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  • My perceptual nightmare

    Hi all, firstly I would really like to say thank you to everyone who has contributed on SomaSimple and especially the moderators. This is by far the best resource I have encountered in the last four and a half years of studying osteopathy. I feel as though this is the oasis my parched mind has been desperately searching for. This finding could not be timelier for me and I look forward to discovering plenty of good information over time as well as contributing where appropriate.

    Shortly I will be graduating however recently I have found myself becoming increasingly disillusioned with other members of my community and their practises which IMHO are borderline charlatanism. I have a strong scientific background which in all honesty I have felt until now has been more of a hindrance than a help during my study of osteopathy. I felt misunderstood as I could not understand why others did not share my scepticism for certain techniques (namely functional and OCF) which have been a significant part of our curriculum. Instead my colleagues have eagerly 'jumped on the bandwagon' and I have been made to feel stupid/less capable because I could/would not admit (for example) to feeling the 'primary respiratory mechanism' or palpating the motility of a retroperitoneal organ by placing my hands lightly on the anterior abdominal wall. The same lecturers who teach us these techniques are the ones most highly revered by my colleagues, who view them as having almost supernatural palpation skills (to the extent where they no longer need to touch or even see the person to feel what is going on - ha!). I can only conclude that it is the opinion of my peers that there is a causal (or at least correlative) relationship between functional/OCF techniques and superior palpation skills. Frankly I find this notion farcical.

    To make matters worse it is subtly instilled in us that these techniques are the 'core/essence' of osteopathy and therefore what separates us from other forms of manual therapy. I have often heard the associated (and incredibly arrogant) remark that anyone can do the 'other stuff'. This disappoints and frustrates me to no end. Whenever I have questioned these practises I have rarely been given a straight answer, rather I've been fobbed off with a bogus reference or instructed to 'suspend my disbelief. You can imagine how that makes me feel. I would prefer an honest acknowledgement that we don't know how it works rather than a bogus rationalisation any day. It feels as though questioning or going against this dogma is viewed as questioning the very essence of osteopathy. This makes me think that there is a genuine concern that if these techniques are opened up to scientific scrutiny and found wanting, then we will lose our identity as a profession. Certainly it would make these techniques more invalid perhaps leaving these functional/OCF practitioners clutching at straws.

    Earlier tonight I was sharing my experience with an osteopath whom I respect and she referred to the term 'perceptual fantasy'. I have previously encountered the psychological concept of confirmation bias and thought that at least to some extent this could help explain the experiences by people using functional or OCF techniques. The sceptic in me has long suspected that the minds of these practitioners are in some way responsible for generating their own experiences in using these techniques. However, this almost seemed incomprehensible to me so it's remained in my 'too hard' basket until now. I have so much to learn on this topic however in the space of an hour using this forum I was pleased to find several possible explanations for these experiences including the concept of idiomotion.

    It is not my intent to misuse this resource rather to share my experience with others who I've no doubt have important insights to share with me. I have been genuinely impressed by the calibre and the respect demonstrated in other entries on this forum. I welcome any feedback including your own experiences/opinions and I would especially be appreciative if anyone could lead me to any psychological studies examining perceptual fantasy or other related concepts. Thanks.

  • #2
    Perceptual fantasies based on conceptual hallucination.
    I don't think you'll find any studies on these terms, since I was the one who made them up more than a decade ago, when discussing "MFR" or "Craniosacral" treatment online with peers.
    You'll find a good article called "Palpatory pareidolia" by Paul Ingraham, SaveYourself.ca on the topic.
    Otherwise, just consider all the ways the brain fools itself via the senses, visual pareidolia, apophenia, etc. and apply them to your own felt sense.
    It's terrible enough to have to rely on one's own felt sense to navigate around someone else's body/nervous system, and it's also terrible that therefore the study of manual therapy systems is but a bunch of tooth fairy science, but it's even worse to build elaborate tissue-based operator-style belief systems, let them stand unexamined, or expect a bunch of true believers to perpetuate them while you sit back and rake in all that cont.ed $.
    Diane
    www.dermoneuromodulation.com
    SensibleSolutionsPhysiotherapy
    HumanAntiGravitySuit blog
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    Canadian Physiotherapy Pain Science Division (Archived newsletters, paincasts)
    Canadian Physiotherapy Association Pain Science Division Facebook page
    @PainPhysiosCan
    WCPT PhysiotherapyPainNetwork on Facebook
    @WCPTPTPN
    Neuroscience and Pain Science for Manual PTs Facebook page

    @dfjpt
    SomaSimple on Facebook
    @somasimple

    "Rene Descartes was very very smart, but as it turned out, he was wrong." ~Lorimer Moseley

    “Comment is free, but the facts are sacred.” ~Charles Prestwich Scott, nephew of founder and editor (1872-1929) of The Guardian , in a 1921 Centenary editorial

    “If you make people think they're thinking, they'll love you, but if you really make them think, they'll hate you." ~Don Marquis

    "In times of change, learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists" ~Roland Barth

    "Doubt is not a pleasant mental state, but certainty is a ridiculous one."~Voltaire

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    • #3
      Do you have a first name?
      I will copy this thread to the Welcome Forum.
      Diane
      www.dermoneuromodulation.com
      SensibleSolutionsPhysiotherapy
      HumanAntiGravitySuit blog
      Neurotonics PT Teamblog
      Canadian Physiotherapy Pain Science Division (Archived newsletters, paincasts)
      Canadian Physiotherapy Association Pain Science Division Facebook page
      @PainPhysiosCan
      WCPT PhysiotherapyPainNetwork on Facebook
      @WCPTPTPN
      Neuroscience and Pain Science for Manual PTs Facebook page

      @dfjpt
      SomaSimple on Facebook
      @somasimple

      "Rene Descartes was very very smart, but as it turned out, he was wrong." ~Lorimer Moseley

      “Comment is free, but the facts are sacred.” ~Charles Prestwich Scott, nephew of founder and editor (1872-1929) of The Guardian , in a 1921 Centenary editorial

      “If you make people think they're thinking, they'll love you, but if you really make them think, they'll hate you." ~Don Marquis

      "In times of change, learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists" ~Roland Barth

      "Doubt is not a pleasant mental state, but certainty is a ridiculous one."~Voltaire

      Comment


      • #4
        Welcome home, Evidence.

        We're all mired in this same shit, in one way or another.

        SS is the only forum of its kind that acknowledges it, tho.

        EDIT: oh, you're in Melbourne? VU? Man...I didn't think you guys had gone full retard. I keep hearing good things...maybe not?
        Last edited by Dan84; 05-06-2014, 10:00 PM.
        Dan
        Tactile Raconteur

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        • #5
          Welcome,

          There is this series of the human body from bbc where if I'm correct the Phenomenon
          Of the brain fooling itself is explained. For some aspects of it (not regarding therapists though) there's a good explanation.
          Marcel

          "Evolution is a tinkerer not an engineer" F.Jacob
          "Without imperfection neither you nor I would exist" Stephen Hawking

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Diane View Post
            It's terrible enough to have to rely on one's own felt sense to navigate around someone else's body/nervous system, and it's also terrible that therefore the study of manual therapy systems is but a bunch of tooth fairy science, but it's even worse to build elaborate tissue-based operator-style belief systems, let them stand unexamined, or expect a bunch of true believers to perpetuate them while you sit back and rake in all that cont.ed $.
            Thanks for your post Diane. Like others of yours that I've read it is insightful and would perhaps be entertaining if it wasn't so damn real. I look forward to checking out that article and resources soon.

            Originally posted by Diane View Post
            Do you have a first name?
            I will copy this thread to the Welcome Forum.
            Call it cowardice Diane however I'm reluctant to relinquish my anonymity just yet. I feel like I'm stuck behind a rock and a hard place as I would love to reveal my identity (reciprocate the respect everyone else has shown) however part of me feels that I have more to lose than gain by doing so at this point in time. Consider it from my perspective, I will soon be examined on techniques similar to those mentioned above by the same lecturers. Furthermore the city I'd like to work at next year has few osteo clinics at present. Given the seemingly all-pervasiveness of these "functional" techniques etc. (nearly all of the principal osteopaths I'm doing observations with over the holidays use them to varying extents), I feel like to openly publicly speak against them would be disadvantaging myself unnecessarily. I'm aware at how contradictory this sounds - please don't get me wrong - I wouldn't use them myself (I am open about that much) however who am I to say that other members of the profession that have been practising for 5, 10 or 20 years should not use these "sham" techniques? I am only just getting a handle on this stuff myself. I hope that I'm being paranoid!? I know from my own experiences however that when a person's ego is challenged (which I'm pretty sure is the case if you start telling someone that part or all of their career is a lie) they tend to lash out in unexpected ways.

            Tell me I'm wrong. If what I've said is bullshit than I expect someone to put me straight.

            Originally posted by Dan84 View Post
            EDIT: oh, you're in Melbourne? VU? Man...I didn't think you guys had gone full retard. I keep hearing good things...maybe not?

            Hey Dan, not VU man, try the other one. I've heard good things about VU too! What city do you work in mate, maybe I should arrange some obs with you!
            Originally posted by marcel View Post
            Welcome,

            There is this series of the human body from bbc where if I'm correct the Phenomenon
            Of the brain fooling itself is explained. For some aspects of it (not regarding therapists though) there's a good explanation.
            Thanks Marcel, I'll check it out! :teeth:

            Comment


            • #7
              If you're talking about craniosacral (as a principal bugbear), you might like to read this

              http://www.barrettdorko.com/articles..._sensation.htm

              It explains quite a lot.

              Do you have much more to go before you've graduated? Sounds like you're near the end. Grin and bear it is the only advice I can give you (trust me, been there, done that).

              Well, I can say a bit more if you'd really like,

              PS: Someone mentioned the BBC series; I think this might be the one they had in mind. Even if it isn't, watch this anyway.

              http://vimeo.com/84290992
              Last edited by Dan84; 06-06-2014, 08:12 PM.
              Dan
              Tactile Raconteur

              Comment


              • #8
                Thanks for the links Dan. That article was an interesting read. Looking forward to checking out more of Barrett's work when exams are done.

                Finish end of year so yes, just gotta hang in there!

                Originally posted by Dan84 View Post

                Well, I can say a bit more if you'd really like,

                http://vimeo.com/84290992
                Why was your exercise science so painful? Don't feel obliged but I'd be interested to know. Did you do a PhD or something?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Evid3nc3 View Post
                  0
                  Why was your exercise science so painful? Don't feel obliged but I'd be interested to know. Did you do a PhD or something?
                  The pracs we're painful; too much of what we call 'meso' thinking in these parts (that hurts, this is weak. Stretch that etc).

                  Having said that, I had a 4 or 5 year gap between getting my undergrad, becoming aware of somasimple and then completing my masters, so I was able to tailor my pracs around things that didn't clash with (a) my understanding of emerging science (b) personal ethics.

                  I was fortunate to do my post grad pracs in physio private practice, industrial rehab, hospital based cardiac stress testing / ECG and aged care / reconditioning.

                  Not *too* much silly nonsense to cope with (apart from the last one: had to bite my tongue for a solid month there)...unlike my undergrad, wherein I served as glorified personal trainer. Nothing against PT's...but to say I was under-utilized / engaged would be under-stating it. Such is the fate of many students in may programs: spare a though for any that you get to mentor in years to come

                  In any case, there are exercise physiologist and then there are exercise physiologists: I'm the latter; I want to know how/why.

                  In some ways, we have it a lot easier than manual therapists: exercise effects can be studied very minutely, standardized etc. I can - for example - tell you the exact cut off points between 'unable to walk', 'ambulant around home' and 'willing to go out in public' for V02 peak. I can also tell you the % risk increase/decrease for falls relative to 1RM, TUG and 6MWT...and how to improve performance on these metrics.

                  I can tell you the effects on lung capacity (as evidenced by spirometry) and mortality relative to presence of diabetes, as well as what has the best chance of reverse that trend in terms of exercise programing.

                  Gold class (RCT) evidence for all this stuff because exercise as an intervention is amicable to blinding, randomization etc.

                  So, yeah: the major / minor issue: you guys not knowing exactly what we do/are and some of the thought virii we've picked up from some of you (stretch this, tone that, pain is this, foam roll that etc).

                  I'm curious: how are EP's perceived where you are, Evidence?
                  Last edited by Dan84; 08-06-2014, 06:32 PM.
                  Dan
                  Tactile Raconteur

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