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  • Barrett Dorko
    replied
    Thanks to Jon here is the link to the previous thread I mentioned.

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  • Barrett Dorko
    replied
    Great additions to the thread here.

    I can’t think of the name of the thread I began some time ago but it contained a passage from one of Michael Shermer’s books. An anthropologist in the South Pacific found that when fishermen journeyed far from shore their rituals and superstitions grew in relation to the distance from land. As they returned to shore their rituals and irrational beliefs diminished. In short, it’s the uncertainty that generates magical thinking, not its effectiveness. Shermer points out how you see this in baseball in the form of players heading toward the field or the batter’s box.

    In my experience therapists begin to act a little strangely and tend to accept irrational explanations when dealing with neurologic problems but not when they can make the case for mesodermal dysfunction. Neurologic problems are, in effect, far from shore. And, the fact is, movement solutions for neurologic problems look a bit like “magic” and the therapist in their presence like a magician. This puts the ortho people in a bit of a bind when they try to stay with the biomechanical rational they hold so dear.

    To me, that last paragraph explains a lot about the quandary many trying to treat an abnormal dynamic find themselves in. No wonder they are drawn to the “magical” sorts of care sold out there. I don’t think they’ve quite thought this through.
    Last edited by Barrett Dorko; 24-01-2007, 10:49 PM.

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  • Diane
    replied
    I don't think so. I think when patients talk that way, they are describing their own interoception in their own way, that's all. I think we can nod along, taking it for the metaphor it is, and let them express it as part of their own "narrative therapy".. but when they ask a question they should get a straight answer. The therapist needs to be the stand-in "parent" in a therapeutic relationship - I think that entails a responsibility to not confuse patients with more fantasy, perceptual or otherwise. They need information, not a "pandering".. remember their brain chemistry is changing along with their motor output. Someone has to stay sober to "drive home".. - points of info in this case. If they want fantasy they can go to the Reiki person, right?
    Last edited by Diane; 26-01-2007, 05:28 PM.

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  • EricM
    replied
    A patient commented to me during the middle of a session that they felt as though lots of little demons were being exorcised from his body. I had explained what was happening and why a few days earlier of course, and the comment was offered in a joking manner, but it made me think of this thread and how at that moment I had the option of playing up the whole exorcism angle and if I had, whether the outcome would be any different? If therapists want the magic and the mystery, do patients too?

    Eric

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  • Diane
    replied
    My favorite bit of Jon's article:
    Reality is the most potent check on runaway magical thoughts, and in the vast majority of people it prevents the beliefs from becoming anything more than comforting — and disposable — private rituals. When something important is at stake, a test or a performance or a relationship, people don’t simply perform their private rituals: they prepare. And if their rituals start getting in the way, they adapt quickly.
    My bold.

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  • Jon Newman
    replied
    I just learned of this article and thought I'd post it here.

    Great thread Barrett.
    Last edited by Jon Newman; 23-01-2007, 09:14 PM.

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  • Barrett Dorko
    replied
    So, if therapists want to appear magical, and I think they do, the question becomes this: What do we need to understand about the magician’s knowledge and skill that will make us appear magical?

    1) Magicians don’t mistake their skills for super powers. What they claim is up to them and this is where ethical concerns play a role. Many would say that their entire disclaimer regarding special powers is contained in the words “magic SHOW.”

    2) Though they typically remain silent regarding the science that forms the foundation of their effects, they are capable of explaining all of this at an appropriate time.

    3) How they go about presenting their knowledge and skill is an individual thing and will vary depending upon the context of the situation. Seen from a therapist's perspective this includes, of course, the nature of the patient.

    Finally, there is the moment of revealing. By this I mean the orchestration of the trick’s unfolding; its completion. Customarily this is enhanced with elements of surprise and further mystery.

    This is where I think the practice of magic and that of Simple Contact differ profoundly and fundamentally. I touch others and they soon begin to move in ways they find effortless and surprising, warming and relaxing. I know that this appears magical, and I know as well that this result and this moment are the end result of study and experience on my part. I know where the movement comes from and what it represents. I know that my attitude is reflected in my hands’ activity at the outermost layer of the patient.

    Here’s where I break from the magical community. I do this by explaining everything I can immediately. Random and unexpected movement may be present and observable in the patient, but there is no mystery, and I never encourage another to treat the phenomenon of self-correction as if it were.
    Last edited by Barrett Dorko; 23-01-2007, 05:40 PM.

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  • Barrett Dorko
    replied
    Randy,

    I agree that it would, but I found long ago that the performance of the simplest effect had a very negative effect upon me personally. Though I thought I eventually would, I was never able to overcome the profound fear and "flop sweat" magical performance would produce and I simply had to abandon it. I presume that this has its origins in a sort of deception I am uncomfortable with (I prefer other kinds) and the possibility of failure. Funny thing, juggling and playing the harminica don't have this effect and I've been known to do these when I feel it will help.

    You bring up a good point though, and it's addressed in the movie. Eisenheim's rival is the crown prince, an intelligent but profoundly arrogant man who thinks he cannot be fooled. Having been humiliated by Eisenheim's use of a hidden magnet (something the magicians exploited until the general public learned about them), the prince is chastized by his fiance. He responds, "He tries to trick you - I try to enlighten you - Which is the more noble pursuit?"

    I'm with the prince on this one. Too bad he's a sadistic control freak.

    Optical illusions are common knowledge except when it comes to the visual inspection most therapists do though they exist on the patient's surface as well. There's also the issue of the usefullness of this information even if it is reliable. I tell my students that with one exception (hip posture) they'd be better off not looking.

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  • Randy Dixon
    replied
    Barrett,

    Do you do magic in the classes you teach? You should. It would leave a lasting impression about how our senses can fool us and many of the other themes that your class revolves around.

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  • Barrett Dorko
    replied
    There are some lines and images from The Illusionist that struck me as appropriate to mention here.

    In the movie’s prologue there’s a scene depicting Eisenheim as a young boy attempting to hide from some hostile men. He soon finds that he simply can’t do this with mere force of will and never tries to do this again. In fact, he later admits that he has spent much of his life “looking for a real mystery,” but he’s never found one. To me, this sounds like something a number of therapists have done over the years. Of course, a few stopped looking once they imagined that a real mystery had been found and they stayed there. This includes everybody doing “energetic” work.

    The narrator also speaks of what he calls “the forces of the universe – life and death, space and time, fate and chance.” Of course, none of these are universal forces at all, they just sound like they are. Using language in this way makes the magician seem very wise, especially when the general public doesn’t know what the 4 forces actually are. As is said of Eisenheim when he is a young boy; “People began to believe that he had some kind of special power, or that he was, at least, a bit different.” Funny thing, John Barnes writes autobiographically of his own life in this way though I was simply described as “a well-adjusted child.”

    Eisenheim is described as someone who’s “broken free” and whose illusions “approach the realm of art.”

    Now, to me, that’s magic. Can we make manual care appear this way without pretending that it’s a super power?
    Last edited by Barrett Dorko; 22-01-2007, 05:34 AM.

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  • Diane
    replied
    A link to that article discussed by BB.

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  • Barrett Dorko
    replied
    Cory,

    A perfect example.

    True story:

    Many years ago I learned of a card trick called “The Invisible Deck.” And it went like this: I hand someone and “invisible” deck of cards and ask that they go through the business of shuffling them thoroughly. Having done so, they choose a single card, memorize it, and then place it back in the deck face down while all the other cards are face up. Remember, this is all pantomimed because they are holding an “invisible deck.”

    I then ask this person to tell us what card they reversed, pull a deck from my pocket and fan it out, face up. Only one card is reversed and it turns out to be theirs.

    A pretty good trick, but after a while I learned to add this: I’d have the person pretend to tear a corner from the chosen card, and when I fanned the deck a few moments later they’d find that not only was this the only one face down, it was the only one torn as well.

    I remember telling the magic store owner I knew that I’d begun presenting it in this way and he shook his head. “Too strong,” he said. And by then I knew that he was right.

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  • BB
    replied
    It was in the Wall Street Journal, not the new york times, and is titled "A Novel Plan Helps Hospital Wean Itself Off Pricey Tests."

    Again, it is available through EIM site for free right now.

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  • BB
    replied
    Wouldn’t you expect this discovery to result in the adoption of this method – this meme?

    Before you answer, I want you to think of the consequences of fecundity. If the offspring of an idea are desirable to the surrounding community then fecundity is to its advantage. If not, well, what chance is there of its survival?
    At first I was confused by the question. I thought that such a method would be desirable as it allows success in a patient population where success has been difficult in the past.

    Then I realized how treating in such a way would differ from current strategies and typical clinic operation. It might be scary for the business owner who runs a clinic in this "we are paid not for the quality of our treatments, but rather the amount of treatment given" state of healthcare we are in. At least in the US.

    There is an article posted on EIM from the New York Times, I believe, that is all about this topic and how a Virginia Mason hospital in Seattle is battling it. It stated that when the hospital changed its practice by focusing on quality, which did increase, it went from making $200 per patient to losing $100. Pretty scary. They found that having the LBP pt. seen by a PT first was the highest quality way to deliver their care. Turned out to be scary to some of the docs in the hospital's pain center who subsequently left.

    Barrett,
    Maybe you could market your course as "scary therapy for a scary profession."

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  • Barrett Dorko
    replied
    Manual Magic Part IV - The Fecundity of the Meme

    “Not a single student showed up for his second lecture, and throughout almost every lecture for the next seventeen years Newton talked to an empty room, listening merely to his own voice bouncing back at him.”

    From The Last Sorcerer by Michael White

    When I think of the many things I’ve chosen not to learn in my life, I can’t come up with a single strategy for ignorance more powerful than indifference. I employ this daily, and thus I don’t know all kinds of things that perhaps I should. The consequences of this cluelessness sometimes surprises me and sometimes not. Sometimes I pay dearly for it, and at other times I’m grateful not to have known. All of this is something that takes some careful introspection, and I’m pretty sure anybody reading this could say pretty much the same thing.

    Fecund means “producing or capable of producing offspring; fertile; very productive or creative intellectually.” Along with fidelity and endurance it completes the triad of qualities that any successful meme is known to require. Dawkins calls it fecundity and aside from the obvious importance of a meme’s ability to generate new but deeply related ideas and behaviors, we know that the speed with which we this can happen is essential for its success as well. Think of the survival of animals in the same way and you’ll see what I mean.

    The quote above from a biography of Isaac Newton describes what this man went through early in his career. More about him and his relation to therapy practice can be found here. Briefly, White describes the initial reaction to Newton’s first lecture on optics. Employing his unique knowledge and skill Isaac had personally handcrafted a new telescope that was ¼ the size of those in use yet was ten times more powerful. This is what got him the appointment to the Lucasian Chair at Oxford, the same one occupied by Steven Hawking today.

    In short, people loved the device built as the end result of Newton’s knowledge, but when it came to understanding how he had come to build it as he did they were indifferent to the point of willful ignorance. Thus, this meme represented by a reflecting telescope (previously there only been refracting ones) took a while to get off the ground.

    What if the therapy community were to learn of a method of care that immediately altered in the desired direction the signs and symptoms of chronic discomfort it saw in the clinic each day? Wouldn’t you expect this discovery to result in the adoption of this method – this meme?

    Before you answer, I want you to think of the consequences of fecundity. If the offspring of an idea are desirable to the surrounding community then fecundity is to its advantage. If not, well, what chance is there of its survival?

    Let me put it another way: If the “magical” effect of another’s hands fascinates us and compels us to investigate the deep model of its underlying reality then such a method might eventually become established along with a defendable theory.

    If it scares us then something else will occur.

    Do you see where I’m going with this?

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