Sunday, August 26, 2012

Looking forward and back, post San Diego

I feel rested now, and able to sort through most of the impressions from the San Diego adventure. I always come back from such glaring exposure feeling a bit raw and undone. This never has had anything to do with the teaching itself, which goes well enough, usually, or the hosting which has always made me feel very well-cared for. It has to do with me, and with the fact that my favorite thing in the world to do is sit quietly at home, reading and thinking, not physically jostle up against hundreds of people in unfamiliar airports, or stand up in front of a group pouring it out for a couple days straight, or make dozens of new friends, or see the world. 

I realize that 'what doesn't kill me will only make me stronger' (exercising has taught me that); I've adapted quite well, I think, considering that the number of times I've taught can still be counted on fewer than two hands: Still, I have to factor in that traveling around and teaching sucks a lot of life out of me; this isn't a life I'd ever choose - it's chosen me somehow, and I'm trying to respond to it, comply with it, because the feedback I'm getting is warm and positive, and I figure it must be important to people even though I still scratch my head, wondering, "why me". 

Anyway,  remarkable things do happen at these encounters sometimes. They have a way of emerging all on their own once a set of logical ideas are laid out in a logical way. I'm not saying remarkable emergences are consistently predictable, or expected. Just that there is something about collective human interchange that sparks something, in people, in real time, in groups, that just doesn't spark outside of real time. 

Something which happened as a consequence of this encounter, is a reflective, thoughtful blogpost by one of the attendees, Walt Fritz, a teacher himself, What I did on my summer vacation. In it Fritz lays open a view of his cognitive shift over the years and some back history on SomaSimple. He mentions a thread in which a battle occurred (virtual only, no actual blood was drawn). 

Here is a link to Myofascial Release: The Great Conversation, from 7 years ago. Warning: it's long. Very long. 

I've yet to read any "conversation" about manual therapy, about ideas associated with it, both good and not good, before or since, that covers as much territory from as many angles so passionately or thoroughly. We finally had to lock the thread to stop it: the observation was made by the administrators and moderators that the topics were circling/repeating endlessly, orbiting entrenched, immovable positions. It was deemed time to move on to other topics. 

Bernard put it on the front page of the forum that we might never have to go over any of its content again. Presumably, MFR enthusiasts who might be drawn to the forum find it easily, and after reading it, either stick around because they are interested in learning what else there is to find out, or they find their beliefs too challenged, are repelled, and leave before trying to engage members in pointless debates about fascia, its supposed magical properties, and how great their own hands are at "releasing" it. Anyone who joins the forum and doesn't happen to see the link, and starts to talk about fascia, is quickly provided with it, asked to read through the "great conversation", and get back to us afterward with any thoughts they (might still) have. 

I met Walt in person last weekend, and am reasonably sure that he's a nice, reasonable, genuine, caring therapist, who, although he took some virtual lumps, did so graciously, and appears to have come through the last 7 years right side up.  He has moved away from most of the memplexes of MFR, it would seem (except for the name itself, which is a memeplex all its own.. and I disagree with a commenter who suggested putting the letter "N" in front of the letters "MFR" - sticking neuro in front of a tissue-based operator treatment concept won't help rehabilitate it into being a more ectodermalist, nervous system-friendly, interactive one, I'm afraid).  

Walt has distanced himself from his previous mentor. It seems he has become his own mentor, which is is what the profession needs - people who learn to think for themselves, who choose to not readily buy into crazy, completely off-base ideas promoted for profit by charismatic people.  

SomaSimple actually owes Walt a debt of gratitude, for without that "great conversation", we may not have reached as many minds as we have so far. So, on behalf of SomaSimple, thank you Walt. And welcome back. 


Walt Fritz said...

Diane, I am surprised that you thanked me for that MFR thread on SomaSimple. In an odd way I hang my pride on that thread. It started the pebble rolling down the hill.

You are a gifted teacher with much to share and I thank you for putting yourself out there.

Warm regards,
Waltsityss 354

Diane Jacobs said...

Thank you for your comment Walt. I look forward to the future.

Walt Fritz said...

Not sure how that ended up as Waltsityss 354, but that should be signed "Walt Fritz"!