The physical therapy profession is at a crossroads in the United States.
Over the past couple of decades, I’ve watched our profession go into a disconcerting holding pattern. The struggles of 2016 are strangely reminiscent of those in 1996.
We are now faced with what appear to be some difficult questions at this juncture in the history of our profession, and one is very simple. Are we going to accept evolution, or is it time for revolution?
Life is all about balance. It revolves around the principle of homeostasis: the regulation of variables so that internal conditions remain stable.
Writing is but a subset of my world, but homeostasis certainly applies.
Some background is probably hugely valuable right now - otherwise you might think I have well and truly lost my mind in my extended absence from the pages of this blog.
Silence. It’s one of the most beautiful things we experience in life. It’s also one of the most painful.
It might be difficult to imagine how one word can run the gamut across what appears to be the continuum of our lives. It spans the great divide between pleasure and pain, between beauty and agony, between love and loss.
Silence can be succulent and sensational. It can also be painful and power-hungry.
It’s time for all of us to break the silence on silence itself.
All it takes is a quick look in the rear view mirror of life to get as much hindsight and perspective as you can handle. I’ve found that what I see there is oftentimes crystal clear - in retrospect.
When I gaze back at the year 2014, I find myself looking at 365 days in which I was face-to-face with love and loss, frustration and friendship, challenge and consternation. It was the Year of the Dichotomy. I swear it’s on the Chinese calendar.
With great adversity and challenge comes great awareness. That’s my story, and I am sticking with it. In no particular order, here are a few things I learned along the way.
When Punxsutawney Phil - the legendary groundhog - leaves his burrow on February 2 every year, he looks for his shadow. If he sees his shadow,it predicts another 6 weeks of winter ahead. That’s a pretty lousy thought when you live in a northern state.
If you are a patient, or a physical therapist perchance, in the state of Texas, there is a similar phenomenon that takes place every two years. It’s the physical therapy version of Groundhog Day.
In the state of Texas, the debate is upon us once again. HB 1263 - Patient Access To Physical Therapy - is to be heard in the House Public Health Committee on April 7, 2015.
It is time to push aside the fear-driven dialogue and logical fallacies that have clouded this issue for two decades.
Here are just a few reasons why this bill is so important to the health - and liberties - of all Texans.
Running has a way of bringing some of the simple things in life back into focus.
Last month, I finished my 11th 3M Half Marathon. It was a beautiful day to experience the joy of reaching another finish line. Far more important, however, are the lessons learned along the way to those finisher’s medals. You never know when those lessons will make an appearance or provide you with an epiphany of sorts.
I vividly remember one day in December, a day on which I had scheduled a routine long run in preparation for this event. I awoke to a temperature of 40 degrees and rain.
The phrases resound throughout the annals of social media regularly. Owning our profession. Disrupting PT. Solving PT. Transforming society. It all sounds great, doesn’t it?
As much as I agree wholeheartedly with the premise underlying all of these phrases, I fear that they are becoming nothing more than hollow words, platitudes upon which we hang our professional hats while our profession is defined by those outside the profession and not from within.
Physical therapists would probably agree that in a clinical environment, you have to crawl before you walk, and you have to walk before you run. The same applies to our professional woes.
Nothing of value comes easily. However, the ramifications of the failure to do so are even worse.
Some twenty-odd years ago, I stood outside the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, reflecting on the tragic events of April 4, 1968. I have looked out over the National Mall and Reflecting Pool from the Lincoln Memorial, imagining what it must have looked like on August 28, 1963. Fifty-two years later, his words still have the power to bring me to tears.
Today, we remember and honor Martin Luther King, Jr. and his fight for civil rights and for freedom.
Many of us think of “civil rights” in terms of equality. But it is so much more than that for all of us, regardless of race or gender. In Texas, we hear a lot about property rights and the right to bear arms. But perhaps more importantly are those unalienable rights, those rights that we all share and the foundation upon which we all live, as noted in the Declaration of Independence.
Have you considered your health as one of those civil rights?
Welcome to 2015. Once again we find ourselves on January 1, the start of a new year, with a blank slate in front of us. It's that arbitrary date when you sit down and formulate plans for the year ahead and resolve to make any number of changes in your world.
With any luck, these resolutions won't fall by the wayside by week's end.
New Year's Day can also be a time for a ton of platitudes. We talk a big talk when the New Year arrives.
You'll undoubtedly throw lots of big ideas out there today, plenty of big hairy audacious goals for the upcoming year. Great resolutions lie ahead. But are you truly ready to make 2015 remarkable?
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Allan Besselink, PT, Dip.MDT has a unique voice in the world of sport and health care, one that has been defined by his experiences as physiotherapist, mentor, McKenzie practitioner, coach, innovator, author, educator, patient, and athlete. Read more about Allan, contact him, get updates via email, or connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.