just juggling. Turns out I was performing magic.
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Old 10-03-2007, 02:09 PM   #170
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Default The Patient as Houdini

“Should I be using the tips of my fingers when I touch the patient or can I let another part of my hand make contact?”

I was asked this by student in a course in Tampa last year. I said in response that this wasn’t the issue, that, in effect, it was the kind of question that indicated she was focusing entirely on the wrong thing and that my lecture during the previous half hour should have made all of that clear.

I recall that she wasn’t happy with that response.

Today I read of Houdini’s career as an amazing and famous escape artist and terrible magician. In Hiding the Elephant Steinmeyer compares and contrasts his presentation to that of the equally well known Howard Thurston (another Ohio boy, born in Columbus in 1869). Houdini’s escapes represented the freeing of a small man (he was 5’2’’) from the bonds that early twentieth century culture was breaking, and the audience could relate. Similarly, sawing a woman in half, first performed in London in 1920, was clearly a response to the recent success there of the woman’s suffrage movement.

Maybe part of our task as manual magicians is to “free” our patients in some way. This sounds right to me, and reminds me of something said by Stanley Milgram: “Our awareness is the first step to our liberation.”

Simple Contact enhances that awareness and “escape” follows. We are, in a way, allowing the patient to become Houdini. But is this enough? I would say certainly not; that we have to add some of what that Ohio boy brought to magical performance.

And that’s in the next post.
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Old 11-03-2007, 02:29 PM   #171
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Default Houdini and Thurston

For all his success, it was a widely held opinion that Houdini was a very ordinary magician. He was however a great showman and performer, and there’s a difference. Liberace comes to mind. Neither were particularly artistic or versatile. The magician did perfect one illusion however; it was named “Harry Houdini;” truly a magical and superhuman persona. It lives on today. In person he was boastful and arrogant, and he was at once supremely self-assured and paranoid. He toughed out a ruptured appendix for several days before finally seeking medical assistance, but by then an untreatable peritonitis had set in and it led to his death in 1926.

Howard Thurston on the other hand was a consummate magician as well. Trained as a preacher in his youth, he would typically say in his opening patter, “I wouldn’t deceive you for the world.” It was a lie, of course, but his voice and manner made it believable. He performed no escapes and never took off his elegant evening dress (Houdini stripped regularly) but played upon the emotions of his audience, often using children as props and stooges in ways adults could never be used. Still, he conveyed a sort of “love” for his audience and they sensed this. Was it real? Does that matter?

If we are to become effective manual magicians therapists must combine these two aspects of early twentieth century legerdemain. We should seek to help our patients see the reality of escape from their ways of behaving and sensing themselves and the world that so commonly threatens them. At the same time we must convey a kind of caring that can only come from a suspension of judgment. Perhaps Houdini’s muscle laden body (a very real accomplishment) and Thurston’s elegant and convivial manner can serve as a model for any effective session of manual magic.
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Old 12-03-2007, 01:56 PM   #172
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Default Working hard not to know

Magicians guard an empty safe.

Jim Steinmeyer in Hiding the Elephant

As I stated at the beginning of this thread, my personal difficulty with magical performance was the amount of deception involved. Not that I don’t engage in deception as regularly as any other person, but I struggle with the sort of “in your face” lying and hiding and small falsehoods that magicians are obliged to engage in for a living. I once heard a story, perhaps apocryphal, of Houdini’s final few hours. Bedridden and in agony, he was attended by a young physician. Houdini told this man how much he admired his work in medicine. “But you’re Houdini,” the physician said. “You’re world famous.” Houdini said, “But your work is real, everything you do is as it appears. Most of what I do is a fraud.”

True or not, I never forgot this, and my frustration at not being able to perform magic diminished markedly.

My massive problems with so many of the methods taught at continuing ed courses in hotel ballrooms are not confined to what I consider the senseless and thoughtless procedures themselves, but with the secrecy that surrounds them. If the theory behind the application is not well articulated and freely available beforehand I have to wonder why. With the explosion of the Internet today no one should have to wait for a book to be published and then purchased in order to figure out what they’re getting into.

Before I go on I want to say this: Recently on the Evidence in Motion site someone who thinks very little of me said that I’d never articulated any theory behind my method. I assume they were being serious and that many reading that comment assumed it was true. It’s absurd, and I needn’t explain why here.

The fact is, there aren’t any real secrets in magic, and the public library will teach you all you want to know for free. What’s revealed here in the public’s sense of mystery is our need for it.

As is stated in the first few minutes of the movie The Prestige: "You want to be fooled because you're looking for the secret but you won't find it because you don't really want to know".

I don’t know why therapists would be immune to this attitude. It’s been my experience that they work hard not to know.
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Old 12-03-2007, 03:47 PM   #173
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Just a small addendum to that last post from my personal experience.

For years I’ve known a local and prominent clinician/manager physical therapist that always treats me cordially and listens carefully when we talk at national conferences. He tells others (including a number of his patients we’ve had in common), “Barrett’s a wonderful therapist. Nobody knows what he does.” I assume there’s a short but dramatic pause between these two statements.

I wrote him a letter suggesting I speak to his large staff regarding my work and, as I expected, he replied promptly and positively. “Thanks for this generous offer. I’ll talk to them about this and get right back to you.”

I wrote that letter four months ago. Nothing yet.

Remember, magicians hide their secrets not because they are large and spectacular in any way, but because they are small and trivial. I would say that mine certainly are, if they exist at all. I really don’t think I have any. Manual magic shouldn’t have any secrets.

The problem we’re having generating the interest this site deserves may be in our profession’s insistence on secrets.
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Old 13-03-2007, 12:47 PM   #174
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Default The Parallel of The Teasing Horror

As most of you know, I am convinced that it is the culture’s inclinations toward one thing or another that drive our practice. Having carefully watched both the culture and the profession change since the early 70s I feel increasingly confident in this assertion.

Similarly, magical performance has been influenced by the desire of a society for certain images and it has often been at the forefront of scientific advance, or, at least, its use of devices generally unknown to the public. Magnets, massive electrical apparatuses and esoteric methods of transferring energy all became part of the mysterious power magicians seemed to have. I see a parallel development in therapy with the introduction of modality care in the 40s, my friend the late Joe Kahn at the leading edge.

But the attention of the culture – what interests it – and what is best for its health are commonly at odds, and what we can’t do personally we love to watch others do in our stead. I think professional wrestling figured this out some time ago.

Now my point: There’s an analogous relationship between the development of training and manipulation for painful problems and the progression of the “sawing a woman in half” stunt we’re all familiar with. Let’s start with the illusion, and by that I mean the one on the stage.

As we know it today, this trick was first performed in 1920, and the magician who performed it, P.T. Selbit, invited the most famous of the English suffragettes to be his “victim.” Though the principles required for the trick were known for decades before, this was the first time it was presented specifically in this fashion. It was quickly followed by “Destroying a Girl, “Stretching a Lady” and “Crushing a Woman.” Do you see a theme here? From the chapter in Steinmeyer’s book describing this: “The Sawing Illusion roared through the music halls…Selbit had made a clean break from the Golden age mysteries...No longer was magic ‘All Done by Kindness’ as it was once advertised. Those days were over. Those magicians were disappearing.”

When I came out of school there was both time and an appreciation for “care” as opposed to “training.” Our apparatus was minimal and suffering further in order to suffer less (from pain) eventually was a concept foreign to our understanding. Now it’s the norm. But in a culture entranced by appearance, where, according to David Morris, “(we) cannot avoid versions of the same subliminal message: the healthy-looking body is the beautiful body; and the beautiful body is the healthy-looking body,” a utopian or ideal body is sought, and image is everything. Actual pain relief is very much a secondary concern.

I think that the epidemic of chronic pain is a consequence of this, and unless we become as magicians of the Golden Age, before what Steinmeyer calls “the teasing horror” took precedence, we will continue to struggle to relieve it with manual care.
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Old 14-03-2007, 12:49 AM   #175
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Default Brief review and proposal

A month ago (man, this is a long thread) I wrote this:

1)Therapists want magic.

2) Magic is distinct from superpower; it contains a maneuver that, though perhaps not visible or commonly understood, does not violate physical law.

3) Magician’s may choose to reveal their method or not.

4) In magic there’s a method and a presentation, these represent a meme with fidelity and fecundity.

5) The enduring effect of any meme is dependent upon the reaction it produces.

6) We shouldn’t underestimate the tendency of the neurobiologic approach to treatment to literally scare our colleagues, especially when it messes with their billing.

7) Therapy resembles magic when it’s practiced truthfully, but that is the very reason it can’t be practiced in that way - it appears too magical.

8) We all have a desire to dilute reality with fantasy, to make reality seem simpler and more aligned with what we wish it were. But at the same time, all of us have the potential capacity to sift sense from nonsense, if only we were introduced to the distinction in a sufficiently vivid and compelling manner.

Looking back, I can see that the primary weakness of manual magic is its fidelity, fecundity and endurance, to put it in memetic terms. In short, it’s difficult to get students to recreate what they do in class, the implications of its application in the clinic (if you take success out of the equation) are largely negative and this method seems not to endure beyond the introduction of any other method.

Beyond this realization, I began to liken treatment itself to a magic trick, always containing three parts: The Pledge (likened to the therapist’s manner, empty hand and an ordinary human to work with), The Turn (the application of Simple Contact followed by ideomotion) and The Prestige (the vestiges of education and self care).

Maybe becoming magicians, or, at least, learning what magic is all about, should precede the therapist’s education in manual care. It should also be determined whether or not somebody is interested in “the secret” (read theory) before they are allowed into therapy school.

Maybe that will work.
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Old 15-03-2007, 12:25 PM   #176
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Default Time on my hands

Well, I’ve begun throwing cards. This was inevitable, I guess, given the amount of time I have on my hands these days.

After a few thousand attempts I’ve found that I prefer the Thurston Grip and that both my distance and accuracy are improving. They really couldn’t have gotten any worse. My goal is to suddenly flip a card clear to the back wall of any room I’m speaking in. I think it’s important to do this without hitting anybody in the face, so I’m going to work especially hard on my accuracy in the coming weeks.

Somewhere along the way I’ll figure out how this is related to manual magic. I think it’s in there somewhere, and I’ll find it.

I'll let you know how it goes.
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Old 15-03-2007, 12:49 PM   #177
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I think I'm going to have to get back to a Simple Contact course. I'll just make sure I sit behind someone tall.
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Old 15-03-2007, 01:50 PM   #178
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Is this the trick you're practicing?? Jon, you're giving too much away, I can now only assume that you'll be in on the act...

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Old 15-03-2007, 01:53 PM   #179
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:conf used:
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Old 15-03-2007, 01:58 PM   #180
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Just by coincidence, the cover story on the front of this week's local free paper was about a group of local magicians.
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Old 15-03-2007, 05:59 PM   #181
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Yesterday I had a patient call me a magician/wizard After a session of Ginger mobs resolved her aching and painful on movement shoulder..
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Old 15-03-2007, 08:34 PM   #182
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Ah, Kongen, so someone is doing Ginger mobs - very interesting.
He would be very pleased,.....I think. One can't tell with these Mexican bushies. (Nothing to do with GWB).

The card-throwing image of Barrett that I have is quite Dali-esque, for some reason. Quite evocative.

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Mexican = south of the border = Victoria.
Bushie = someone who lives outside a major town
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Old 16-03-2007, 12:57 AM   #183
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Cool video Eric. I think this is what Barrett is talking about. Since this is Soma, this seems to be appropriate to post also.
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Old 16-03-2007, 03:21 AM   #184
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This, in my opinion, is an example of something ordinary doing something extraordinary. I mean it's just touch.

From Deric Bownds' mind blog: Brain response to threat
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Old 16-03-2007, 12:58 PM   #185
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Paraphrasing Steinmeyer again:

Most magicians depend upon the audience’s coming up short in their own explanations of their illusions. They expect that people will never reach the point of true understanding. But some, if they view magic as a great intellectual exercise, chose to present the secret to the audience and then force them to rule it out in their own minds by means of additional trickery. These delicate balances of lies and truth give some performers weak knees.

Yesterday a frustrated student said to me in response to my seeking some meaningful information about her patients, “My patients hurt because they have pain!” I assume she was being serious, though that makes her statement no less remarkable in its ignorance. I feel for her patients.

As it turns out, this same woman had very little sense of her own system, and the changes felt and displayed by the people around here were neither felt by her, nor seen as everyone else saw them. She literally couldn’t feel her own body move.

I think her personal problem with sensation is telling. Without a sense of ourselves we cannot have a sense of others. It follows that no real understanding of that which cannot actually be seen, (pain, for instance) can be part of our work. I doubt she’ll ever be much of a manual magician.

Magicians, if they are any good, must understand the tiny details of their own secrets, and, if they choose, they can play with the revelation and concealment of this information in order to perform in a certain way. As Steinmeyer says, a little revelation goes a long way, and some magicians try to hide everything, especially who they actually are.

What should we hide from our patients; from our colleagues? When, if ever, should manual magic be kept a secret?
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Old 16-03-2007, 01:23 PM   #186
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Hi all,

I love close-up and Bernard Bilis is a very famous artist in France.
http://www.bernard-bilis.fr/pages/close_up.php

On of his trick was to say to the "patient" to look very attentively to the cards he put on the table and every four cards, he threw it over the head of the "patient".

This one was following the movement and his head returned to the table, counting the next three ones.
Unfortunately he was never aware of this flying card that made a big laugh from the public.
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Old 17-03-2007, 02:47 PM   #187
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Default The Magician or the Audience?

The exposure of magic’s “secrets” isn’t a new phenomenon by any means. In 1908 the great David Devant published the details behind several of his most enigmatic effects. When asked to defend this breach of his profession’s customs, he said, “I don’t think I’ve broken any rule. I owe it to posterity to give the world my secrets before I die. (Anyway), the mechanics of a trick are not the secret of its success… that depends upon the artistry of the magician.”

As I’ve pointed out elsewhere in this thread, magic’s secrets are often trivial and small though they might at the same time be remarkably intricate and clever. Magicians know that the audience doesn’t really want to know them in any case. The audience would rather be fooled.

Over on the Evidence in Motion “My Connect” website there have been some recent threads about the nature of movement in response to coercion and about the neuroscience of pain. I participated for a while but left after being personally insulted one too many times. To their enormous credit, Cory Blickenstaff, Diane Jacobs and Jason Silvernail (all moderators here) have all stayed and continued to make the case for careful reasoning and well-supported theory. Those who oppose them there consider this pretty much a waste of time or worse. I’m not kidding. They are interested in outcome studies only, and you know what I think of that, uh, reasoning.

I think there’s a correlate here to the magician and the typical member of the audience. “Just show me the trick,” one says. “Entertain me. I don’t want to think very hard about what it was I just imagined I saw or what it might mean on more than one level. I’m just here for a good time.”

But if one magician watches another perform, he or she is watching with a great deal more care. Their appreciation for small things makes the entire experience richer and more vivid. Beyond that, they ponder for long moments what it was they didn't see. Respectfully, they seek that secret, much in same way the moderators here seek the deep model of the brain as it has been and continues to be revealed.

If our profession is to ever progress it will need a lot more of this. Those who choose to sit in the audience, only waiting to be entertained by outcomes and not wanting to learn how the "trick" is done have simply abandoned science. This, I contend, is both foolish and lazy. And there's no way their patients won't suffer for this.

No wonder their attitude toward practice confounds me. And no wonder the moderators here infuriate them to such a degree.
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Old 19-03-2007, 12:54 PM   #188
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Default The Irony of Manual Magic

Everything that man has handled has a tendency to secrete meaning.

Marcel Duchamp

The more I write about manual magic the more convinced I become that magical performance and successful manual therapy are deeply connected through a kind of irony not normally noticed, and never discussed openly. We can do it here.

I wrote this a few years ago in an essay titled Searching For Our Own Secret, “It is reasonable to assume that people in pain from mechanical deformation search for the movement that might relieve them. In fact, nothing less will do if there is to be any prolonged relief. This search is the underlying fundamental issue of each visit to the therapist, and when it remains unaddressed, therapy is often no more than palliative.”

When magicians are good at their jobs it is because they anticipate the way an audience thinks. – Jim Steinmeyer

Surrounded by sensations they cannot fully understand or control, the patient in pain seeks the advice and manual handling therapists are said to provide. If the therapist is a manual magician they will happily provide a narrative regarding dysfunction and pain that the patient can understand but then they stop just short of providing any coercive touch or choreographed exercise. The manual magician knows that beyond appropriate education the movement we all seek must come from a “secret” place – the patient’s unconscious processes, what Guy Claxton likes to call “the undermind.”

Knowing how humans think, the manual magician simply allows those thoughts to form the movement the patient is paying for. It’s called ideomotion and has been discussed elsewhere.

Now the irony: People often attend a magic show fully expecting to be fooled and fascinated by a magician who understands how to do so. When this doesn’t happen, when they can easily see the method behind the effect they feel cheated, despite the fact that it was their own careful examination of the effect that led to their disappointment. Deep down they know the performer isn’t a superhero with special powers but they want it to appear so. Similarly, when in pain, they attend therapy expecting things to happen they don’t fully understand but will “go along” with if the payoff is relief. In this instance however a manual magician in their fullness (as opposed to their shadow form, and therapy has plenty of that) will explain everything. There are no secrets in therapy, or, at least, there shouldn’t be. But often I found that when I revealed the “secret” of pain relief; the patient’s own self-correction, their understanding was mixed with a distinct disenchantment. They would have preferred to see a superhero, not just a magician.

This is something I’ve also seen countless times among my students. They come to class fully expecting to have their own amazing powers revealed and honed to a fine edge, but when I show them that it is the patient’s power that resolves the pain they are often disillusioned. They wanted to become the superhero they’d always hoped to be – not just a magician bound by natural law.

Ironic, huh?
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Old 20-03-2007, 01:03 PM   #189
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Default More on irony and paradox

The wonderful effects created on stage are often the result of a secret so absurd that the magician would be embarrassed to admit that that was how it was done.

There, in a nutshell, is the paradox of the stage magician. The fact that a trick is “spoiled” if its secret is revealed is widely understood, not only by magicians but by the audience they entertain. Most people enjoy the sense of mystery created by the performance, and do not want to ruin it.

From The Prestige

When I introduce therapists to manual magic I put them into a bind. Having sensed the highly reasonable nature of the theory and watched their classmates (and themselves) change dramatically; they are now faced with returning to the clinic with an understanding that undermines traditional approaches to movement therapy for pain. Their boss wanted them to learn something new, but not something so profound that it will call into question anything already being done. They wanted only addition, not subtraction. After all, if manual magic is more rapidly effective something’s not going to be billed for. The manager says, “Who wants that?” This is both ironic and paradoxical.

I looked them up:

Irony

1) A technique of indicating, as through character or plot development, an intention or attitude opposite to that which is actually or ostensibly stated.

2) (esp. in contemporary writing) A manner of organizing a work so as to give full expression to contradictory or complementary impulses, attitudes, etc., esp. as a means of indicating detachment from a subject, theme, or emotion.

3) An outcome of events contrary to what was, or might have been, expected.


Paradox

1) A statement or proposition that seems self-contradictory or absurd but in reality expresses a possible truth.

2) A self-contradictory and false proposition.

3) Any person, thing, or situation exhibiting an apparently contradictory nature.

4) An opinion or statement contrary to commonly accepted opinion.

Clearly, all of this suddenly poured into the previously stable environment of any clinic will be upsetting, no matter how reasonable it might actually be.

No wonder manual magic is rarely practiced once it is learned.
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Old 21-03-2007, 12:44 PM   #190
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It occurred to me last night that the problem with Simple Contact is that it appears too much like magic. The irony is this: For manual care of the abnormal neurodynamic to be both sensible and successful it has to appear this way. Oh well.

This thread seems to be winding down but with over 5000 views at this point the subject shouldn't be abandoned.

I’m thinking that I’d like to produce a booklet and make it available to my classes. It would contain much of what’s been written here and some additional commentary. The front cover would read “Manual Magic – A Proposal”

Chapter Titles:

1) Magician or Superhero?

2) The Quality of the Hand

3) The Performance of Close-Up Therapy

4) Manual Care and Memetics

5) The Nature of Craftsmanship

6) Magical Effects in Three Parts

7) Revealing the Secret

8) Paradox and Irony


What do you think?

Did I miss anything? Is the title okay?
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Old 21-03-2007, 12:47 PM   #191
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Barrett,

about the booklet => Just give the text and you'll have it in pdf version few minutes after.
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Old 21-03-2007, 01:02 PM   #192
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Bernard,

You'll have it. Thanks.
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Old 21-03-2007, 01:12 PM   #193
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Quote:
What do you think?

Did I miss anything? Is the title okay?
The concept has grown on me. I like it.
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Old 21-03-2007, 01:40 PM   #194
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Old 21-03-2007, 02:27 PM   #195
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Sounds like to me like chapters for a new book.
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Old 21-03-2007, 05:22 PM   #196
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Old 22-03-2007, 03:31 PM   #197
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Old 22-03-2007, 04:15 PM   #198
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So small...

Here is mine.

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If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough. Albert Einstein
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Old 23-03-2007, 01:33 AM   #199
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I can't wait.
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Old 23-03-2007, 04:10 PM   #200
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Bernard - quelle truc! :-)
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