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  • Ref Deconstruction of the MFR Affair of Aug. 2008: Aftermath

    On August 14, 2008, Jason Silvernail, Cory Blickenstaff, John Ware, Jason Harris, and Barrett Dorko, (quickly dubbed after in science-based PT circles as the "Fab Five"), were slapped by an internet cease and desist order (right on the internet in three separate PT forums) by a lawyer in Pennsylvania, representing MFR and John Barnes, supported by Valerie McGraw, a MFR advocate in her own right.

    You can read these "MFR" internet postings, 4 in total, in the attached pdf file.

    Of the fab five, all except Barrett Dorko received personal letters threatening law suit if they did not remove blogposts considered by a collective entity called "MFR" to be "defamatory" and/or "slanderous."

    Why Barrett Dorko was named, yet received no personal letter to his knowledge, is still a mystery.

    The other four who did receive actual personal letters (after the internet notification) threatening them with a lawsuit, moved immediately to comply, and removed the posts in question. You can read Jason's post about this at Evidence in Motion.

    The supporting documentation is posted there, as well. Much as I would like to bring you the complete set of posts that apparently tipped "MFR" into such an action, I cannot, as many of the Fab Five are moderators here on SomaSimple. Since they are under what amounts to a gag order, I cannot post in this forum their original blogposts or the comments that resulted. The EIM threads were heavily visited ones, however, generating many views and provoking much thought and debate.

    It is a sorry state of affairs, in my opinion, that "MFR" or at least people associated with "MFR" posted only once or twice; as I recall, their only rebuttal, really, was to protest that no one could really understand MFR who hadn't been to at least one if not several of the training workshops, and that they weren't really willing to debate the merits or demerits with anyone who had a) not attended the workshops or b) had not read Oschmann's book on "energy medicine."

    As I also recall, it was pointed out that no one really needed to read Oschmann's book on energy medicine to realize that at least one serious reviewer had already done so, and had outlined all its major flaws and many anti-/pseudo-scientific departure points. (See Harriet Hall's review of this book here.)

    This is only one of the many aspects that are spin-offs of this entire issue, legal and otherwise, that have come about as a result of Jason's post series, now retracted. Many questions still loom and are gradually becoming more delineated over time. How does one begin to debate such an ingrown set of beliefs conflated deliberately and directly into a treatment technique, like layers of a samurai sword pounded together? How does one begin to confront each layer as a separate issue when they have deliberately been hammered into each other and taught as a single unit, for decades? How does one know which aspect to start with when the sword itself is so quick to rise and threaten any scientific discussion which attempts to deconstruct the conflation that has been undertaken?

    Here is a post that I wrote on rehabedge on another thread about this "MFR" affair and the suggestion to debate "MFR":
    Quantum??
    If we are going to debate fascia, it might behoove us to become more familiar with what is out there regarding this "scientific rationale" that Barnes would appear to have adopted. The presentation of a reference to "quantum physics" right at the beginning effectively dampens reflection (anti-science) while simultaneously seeming to open up possibilities/explain everything (pseudo-science). Many "new-age" groups, "spiritual" schools, people who make a pretty good living from credulity, use this as their first point. Gee, if no one knows anything, and knowledge isn't possible, then how can one argue anything? Why bother arguing anything? What's the point of deeper thinking or critical thinking? Take it a step further and what would be the point of critical clinical thinking? Putting a reference to "quantum" in anything that is not precisely about quantum, would seem to be a pretty good way to discourage thinking, not engage it - this may be why it has become so popular outside physicist circles.

    It would seem (IN MY OPINION) that Barnes would seem to have decided to hitch the MFR wagon to the postmodern new-age "quantum" "spiritual" movement by including reference to "quantum" matters in his scientific rationale for a treatment technique. He wouldn't be the first to have done so, i.e. Deepak Chopra.

    What will the debate be about (exactly)?
    My question is, do we want to debate anything offered by this frame he has put MFR into? Is this perspective itself not dubious enough to begin with?

    1. Fascia Itself?
    Is the debate going to be about fascia itself (which we can agree exists, and that it has innervation by potentially mechano-sensitive receptors (Stecco, although Stecco et al. dealt with dense compartmental type fascia, not advential fascia); wherever mechanoreceptors exist, they might potentially become upregulated at a cord level..)?

    2. Treatment Construct?
    Is it going to be about the "idea" that we can have some sort of measurable, separable effect on it from outside the body? With a layer of skin in between our hands and it? A layer exquisitely and densely wired for exteroception so the brain knows what's going on the whole time? A layer that cannot be removed in order to accurately measure effects strictly on fascia from our handling, then put back on after, which therefore represents an eternal confounding factor to the problem of anything about treating "fascia" itself? (Not to mention the "myo" of it all..)

    3. The Barnes' rationale?
    ..... or is it going to be about Barnes' (who is the leader) ideas about fascia, intro'ed in "quantum" terms, presented as a "scientific rationale"?


    In Conclusion:
    I do think in order to have a debate of any sort that will have any lasting merit, we have to separate out the issues first. Or separate his ideas from the tissues first. Something like that. Take the entire construct apart and consider each idea separately. Line by line. I don't happen to agree with his ideas of "scientific rationale" at all.

    Here is a paper debunking the "quantum" argument so often used by new -age "healers" to promote themselves, by a physicist, Victor Stenger. It should be read first by any who plan to be involved in this "debate" should it be necessary to argue the proffered 'science' point by point. It's called The Quantum Myth.
    The Quantum Myth is a 10-page pdf.
    "MFR" says it's fine with scientific debate, but apparently it isn't anything like ready for any heated internet rough-and-tumble verbiage that might be involved. Specifically, words like "cult", "predator", "criminal" and "quack" were the red capes at which the Pennsylvania bull charged into the PT tea party that was busily conducting itself in the fine china shop at EIM and elsewhere.

    OK, tea party is definitely over as far as "MFR" is concerned. Got it. It was invited and this was how it chose to respond to the invitation.

    Another thought, about internet boisterousness: what I do with my hands, and the treatment construct I use, has been called a "cult", I have been told to kiss someone's ass, I have been threatened with through-the-computer strangulation; I worked through my own feelings about these insults without taking extreme measures such as this heavy alpha primate lawyer dominance display. What was the point? These were people struggling through various stages in their own thinking, and I'm happy to say that at least one of these individuals has become a friend subsequently. Time softens everything, and if you have decent science-based thinking to fall back on, all you really have to do is wait for everything to work itself out. If you don't, perhaps then you feel trapped and cornered and enraged like a bull in a china shop, and end up hiring a lawyer instead.

    Reactionary thinking forced retraction of some really excellent threads. Too bad. That's all I can think of to say for now.

    Additional threads/reading:
    1. The Endarkenment: are we coming or going?
    2. What exactly is a cult?
    3. Myofascial Release: The Great Conversation
    4. Deconstruction of the Runaway "MFR" thread
    5. Critical thinking and Clinical thinking
    6. The MFR cease and desist thread on RehabEdge
    7. What CAN one call this? (from RE)
    8. Framing a debate: Myofascial Pain (RE)
    9. Jason's retraction thread EIM
    10. MFR/Energy Medicine poll
    11. Article by Victor Stenger, Reality Check: the energy fields of life, published 1998 at csicop.org
    12. The MFR "Scientific Rationale" by J.F Barnes
    13 Carol Davis PT (About one-third down: See, "I have faced significant challenges often in my professional career that often lead to defining moments.." etc.)
    14. Eternal Struggle posts series on pseudoscience, "energy medicine", and MFR
    15. Somasimple thread on "energy medicine."
    16. "My MFR Journey" by patient, Dottie: contains description of "releasing" of "memory" from "fascia"
    17. Post-modernist attack on science-based medicine from Science-Based Medicine blog
    18. Psychology and 'Alternative Medicine' Social and Judgmental Biases That Make Inert Treatments Seem to Work, by Barry Beyerstein
    19. Science-Based Medicine thread on CAM strategy, attempt at socio-emotional manipulation to silence critics
    20. Quantum Gods Don't Deserve Your Faith - book review of Victor Stenger's April 09 book, Quantum Gods: Creation, chaos and the search for cosmic consciousness.
    Attached Files
    Last edited by Diane; 24-04-2009, 03:34 PM. Reason: add new link
    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

  • #2
    Wow!

    Thanks for posting this and linking all of the other threads and their accordant forum sites. Being a one stop shopper, I really appreciate the cross pollinating. Consequently, I was lucky enough to have been able to follow Jason Silvernail's threads over at EIM. Any suggestions for those who weren't so lucky?

    Thanks again.

    Chance

    Comment


    • #3
      Hi Chance,
      I think it should be possible to create a pdf of them, and like any sort of file-sharing, the pdf could be sent to you or other individuals for your/their own private consumption. I will discuss the matter with others.
      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
        ¿freedom of speech?

        dear moderators and all concerned.....

        The action taken against you all is mindboggling.....
        Something unheard of in the European countries.... .I really mean this!
        I sincerely hope that we, europeans never get into similar situations.
        I wish you all the BEST OF LUCK and a little more....
        Praising your bravery in this world of colleagues pressing charges instead of communicating! How very very SAD.
        Please do not up....

        esther

        Comment


        • #5
          The action taken against you all is mindboggling.....
          Something unheard of in the European countries.... .I really mean this!
          I sincerely hope that we, europeans never get into similar situations.
          I wish you all the BEST OF LUCK and a little more....
          The "European" did too.
          Mise en Demeure
          Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. L VINCI
          We are to admit no more causes of natural things than such as are both true and sufficient to explain their appearances. I NEWTON

          Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not a bit simpler.
          If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough. Albert Einstein
          bernard

          Comment


          • #6
            oh dear

            dear Berard,
            I didn´t know this!
            I must have missed something.
            It is still a very sad state of affairs
            Esther

            Comment


            • #7
              Esther,
              I'm not sad at all. Money is nothing. Ideas spread like the wind.
              Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. L VINCI
              We are to admit no more causes of natural things than such as are both true and sufficient to explain their appearances. I NEWTON

              Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not a bit simpler.
              If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough. Albert Einstein
              bernard

              Comment


              • #8
                Seems like a short term solution to a long term problem. I don't see the benefit to them, but people make all kinds of decisions that don't make sense to me.
                Novice Woo Shoo Kung Foo practitioner. Experienced critic of Truthiness.
                "It used to be, everyone was entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts. But that's not the case anymore. Facts matter not at all...Truthiness is 'What I say is right, and [nothing] anyone else says could possibly be true.' " - Stephen Colbert

                Comment


                • #9
                  Lawsuit

                  MFR 's lawsuit only draw attention to them. If you can't attack the ideas (evidence) then attack the person; an old courtroom trick. Hang in there.

                  Don S.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Thanks Don. Hopefully, the right sort of attention.
                    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


                    • #11
                      "Fab Five ", I want to express my solidarity with you. I'd been a MFR practitioner along several years, and a lot of techniques they use are the same that appear in Diane's DNM manual, but Diane's explanations for those techniques is really credible and very good established on a solid scientific basis , so I think MFR practitioners migth follow the scientific path and to leave the mystic way. But as we say in my country "there aren't anybody more blind that who doesn't want to see".

                      Regards.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Nabor, on behalf of the fab five who cannot speak on account of what amounts to their "gag order," thank you for your post.

                        As for techniques in my manual which resemble MFR techniques, I can't help it that there are very few (if any) ways to stretch skin, other than put two hands on it and lengthen it between the anchorage provided by those two hands.. in fact I would submit that skin stretch is all that's really happening with MFR too, but of course none of them would ever believe me, so .... that's life I guess.

                        In order for the MFR camp to cleanly prove they are "right" and I am "wrong," that their construct is the sounder of the two, they'd have to take off that sensing skin layer, "release" the "myofascia," then put the skin back on again after. I don't think they can effectively do that, therefore the more logical of the two approaches in which lateral stretch is applied to skin (mine), with the more logical name (DNM), wins in the long run. Why is it more logical? Because it takes into account and explains a greater number of variables that are known by science about human nervous system origin and function without resorting to any pseudoscientific explanations.
                        Last edited by Diane; 10-10-2008, 04:21 PM.
                        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


                        • #13
                          Barnes Rational

                          Barnes :
                          The
                          foundation of science was built on quicksand
                          . This is also why traditional
                          therapy only produces limited and temporary results. My serious back injury
                          and resultant struggle to regain my strength and health opened my eyes to
                          the limitations of traditional therapy. My Myofascial Release philosophy,
                          principles and techniques were developed years ago through my experiences,
                          trial and error, intuitive guidance and feedback from my patients
                          , despite
                          the fact that it didn't jive with what science said I should be thinking or
                          doing. Traditional scientist's obsolete view of the human as a bag of
                          chemicals has eroded healthcare into the biochemistry of disease.
                          No wonder we don't find scientific fact
                          I really don't think I want to built my practice upon that kind of logical reasoning !
                          Frédéric Wellens, pht
                          «We often refuse to accept an idea merely because the tone of voice in which it has been expressed is unsympathetic to us.»
                          «
                          Those who cannot understand how to put their thoughts on ice should not enter into the heat of debate.
                          »
                          Friedrich Nietzsche
                          www.physioaxis.ca
                          chroniquesdedouleur blog

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I am missing most of the good stuff.

                            I really wish Somasimple had a a better home page which had links to blogs of the moderators here and links to other discsussions about evidence based PT. Then it will truly be a hub for all the PT's looking for scienitifc based discussion.
                            Anoop Balachandran
                            EXERCISE BIOLOGY - The Science of Exercise & Nutrition

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Anoop-

                              Try The Surfing Amigos.
                              Jason Silvernail DPT, DSc, FAAOMPT
                              Board-Certified in Orthopedic Physical Therapy
                              Fellowship-Trained in Orthopedic Manual Therapy

                              Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist


                              The views expressed in this entry are those of the author alone and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the US Government.

                              Comment

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