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Old 27-06-2007, 02:19 PM   #1
Gerald Vande Velde
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Introduction

When I first experienced fascial release, it was in the 1970s. I got Rolfed. I then heard about a professor at Michigan State who could “break fascial adhesions with the specificity of intent.” It was John Upledger, and I got my first cranial work.

I went on to complete advanced training in Rolfing and study with Upledger and Barral, and I recall somewhere in those early years thinking to myself that connective tissue connected more than anatomical structures. It also seemed to help people connect with each other. My boundaries seemed to become more plastic and dynamic and a function of my intention and the intention of the other.

Flash forward to this century, hiking in wilderness, discovering more connections, ancient Hawaiians, Animism…and discovering in my jail counseling groups that core malaise—the sense that there is something essentially wrong with or missing in ones life—appears to be core loneliness.

My hypothesis is that the disease which fascial release heals is our disconnection with life around us.

I made a web site to explain this idea further and to share the exercises from the jail treatment groups that led to my conclusions: http://coremalaise.com. I’d love to have you take a look and give me any feedback you wish.
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Old 27-06-2007, 04:59 PM   #2
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Gerald,
You are unlikely to find much in the way of support for myofascial theories of function here, nor are many qualified in psychotherapy. When you write;
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I’d speculate that the Kidneys could be involved with this, combining ideas from Chinese medicine and Visceral Manipulation by Jean Pierre Barral that the kidneys are the center of emotion, effecting a sense of deservedness, and providing an emotional nexus between past and future.
With as straight a face as I can muster I have to ask, "are you serious?"
Fantastical statements like this do nothing to support the work that you do. The kidneys help excrete waste from the body, a basic physiology text will factually tell you all you need to know. I'd look further cranially to discover more about emotions. That's just me though.
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Old 27-06-2007, 05:18 PM   #3
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That's just me too.
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Old 27-06-2007, 11:45 PM   #4
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Gerald,

What you are expressing here has been expressed in similar terms - "oneness", "emotional release" and so on - many times before under various guises. I am pleased that you have found some reasons for 'core loneliness' but I would prefer that these reasons have some logical backing in the sciences, rather than in mythology. I did not find any such support.

There is no such institution as the University of Australia. We have about twelve major universities.

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Old 03-07-2007, 12:20 PM   #5
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I appreciate your thoughtful reply. With the exception of Jim Oshman's work, I have found the sciences lacking in explaining acupuncture, fascial release or cranial sacral manipulation and nearly mute on the subject of aboriginal world views. I do find value in some mythology. Regarding the University I contacted, sorry, it was over twenty years ago and I forgot. After a Google search I discovered it was ANU, The Australian National University. Thank you for sharing your point of view.
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Old 03-07-2007, 01:52 PM   #6
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Quote:
I have found the sciences lacking in explaining acupuncture, fascial release or cranial sacral manipulation
Hi Gerald,
This is nothing that a little wider reading can't solve for you. Unless of course you actually mean scientific support for the hypothetical constructs of these treatments, in which case there is a perfectly good reason.
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Old 03-07-2007, 03:11 PM   #7
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Hi Luke,
I like the idea that there is a perfectly good reason why science does not support those hypotheses. Science generally doesn't try to. I believe that the huge field of phenomenology, reporting and studying what people see, feel, experience, as well as the attachment of value and meaning to those experiences, is mostly outside the reach of science. Trying to stretch science to embrace manual therapies is self-legitimizing pseudo science. Why else bother? Manual therapies belong with skilled labor and art, learned by apprentices from masters.
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Old 03-07-2007, 03:55 PM   #8
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Gerald,
Is this state of affairs how you think manual therapies should be left? Outside science?

I have no disagreement with the point that the best way to convey the actual physicality of the applications is one-on-one, getting the pacing, timing, pressure, all that right, but this method of passing on ideas about what might or might not be happening inside the body of the patient permits the unfettered passage of too many perceptual fantasies and wild, biologically unbelievable memes from one practitioner to the next, IMO..

Do you not think that perhaps science could be a useful tool to help deconstruct most if not all of the silly ideas that permeate otherwise probably quite helpful manual interventions?
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Old 03-07-2007, 06:40 PM   #9
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No, I don't think that is a good use of science. For me, the best science would be eager to study wizzardry, for example. Not to disavow wizzardry, but to say, "wow, that's really complicated, I wonder what's happening there?"
Another example. I communicated a few times with Bruce Charlton, author of "The Malaise Theory of Depression." I thought, hey, malaise, maybe we are thinking along similar lines. Dr. Charlton's job apparently is to develop new hypotheses in the field of medicine. His response to me was something to the effect: "I think we are thinking on very different lines, but that does not mean I think you are wrong."
That suggests the kind of science I admire highly: endlessly curious, open minded, engaging. Not put downs of things we do not yet understand. I believe we simply lack methods for studying some of the more interesting aspects of manual therapies. And because of the usefulness of those therapies, we need not be restrained by the lack of scientific support.
By the way, I really do appreciate this conversation with you. I don't find that many people at my breakfast place who are interested in this issue.
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Old 03-07-2007, 09:38 PM   #10
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Gerald,
How then would you have science proceed? It has already ruled out energy fields, magnetic fields, etc., ... 13 white New Zealand rabbits were sarificed to show that cranial sutures don't move.... Occam's razor suggests that it would be prudent to stick to biological reality. What else would you have it investigate?
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Old 03-07-2007, 10:22 PM   #11
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I may be wrong, but I have the sense that we're dealing with this sort of thinking: Ruling things out isn't science's job - it's science's job to continue to look until it finds what we believe to be there.

Am I close?
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Old 03-07-2007, 10:42 PM   #12
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You're right, science can rule things out. And I do feel sorry for those rabbits. I'd just rather science not rule out things I like and feel attached to.
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Old 03-07-2007, 11:15 PM   #13
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Gerald ,

http://www.unk.edu/firstyear/index.php?id=13833

have you read this --thought about it when you talked about wilderness.

I admire you for being forthright about your views and exploration-even though the models in TCM for instance do not fit well with the usual discussions here .

What I would like to pick up is the mythical ideas . I spent a weekend with Richard Holloway, a brilliant mind and inspiration . He was a former bishop but is head of the arts council and has really lost the certainties of old .....well he has none which is a revelation (that's why he's not a bishop!) Anyhow he talked a lot about mythology and the danger of both ridiculing myths(see the power of literature and religion when read as poetry for instance) and the danger of taking them literally (see dogmatic fundamentalism) . Fundamentalism is practised in medicine --see strict bio-evidence based practice and the strict insistance that science is the only tool for understanding human behaviour -it isn't. We seem to think that science guides human behaviour and our practice and often it doesn't since medicine is not in my opinion a natural science . Sure we have reductionist natural science but medical practice is an art that denies that it is one since most problems are constructions .
This does not mean that i 'believe' in TCM as a construct but it obviously 'works' in certain problems ..see Dylan Evans the acute phase response if you google that you will get an intersting paper....
What has happened I believe since you studied rolfing etc is that brain science has caught up with some of the experiential phenemonology you and many others have experienced (me too).....See the beast within on Deric Bownds site for a start , then go to Bruce Charlton (the malaise guy with brilliant ideas and his reviews on somatic markers ) This kind of neuroscience for me is exciting as it is in the best spirit of skeptical science and helps to reduce guruism and branding at bay (a key problem i believe).
Anyhow , I am currently doing an essay on medicalisation and firmly believe medical science is naive and has an exhaulted opinion of its worth regarding its function and capacity to influence the conditions you seem to be interested in- which are cultural and social issues .

yours ivan illich jnr
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Old 04-07-2007, 01:37 AM   #14
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It appears you were spot on Barrett.

I wasn't surprised.
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Old 04-07-2007, 02:18 PM   #15
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Thread summary can be found here:

Quote:
I'd just rather science not rule out things I like and feel attached to. - Gerald
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Old 04-07-2007, 02:49 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerald Vande Velde
With the exception of Jim Oshman's work, I have found the sciences lacking in explaining acupuncture, fascial release or cranial sacral manipulation and nearly mute on the subject of aboriginal world views.
I can't agree with this point of view. If Jim is a talented writer, the given explanations remain weak and contradictory.
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Old 04-07-2007, 03:36 PM   #17
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'I'd just rather science not rule out things I like and feel attached to'

isn't that the same with most people ?

hx of medicine/science is not scepticism it is largely intransigence much of it based on belief and vested interests . A lot of manual therapy fits in here too, a lot of it is 'disease mongering' --spinal checks for alignment etc .
Fascial restritions / releases etc likely based on fauty logic but so are a lot of potentially more dangerous reasoning strategies like mri .
The easiest form of ideomotion /fascial release is to sit on a meditation cushion which costs nothing and requires no one else to do it ?
As i have said before manual therapy and much of medicine is hardly a natural science ?
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Old 04-07-2007, 04:40 PM   #18
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Ian,
Glad to hear from you. I was beginning to feel out of place and out numbered. I looked briefly into those other references you pointed to and found each to be in line with my interests, especially Robert Wolf and Deric Bownd. I wonder if the effects of endorphins are visually observable or in other ways palpable. They may explain what I observed with group disclosure of core malaise. I agree my interest is social and cultural, but I also wonder about physiological responses to cultural influence including "neuroanthropology and neurosociology" (words I picked up but have been unable to track). I wonder why my work with connective tissue effects one's size of affect and sense of personal boundary. And my cutting edge has to do with the role of projection in getting responses from others.
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Old 04-07-2007, 05:10 PM   #19
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/en...&dopt=Abstract

here is an abstract that may be of interest....been posted before but may interest you Gerald --lots more known about limbic /insula etc --see ledoux the emotional brain if you haven't already.

For social brain stuff here is some interesting material for you ?


http://www.salrestivo.org/MB&Sfinal.05.doc <http://www.salrestivo.org/MB&amp;Sfinal.05.doc>
Have a look at this ---
I would recommend without any reservation David Morris --also anything
written by iona heath (the reviewer here is worth reading )
http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/320/7227/125/a

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Old 04-07-2007, 05:43 PM   #20
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http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/15359/

see if you can get this --it might be very helpful --its an excellent article --the abstract is here . I have the print copy but don't know how i got hold of it!
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Old 05-07-2007, 01:30 AM   #21
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I have to agree with what Richard Holloway was saying (thanks ian s) - mythology uses symbols as metaphors and it is incredibly important not to mistake the the symbol for the thing itself (leading to fundamentalism).
Medicine's very much like mythology in many ways - we use symbols too. It's just we feel a lot surer of our symbols as we've x-rays, MRIs etc. And it seems in medicine that we are forgetting a lot that
a. they are metaphors - not the thing itself
b. we need those symbols as there are still so many things that we don't understand and cannot be explained or proven in RCTs but that nevertheless we see working in day to day clinical practice. It is how science advances.
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Old 05-07-2007, 03:32 AM   #22
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Right on Clarett! I couldn't agree more.
And thanks again Ian, I've checked the references you cited and find them all closely related to the phenomena I am investigating.
This thread has been compelling and immensely helpful. Just having someone understand my point, and share some interest in it as well, is supportive.
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Old 05-07-2007, 04:51 AM   #23
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I'd agree with what ian is saying about medicine, and the refererences given. Science cannot explain everything, but that is because we haven't the ability to understand processes as much as we would like. We forget the human component and focus too much on the body machinery.
But we keep trying.

The real human error is to try to fill gaps with mythology, in order to say: Here is the answer! We, as a species, hate having gaps and uncertainties. They are a real threat to our integrity, especially in the health provider field.

It's fun to explore reasons for the gaps, and it can be useful, but we may simply end up with a conclusion of we don't know but we can take an educated guess. That's fine, as long as it does not fly in the face of what we do know.
It would be foolish and laughable to say we don't know what dark energy is, so let's make something up that sounds nice and fits our preconceptions. Stone Age people did that, in order to explain why the sun disappeared each night and then returned next day. So they filled the gap with humanised sungods or similar metaphors. Why not? They had no alternatives.

We do. Some of us are happy with gaps, and work around them, knowing we should not pretend to fill them with ballast out of our brains. Health systems are notorious for treating real, virtual or potential disease/dysfunctions, trying to fill gaps and not listening to the consumers. It's easier that way....

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Old 05-07-2007, 09:20 AM   #24
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Gerald, this discussion has made a transit from the application of the scientific method in healthcare practice to a critique of biomedicine. I trust this is in the knowledge that these two are not the same thing.

Nari, I think your comment on 'gaps' is important. I wonder why some people interpret the presence of current gaps as justification for refusing to acknowledge anything other than what they believe. The ID supporters do exactly this in relation to evolution and its gaps - "There are small gaps in evolution theory, that means that it's all wrong and God definitely exists". It seems the same kind of thinking is being expressed here. "There are gaps in neuro / pain science and biomedicine can't fix everything, that must mean that Upledger, Barral and Barnes are 100% valid."
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Old 05-07-2007, 12:57 PM   #25
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Beat me to it, Luke....

The similarity between this line of thinking and the ID/Evolution "debate" struck me as well.
I'm all for philosophy, but at the end of the day, biomedicine has to stick to the scientific method as well. It may not be natural science per se, but a common tactic of the ID people is to say "see, there's no way to understand it completely, therefore it's all about beliefs and each belief is as valid as the next..." This idea simply has no place in responsible medical treatment or even scientific discourse- all mythology and metaphors aside.
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Old 05-07-2007, 02:15 PM   #26
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Philosophy is NOT immune to, or outside of laws of nature and science; nor is it a stand alone theoretical exercise where "everything goes".
It can be very helpful to construct models of thought when uncertainty exists about facts. Existence of god, infinity of the universe, a whole universe within a boson particle, human morality and its origins, and so forth.

Your work Gerard, with connective tissue and organs can be effective as all get out - there is much known about the physiology of skin (see anything written by Diane), the physiology of interaction between humans, the effects of pheromones, the deep neural effects of light touch and awareness, and last but not least, the incredible complexity of the human brain function(s).
These have more than enough supported science to explain many of the positive effects of any manual application, combined with attentive attitude by the therapist and patient education.
It is NOT necessary to venture into the vagaries of the ancient "Chinese", "Haitian" or other metaphysical constructs to explain the effects of all those manual interactive approaches. The neurophysiological aspects of these are more and more supported.

The eastern philosophies are NOT criticised wholesale - they have their place in moral and social situations, where they can be a guide as much as free market capitalism, religion, existentialism and communism (to name a few). But I think NOT in human neurophysiological functioning.

Connecting organ function with being "centre of emotions" is strictly philosophical, without ANY support in science. None. My dearest friend who has 1/2 kidney - all that is left over from an organ donation - will have a few things to say about that concept.

One thing at this site: if ANYONE is looking for just open minds, forget it. The minds are open and fiercely curious, but critical through a science-filter. The minds are not that open that the brains fall out....

I wish you the best with your explorations.
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Old 05-07-2007, 03:55 PM   #27
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Bas,

Perfect.
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Old 05-07-2007, 04:45 PM   #28
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I sense there could be some disagreement among us. My suggestion is that we should hold loosely to what we think we know, and pay more attention to observing and reporting phenomena. From Ian's references, I've discovered that current understanding is closer to filling some of the gaps than I knew. I find value in what is labeled "myth" in pointing at more gaps. There are some very interesting gaps remaining.

Last edited by bernard; 05-07-2007 at 05:21 PM. Reason: enlarged the font for readers.
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Old 05-07-2007, 04:49 PM   #29
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Quote:
My suggestion is that we should hold loosely to what we think we know, and pay more attention to observing and reporting phenomena.
I think that is precisely what science/scientists/skeptics try to do. I would italicize the word "think", as in "what we think we know"...
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Old 05-07-2007, 04:53 PM   #30
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Quote:
pay more attention to observing and reporting phenomena
Gerald,
I'm curious. If not the scientific method, by which method do you think we should "observe and report phenomena"?
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Old 05-07-2007, 05:48 PM   #31
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"I have observed." "Aborigines report observing." "Cranial sacral guys report observing."
Not "if it's not already supported by science, it must be hoo-ha," or "we tried this, and it didn't work, so cranial sutures moving must be hoo-ha."
(No disrespect to the rabbits intended.) Truely Luke, I don't know how science is supposed to work. I think it's more of an attitude thing. I know I find Antropology and Anatomy curious, almost poetic, filled with wonder and encouraging further inquiry. Check out LL Cudmore http://www.netwalk.com/~vireo/CudmoreLLL.html

Even rejecting hypotheses seems OK if it's tentative, as in "we did not observe the effects earlier described." That isn't discrediting. That's allowing glitches in observation to die if noone else can repeat them. But as I said, I don't really know. I feel degrees of invitation or rejection, and I like science that is more inviting, more quiet, more listening. I fear that we may loose crucial opportunities for learning by holding rejecting values labeled "scientific". I can get more vociferous under the guise of being passionate and couragous, (I'm a male mammal) but I rarely find it useful. Robert Wolff (one of Ian's earlier references above) does passionate way more effectively than I do.
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Old 05-07-2007, 06:02 PM   #32
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The whole point of "science" -type observing and reporting of phenomena is to try to deselect a little something called confirmation bias.

In the manual therapies it can (hopefully) eliminate perceptual fantasy and attendent myth-maintaining memes. It supports objectification of data (however emotionally cruel or psychologically distasteful that may seem) as opposed to observation merely being someone's subjective opinion (however brilliant or insightful or unique or "true" that may seem).
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Old 05-07-2007, 06:06 PM   #33
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Quote:
"I have observed." "Aborigines report observing." "Cranial sacral guys report observing."
Gerald, the problem is, as Nari pointed out above, that the brain is very prone to making erroneous/fanciful connections between cause and effect.
Quote:
I don't know how science is supposed to work
Essentially, it provides us with an effective way of minimizing this error.
Quote:
Even rejecting hypotheses seems OK if it's tentative, as in "we did not observe the effects earlier described."
Where do we draw the line though. If there isn't one, we end up entertaining even the ridiculous. (Are you familiar with the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster?)
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Old 05-07-2007, 08:06 PM   #34
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http://decety.socialpsychology.org/

http://www.socialneuro.com/Welcome.html

Gerald et al you might like these --see esp the Damasio quote on the 2nd link which may be relevant here. If you search on mirror neurons and empathy and VS Ramachandran mirror neurons on the Edge site (jon??!) you might find some useful and relevant information.

Looking at your site and CV you are 'coming from' the 'humanistic phenomenological movement' and so the 'scientific method' may not be relevant but what i have read about re Gestalt experimentation is fundamental to the approach? What i know about psychotherapy is that there about 500 version of the same thing !? In body therapies there are an A-Z of orthopaedic and esoteric brands aiming to do the same thing ..hardly a recipie for progress or open communication ?

However experimental immersion and reports of this experience in my opinion is extremely valuable . To utlisle linear RCT trials and fundamental research science for many problems is hardly satisfactory if we ignore other methods of enquiry such as qualitative methods ? Qualitative study is often more valuable in many rehabilitation settings but is often ridiculed or given minimal importance?

Practically as others have said it is easy to disappear into the flying spaghetti monster and i can understand how this happens in medicine /therapy when the alternative is linear orthopaedics or in 'your' field CBT for all known psychological dysfunction.

Perhaps the alternative is to work with this 'new knowledge' which is encompassing and interesting but be aware of the uniqueness of people --see constructionism in pain science and an old quote .......(thanks jon!)

"It it were not for the great variability among individuals medicine might
as well be a science and not an art--Sir William Osler, 1892"

For the hard scientists the book i posted 'Fracture' is an exploration of the ground we are discussing written by an extremely well read and non dualistic professor of sociology. Many of the points raised here are discussed in this slim erudite book. Neuroscience blends with social science/narratives /politics and healing (very good accounts of positive exprience with acupuncture with a 'uncurable ulnar nerve palsy as an example)

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Old 05-07-2007, 08:15 PM   #35
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from the first link -----
My lines of research focus on the questions, "How do we understand each other? Why and how do we care about others? If we put ourselves into the mental shoes of another person, how closely do we really feel what she feels? What cognitive and neural mechanisms account for a sense of self and other?" My research seeks to address these aspects of social cognition through the interdisciplinary approach that characterizes social neuroscience. In particular, I am interested in the capacity to engage in role taking that has been theoretically linked to the development of empathy, moral reasoning and more generally prosocial behavior.

seems to fit with Gendelin see quote here.....so new methods of scientific research are attempting to utlise neurobiology to answer age old questions ..
http://www.focusing.org.uk/index.html
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Old 05-07-2007, 10:08 PM   #36
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Gerard, it is very true that observation and reporting of phenomena is a very valid form of gathering data and an excellent stimulant for creative thought processes, while also giving opportunities to weed out assumptions and pre-conceived notions. Much of what science does, is exactly that.

Science has been able to confirm, without the requirement of a philosophical position, that human beings' suffering is a truely multifactoral, socio-neuro-psycho-immunological-etc phenomenon.

I want to reiterate that science of medicine and human function is a help rather than a barrier to developing strategies for care in all aspects of health. One only has to look at the value of multi-level focused education on the well-being of patients. In much of the practice of medicine and therapy we still find many, many poor applictions of this new science (seeing patients as biomechnical droids....). But practice of medicine/therapy does not equate science of medicine /therapy.

So, in short (as if I can ever be short....), delving into philosophies and traditional and ancient aspects of caring for humans is valuable and interesting, and can lead to new approaches - as long as unnecessary and fully unproven introductions are avoided. I mean the fictitious phenomena such as emotions in the kidney, or "flipped livers".
Don't forget that the brain is the interpreter of the input from all senses, and it uses much more than the simple peripheral sensory input to "create" what one actually perceives.
Science helps us to understand and clarify what happens when we "feel". It is not god-like - just a tool, but a darn good one.
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Old 05-07-2007, 11:54 PM   #37
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http://www.angelfire.com/mn2/tisthammerw/science.html

This is an article on the philosophy of science .

Damasio's views were influnced by Spinoza for example so to suggest that science operates as an independent discipline devoid of philosophy is not true in my opinion.

"Some have pictured the scientist as a completely objective individual who is free of bias and preconceptions, and who is willing to quickly abandon even the most well accepted theory if it were shown to be scientifically inadequate. This belief is not close to the truth.[44] The reality is that scientists are humans, and humans are fallible beings. They have weaknesses just like the rest of us. For one thing, a bias towards favored theories is actually built into all scientific research'

"Despite all its imperfections and limitations, science may very well be the best tool we have for discovering nature".

It seems true that the best bet is to understand natural science and suggest things that are plausible within current knowledge systems rather than leaping to the spaghetti monster or ethereal energy sources .


I have tried to offer links and suggestions towards sources of information which answer broad questions of relevance, both in terms of societal change--e.g David Morris / social neuroscience/ learning and pain behaviour/ and things relevant to therapy.. mirror neurons etc .

I sense that Gerald like many therapists is exploring through work he has embarked on ways of seeing and interacting with troubled people. I feel his tone is not combative but curious and this is to be encouraged ?
Many times i have seen people on these boards dismissed with curt replies and i don' think this stimulates debate...
I think the gulf between natural science and clinical practice is worth its own thread and that clincical practice devoid of social awareness is often pointless.
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Old 06-07-2007, 03:48 AM   #38
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Great article Ian. And the final sentence, as you quoted, is very appropriate here.
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Old 06-07-2007, 04:00 AM   #39
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Gerald,

In your first post you wrote
Quote:
My hypothesis is that the disease which fascial release heals is our disconnection with life around us.
yet your website mentions nothing about fascial release as a treatment for core malaise. The approaches discussed seem to be more like group psycho- and somatic therapy to me. This certainly seems like a more reasonable method of addressing disconnection with the life around us than fascial 'release'.
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Old 06-07-2007, 04:50 AM   #40
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Perhaps there is something therapeutic about physical contact (of some kind) that promotes some sort of de-malaise-ing?
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Old 06-07-2007, 03:09 PM   #41
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I've used this quote before. It's pretty good so it may not be the last time people are subjected to it.

In the Sept./Oct. edition of the The Skeptical Inquirer, Massimo Pigliucci's regular column (Thinking about science) is titled One More Take on Reductionism vs. Holism

From the article

Quote:
Reductionism begins with the (unwarranted) assumption that it is always possible to reduce complex systems to the properties of simple parts; at the opposite end, holism begins with the (equally unwarranted) assumption that the world is inherently complex and does not admit of reductionist explanations. Mechanism is a happier middle ground, where the scientist (and the philosopher) negotiate the proper level(s) of analysis, depending on what nature actually tells us."

"Mechanism, in Brandon's conception, is the philosophical position that, both methodologically and ontologically, there are in fact several levels of analysis and complexity in the world and that scientists should not begin by assuming how many levels there are and where they can be found. Rather, science can in part be construed as an attempt to reach a "reflective equilibrium" between its methodology/ontology and the way the world actually is.
Douglas Hofstadter captures the idea this way in his book I Am A Strange Loop

Quote:
If, on the other hand, there is a perceptible and comprehensible "logic" to events at the level of epiphenomena, then humans are eager to jump to that level. In fact, we have no choice. And so we do talk of volcanoes and eruptions and lava and so forth. Likewise, we talk of bitten fingernails and rye bread and wry smiles and Jewish senses of humor rather than of cells and proteins, let alone atoms and photons. After all, we ourselves are pretty big epiphenomena, and as I've already observed many times in this book, this fact dooms us to talking about the world in terms of other epiphenomena at about our size level (e.g. our mothers and fathers, our cats and cars and cakes, our sailboats and saxophones and sassafras trees).
Gerald states at one point,

Quote:
I was beginning to feel out of place and out numbered.
Actually those advocating for an increased appreciation of the interaction of ectoderm, physiology and culture within the PT profession share that feeling and may be one source of friction here.

Gerald states

Quote:
From Ian's references, I've discovered that current understanding is closer to filling some of the gaps than I knew.


Do you have a reformulation that incorporates those discoveries? It would seem a shame if we kept arguing about a position you may no longer be holding.

On the topic of gaps, the following addresses our (uniquely human?) propensity to fill them. It uses unrelated examples so hopefully won't be too emotive.

A bad explanation is better than none at all
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Old 06-07-2007, 10:04 PM   #42
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Ian,
The focus of your research seems closely in line with my own interests. By the way, Gendelin’s focusing work is a primary underpinning of my group psychotherapy.
Jon Newman,
Eloquent, terrific quotations. I continue to reach for that kind of integration.
My new formulation is that I have a lot of reading to do. I plan to keep myself buried in Ian’s list of references for months. I may have had a slightly negative prejudice about contemporary science. Perhaps I was correct, but I’m willing to take a new look.
Dianne,
Although slightly vague, I have to admit that your question, “physical contact (of some kind) that promotes some sort of de-malaise-ing?” pretty closely summarizes the state of my understanding. To be a little more precise (only a little), the malaise I’m talking about involves detachment from nature, each other, and life all around. Robert Wolff makes a similar case, follows out what he sees are the implications, and cranks the stakes way up, right up there with the survival of man kind: http://www.wildwolff.com/essays/Man Alone-X.pdf
Regarding the “physical contact of some kind,” I am close to clueless yet find the question compelling. In my own experience, body work has seemed to open me to fuller sense of myself and (therefore?) to life around me. And the opening has seemed healing. I’ve wondered for many years, only now out loud, if connective tissues could be involved in this opening phenomenon. I’ve been asking if anyone has any information to support or discredit this hunch. One time, asked about fascia, one surgeon laughed at “the gray stuff we cut off in surgery?” Another surgeon, later, said the first surgeon must have slept through the material on fascia. So I continue to wonder about it.
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Old 06-07-2007, 11:57 PM   #43
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I think (in fact I'm 100% positive) that the de-malaising aspect of physical contact involves the nervous system more than it involves fascia (except perhaps the mechanoreceptors buried in it everywhere including the adventitia, which I have had the pleasure of dissecting directly in a cadaver study).

When I say nervous system, I don't just mean the psychological part of it, I mean all the sensing parts and circuits that feed all the kinesthetic parts from spinal cord up through hindbrain and midbrain, all the non-conscious cortex parts right through the so-called limbic areas all the way to S1 sensory map of the body and/or the conscious awareness thereof, and all the motor parts that respond directly to input from any level of incoming.

They all need some kind of kinesthetic input to develop properly in the first place. But thanks to the ability that neurons, even single ones, have, to "learn", the whole system can, I'm pretty sure, learn to function more efficiently with exteroceptive contact (like from a therapist) of the right kind, be it verbal or kinesthetic.

I don't think the gap between your work and our (PT) work is that big. You're already handling people physically as well as verbally - you just didn't learn accurately what exactly you were actually handling. Many of us didn't - we are all here straightening out the myths we were taught. Join the club. We could call ourselves the Mesodermal Deconstruction Club, MDC.
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Old 07-07-2007, 12:23 AM   #44
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Perhaps part of the problem lies in what we name structures.
Connective tissue is seen and heard to be something that 'connects' throughout the body; the muscular system is seen as 'connecting' the body bits and usually treated in isolation; nervous systems are seen in a different light, somehow, almost as though they don't connect much at all unless there is a blatant injury or someone is 'nervous' and unhappy.

That's being reductionist, I know; but seeing the person as a whole rather than an anatomical bibliograph, is what we were not taught as PTs. As Diane says, we are trying to overcome the compartmental thinking which is still taught in schools; being here on SS is one way to overcome the muscle-joint-bone bias.

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Old 12-05-2011, 07:13 AM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ian s View Post
Gerald ,

http://www.unk.edu/firstyear/index.php?id=13833

have you read this --thought about it when you talked about wilderness.

I admire you for being forthright about your views and exploration-even though the models in TCM for instance do not fit well with the usual discussions here .

What I would like to pick up is the mythical ideas . I spent a weekend with Richard Holloway, a brilliant mind and inspiration . He was a former bishop but is head of the arts council and has really lost the certainties of old .....well he has none which is a revelation (that's why he's not a bishop!) Anyhow he talked a lot about mythology and the danger of both ridiculing myths(see the power of literature and religion when read as poetry for instance) and the danger of taking them literally (see dogmatic fundamentalism) . Fundamentalism is practised in medicine --see strict bio-evidence based practice and the strict insistance that science is the only tool for understanding human behaviour -it isn't. We seem to think that science guides human behaviour and our practice and often it doesn't since medicine is not in my opinion a natural science . Sure we have reductionist natural science but medical practice is an art that denies that it is one since most problems are constructions .
This does not mean that i 'believe' in TCM as a construct but it obviously 'works' in certain problems ..see Dylan Evans the acute phase response if you google that you will get an intersting paper....
What has happened I believe since you studied rolfing etc is that brain science has caught up with some of the experiential phenemonology you and many others have experienced (me too).....See the beast within on Deric Bownds site for a start , then go to Bruce Charlton (the malaise guy with brilliant ideas and his reviews on somatic markers ) This kind of neuroscience for me is exciting as it is in the best spirit of skeptical science and helps to reduce guruism and branding at bay (a key problem i believe).
Anyhow , I am currently doing an essay on medicalisation and firmly believe medical science is naive and has an exhaulted opinion of its worth regarding its function and capacity to influence the conditions you seem to be interested in- which are cultural and social issues .

yours ivan illich jnr
Hi Ian,

You might be interested in this--from the Imaginary Foundation

The Hero's Journey with Joseph Campbell.


Edit: I see cathyph mentioned this a couple of years ago here.

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Old 12-05-2011, 01:30 PM   #46
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Jon, how did you remember this to post here ---really enjoyed re reading the discussion ......I had a great experience in the clinic today -- I had a patient who is a ballad singer sing a rendition about Andy Coogan a legendary Scot's athlete and survivor ...http://www.alisonmcmorland.com/where...article-02.asp
It was interesting that he forgave but didn't forget(see the last brilliant quote to the Japanese Diplomat)--this to me is admirable. Another hero was Jenny Wood Allen --she started marathons aged 71 -- she became a legend too....
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