Finding common ground…

So I was going to write another blog ranting about how batshit crazy our profession can be again after I saw another ridiculous post on social media making some ludicrous claims. But I changed my mind. Instead, I thought I would try a different approach and see if I can find any common ground with those I most disagree with. Now don’t worry I haven’t gone all soft and mushy, I just thought I would see if there is anything that could help me understand and better connect with those I strongly disagree with. Let’s see how it goes.

So this process was triggered after I saw a recent post on Facebook from someone called David Weinstock, a Natural Therapist who runs something called ‘Neurokinetic Therapy’. He posted about how tattoos and belly button piercings adversely affect fascia and can throw your “core off” causing dysfunctions, problems, and pain (see below). Now, this is clearly a load of bollocks and needed to be questioned, challenged, and called out as complete and utter bull shit. And I did, as did many others.

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Short Temper?

Now many tell me that I am too harsh, too direct, or even too aggressive when I challenge stuff like this on social media, they say I would have more success if I softened my approach and was more ‘polite’ and ‘respectful’. Well, this may be true, I can go ‘off on one’ from time to time and many think I have a short temper because of this. Well, I don’t have a short temper, I just have a quick and violent reaction to clear and obvious bull shit, and clear and obvious bullshit needs to be treated with disdain and disgust, not politeness and respect.

And in my experience people who make stupid claims like this never listen to anyone who disagrees with them, no matter how nice, polite, or respectful they are. And this was proven by David Weinstock when ALL the comments, questions, and critique left on this idiotic Neurokinetic Therapy post were deleted, no matter how polite or rationale they were worded, they ALL got deleted.

This is not surprising to me, I often see this happen when anyone disagrees with these pillocks who clearly have vested interests in selling a particular method, a special technique, or promoting their books and training courses. When someone disagrees or questions their claims they are considered a threat and so are tarnished as disrespectful assholes for asking a question or daring to critique no matter how its worded.

So when I see this behaviour nowadays I can’t be bothered with questioning them anymore, there is no point, you either get ignored, or end up going around in circles. Instead, I think our efforts are best used calling out this kind batshittery more publicly. Again many disagree saying a softer, nicer, more lenient approach is needed, well you can give that a go, but please do let me know how it works out for you.

The world of crazy!

Now Weinstock and his Neurokinetic Therapy are not alone, there are many, many others who in my opinion are just as coco bananas and whose elevator doesn’t quite reach the top floor, who peddle clear and obvious bull shit on social media and who need to be called out for it, as they don’t acknowledge differences of opinion, alternative explanations, or respect disagreement. For example there is Perry Nickelson and his ‘Stop Chasing Pain’ approach, Ron Hruska and his ‘Postural Restoration Institute’, Tom Myers and his ‘Anatomy Trains’, and of course Naudi Aguilar and his ‘Functional Patterns’.

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All these individuals and their institutions are notorious for making wild, ridiculous, Tony Montana ‘say hello to my little friend’ crazy claims about being able to fix this, correct that, cure it faster, better than anyone else, and of course they all sell their books, courses, gadgets and gizmos as well. But more importantly, they are ALL notorious for ignoring different views and opinions, closing down disagreements, and attacking anyone who questions or challenges them or their methods.

So I thought I could rage and moan about these numb skulls, but as I said at the beginning I thought I would try a different approach for a change. Is there ANYTHING I can find in their material and social media posts that I can work with, that I can connect with, that I can find common ground with.

So I dug around hard, very hard, and looked deep into their web pages, and profiles, and blogs, and social media posts fighting hard to control my laughter, anger, and frustration when I read what they had to say. I looked and looked to see if there was ANY common ground in their thinking and their methods and mine.

And simply put there isn’t much… but, with some wishful thinking, hard reading between the lines, and possibly clutching at some very thin straws I think I found a couple of things that these individuals and myself may have in common, so here they are…

No1: They want to help!

I do think that all these individuals mostly have a genuine desire to help people in pain. Yes ok they have some deranged, bonkers, lady gaga ideas about how to do it, and they don’t understand or recognise the many alternative explanations of why what they do, does what it does. Nor do they recognise the possible negative nocebic side effects their methods could create. But then do I fully understand all the reasons why things I do work or don’t, or recognise all of the harmful things I may say and do? Probably not!

I think that there are very few malicious healthcare practitioners who deliberately look to rip people off just for their money and don’t care about helping them. I remember seeing a video of Perry Nickelson a few months ago helping a very elderly gentleman walk after multiple strokes, and you could see the genuine joy on Perry’s face as he helped this man walk for the first time in months. However, unfortunately, Perry was promoting some whacko ‘Neuro Amino Frequency’ stickers that were placed on this gentleman’s arms and forehead as being the reason for him walking, which is clearly bull shit.

Of course, there are some scumbags out there ripping off the vulnerable and needy, but for the most healthcare professionals are not malicious, just ignorant, misguided, or misinformed, who don’t recognise the uncertainty around what they do or realise the consequences their methods or approaches could have. But I don’t feel that sorry for them and really this is their own fault. If they chose to listen to alternative views and different opinions more and didn’t simply ignore or delete those who disagree with them they may start to realise there could be other explanations.

No2; They get people moving!

Again they may have some screwy, squirrely, crackerjack ideas about how to do it, but most of those I disagree with all try to get people in pain to move more. They do often tend to focus on the small, inconsequential details, and believe in so called perfect form or positioning for everything and anything, but they still get people moving. And as much as this batty bonkers reasoning about perfect form, fancy tri-planar vectors, standing on a boss ball training is, I will always think dumb movement is better than no movement.

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Even the king of perfect alignment and correct posture Naudi ‘functional patterns’ Aguilar gets people moving more, a lot more actually, and if I let you in on a little secret and you don’t tell anyone else… I sometimes use some of his exercise ideas with some of my patients… I know its shocking, but the angry little chipmunk does have some good ideas about movement, I just draw the line at wrapping bands around my patient’s necks to their ankles, giving them a gazzilion instructions, telling them this is the only way to move, or that the biomechanics are to be focused on solely.

But yet again due to these nut jobs ignore or rubbish others views and opinions and so these so-called movement experts simply don’t recognise the negative and harmful effects some of their methods have on people when they ask them to only move in a certain way, or tell them this is imbalanced or out of whack, and so our common ground ends here.

No3: They want to make a difference!

One last thing I seem to have in common with all of these individuals I disagree with a lot is we all want to reach a big audience so we can spread our message, views and opinions. Our motives are often to try and promote change and create a difference to help those in pain and disability, and there are many similarlrites in how myself and those I disagree with do this.

Attracting attention in this day and age can be hard. In fact it can be impossible as there is so much noise it can be difficult to get yourself heard and noticed. So at times an outrageous act or statement can and does make people stop and take notice you. Now I am not saying this is right but I will admit I am guilty of this at times. I often will play devils advocate taking a much harder position than I actually have, even at times exaggerating it for effect… Except for my views about manual therapy, I haven’t exaggerated those… I fucking hate it… that shits for real… I promise. Also, I do swear this much, not just for attention!

However, the difference I have from those I disagree with, is I want to promote more simple, honest, and pragmatic message that doing the simple things well is often all that we need to do, but we need to be better at doing it. Others tend to promote the exact opposite, pushing a particular way, method, or technique, that is complex and complicated, and often not needed. I often want to simplify, they often want to complicate. This is where our common ground ends.

Summary

So there you go, some common ground with those I disagree the most with. It was hard, really hard, actually nearly fucking impossible, but I did it, I managed to find a couple of things I have in common with those I don’t agree with. And actually this has made me reflect a little, first that I should do this more often before I go off on one, and second that despite our differences around the unhinged, nut job, off the reservation ideas of neuro amino stickers, tattoos causing fascial adhesions, and tight psoas muscles, it may not matter that much if we are all helping people in pain to move more.

Actually, what the fuck am I on about… ignore that, bull shit ALWAYS needs to be called out as bull shit. Call it out!

As always thanks for reading

Adam

 

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