I should be doing something more productive instead of writing this blog tonight, but yet again I find myself embroiled in another online fiasco, with accusations of being disrespectful due to some recent comments I made on twitter, and I feel the need to clear the air about a few things said.
The regular complaints and objections I get about my public views and opinions is to be expected, and I don’t really have an issue with most of them. Strong views attract strong opinions in return, it’s to be expected.
However, I am getting really tired of people taking offence at my views and using this as an excuse to complain and whine about me and make ‘official complaints’ and try to discredit or shame me into shutting up!
This will never happen!
The most recent so called offensive thing I have said is that there are many ‘dinosaurs’ holding our profession back, and that our we will only truly progress when they have ‘fossilized’.
I said this in a tweet to vocalise my thoughts and feelings about a particular article I read, and purposely avoided mentioning names. However some one asked what promoted this comment and so I shared an interview of Shirely Sahrmann’s here that I read that I found grossly flawed and inconsistent with current evidence and understanding.
Now Shirely Sahrmann is a very well known and very well respected physio, with many advocates, and who should be admired for all she has done for our profession. However this interview clearly demonstrates a lack of understanding of the recent evidence and advances in pain science.
So that’s what lead me to express my views on dinosaurs. About how I often see and hear the many iconic therapy gurus, such as Sahrmann, Mulligan, Myers, Gray, Lee, both of them, Starret, etc etc promoting their flawed, outdated and erroneous methods of assessment, treatment and management, and yet they seem to go unchallenged and be beyond reproach and unquestionable.
But it appears my opinions are too offensive for some, and they riled a few of the dinosaur disciples to take action. So I find myself tonight fending off the dinosaurs and defending rebukes, rebuttals and ad homs left, right and centre.
This recent fiasco all started thanks to an open letter sent to me publicly via Twitter by the so called ‘progressive’ physio company called ‘Pure Sports Medicine’ and signed by 21 other individuals who express their disdain at my comments of the Sahrmann interview.
The other 21 who signed this letter were well known therapists, academics, clinicians, many of the so called ‘big names’ in the profession. In this letter they express their offence and try to shame me for the way I have expressed my views. See here for their letter and here for my reply.
However, it must be recognised that this is not really about offence, thats just a front usd by these dinosaurs and their followers, this is about rules of debate, discussion and logical fallacy’s.
I will also highlight that all who have signed this letter have at some time or other crossed metaphorical swords with me before, and all have at sometime or other disagreed with me or my views in the past about something or other, usually about biomechanics or manual therapy.
Now let me be clear, by me calling anyone a dinosaur I am of course not actually comparing them to a dinosaur, instead it is a metaphor to describe someone of out dated thinking and reasoning. By calling someone a dinosaur I accuse them off thinking they are right, they are on top of the food chain, and too high and mighty to see alternative explanations , or others views and opinions.
So if I call you a dinosaur, I think you are stuck in the past, stubbornly refusing to accept things have moved on. By calling you a dinosaur I think you believe your way is the only way, and that you like to attack others who threaten your views and opinions rather than defend them following the rules of logical scientific debate. By calling you a dinosaur I see the lip service you give to the past decade of modern pain science, yet still worship at the alter of biomedical reasoning and biomechanics.
By calling you a dinosaur I am asking you to evolve, or step aside… aka fossilise!
Despite talking the talk, dinosaurs don’t walk the walk.
In my experience dinosaurs always place the task of identifying and correcting structure and imbalances as THE priority in the management of painful conditions. They focus on fixing so called movement flaws, and they truly believe that there is a correct way to move, and that they know what this is.
That’s not to say biomechanics are irrelevant or not important. That’s a false dichotomy, and another infuriating logical fallacy I often get accused of. Of course there are times when biomechanics matter, but just not as much or as often as believed by the dinosaurs!
Dinosaurs also believe they are immune from questioning or criticism. Dinosaurs are often placed high on pedestals by their disciples, due to their status, reputation and past work. These dinosaur drones believe that no one should question their beloved gurus, and are quick to attack this that do.
However, no one is immune from criticism, particularly if you teach, write, publish, or even blog. Simply put, if you are bold and brave enough to give your opinions and views, you should also be bold and brave enough to have others question and disagree with them.
Unfortunately the logical fallacy of appealing to authority is often used in these situations. It is a belief that we should all know our place and that some are simply right because they are in positions of authority. This is simply ridiculous. Those in authority have made mistakes in the past, and they will do so again.
When did having a position of authority, or title such as a PhD or Professor automatically make you correct all the time? Of course we should acknowledge and respect the work and effort used to achieve these qualifications. But they are, at the end of the day just qualifications.
It is always worth remembering that the more qualified you become, the narrower your field of vision gets, as beautifully demonstrated in the picture below.
A dinosaur tends to know a lot, in fact they tend to know more and more, but unfortunately about less and less.
More concerning is how the dinosaurs and their followers attempt to restrict others right to express their views and opinions against them, almost like censorship and this is what really annoys me the most.
The right to express a view and an opinion is a basic human right, many have fought long and hard and even died for this right. Ok so disagreements over physiotherapy is not on par with those fighting oppression, corruptness or imperialism, but the same rights exist for all.
This right means we are all able to express our views how we like, and where we like, it also allows us to be direct, controversial, blunt, and even abrasive and annoying if we choose too be. This may seem unfair and being a bit of a dick but that’s life, it’s unfair, deal with it.
So in my opinion the recent outrage about my so called disrespectful behavior is nothing more than an attempt to shut me up by those in supposed authority. And basically in a nutshell they want me to ‘wind my neck in’ because I challenge them and their opinions and I tend to rock their boats often.
If I make you feel uncomfortable, maybe you should ask yourself why. Is it really my ‘tone’ or ‘disrespect’? Or is it that you just don’t like to be challenged, and that your position and premise is beginning too look shaky.
There is also a suggestion that I have some ‘great responsibility’ or duty to curb and restrain my thoughts due to some ‘pseudo popularity’ on social media. This also annoys me greatly.
Lets be honest, the only reason I have some ‘pseudo popularity’ on social media, is because I tend to ask the difficult, awkward questions to these dinosaurs, gurus and authority figures that no one else does (yet many want to).
Lets also remember that being popular on social media means very, very little. It’s like owning a lot of property in a game of monopoly!
Finally I am not forcing anyone to read my blogs or follow my twitter activity. Remember you have a choice what you read. It does amaze me how many people get upset and annoyed at things they CHOOSE to read.
Many also ask if I would say what I write/tweet face to face with those I disagree with. My answer is a simple, yes!
I know there are many keyboard warriors out there, and I know it can be easy to say things in the comfort of your own home, behind a keyboard. I am also well aware of the online dishibition effect and that it can be strong, we can all suffer with it from time to time. But I assure you I will challenge dinosaurs face to face as well as online!
Its been an interesting and frustrating day and I am now off to do that something more productive!