Sunday, 26 September 2010

Spaniard in the works

Fly in CE's international ointment

From Spain, a list of professional services offered by people qualified in physiotherapy, which in Englih goes something along the following lines –

Physiotherapy is the science and art of physical treatment, including a set of methods, approaches and techniques through application of physical agents to prevent and cure diseases, enhancing, restoring and improving the state of health.
Within the powers granted, the qualification in physiotherapy refers to professional care by implementing physical agents through various methods and techniques. The therapist also develops research activities, teaching and management within physiotherapy units as part of the multidisciplinary team
Constant scientific and technological advances have expanded and perfected the field of knowledge of the physiotherapist, adding to the basic knowledge provided at initial training, through continuing education and graduate study.
Use of different physical agents implies knowledge of the various forms, techniques and methods of application.
This present document, prepared by the Committee on Education and Research of the College of Physiotherapists of the Professional Community of Madrid, aims to arrange therapeutic agents, forms of application and techniques, understand the actions that comprise the physiotherapist's skills, and schematise and arrange them according to various topics and fields of action, based upon the university curricula of the Colleges of Physiotherapy in the Community of Madrid.
It also encompasses the various training areas that provide common knowledge shared by all health professions.

You hardly need read Spanish to understand section 14 from the lists that follow:

1.   Método de Bobath
2.   Método de Brunntrom – Técnica Cutánea Sensorial de Feedback de Brunnstrom
3.   Método de Vojta – Locomoción Refleja
4.   Método de Rood
5.   Método de Kabat
6.   Método de Temple Fay
7.   Método de Doman y Peto
8.   Método de Perfetti – Ejercicio Terapéutico Cognoscitivo
9.   Método de Facilitación Neuromuscular Propioceptiva de Voss y Knott
10. Técnicas de Reaprendizaje Motor de Carr y Shepherd
11. Método de Cotton y Kinsman
12. Método de Reeducación a base de Reflejos Posturales
13. Ejercicios de Coordinación de Frenkel
14. Método de Phelps
15. Método de Eirene Colling [sic]

Oh dear, 'neurological'!

And one hardly needs draw attention to number 7. Método de Peto does not even merit a complete entry of its own – and what extraordinary bedfellows to regard as compatable. What a bizarre coupling! What depth of misunderstanding...

How many years, how much hard work and hope, and how many hundreds and hundreds of thousands of Euros have gone into getting CE going in Spain? And in 2010, how tiny and distorted its impact upon professional awareness.

Not just a Spanish fly

From inside CE, the conductive movement may seem huge and consequential. Is what the Spanish physiotherapy establishment thinks, however, a fair and better representation of how actually the world now sees it, some little fringe thing, something 'neurological' that omniscient physios might dip into should they wish? In a world apparently obsessed with the quest for biological explanations for every aspect of human consciousness and learning, feeling and activity (despite such explanations' inevitable inability to deliver practical benefit), is this as good as it gets? There are even conductors with the same biologistic expectations – even some of CE's own paid operatives acting to place it down in a corner of the 'therapies'.

Is this the real state of the vaunted 'revolution in the care and welfare of the motor-disordered'. If so, then that revolution has faltered, failed.

No need particularly to single out Spain of course, or even physiotherapists, other than this particular document has just drawn attention to itself by being published (and already much republished) on line. The fly in CE's ointment is its failure to broadcast what it is – and what this implies. This fly is international and affects equally would-be users and to those who are paid to know better ('the professionals').

So, what to do...? Perhaps a new generation can recast its goals.

Maybe we were wrong to hope for that revolution. Maybe noble enough is the more realistic goal of keeping small flames of transformative pedagogy and upbringing alive where we can, by means of successful exemplars through what we call 'Conductive Education'.

Maybe James Forlitti's last surviving goldfish is a good icon!


Comición de Formació e Investigación (2010) Descriptor de servicios profesionales ofertados por los titulados en fisioterapia, Madrid, Ilustre Colegio Profesional de Fisioterapeutas de la C.M.

Forlitti, J. (2010) Goldish... Conductive Education in B.C., 26 September 

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