Oldies are Goldies

Golden oldies but new classic novellas!



Novellas are longish Explain Pain stories – they could take 5 -10 minutes or even longer. Patients can read them or perhaps therapists can construct a story from them. Lorimer and I have constructed 15 novellas in Explain Pain Supercharged, and here is the one I use most frequently.

Oldies are goldies  

Most of us are living longer! Sixty is the new 40, 80 the new 60 so we hear. Phew! Living longer is usually a good thing but ageism is in the air. Ageism is a negative perception of getting older and of older people. It’s a really big personal and societal DIM (Danger in Me neurotag) and it needs to be challenged. Young and old people can be ageist, older people can be ageist about themselves, health professionals and sometimes government departments and companies are ageist. Let’s challenge it, first by obliterating some myths about…

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‘Motion is Lotion’ has taken off

Doesn’t need to be Spring or Summer to need some “Motion Lotion” applied……


I don’t know where this memorable and marvellous metaphor came from but I have been using it since a post grad manual therapy degree in 1985. It seems to have spread around the world. When a patient leaves the clinic if motion is lotion is all they remember, then in many cases, it is probably an adequate summary of what I want them to learn. It implicitly links movement to health and it inspires healthy imagery – I think of coconut sunblock lotion and beaches!

Motion is lotion is an example of functional knowledge  ‘know how’ knowledge that an individual can use to inform action and change behaviour. But in order to offer functional knowledge to patients, therapists need a deep base of declarative knowledge, this is the more detailed, more technical understanding of a topic – you could also think of it as content, or the kind…

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I’m just a physio…

Me too……. (Thanks Adam for articulating – again!)

The Sports Physio

I often get accused of not being a ‘proper’ physiotherapist. Many call me a glorified personal trainer in some misguided, delusional, laughable belief that this is an insult to me. Many think that because I don’t use manual therapy, or electrotherapy, or dry needling, or taping, or any other crappy adjunct to help people in pain or with disability, preferring to use education and exercisethat I am not fit to call myself a true physio.

This makes me both laugh and cry at the same time. First it makes me laugh that many physios have the arrongant belief that personal trainers are beneath them and to call a physio one is somehow an insult. Even though personal training is an unregulated profession and anyone can claim to be one from the snot nosed teenager with a shitty weekend course, to the highly experienced and qualified ex-pro-athlete, most physios could…

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Twin Everest Model: dans la peau de Kilian Jornet!

Pour mes amis francais!


A good friend of NOI, Yannick Barde-Cabusson has previously translated our DIM SIM NOInote into French – Les DIMs et les SIMs. Yannick has now translated a number of classic NOI infographics and has written a series of blog posts to go with them – here he is in his own words with a piece on the Twin Peaks Model. If you are a French speaking NOIjam follower, please enjoy, if not, you may have a friend who is, that you could share this with. Our thanks to Yannick for his work.

Le « Twin Peaks Model » (voir la figure ci-dessous) tiré du livre « Explain Pain* » est un modèle poursuivant plusieurs objectifs d’éducation thérapeutique à la douleur. Il peut permettre au patient de découvrir que douleur et dommage tissulaire ne sont pas nécessairement liés ou encore comprendre comment son système nerveux (SN) s’est sensibilisé et utilise la douleur pour le…

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Great expectations…

Adam Meakins hits the spot again…… “We all go through life with expectations. We expect our alarm clock to wake us up in the morning, we expect the day to go the way it usually does, we expect a kiss from our partner when we get home…

Source: Great expectations…

Stressed Unstressed

Yet another angle on the mind and it’s power by David Butler. (I may question him on the difference between need and desire? over a Shiraz maybe!)


Use FB - Stressed

I have always loved Rudyard Kipling’s uplifting poem ‘If’ – it’s too long to repeat here, but easily available. Just a few lines …

“If you can dream and not make dreams your master

If you can think – and not makes thoughts your aim.

If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster,

And treat those two impostors just the same.”

Wandering through one of those increasingly rare independent bookshops on a rainy Sunday afternoon, I picked up ‘Stressed Unstressed‘ – a collection of over 100 ‘classic poems to ease the mind’. Published by William Collins in 2016 the poems are categorised into groups such as stress-beating, meditating, stopping, grieving, moving on and positive thinking. Lovely stuff and ‘If’ was in it!

At NOI we hold the fundamental belief that the arts have a potent yet sometimes unrecognised place in the treatment of chronic pain. This book is so welcome as a…

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Do no harm! Do nothing!

I remember way back in my student days in an exam for in-hospital patient post-op an open gall bladder op & after assessing the client electing not to finish a treatment but electing to allow the patient to rest & review later in the day. I was quite nervous until I got my results ( very pleasing) but more relevant was an early lesson in sometimes the “best Rx” is not to treat! Great blog Adam!

The Sports Physio

The desire to help others is very strong in many therapists, that’s usually why they are therapists. But sometimes this desire to help and do something may actually be to the detriment of those we are trying to help, and without realising it therapists may be doing more harm than good for many of their patients.

If you have been watching the Olympics in Rio then i’m sure you have seen a few of the athletes in the USA team appearing with circular bruises created by this so called ‘cupping’ treatment that has generated a lot of discussion and debate on social media and the tinternet, some for it and some against it.

Michael Phelps ‘wearing’ cupping marks

This ‘cupping’ treatment dates back to medieval ages and is believed to help reduce muscle soreness and aid recovery by lifting the skin under a suction effect beneath a cup hence its…

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