With a quarter-million downloads to dateWhitney and Til share their top 5 episode highlights and notable ideas from their third season of interviews, conversations, and inquiries into the thinking behind effective hands-on work.

The Ten Most-Downloaded Episodes from Season Three:

53: Fascia: A Deep Dive (with Dr. Antonio Stecco)
69: Back Pain, Stiffness & Fascia (with Stuart McGill)
56: Working with Rib Issues (with Til Luchau & Whitney Lowe)
71: Fascia & Pain: What We Know (with Helene Langevin)
67: Aging Gracefully, Breathing Well, and Long COVID Recovery (with Jan Sultan)
70: Stretching: Would Everyone Just Relax? (with Jules Mitchell)
68: Working with Sciatic Pain (with Whitney Lowe & Til Luchau)
61: Massage Therapy Research (with Niki Munk)
60: Physical Therapy Assisting and Massage (with Matt Gavzy)
55: What Is Success? (with Diane Matkowski)

Find them all (and get the full transcript)!

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About Whitney Lowe  |  About Til Luchau  |  Email Us: info@thethinkingpractitioner.com

(The Thinking Practitioner Podcast is intended for professional practitioners of manual and movement therapies: bodywork, massage therapy, structural integration, chiropractic, myofascial and myotherapy, orthopedic, sports massage, physical therapy, osteopathy, yoga, strength and conditioning, and similar professions. It is not medical or treatment advice.)

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        Til Luchau                          Whitney Lowe

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Your Hosts:

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whitney lowe Whitney Lowe

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Full Transcript (click me!)

The Thinking Practitioner Podcast:
Episode 82: Season 3 Highlights - Best of the Thinking Practitioner

Whitney Lowe:

Welcome and happy holidays to everyone. The Thinking Practitioner Podcast is supported by ABMP, the Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals. ABMP membership gives professional practitioners like you a package, including individual liability insurance, free continuing education and quick reference apps, online scheduling and payments with PocketSuite, and much more.

Til Luchau:

ABMP CE courses, podcast, and Massage and Bodywork Magazine. always feature expert voices and new perspectives in the profession, including my column and your regular offerings too, Whitney. Thinking Practitioner listeners can save on joining ABMP at abmp.com/thinking. How's it going there, Whitney?

Whitney Lowe:

It's going pretty well. It is cold here in Central Oregon. We were down on single digits this evening and-

Til Luchau:

My goodness.

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah. So it's been a cold and a wet season so far. We've had a fair amount of snow and everything early in this year. We hear that we're going to get that with this El Nino cycle or whatever it is, whichever cycle we're on these days.

Til Luchau:

We're cyclically wet where you are. We're cyclically dry, but also cold. Yeah, we're getting below zero tonight, I'd say.

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah. So we blew it all in your direction. So it's going to warm up here a little bit. I'll let you all have it for a little while.

Til Luchau:

Well, it's nice to have this time with you. Nice to catch up and look back on our third season.

Whitney Lowe:

Yes, this is our retrospective episode here.

Til Luchau:

Yeah. This has turned into a tradition where we go back and share some of the highlights and key features. Rather than go through every single one of the, what was it, 30 or so episodes this last season, we're going to give our greatest hits, our favorites, our highlights perhaps, and then some other things as well.

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah, that sounds good. Also, we're going to just share a little bit about ... You had some interesting stats and things about the podcast and the reach and the sharing of listenership there. What did we learn this year about where we are?

Til Luchau:

Well, we're growing. I went and looked at that just to be accountable to our sponsors, because they want to reach a bunch of people. So I looked up the stats, and we grew a third. We're 33% up in just the last year in terms of listeners' downloads. We have over 30 countries where there are more than a hundred listeners. The list of countries was really, really long. But the countries where there's at least a hundred people, there were 30 of those countries.

Whitney Lowe:

Wow.

Til Luchau:

Yeah, I know.

Crazy how ... 75% of those are here in the USA, but that leaves a lot of folks all over the world that are tuning. So hello to all of you out there.

Whitney Lowe:

And thank you for listening. I hope we're delivering some things that are interesting to your auditory palate, and we'll continue to try to do that again some more next year as well.

Til Luchau:

Yeah. So we're doing something that's causing you to tell people about it or tune back in. So I'm glad about that. I mean, looking back over the guest list, we had some pretty high-profile powerhouse guests and some really interesting topics. We've got really great listener engagement. It's really great to hear from you, those of you who write in and tell us what you're happy with or what you're not happy with. Either way, we'd love to hear that, or all the reviews we get.

But we're looking forward to the coming year. Maybe at the end of the episode, we can share some of the five most listened to episodes, some of our thoughts for the coming year, that kind of thing.

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah, certainly some suggestions of things that are ... We go back through the list and everybody has different interests and things that they get pulled to. There are certain things that I'll share with students or other people on social media that I think are like, oh, this is a definitely don't-miss-this-one listen to episode, because there were some, and we're going to talk about some of these in here, that for me, were mind-blowing with our guests and the things that we learned and the things that we got exposed to. So we'll look forward to tapping into suggestions for what we learned and what we got out of it as well.

Til Luchau:

Well, and it just makes me think that if someone was tuning in right now to this episode as their first one, and maybe just for myself as well, it's worth repeating what you and I are doing are talking to hands-on therapy practitioners, massage therapists, bodyworkers, and allied professions of all sorts, and we are combining fairly technical topics with fairly conceptual ones, things that are right smack dab in the middle of our scope of practice, as well as things that are peripheral or ancillary or supportive on the outside.

But I think it's fair to say, correct me if I'm wrong, Whitney, that we're following our interests. I mean my wishlist is like, oh boy, what do I want to know about now? Who do I want to talk to now? What a great forum it's been to be able to have those conversations or get exposed to these mind-blowing new ideas, like you've said.

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah. I would also put a plug in there too in saying that we have not hesitated under a number of different circumstances to have people on here who disagree with us or have differing perspectives and things like that. I think it's important to give voice to some of those and let people hear some differing ideas and perspectives. There's a good number of guests that come on that I don't agree with everything that they say, and it's probably true for you as well, and those things help us grow, because for me, some of those guests have also changed my mind about things too, which has been really valuable.

Til Luchau:

Yeah. Right. Good for you for changing your mind. I've been dedicated to my stake, maintaining my fixed point of view in the face of any input at all, and doing reasonably well with that. I'm kidding.

Whitney Lowe:

You're doing a stunning job of that, by the way.

Til Luchau:

I'm kidding. They all changed me. But it just makes me think. My wish for the new year, maybe, for the world is even more disagreement that works. It's like we've got to figure out how to disagree about all kinds of stuff and how to make room for each other for conversations. So that's what we're trying to figure out here as well.

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah.

Til Luchau:

All right. So which episodes really stick out for you, Whitney?

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah. So we decided we would go through a list and maybe pull out our top five or something like that. These are, for me, in no particular order, but they were ones from this past year that stood out. I'll start off picking on this one because it's basically what we were just talking about.

We did an episode back on episode 63 called Turnabout is Fair Play. This was about our perspective reversals. You and I talked a good bit about things that we've changed our mind about and things that we've changed our perspective based on what's happened over time, what we've learned, what new research has come out, and some of the challenges that we face by, for example, putting things out there in media presentations, books, videos, training programs, et cetera-

Til Luchau:

Rent.

Whitney Lowe:

... and they have our name on them. Then we change our mind or change our perspective about things. That's always a challenge. I do think there's a lot of people who have a bit more difficulty with changing those things when they put stuff out there, especially if they built a business around a certain model or a narrative or something like that. That can be a challenge.

Til Luchau:

Community, friendships, reputation. All those things are in there. Yeah.

Whitney Lowe:

Absolutely. This is one of those things where change can be uncomfortable, but it is part of the growth process. I certainly value that. I really enjoyed getting to talk with you about what you have changed perspective on, things that you've looked at through different lenses. I think I got a sense that you and I are on the same page with a lot of those things in ways that we've changed over time as well.

Til Luchau:

Well, certainly our narratives around mechanisms. It may be even ... I'm going back and trying to pull out some of those high points. May be even priorities or what ... Mechanisms is the detailed part of what makes the effects that we're seeing. But then for myself, in the big sense, it's like what is even the most important thing to be aiming for here? That's shifted, too.

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah. So there were some interesting insights about that. I think one of the ... If there's a theme that comes out of that, my wish would be for everybody to be open and embracing of change and be comfortable with that, and try to find a way to be more secure in saying, "Yeah, I've changed. This is not what I used to be," or, "I don't necessarily think this any longer." But those things can certainly be challenging for all of us.

Til Luchau:

That's for sure.

Whitney Lowe:

I think too this is particularly difficult sometimes for many of the clinicians and practitioners who spend all day long in the treatment room and don't have the same amount of time to delve into looking at some of these things and being able to look at differing opinions and new perspectives and really compare. Just because something came out of research doesn't mean it's correct or that it's good. There's a lot of poor stuff that also gets published and we have to be careful what we hitch our wagon to sometimes.

Til Luchau:

That's for sure. We need to go to social media to find out what's true and right.

Whitney Lowe:

Exactly.

Til Luchau:

No, it's true. I think-

Whitney Lowe:

It's my guru, right?

Til Luchau:

Well, that ends up being the default information channel for a lot of people, too. We end up having the discussions within our social media bubbles, essentially. It is great to have time to get beyond that and get some more influences.

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah. Great. So tell me-

Til Luchau:

Should I do one?

Whitney Lowe:

... what's been on your notable list for things that really rocked your world a little bit on the podcast?

Til Luchau:

Yeah. Again, no particular order, but the one that ended up here at the top of my list was episode 66, which we called Beyond "It Depends". That was a conversation with Janet Penny, Rebecca Sturgeon about their book on oncology massage. We were joined by my wife Loretta, who herself has been through several rounds of cancer treatment and has been my favorite oncology client and learning laboratory, who have learned so much in having to adjust the ways I thought or the ways that I work when working with her.

So she actually joined us on camera on the podcast, and we basically ran our ideas by her and thought, "What would that be like?" and she said, "Yeah, that would be good," or, "I would like it more like that," or, "I can see how that wouldn't work for me at all." So that was a remarkable conversation, partly, or maybe mostly, because of the way that's close to home for me. So I really enjoyed that one.

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah. I think that episode brought a really interesting perspective that we don't often hear a lot in a lot of the discussions among professional circles, because we always talk about our patients and we always talk about what's happening with them and what's happening in the clinic, but we don't talk to them in this particular format very often. So it was really great to hear personal input and personal discussions from what she brought to that discussion

Til Luchau:

Yeah, that's for sure. She brought that in in a great way. How about you? What was another one of yours, Whitney?

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah, I think the next one, this would probably come pretty darn close to the top of my list of things that I felt have been really profound learning experiences for me through the podcast. This was episode 69 that we did with Stuart McGill called Back Pain, Stiffness, and Fascia. This one was pretty high up on the listener list too, I think.

I could just sit and listen to him talk all day because there is so much rich content in there. Of course I recognize the bias that I have that I think along a lot of the same perspectives that he does in many ways, being fascinated with biomechanics and kinesiology and things like that. His experience and depth with which he's looked into these concepts is just so deep over the many years. I think he just shared some fascinating insights.

I think you and I both did, I think we talked about this a little bit, but I know I listened to probably 15 podcast interviews that he had done with other people before we did this episode. So learned a whole lot from those things as well.

Til Luchau:

That's right, yeah.

Whitney Lowe:

Then got a lot of other good things that I've delved into since that time from his books and other resources. So that one was very impactful for me on that one.

Til Luchau:

For me as well. He's a giant in the field of rehab and back pain, and a storyteller and tons of experience. I ended up sitting at his table at the Fascia Research Congress in Montreal for the dinner cruise, where we were on the boat for a few hours, and got to hear even more of his personal story and his stories about his practice. What a resource and what a character. So it was a great episode as well.

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah. I do recall from the Fascia Research Congress, he got a standing ovation with his presentation, because I think he really connected with people in terms of looking at how does all this stuff that we're learning about really play out clinically in some interesting ways, too? I think a lot of people really liked that connection. Yeah, so what's next on your list?

Til Luchau:

It's, again, just reaching in the box and pulling one out. It was Outside the Box. It was episode 58, which we called Outside the Box. It was my conversation with Judith Aston. Judith was one of Ida Rolf's early trainees. She was one of the first female or women trainees that Ida allowed to do her work. Ida herself was a woman, but was really reluctant to train other women to do her work until Judith very persuasively argued that she would be capable.

She told us that story as a part of our inquiry into women teachers in our field. We spent some time really thinking it through in advance. We got some feedback and we crafted the question, do you feel that being a woman has ever held you back? I asked her that and she didn't like the question. It really opened my eyes to the bias that was implicit in that question.

Her answer was, "Well, I've never really considered it that way, considered that I was held back because of being a woman," or, "I don't really think in terms of the male and female factor," which then some listeners didn't like her answer because it sounded like perhaps she was denying that there was a difference.

But her personal story was very compelling, partly because she has been such a mentor of mine and because she was speaking from an era when a lot of the foundations for certainly the structural integration menage were being laid. And yet her process through that as a person, as well as being as a woman, was really instructive and inspirational. She had a lot of great stories in there as well.

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah. It's so wonderful to have the opportunity to listen to some of these people who have such a rich history of seeing things that have evolved and changed over the decades and been a part of those things on an early stage, too. So I really enjoyed listening to her talk about those early days and how things came about and how she really pushed the envelope to do something in terms of what she wanted to learn from Ida Rolf, as well as what she did with it, when she took it and also did some really innovative things with her work throughout the decades as well.

Til Luchau:

I think this is probably fair. She saw herself pushing the boundaries of, say, academia or professional decorum or credentialing. Probably she identified that as a bigger barrier that she was up against than, say, sex or gender per se. So that was also great to hear because those are relevant today.

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah, indeed.

Til Luchau:

Okay, Whitney, how about you?

Whitney Lowe:

Well, I'll continue on that same theme a little bit. Initially, you'd had the interview with Judith as a part of this group of interviews that we were going to do. This ended up being episode 65, Women Leaders in Massage Therapy. We did three other interviews with CG Funk, and then you did one with Ruth Werner, and I talked with Irene Diamond.

For me, when I think about notable episodes for us, this one was notable on a number of fronts. One, like you said, we got quite a bit of listener feedback about some of the things that we did in terms of the way some of our questions were framed there and also some of the things that came out of these interviews as well.

So, for me, this is one of those ones that I learned a lot out of in terms of looking at some of my own implicit bias and perspectives about the lens through which I as a man in this profession look at some of these things. I learned a lot from our interviewees in talking with them about their experiences as well, too. So this was a really good learning one for me and one which I ... I think you and I talked about this, do we go back and just do this thing all over again? Because I think we said we could do a better job after it was all over by the things that we learned from those discussions and from some of the feedback and input that we got from people.

But sometimes you put out there the product that you built and you learn from that, even if it's not the perfect solution or the perfect answer to things sometimes.

Til Luchau:

Yeah. That's the nature of bias. We need to hang it out and we need to discuss it and we need to be called on it and then look at it. That's how we learn. But I'm with you. It was, again, the question of ... It's that question, has being a woman held you back, does that assume that being the woman is the problem, not the system per se, which is a really good point. Is it trying to address a systemic issue on an individual level? Lots of really great ways to deconstruct that or think about the larger picture and then the place we're coming from when we formulated that question as well. But, yeah, the conversations were fantastic with all four of those women who agreed to join us and delve into that.

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah. I just want to put a plug out to the readers. The conversations were great too with the feedback that we got about that, because we were able to really delve into some of these things with some of the people who wrote back into us about this in ways that for me, personally, helped me look at this through different lenses and see some things, like we said, in ways that we might want to craft better questions, better inquiries into some of these things, and look at these through a different perspective. So it was a good learning one for me.

Til Luchau:

Great.

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah. What's next for you?

Til Luchau:

My next one?

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah.

Til Luchau:

It was my conversation with Jan Sultan. Jan Sultan was also one of Ida Rolf's early trainees. He was one of her first teachers. He is still teaching at the Rolf Institute. And so, we got some of his stories, which were great for me because I was in his footsteps, maybe 15, 20 years behind what he was doing. So we did some of the same things, went to some of the same places.

But then we really delved into the question of aging and aging gracefully. He had recently had COVID and was still in recovery. It was quite a long protracted recovery for him. He shared a bunch of the process of that, but then his particular practices and tips as well. So it was a long conversation because we just kept going and going. But there was a lot to say.

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah.

I love, too, this episode. I have to say to you that this is one of those things where I felt like I was able to be a fly on the wall listening to two friends talk really deeply about their shared experiences through life. That was really a fascinating and interesting perspective on there. I loved hearing that discussion with him.

I have this crazy memory thing that I sometimes will remember strange, odd facts and things. I have to remember, there's an article, I even remember the title of it, one of the very first articles that I saw in Massage Magazine, maybe.

Til Luchau:

Was it one of his?

Whitney Lowe:

In and Around the Shoulder Girdle with Jan Sultan.

Til Luchau:

Yes, absolutely.

Whitney Lowe:

I read this like, wow, this guy's really interesting. That was all the way back in 1987-ish, probably, or something like that.

Til Luchau:

It probably was. Yeah, he was writing some of the first stuff we had in print. It was an oral tradition to that point. There was quite a bit of cultural taboo around writing it down because there was a history of secrecy and keeping the knowledge just for ourselves. He really did push up against that taboo with those articles and then with his later teaching, too. I was really fortunate to have had him as a close mentor and now friend.

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah. I think that just further illustrates again too some things. You and I have talked about this in different situations and different contexts over time, how valuable it is and just rich and lucky we are to have been in the places that we were at the times that we were there to meet with certain people and have them be very influential for us. That's a really lucky phenomenon that really helps you grow and push your own ideas and boundaries in different ways. Certainly I could see and hear that in the discussion with the two of you, how much you had really shared some of that journey over the years as well. So that was a great one.

Til Luchau:

Well, and then I'm just remembering that Rebecca, my customer service manager, said she had that episode on the car and her partner, who is not a bodyworker, not on this field at all, got really fascinated, really interested. He says, "Wow. Are all the guests this interesting? I want to sign up for this podcast." He's not even a bodyworker.

Whitney Lowe:

She did say yes, didn't she?

Til Luchau:

That's right, absolutely.

Whitney Lowe:

Okay.

Til Luchau:

What have you got? What's next on your list?

Whitney Lowe:

Let's see, next on my list. I pulled up this episode 70 that was with Jules Mitchell, the yoga practitioner extraordinaire. This was episode 70, Stretching: Would Everyone Just Relax? was the title of this. Sometimes you read a book or see something or whatever and it just really clicks with you.

I got an early copy of Jules's book, Yoga Biomechanics, and it was one of those things, like I hate to say this about a textbook, but I couldn't put it down. It was really fascinating because there was all this stuff in there that was just going against many of the things that I thought and I knew about stretching and thought I understood about stretching. It was a wonderful illustration of a lot of the current research around stretching issues.

Til Luchau:

Yeah, that's right. She did her master's in science around the question of tissue change after having been a yoga teacher for a long time. So she really applied some basic concepts from material science to tissue, and to have it broken down in that way also was super helpful and exciting for me as well to have her listen to.

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah, and that's another great example too of crossing boundaries across fields and professions. I mean Jules does have a background in massage therapy. She had been trained in this as well.

Til Luchau:

Yeah, that's right.

Whitney Lowe:

But her primary focus right now is as a yoga teacher. There's just a lot of crossover in a lot of the concepts and ideas with things that we do with movement activities, with practitioners, and things that fall right into that same wheelhouse very much so. It was a natural fit for a lot of things that we were doing.

Til Luchau:

Yeah. Next on my list. Ready for that?

Whitney Lowe:

Yes, let's have it.

Til Luchau:

It was episode 73, a conversation with Ruth Werner. I see that Ruth made it onto both of our lists. We had two conversations with Ruth last year and they both made it in both of our lists. 73 was about long-term Lyme disease. She had just published, I thought, a really great article on that topic in massage and bodywork.

That's a subject that's close to my heart because I suffered with long-term Lyme for about three years and couldn't work and things like that. But also it's topical because it has a lot of implications to people dealing with long COVID, perhaps some of the same mechanisms or immunological patterns around that, but also the cultural or societal place that people end up when they have a disease or a medical condition or a disability it can become for many of us that isn't easy to define and isn't easy to address and isn't easy to make better. No matter the best of our efforts, it continues to bother us.

So the conversation was great in that sense about the condition itself, but even better for me was about how do we help as practitioners, as hands-on practitioners? What do we do? What can we do? How do we approach those clients that we might have who are dealing with those kinds of issues in a helpful way? If nothing helps, what can we do that might actually help?

Whitney Lowe:

I think so often that's what you and I are aiming at with a lot of our discussions here, is to frame some of these interesting topics and, wow, this is really fascinating stuff, but also bring it back around to how does this impact those people who are in the clinic day after day, hour after hour, working with people, and how can we help them take what we're sharing here to do something that is relevant for helping make people better?

Til Luchau:

Yeah. That is where we bring it back to, and it's helpful. I mean partly it's because we have such a practical bent in our culture. We want to know what to do. We're hands-on people. We want to do something, we want to know what that is. What does that translate into what I can do with my hands?

So that's where we're trying to bring most of these discussions. It's a great practice because I can certainly rabbit hole out on some of these concepts just for their own sake. It means what can we do about it? She had some great ideas. We came up with some together. They were really useful.

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah. So let's see, next on my list was ... This was episode 62, Educational Innovations. This was an interview that I did with Anne Williams and Eric Brown. I put this on my list simply because I got to geek out on a topic that I don't get to talk about that much, and that is instructional design and educational theory and learning theory and things like that.

There aren't as many people, I think, in our field who are passionately obsessed with this kind of stuff in the way that I am. Eric and Anne, in particular, really delve into that sort of thing. So I really enjoyed getting to take a deep dive on some of those concepts and talk about it.

This is really important to me, not only just how do we as educators give information out to people, but how do we do it in a really effective way that makes lasting change for people? We're actually learning a lot in the fields of cognitive psychology and learning science about how people learn and the best ways to share content and to share information.

A lot of the ways that we've been doing this for a long time just really aren't the best ways to do it. And so, I'm both excited and also somewhat intimidated too about how some of these educational changes may play out in the future, like how do we make some of these big, big changes in terms of presenting things and doing stuff the way people learn?

Til Luchau:

Give us an example. What's one of the big changes that is exciting or nerve-wracking? What's one of those?

Whitney Lowe:

Well, personally for me, I've been a big fan of this idea of mastery learning, for example, the idea that we measure learning by outcomes and people mastering a certain determined either set of competencies or something like that and getting off the clock, where we're measuring learning time, either in entry level education or in continued education, by hours, because time is not a measure. Time is not a good measure. It's convenient and easy, but it's not a good measure of learning.

So it's one of those things that I think if we can change the mindset around how we look at some of those concepts and ideas, it's very hard to change the structure of those systems, where the licensure and the renewals of certifications and all that kind of stuff is all wrapped around time and hours.

Til Luchau:

Yeah, that's right.

Whitney Lowe:

But it's both exciting and also mind-numbingly difficult, because if it was easy, we'd have done that a long time ago.

Til Luchau:

Yeah. I'm just thinking of the little challenges I have in my microcosm of our second level of our training is basically merit-based, you could say. You advance when you have a certain level of mastery, not when you've put in a certain number of clock hours. I really stand behind it and love it, and it's not easy, because people want to know how many of these boxes they have to check off and-

Whitney Lowe:

Exactly.

Til Luchau:

... put it on their calendar and have that done, which I really understand and appreciate. But at some point in our development of mastery, that isn't the way to do it. I really appreciate you pushing the edge there.

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah. A lot of this started for me a number of years ago when I was reading this article about the Department of Education looking at this whole issue of ours. There was a piece that had mentioned the fact that the Carnegie credit hour, which is the foundational measuring unit in colleges for when you get enough credits to get a degree, et cetera, that whole Carnegie credit unit was never designed to determine what was appropriate for a level of education. It was actually designed to organize pension plans for the faculty members.

Til Luchau:

Interesting.

Whitney Lowe:

And so, it just, by default, became a way to measure, well, how much learning does a person need to get a bachelor's degree? Then that's how-

Til Luchau:

It was about how much time that the teachers put in, how much ...

Whitney Lowe:

Exactly. Yeah, so-

Til Luchau:

How much... right? How many dues have they paid, not how much the students have learned.

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah. There's a whole big world that's changing around this whole issue of micro credentials and things that are not full degree programs, but really targeted training programs. To me, it's very, very exciting to see where that's going, but also it's a big challenge.

Til Luchau:

It's a big challenge. Well, those are two powerhouse guests. I mean Anne Williams, for people who don't know, has been an enormous force in our field from behind the scenes. She was the education director at ABMP for many, many years. Eric Brown being one of their founders and the people that run the World Massage Conference, which was an early player in the online space and had a big impact in bringing people together, and is still behind the scenes in a number of organizations, making big effects. So it's great that you got them behind the mic and get them out front in a way and talk about these things with them, too.

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah. Yeah. So another good learning one for me as well. What else is on your list there?

Til Luchau:

Well, to wrap up my top five, last but not least, this most recent one was What We Might Learn From Sex with Betty Miller. This was an edgy one for me because there's so much feeling around the idea of sex and massage and bodywork, how there's been so much work done to try to distinguish what we do from sexual expectations or sex work. And yet here's Betty who bridges those worlds.

She started out as a chiropractor and then went on to work with the world of sex therapy, sex education. A lot of that is being taken up by people in sex work to really understand the dynamics between the giver and the receiver, from the toucher and the touched. She's come up with this model, the wheel of consent model, that really lays it out and has some relevance, I think, back to our field.

So it was edgy in that I wanted to talk to her and I wanted to be super mindful of the important distinction between what we do and what sex is. So she gave some really great insights too into that distinction. I mean we all know what the difference is, but she gave a great language to that.

Then also just her ability to talk to that question of why don't clients feel free to ask for what they want or to direct what they want? Why maybe do we as body workers not always feel free to offer or suggest those kind of implicit barriers to expressing what is important to us? She has, again, some great tools for that, but also some models that help understand why that might be happening.

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah. I thought this was a fascinating episode. I had this metaphor that came to mind about this episode, which is like there's this hot stove and you set your finger very close to the burner and then you pulled away like, "Nope, I'm not going there. I'm not touching that thing." I think that kind of thing is frequent around these topics, and it was really interesting to hear you all acknowledge the discomfort and the edginess around having some of those discussions, but also delve into it really deeply and come up with some interesting insights about that.

So I applaud you and acknowledge the difficulties and challenges in doing something like that. There was a lot to learn, I think, some really good things that pushed envelopes from my way.

Til Luchau:

Thank you.

Whitney Lowe:

Thank you for that episode as well.

Til Luchau:

Oh, that's cool, Whitney. Thanks for saying that. I've been getting some good personal notes back for that as well. So I really appreciate the time Betty took to talk with me about that and then, again, to just see what we can learn, because there's so much knowledge and wisdom there that exists outside of our field as well.

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah, yeah. Excellent. Well, you've got some other stats, I think-

Til Luchau:

A couple of things to share.

Whitney Lowe:

... that we're going to run through here about our last year as well. What else have we got?

Til Luchau:

That's right. Those are the ones you and I flag as the most noteworthy, say, but the listeners voted too, and there's really clear ... On the podcast, on our stats page, what people are listening to. There's a pretty high listenership all the way across, but episode 53, which was with Dr. Antonio Stecco, was our most listened to episode in season three.

The next one on the list was number 69, Back Pain, Stiffness, and Fascia with Stuart McGill, whom you mentioned in your top five as well. Number three was a conversation you and I had, Whitney, about working with rib issues. That was episode 56.

Whitney Lowe:

Interesting. Yeah.

Til Luchau:

Yeah. Episode 71 took fourth place, and that was with the eminent Helene Langevin, who talked about fascia and pain and the limits of our knowledge. She, again, is a giant in this field.

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah.

Til Luchau:

The fifth place, out of these 30-something episodes, most listened to by the listeners, was the conversation with Jan Sultan, episode 67, where he talked about aging gracefully, breathing well, and long COVID.

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah. So interesting to see what listeners are listening to. Again, we really appreciate hearing from you as well in terms of seeing that, because this does help us shape what we think we want to zero in on with some of the topics that are laid out and planned for the upcoming year as well. So I'm glad we're able to track and look at some of those things and see where people's different interests lie.

Til Luchau:

Well, people are voting with their listens, but they're also voting with their comments. We do hear from you.

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah.

Til Luchau:

So which episodes got comments, do you think, Whitney? Which ones stick out in your mind about that?

Whitney Lowe:

I think the one that got the most ... I didn't actually count this up and I'm like trying to go through my mind and remember. I believe the episode that got the most comments was a recent one that I did with Sandy Fritz. It was a-

Til Luchau:

77.

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah. I don't have the title right off the top of my head-

Til Luchau:

The Future of the Profession.

Whitney Lowe:

That's right, yeah. We talked about some fascinating things on there, but there were some comments that really stuck a needle with a few people around compensation levels for massage therapists. There's definitely some different perspectives and opinions out there, and I agree with a lot of our listeners that some of those things ... I'm not maybe in as much agreement with the perspectives that Sandy presented about compensation levels for practitioners. But, again, we like to have some of these divergent viewpoints from people, and-

Til Luchau:

Is it fair to say that she was making the case that maybe we're sometimes overcompensated? Is that what she was saying?

Whitney Lowe:

It could. I don't want to put words in her mouth or something like that-

Til Luchau:

No, I don't want to put words in her mouth, but I'm trying to characterize the controversy.

Whitney Lowe:

... but I think the perspective is maybe people are expecting more than is realistic in terms of what the market might bear in certain circumstances.

Til Luchau:

I see.

Whitney Lowe:

Again, there are so many variables about this, because you can't talk about, for example, the compensation levels of a massage practitioner in rural Nebraska and compare that to somebody who lives in Manhattan, because the cost of living is very different and what's available is very different and how those things are reimbursed, or what different ...

The cost of what's appropriate for massage is often about what people value it. There's a lot of people who value practitioners at $150 an hour or whatever they happen to charge, because, to them, that's worth what they get out of it. So it's a sticky subject, I think, to really nail down. I don't think it's one of those things that has an easy answer.

Til Luchau:

Well, just based on the comments, maybe we're more ready to talk about sex than we are about money. We got more heat around once people started questioning the compensation than we did around the sexual dynamics there. So that's great. No, that was a really interesting conversation, but also the reaction was quite pronounced and clear to some of her ideas there.

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah. So anything else stick in your mind in terms of significant amounts of feedback? I think we mentioned earlier that we did get a good bit of feedback on the issue that we did-

Til Luchau:

Yeah. On the women's issues.

Whitney Lowe:

The interviews with the women, and that was-

Til Luchau:

That's right.

Whitney Lowe:

... great feedback that we got on that one as well.

Til Luchau:

No, they're coming in about almost every episode. We get people either questioning or complimenting what they hear. But I think those are the ones that really were the big blips on the graph there.

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah.

Til Luchau:

Well, any others that you want to just flag as honorable mention, didn't make our final list?

Whitney Lowe:

Well, I just looked through this list, and I don't see something that maybe hits me sticking out more so than others. I enjoyed all of these conversations and all these things that I got to listen to from other things that you did as well.

Til Luchau:

Yeah. Now it's like which children are their favorite?

Whitney Lowe:

No, I know. It's not like that.

Til Luchau:

They're all favorites.

Whitney Lowe:

They were all good.

Til Luchau:

But, no, it was a great season and we had some great conversations. It gets me fired up about the coming year.

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah.

Til Luchau:

What would you say that we can look forward to in terms of how you picture what you're thinking about?

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah. We have a list, still, of people that we want to talk to. I want to continue to have some more interviews with people that are both recognized leaders in our field, and maybe some of those unsung heroes that are out there that people don't immediately think of in the massage world. For example, when we did the interview with Jules Mitchell, she's not somebody who pops up on the radar screen in the massage world a lot. She does in her own yoga world. But now it's becoming more recognized. And so, I think some of those kinds of things where we bring in people that are really having a lot to offer what we do from outside. It's a way we can introduce people to some of these things as well.

Til Luchau:

Yeah, that's right. No, I heard that about Stuart McGill too, who, again, I thought everybody knew Stuart McGill, but no. A quite a number of comments are like, "Oh, I didn't realize he was so influential." So, yeah, the people outside the massage or bodywork, construction, integration field that are having a big influence on the way we think and what we do. I'm looking forward to that as well. Yeah, I don't think we should name any of these guests, in case they don't come through.

But I think the list we have and the ones that I'm considering as well, I'm quite excited about. They are people right smack in our scope of practice, but also in ancillary professions or schools of thought that really get me thinking in new ways, including things li inke some of the topics I'm interested in exploring in the coming year for myself, is the puzzle of hypermobility since we started that conversation with Tina Wang recently.

But it's part of a bigger inquiry I'm on about the fact that we're really good at mobilizing. What happens when mobility seems to be the problem, or how can we be helpful when mobility itself seems to be the issue? There are some really clear ways. But we're really getting better at that as well. But that's something that I want to dive into more on my list.

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah.

A lot of times, again, just to put a plug out to the listeners, you and I sometimes come up with great topic ideas because somebody suggests something.

Til Luchau:

Absolutely.

Whitney Lowe:

It's like, "Hey, what do you think about getting into this and this?" It sometimes gives us other really good ideas. So keep that flowing.

Til Luchau:

We got a couple of those, including trauma-informed approaches. There's so much to know about that that is universal, isn't specific just to, say, PTSD. But our knowledge about that field has increased so much in the last decade, two decades. There's people doing remarkable work in bodywork with that perspective that I hope we get a chance to give that some voice in the coming year.

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah.

Til Luchau:

I know I'm forgetting a bunch. I got quite a list. They will be revealed in their own time, these different exciting ideas.

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah, indeed. Okay, so stay tuned.

Til Luchau:

Stay tuned.

Whitney Lowe:

That's right.

Til Luchau:

Whitney, I heard you say ... Well, I saw you say on social media recently that you're out of retirement. Did you say that? You're coming back from retirement?

Whitney Lowe:

Well, not out of retirement, but I am getting back on the road. I have been off the road since a few months before the COVID thing hit. I did do, I think, one training program last year, but I'm getting back out on the road and start doing some teaching again this year in person, which I'm excited about-

Til Luchau:

Yeah, that's exciting.

Whitney Lowe:

... and really ready to get back in the personal face-to-face things with people. So looking forward to that. You're on the road quite a bit, in and out of the country a good number of times this year as well.

Til Luchau:

It's about a fourth of the schedule I had pre-COVID. But the places I'm going, I'm really excited about doing some time in Taiwan, Thailand, Norway, as well as in this country, in Portland, Oregon. We're doing trainings in the east coast, in Philadelphia, Anchorage, Alaska. A number of other locations are being developed, so I'm looking forward to staying connected to people face-to-face. It's such a satisfying thing to do.

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah. I asked you about this personally one time, and I think maybe we'll have some way to weave that into some of our other discussions. I think it would be fascinating for people to know how you do some of these programs in countries that aren't native English speakers and what that's like from a learning and educational perspective. So maybe we'll delve into that as well.

Til Luchau:

Sure. Sure, sure. No, we're speaking a universal language, but, no, there are differences, the universal language of touch. But there are certainly ... It's fun. It's one of the things I love the most is looking at what happens across cultures and how the things get translated or don't.

Whitney Lowe:

Right, right. All right. Excellent. Well, I think that's a wrap up on our wrap for this year.

Til Luchau:

That's a wrap. Hopefully we've given you, the listeners, some clues or breadcrumbs that you want to go back and follow. Feel free to do that on either of our pages. Just go by episode number or search for those topics we mentioned. They're worth a listen. Yeah, stay tuned for the coming year for some of these cool ideas we have.

I'll go ahead and do our thank you to our closing sponsor, who is Handspring Publishing. When I was looking for a publisher for a book that I wanted to write, I was a new author trying out a bunch of different publishers, I ended up with two offers, one from a huge company who we shall not name and the other from Handspring, which at that time was a small publisher in Scotland, run by just four people who have a love of great books and a love of our field.

I'm still glad I chose to go with Handspring, the smaller of the different offers I had, because not only did they help me make the books I wanted to share, which are the Advanced Myofascial Techniques series, now in their third or greater printing, but their catalog has emerged as one of the leading collections of professional-level books written especially for bodyworkers, movement teachers, and all professionals who use movement or touch to help patients achieve wellness.

Whitney Lowe:

And Handspring has joined with Jessica Kingsley Publishers' Integrative Health Singing Dragon Imprint. So head on over to their website at handspringpublishing.com to check out their list of titles and be sure to use the code TTP, that's like The Thinking Practitioner, at checkout for a discount. Thanks once again, Handspring.

We do say a thank you to all of our sponsors and also, of course, to you the listeners. We appreciate you hanging out with us here. You can stop by our sites for show notes, transcripts, and any extras. You can find that over on my site at academyofclinicalmassage.com. Til, where can people find that for you?

Til Luchau:

My site, advanced-trainings.com. As we keep saying, write to us, email us if there's questions, comments, we'd love to hear from you, info@thethinkingpractitioner or on social media under our names, Til Luchau. Yours?

Whitney Lowe:

And today my name is Whitney Lowe. You can find us over there. You can rate us on Apple Podcasts as it does help other people find the show. Also, rate us on some of your other favorite podcast apps. You can hear us on Spotify, Stitcher, Google Podcast, or wherever else you happen to listen. Please do share the word and tell a friend. Thanks once again for listening. Everyone have a great holiday season and we'll look forward to seeing you again and talking some more in 2023.

Til Luchau:

Can't wait. Thanks a lot, Whitney. See you later.

Whitney Lowe:

All right, thank you.

 

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