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Manual Magic

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  • #61
    The Finer Points

    Okay, let’s go over briefly the finer points of this thread.

    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.

    More soon.
    Barrett L. Dorko


    • #62
      Signing The Pact

      I’ve been thinking about The Pact ever since I read of it in The Prestige. Maybe this is because I run into so many therapists who are desperate to sign it. They’ve done so at virtually every workshop they’ve ever attended. They did it when they went to therapy school, and they do so whenever they watch television. This includes watching the news these days.

      Now, that’s a lot. Perhaps so much implicit signing that unquestioning acceptance is second nature by the time they get to my class. It is no wonder that they are thrown a bit by my insistence that no such pact is available when I teach. In short, I don’t want them to believe me, but only to work to understand what it is I’m saying about pain and what might be done with manual management and corrective, instinctive movement.

      I’m a magician without mystery, without secrets, and willing to answer all questions. Once this becomes evident many consider me a rather strange sort. Well, I am.

      Dawkins writes clearly about the tendency of each individual to approach the complexity of nature in their own way, but points out that it comes down to this: a movement toward mysticism or a movement toward science. He says, “The impulse to awe, reverence and wonder which led Blake to mysticism (and lesser figures to paranormal superstition) are precisely those that lead others of us to science. Our interpretation is different but what excites us is the same. The mystic is content to bask in the wonder and revel in the mystery that we were not “meant” to understand. The scientist feels the same wonder but is restless, not content; recognizes the mystery as profound, then adds, “But we’re working on it.”

      It seems obvious to me which of these are more likely to sign The Pact of Acquiescent Sorcery.

      Which of these is more likely to progress as a clinician? The mystic or the scientist? The magician or the superhero?
      Barrett L. Dorko


      • #63

        Befroe coming to your course, nearly two years ago, I went to your website and read NOT IN KANSAS ANYMORE. Having not been to any continuing ed. courses for a number of years having being fed up with all the "Pacts" I had been part of and witness to, I was more than delighted to read what you wrote and sign up for your course. Consequently, my desire to take any more continuing ed. courses has not increased. Thanks.



        • #64

          I'm going to be back in Louisville on April 20th. Tell both your friends.

          I'm in Boston as I write this and just walked out of the Linda Crane Lecture after about 15 minutes. This is the Sections Meeting of the APTA and this lecture is a big deal. The guy spoke of 'Eastern" as opposed to "Western" medicine and of Herbert Benson's publication in 1971. I felt as if I was reliving the disco era so I left.

          Oh yes, he also quoted Barnes' top therapist/follower, Carol Davis twice.

          Too much mystery for me, I had to go.
          Barrett L. Dorko


          • #65
            After today, I think it would be a lot easier for me if patients, rather than coming to PT, were coming to The Physical Therapy Show. With the prevailing memes as they are, reality TV sucks.
            "I did a small amount of web-based research, and what I found is disturbing"--Bob Morris


            • #66

              Sometimes a trick works and sometimes not. With the best stuff (which would be ours) the magician is always on the edge of failure, and the chaos of existence lands upon the performer like some kind of invisible but powerful hammer. I've been hit more times than I can count, and, I suppose, it is my nature to get back up that has gotten me this far, wherever the heck that is.

              I walk about this convention in Boston today looking for the magic and find very little, though I've seen a little sorcery masquerading as magic. Mostly I see confusion and denial. It's not pretty and it's not comforting.

              I've had a couple of good conversations about the nature of magical practice though. I'm going to try to put them here in some form before I leave.
              Barrett L. Dorko


              • #67
                Thanks Barrett. Indeed the show must go on. If only I could go back to telling people that their alignment, strength and flexibility are the crux of their existence. It used to be sooo easy. Ah well, that shark has been jumped for me. Unfortunately for my patients those sharks are still so enticing and oh how many of them there are.
                Last edited by Jon Newman; 17-02-2007, 12:02 AM.
                "I did a small amount of web-based research, and what I found is disturbing"--Bob Morris


                • #68
                  If only more would jump the shark. Maybe they need Fonzi?
                  Cory Blickenstaff, PT, OCS

                  Pain Science and Sensibility Podcast
                  Leaps and Bounds Blog
                  My youtube channel


                  • #69
                    Since I whined about yesterday, I'll celebrate today. I don't like to share patients but I covered for someone today who had recently been to Barrett's course. It was, coincidentally, the patient's second visit. Being able to reinforce and expand on what someone else has already explained was remarkably refreshing. In fact, I'd forgotten what that feels like though I knew I missed it.
                    "I did a small amount of web-based research, and what I found is disturbing"--Bob Morris


                    • #70
                      Jon wouldn't it be even more refreshing to have colleagues whom reinforce and expand on something you get started. Is there a renaissance in the making in your corner of Wisconsin, or just some sorcerers smoke?

                      Eric Matheson, PT


                      • #71
                        Hi Eric,

                        I've been pleasantly surprised by the number of WI posters on this and other forums. If there is a renaissance it is most likely happening in Green Bay, not here.

                        I look forward to the thread getting back on track.
                        "I did a small amount of web-based research, and what I found is disturbing"--Bob Morris


                        • #72
                          Maybe we should start a Wisconsin study group??



                          • #73
                            Oops sorry that's off track, coudn't resist :embarasse



                            • #74
                              Hi Karie,

                              SomaSimple is my study group and has the benefit of being international and established (not to mention amazingly fast loading--kudos to Bernard.) It also has an advantage in that we don't need to travel. My experience with journal clubs within one facility is poor so maybe my imagination of how a statewide club would function is pessimistic but I don't think so.

                              If you'd like to discuss it further, maybe start a new thread. You never know.
                              "I did a small amount of web-based research, and what I found is disturbing"--Bob Morris


                              • #75

                                I'm with you.

                                If you search for the word “magic” in the index of Dawkins’ Unweaving… you’ll find a section devoted to “magical customs.” Here he reiterates the central tenet of this book – “that science, at its best, should leave room for poetry.” But he then goes on to distinguish between good and bad poetic science; the former “stimulates the imagination and conjures in the mind images and allusions that go beyond the needs of straightforward understanding.”

                                Poetry can do this powerfully, we know. And that is the very reason we need to remain vigilant for (bad poetic science) that conflates relationships merely by mentioning them in a graceful and compelling manner. Like the magician who moves about in an elegant and refined fashion (meant specifically to seduce and distract the audience from that which he wishes them not to see), poetry can inflate causal and meaningless resemblances into a story we assume is true. In fact, many begin by wishing it were, and the magician knows this.

                                Dawkins says it this way: In science, as in any other field, there really are dangers of becoming intoxicated by symbolism, by meaningless resemblances, and led farther and farther from the truth, rather than towards it.

                                A few years ago I wrote the following in a blog I was doing at the time: Sometimes when faced with certain consequences we act in ways that defy our nature. We express ourselves only after careful internal editing and what emerges lacks the ring of truth. It gets the job done though, and, eventually, what we say happened, especially what we document, can become more real than what actually happened.

                                Can you guess what I was writing about at the time? Can you see where the practice of magic in therapy has arrived?
                                Barrett L. Dorko