Friday, May 21, 2010

Fresh spring, fresh start

It helps that I just returned from Brazil, buoyed by an amazing, once-in-a-lifetime adventure of travel, presenting to a crowd of somewhere between 1500 to 2000 people, all-expenses-paid, with a hotel room looking out the south hemisphere's version of the Atlantic Ocean, right across the street. I never dreamed anything like this opportunity would come to me in a million years. Even when it did, I couldn't believe it had. Now that it's over, and I'm back, it feels like a fabulous dream. Except that I have pictures of the trip, and a little trophy for presenting, so I know it must have been real.

I provided two presentations, each 40 minutes, through a translator. The first one was on the Neuromatrix model of pain, an the other was on dermoneuromodulation, my own version of manual therapy and an argument in favor of good handling based on nervous system considerations as opposed to structuralist and other mesodermal considerations.

I had a chance to speak up close and personal with a few of the English-speaking (much much) higher rollers in the profession, Paul Hodges and Sarah Mottram, and engage them in a fierce conversation or two. Both of them are doing nice work, but work from a perspective that (too narrowly, in my opinion) targets only the voluntary efferent aspect of the multi-dimensional human nervous system and leaves out consideration of all its afferent aspects, handling only to "correct" somebody's posture, or to electrically "stimulate" some sort of observable and variable muscular response. Neither of these people have anything much to say about strategic deliberate handling of tissue or what the brain might think about that on all its multiple levels, so I suppose the conversations were mostly just flybys. They were entertaining though.. and these are sweet people - just not on any kind of resonant human primate social grooming level with me at all. In any way. Whatsoever. They believe (at least I gathered they do) that motor output is all there is or should be interesting in PT. The "movement specialist" thing. This to me indicates a seriously blinkered perspective which shrinks the interactive aspects of physiotherapy to "operator" stance only, and doesn't explicitly deal with somatosensory input or the kinds of (usually favorable, provided the nervous system isn't sick) changes, effects on pain perception, which can catalyze in a neuromatrix on multiple levels. Sarah commented that she thought my term "human primate social grooming" was "horrid." Alrighty then...

I have more blog posts to make about this fantastic adventure, and I will. I'll tell you all about Brazil from the vantage point of a human primate social groomer of exceedingly low rank in the greater human troop, who quite suddenly found herself being treated like a queen and knew not quite what to make of it all.

However, now I have to arrange to go back to Vancouver for 5 days, rent a car, dismantle what's left of my practice, deal with paperwork (never my fave), get rid of the "stuff" (treatment table, etc.), stow my patient files appropriately and legally with a PT in BC (already organized) until they have expired, visit the bookkeeper, pick up and file my income tax finally - I have til mid-June apparently.

This is all major organizing-cognitive hard drive stuff for me. I'm never very good at it, or at least I always feel completely incompetent at it, but I have to say I doubt I could have got any of it done the shape my cognitive hard drive was in a year ago or even half a year ago - it has been doing a lot better since moving back into sunshine. Now I can remember lists of items again, as long as they aren't very long. I can make plans again and execute them more seamlessly instead of just following my nose around and course-correcting by bumping into the walls of reality/social troop requirements. Things are looking up this year. Less stress, less depression, less pressure, less rain and fewer foggy grey days.


Ben Davies said...

I always followed many of your inputs to the NOIblog when i was up and running. Always found them very challenging and compelling. I'd love to know if you ever have any invites to speak in the UK.
all the best
Ben Davies

Diane Jacobs said...

Hi Ben,

The invitation to present in Brazil was the first one I ever received in my life and so far, the only one.
I've never been invited to speak in the UK, in other words.