Show Notes:

35: Til Luchau and Whitney Lowe share their top resources for information and inspiration, both professionally and personally, letting us in on everything from their favorite podcasts, playlists, books, and apps, to how they recharge and find meaning in their work and in their lives. 

 Get the full transcript at Til or Whitney's sites!

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Til Luchau Advanced-Trainings        whitney lowe
Til Luchau                          Whitney Lowe

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Til Luchau Advanced-Trainings
Til Luchau

whitney lowe
Whitney Lowe

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(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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The Thinking Practitioner Podcast:
Episode 35: Resources that Inspire Our Learning

Broadcast date: 03/31/2021
©Copyright The Thinking Practitioner Podcast, Til Luchau & Whitney Lowe

Whitney Lowe:

Welcome to The Thinking Practitioner.  ABMP is proud to sponsor The Thinking Practitioner Podcast. All massage therapist and body-workers can access free ABMP resources and information on the coronavirus and the massage profession at abmp.com/COVID19, including sample release forms, PBE guides and a special issue of Massage and Bodywork Magazine, where Til and I are frequent contributors. For more, please check out the ABMP Podcast also. It's available at abmp.com/podcasts or wherever you prefer to listen. 

So welcome again to The Thinking Practitioner. Til, great to be with you again today. What are we chatting about? 

Til Luchau:

Well, you had this very fascinating idea that I am looking forward to digging into with you. That's the question of what resources do we use? What inspires us? What drives our learning? 

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah.

Til Luchau:

[crosstalk 00:01:10] great question.

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah. You know people ask me this question a lot, what do you study? What are you still looking into? What are you reading about, et cetera? And I thought, well, this would be a good thing for us to share with each other. And this is part of our early and ongoing conversations about what we're both doing and what we're looking into and everything. So I thought, hey, let's dig into this a little bit and see what kind of things we're exploring with people. So, we talked about this a little bit and thought we maybe would sort of divide this up into some categories of things that are more professional oriented resources or professional inspirations. And some of those maybe on our personal side too, that also tend to inform our thinking or inform our inspirations as well. So [crosstalk 00:01:52]- 

Til Luchau:

What great timing too, because I mean, there's so much resetting going on here. A year plus into the new world order. And so many of us have had to re configure our maps around what inspires us, what drives us and learning has really emerged as such an important piece for many of us. And then also being personally inspired, personally resourced. I know that's a challenge and a lot of people really struggle with that. A lot of people are finding it in new and deeper ways. So I'm really glad you're asking the question. And I know it's something that I get asked a lot and I hear a lot of inspiring stories from people too, like what keeps us plugged in? What keeps us fed? What keeps us interested in going for this? 

Whitney Lowe:

... yeah. And I think this is certainly one of those things that when you talk about career longevity of people who've been doing this a long time you and I are both multiple decades into this adventure-

... fossilized, petrified at some point. I know I have to continually revisit this like what me going, what drives me to keep doing this after a while instead of deciding, "Okay, I think I'm done. I want to go work at a car wash or something.”

Til Luchau:

Is that where you'd work, if you didn't do this, you do a carwash?

Whitney Lowe:

That's a good question. No, I wouldn't do a car wash. I don't think that's my thing. 

Til Luchau:

My first job was a dishwasher. I wouldn't go back to that either. I probably wouldn't do that either. 

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah. Most of us probably started in the dishwashing realm. So my first job long, long time ago was actually unloading produce at a farmer's market. We were having to unload the watermelon trucks and that kind of stuff. It was very physical. [crosstalk 00:03:35].

Til Luchau:

This was in Georgia probably [crosstalk 00:03:36] warm. 

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah it was warm, quite warm in the summertime, but it was good job.

Til Luchau:

Yeah, it's a good point. It's a renewable question. It just makes me think too, something like the marriage is not the wedding. Our career is not our certification or graduation and especially at some point we can't hold our breath anymore. Maybe I held my breath for maybe five years of my practice. I mean, just kind of got through on enthusiasm and youth who knows what else? But was seeing so many clients, I can't believe it now. And at some point I had to come up for air and go, "Wow. Okay, so now I need to think about what inspires me." Et cetera. 

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah, fascinating stuff. So, well, we got kind of some lifts that we put together. So tell me what's on your list. What are some things that draw you? 

Til Luchau:

Well, your first question was like, what resources do you use? And then you said we flesh that out into different dimensions, but just starting with information resources, like where do I go when I want to know about something or deepen my understanding, the first thing I really realized is it's not even a single place, but it's the way that I use some bookmarks and folders on my browsers and devices that help me keep track of things I run across. 

And I don't want to make it sound really complex. It's not as super simple, but it's just that it's that habit of when I see something that looks interesting or I hear about it, I stick it bookmark in the folder. And so then I go back and I can... I go like, "Oh yeah, I want to know about inflammation. I want to understand how to leverage the effects of the COVID vaccine. Or I want to know about what people are doing to combine movement in their practices." I got that in my bookmark folder. 

Whitney Lowe:

So I got to ask this because I've done things like that over the years. And what I've found is like I came across so many interesting things. I started having 23 bazillion bookmarks. And I couldn't remember, was this in what area, this area? Is there anything that you do to organize them more specifically to remember, where was that thing that you just found, or how do you organize that stuff? 

Til Luchau:

You only have 23 bazillion? [crosstalk 00:05:55].

Whitney Lowe:

Only 23 and of course, you're a lot older than me. 

Til Luchau:

That's right. Well, no that is a key, but the cheat there is the search function [crosstalk 00:06:10] bookmark folder. And it's probably there's an equivalent on Chrome or something, but I'm doing [inaudible 00:06:15] typically in Safari, believe it or not there's lots of sophisticated bookmark managers, and ways to do that. But I know Chrome has a similar function. We can actually just search through your bookmarks.

If you open up a page, and then you can find that keyword, whatever it was. Dish washing as a second career or whatever it was you want to go back to, search for that. No, but I actually do have some folders too, like around particular topics I'm interested in there. And so if I look back... Well, I don't have it open right now, but it's things like... I do have a COVID folder. I do have a practice building folder. I do have an inflammation folder. I have a tendinopathy folder. I have, I mean, for a lot of our topics in our podcasts we've done, all these last 34, 35 episodes I got a folder of things I was just spotting and throwing into those folders there. 

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah, right. So then in terms of organizing that information, do you kind of take it from there into some other place as you're let's say getting ready to work on an article or getting ready to work on another topic or something like that? Or how do you organize your next group of thoughts? Let's say you got five articles on tendon disorders scattered across multiple places, how do you consolidate things? 

Til Luchau:

Well, the other part of that system, like you said, is the backend of that is the trigger that gets me to use it, which might be our episode, or it might be that article or it might be that class, or it might be that client that I got [inaudible 00:07:38] has got that thing. So something spurs me to go back there and go through it and read a couple of them and review, maybe someone asks me a question. 

I actually do go back and just read stuff too. I try to, at the end of the day, when I'm relaxing, sometimes I just let myself go to whatever Netflix thing is pulling me. But there's other nights where I'll just open up a bookmark folder and start reading a couple of those too. And then I have just a category. This is kind of miscellaneous, uncategorized, interesting reading that's this random stuff too that's always fun too.  

Whitney Lowe:

Right. Do you use any type of a note organization process, like Evernote or any of those kinds of organizational things also? 

Til Luchau:

I've tried all those that I know about. I use Apple notes. I use the notes feature built into the Apple devices. 

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah, okay. 

Til Luchau:

This is not an advertisement for them, but it's so bare [inaudible 00:08:32] simple. And it does synchronize across all the devices and it has great dictation. That's what I need. Basically I have a great search function as well. That's something that's basically I need. So, how about you, because I mean, that's my bare bone structure, mark folders of really rough organization, a lot of searching and then triggers to get me to go back there, what's your infrastructure or framework for that kind of stuff?

Whitney Lowe:

Somewhat similar, but also some different pieces of that. This is interesting, I migrated away from a lot of web bookmarks in bookmark folders in my browser. I had a bad situation a number of years ago where something happened with my browser cache and I lost it all. And it made me really gun shy about storing that kind of content in my browser. So, I do use Evernote actually quite a lot for organizing things into different sort of folders. 

I mean, honestly, I do have a number of folders in my browser with a bunch of bookmarks. So there's a bunch of stuff in there, things that I use a lot. So I keep those things in there that I'm using frequently and accessing. But when I have things that I want to store that I know I may not may or may not remember them, I use Evernote a lot and organize things into just folder structures there in Evernote. And it's nice because I can save images, audio files, bookmarks, web links, notes that I take off of something. And again, it's synced across multiple devices so I can pick it up on my phone, my tablet and my PC and all that stuff. So, I do that. Then also on the [crosstalk 00:10:07]- 

Til Luchau:

Do you think of yourself... Well, I'm sorry, it's just a random thought, but do you think of yourself as a collector? 

Whitney Lowe:

... oh yeah. I'm one of those people before the internet was around, I was buying up medical books and just go cramming my shelves full of this stuff just because I knew it was there and I knew I could get it. So the same thing is true with this sort of stuff. And I've got a huge collection of research articles on my drive now that I can access and to try to organize that stuff. I use mentally a lot. And pull down a lot of the-

Til Luchau:

Mendeley.

Whitney Lowe:

... yeah, Mendeley. So M-E-N-D-E-L-E-Y if you're not familiar with that [crosstalk 00:10:49]. 

Til Luchau:

[crosstalk 00:10:50]. I'm going to start pulling [crosstalk 00:10:52] about it. 

Whitney Lowe:

Bibliographic database tool. So basically what it does is like when I'm pulling down research articles off the web, and this may be either free PDF articles that I've found from PubMed or something like that. Or sometimes I'm pulling those articles out of other resources like Sci-Hub, we'll put a link to that as well, which is another place where people are getting various articles and things like that. 

So, I've got hundreds of research articles in one folder, which is my folder of articles, and then I use Mendeley to organize them so that I can look it up by author, by date of publication, by topic matter and that sort of thing. And the nice thing about Mendeley is a bibliographic databases because I do a lot of writing as you know, you and I are both writing a lot for magazine articles and things like that. Mendeley also automatically formats the citations when I want to put stuff in an article. So I use the bibliographic database feature there to use citations either in your book chapters, book content, or articles or things like that, or research papers. And it's a huge, huge help because that stuff is hard to... It's time consuming to do that manually.

Til Luchau:

You turned me on to Mendeley I got to say. And just to clarify for people, it's a citation manager, is that what you'd say?

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah. 

Til Luchau:

Okay. And so then I ended up, of course, since I'm on the other side, I'm on the Mac side, settling in with, oh boy, now that I started to talk about it, the [crosstalk 00:12:29]-

Whitney Lowe:

[crosstalk 00:12:29].

Til Luchau:

... which has worked better on my side than Mendeley, but that's such a useful tip you gave me about keeping those things organized. Wow. 

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah. So, and it does the same sorts of things. There's a number of these different tools out there. [inaudible 00:12:43] is another great one. I mean, I put folders together with different topics and different things and can put all those articles in there. And an article can be in more than one folder. And a lot of times I'll just have an article for current articles or a folder with current article pieces that I'm working on and just be able to quickly pull them out there. So that's a really good way to organize some of that kind of research stuff. 

Til Luchau:

Now the title of our episode is what inspires us, what drives our learning. And honestly we're geeking out on these really cool organizational things. Do you like me find any of that inspiring and interesting? 

Whitney Lowe:

Yes. And because I'm a geek about it and you are too, I think it's totally cool. I mean, I can sit here and look at this stuff all day and again, it's part of... For me, just knowing that there's all this stuff out there, and it's the same feeling that I got in the pre-internet days when I lived back in Atlanta and I lived down the road from Emory University medical library. And I would just go over to the medical library in my spare time and just walk in and just sort of look around like, "Where am I going today?"

And that would it was tremendously inspirational because I just thought there's so much in here such a wealth of knowledge and things that can really... I could apply to what I'm doing and I don't even know where I'm going to go. And a lot of times I would read an article and then read citations that were at the end of that article. That would take me to another piece and take me to another piece. And it's just this sort of treasure hunt. So is geeky is all the technology behind storing all this stuff and where you get it is, yeah, that really does in fact inspire me. So I know I'm weird. 

Til Luchau:

No, well, if you are, that I am, because there's something about collecting, categorizing, organizing, retaining, being able to retrieve later that's enormously satisfying in itself for me too. And I realized at some point that's the foundation for my teaching on teaching techniques and ideas that I collected and concepts and things like that. I'm playing in the background music that I collected. I'm advertising to a database of interested people that I collected. It's like that collecting part I really realized is in itself enjoyable. And it turned out productive kind of activity. 

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah. 

Til Luchau:

It started way back for me with probably toy cars or something like that [inaudible 00:15:07]. 

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah. It is certainly an inherent characteristic of that feeling. It's the FOMO for those who are not familiar with that term, the F-O-M-O, the fear of missing out. It's just, I don't have that fear of missing out so bad if I know I've got all these collections of resources and articles, and even if I don't never get to reading it all, I know I've got it there. 

Til Luchau:

Oh yeah. I read maybe 1% of my bookmarks. 

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah.

Til Luchau:

The ones that I read, I love it. And we'll have them there. 

Whitney Lowe:

Oh, and I would be curious to ask you, if you ever do this, do you go back and read things that you have read before and like, "Oh, that is fascinating. This is really interesting." You realize, "Actually I have read this before." 

Til Luchau:

Yes. I actually, yes. And the opposite going, "Oh my gosh, I said that." [crosstalk 00:15:55] revise that. 

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah. Well, that's interesting when it's in your own stuff, you go back and read and like go back and read something in the book I wrote and it's like, "Wow, that's really fascinating." You're like, "Oh my gosh, really? You wrote that, published it even." So, yeah. All right. Tell me what else is on... What's next down the list there? 

Til Luchau:

I'm looking at your list. You got some good stuff. Tell me about Concast. 

Whitney Lowe:

Yes. There's couple of good podcasts that I like listening to, in particular I want to highlight two of these, Concast is one from a gentleman and Connor Collins. Both of these podcasts come out of Canada. He did some really good clinical topics that he touches base on here. The other podcast is one called 2 Massage Therapists and a Microphone, [crosstalk 00:16:44] folks over in Toronto, you're sure you listen to them a good bit. 

I will say that their podcast really is interesting because it... I think they delve into a lot of the things that happen with massage therapists on a day-to-day basis to really kind of get into the trenches with them of the things that they're grappling with. So, Dell, the Concast podcast is a little bit more technical oriented with some of those kinds of details, but for me, actually, both of them have turned out to be quite interesting because it really gives me a window into understanding our field in another country. 

A lot more specifically in what goes on in Canada and the approach and the perspectives about things that are going on there. So, I've gotten a lot out of listening to both those and they bring on some really fascinating guests with great interesting ideas and interesting things to share as well. So, check those out on your, wherever your podcast you're listening to C-O-N-C-A-S-T, Concast and the other one, 2 Massage Therapists and a Microphone. 

Til Luchau:

2 Massage Therapists and a Microphone. We're going to link all those in there for sure in the show notes. So, and then also I see you have Clinical Edge up there is that David Pope's? 

Whitney Lowe:

That is David Pope's thing. And I recently got involved with him on the membership level. I'd listened to David Pope's podcast, the Physio Edge Podcast, and I decided I wanted to dig in deeper because there's just a ton of really good information there. So David Pope is a physiotherapist down in Australia and he put together this website of, it's basically a membership site for having educational resources. He's kind of in some ways doing what I envisioned having to deal with, which is that we live in remote areas where we don't have easy access to a lot of the other educational resources that people might have in a big city with workshops and training programs. 

So he tried to get together some of the really high level, excellent presenters in his field and have them put together educational resources, videos and courses and things like that, that covered some really pertinent topics for musculoskeletal rehabilitation. So, clinicaledge.co I believe is the website, and I would encourage you if you want some really into digging deep into some fascinating topics on musculoskeletal rehab, musculoskeletal, if you're living down there, there's fascinating stuff down there. 

Til Luchau:

Or up there, that's what they say in Canada, too. It's surrounded by musculoskeletals, but-

Whitney Lowe:

That's right.

Til Luchau:

... no, he's on my short list too. David Pope [inaudible 00:19:23], do you think he's a collector? I suspect he's a collector.

Whitney Lowe:

I think he's a collector as well.

Til Luchau:

He's got a pretty impressive collection of different people. Like he's doing a series now with Joe Gibson on the [inaudible 00:19:34]. It's just fantastic. If you're really into the technical stuff, this' really good. 

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah. There was a recent episode, I listened to it there that was just fascinating about alternative causes of shoulder pain. And in this clinical case that Joe Gibson was going through talking about somebody who was not responding to the typical patterns that we would see in a shoulder pathology when you were evaluating. And it turned out the person had a gallbladder disorder, which tends to refer to pain in the shoulder and it was a great reminder that we have to look in a broader picture sometimes for some of these things that we might tend to be looking at. Because I know I have that particular lens of bias. I tend to look for musculoskeletal causes of things. 

Til Luchau:

[crosstalk 00:20:16].

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah, exactly. And it ain't always there. 

Til Luchau:

Well, while we're on the topic, maybe I'll tell you my podcasts too. And I go... For sure David Pope like I said Physio Edge is on my short list. The other one I enjoy quite a bit as Jack Chew and his team's Physio Matters. 

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah. It's good one.

Til Luchau:

They've been doing it for quite a while. It's been fun to really listen to their evolution and their growth over the time. And then there's another one that's almost like on the other end of say the bio-psychosocial/biomechanics spectrum and that's the Gait Guys. They tend to be super anatomical, super geeky, super biomechanical. And I enjoy their perspective on some really detailed stuff too sometimes. And sometimes I just cruise the titles and pick one out that's interesting, but more often I'll have a topic that I'm interested in and search Google for podcast plus that word, like migraines. 

Tell me about the migraine podcasts. And I'll get a lot of patient directed things, but they don't get a fair number of practitioner-directed ones too, to take me into places that I didn't expect. And that's my way of trying to jump the algorithms to get outside of my bubble too a little bit. I'm still on Google's guests so what I want, but it's like I know that if I go search David Pope or Jack Chew, I'm going to get a really thorough, pretty science-based, pretty considered point of view, but sometimes I'll get really surprised and I've learned some really great stuff about scoliosis from just that again, jumping the algorithm kind of approach, just get outside my usual sources and check it out. 

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah. So how do you kind of... When you search for those kinds of things, you just start at one place, like with that person's name and then just see where it leads you sometimes, and then, how do you do that? 

Til Luchau:

Let's say, I'll typically search for a condition or like migraines, tell me about migraines or manual therapy in migraines, or what did we do recently? Thoracic outlet and hypermobility, I'll search for that correlation. Because it turns out there is some documented correlation between those two conditions. So I want to know who's done that work. Is that a theoretical correlation or if people actually observe that and that takes me down all kinds of fun rabbit holes. 

And then the other thing I'll do is if I want to know, okay, so what does Joe Gibson think about that? Because she's got some really seems to be really informed opinions on the shoulder. Then I'll go to the Physio Edge or I'll search for her name, Joe Gibson and the thoracic outlet and hypermobility or something like that. [crosstalk 00:23:01] together. And not only do we just Google with the podcast thing so I can listen to it, but then if I really want to dive into say the source material, then it would be Google Scholar, where I can see the academic version of Google to show me what's been published on that. And then I can dial that down by year or PubMed. 

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah. I want to backtrack for just a second here because a lot of people aren't aware of Google Scholar and what it is. Can you just briefly talk about what that is? 

Til Luchau:

Well, it's Google's search engine focused at academic papers and patents and some other technical stuff. And you can dial it down though for say medical or physical medicine technical papers, scientific papers around a particular issue. And it's daunting for people that don't have a lot of academic background, but I've seen people get over that hurdle pretty quickly. Once you get in and then start playing around, you start to realize how it's pretty simple and the results you get will take you into some places you don't expect. And it's really pretty fun to go from one author to the next and see who they're referencing and what's appearing. 

What's cool about Google Scholar is you can see how their things have evolved over time. So you can see the stuff that's published in the '70s and '80s and the '90s, and then also dial it down to more recent things and see how for some of the topics it gets more granular, like more and more specific questions are being asked as time goes on too. So this is interesting to see the evolution of the research in that sense as well. 

Whitney Lowe:

Right. Good. Okay, thanks. And then you mentioned PubMed as another resource. 

Til Luchau:

Yeah. Such a powerful search engine. And then also what's really cool is notifications. Like you can get a... I want to track for a while what people are publishing, like I had one for a long time about fascial science, and then it got to be overwhelming. There's so much coming out about it, but for instance, you can have it notify you and [inaudible 00:25:09] publishes a new paper about fascial science. 

Now I tend to use a research gate for that kind of stuff, just to essentially like social following of the authors and researchers that I'm interested in that I've liked before, or like I'll have one there and Toby Hall or [inaudible 00:25:25] or different people that are doing... Or on [inaudible 00:25:29] whoever, just see what they're up to, and hear about it early on. And when they publish something to see what they're doing and to see what other people are saying about them as well. 

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah. And just to backtrack into the technology and the geek end of this a little bit to, what you're speaking about here with Google Scholar and PubMed, that these tools that we mentioned earlier, like Mendeley and Zotero gives you the capability when you find these studies listed either in PubMed or Google Scholar or something to download the citations into your citation organizer and keep them directly there and then have those things automatically populate through there. So those tools connect with these large research databases as well. So, that's a great way to be able to begin organizing that stuff and putting it together. 

Til Luchau:

Yeah. For the collector in you, or for just the follow your nose, like let's see where this leads explorer in you. [inaudible 00:26:27] fun. [crosstalk 00:26:29] fun. 

Whitney Lowe:

Right. So, well, what's next.

Til Luchau:

Well, your turn, you tell me.

Whitney Lowe:

Well, I'm going to take a slightly different track here and talk about something going back to the question of inspiration. This is along the line sort of professional resources, but it's also a little bit off the edge, but I am an education geek also, not only the clinical stuff here, but I love diving into education things. And so there's some wonderful resources out there. I've just started reading for probably the third time this book by Grant Wiggins called Understanding by Design, which has to do with particular instructional design strategy about building, learning activities in what they call backward design, which is essentially... You know the way the things are done a lot in education is you start with, like when you're told you're going to teach a class, you look at, "Okay, here's the content we need to cover." 

And then you present the content and you think, "Okay, now we got to test people or evaluate them." And that's happens at the end of the course. But backwards design really starts at the end with what do we want people to be able to know or do when they learn something, and then we look backwards at like, how are we going to evaluate that they have done that. And then back up from that, like what educational activities do we need to produce in order to be able to get people to that point. So, his work has been really fascinating. I've been digging into that a great deal and looking at that, and that also gravitates over into something else that I was just going to mention here briefly too, because this is something that I... Another thing I kind of geek out on and love to delve into that has inspired me a lot. 

And I'm not exactly sure how this plays into some of the clinical work, but I oftentimes like looking at some fascinating things with larger scale trends like in business and education and things like that. And there's a group that was started by a Harvard business professor named Clayton Christensen, a number of years ago when he wrote a book called The Innovator's Dilemma. And in this book he introduced the title or the term disruptive innovation, which has become a buzz word and businesses, become very misused in terms of the way he originally designed the ideas. But the idea behind this is that you see things evolve in our culture, society, whatever, whether that's a product or a process or something, and they continue to evolve and get better and better. And they come to a point at which they sort of are continuing to try to innovate along those same lines. 

And they become more expensive, more complex and sort of bigger and more unwieldy. And we see this happen in like I said, products, you see it happen in our educational system. You see it happening in our governmental systems, all kinds of things. And then something comes along and is usually very simple, very rudimentary and it doesn't fit those same kinds of guidelines. And it will tend to sort of disrupt that whole process because it becomes usable in a way that something else wasn't. And where I'm going with all this is that I've been fascinated with this whole idea of disruptive innovations across multiple fields. I mean, you see it in the computer industry, he gives examples of it being done with construction equipment and in particular in education, I think we're at a place now where we're starting to see some of this occurring because our educational system has become pretty unwieldily and large, and it has not innovated a great deal. 

And a lot of the things that are happening with online education and innovative, unique means of presenting things that have often been driven by this COVID situation, you're like, you've done some really innovative and different interesting things with your coursework here during this time. So some of these kinds of things are inspiring for me to look at what we might do to change things up and become different from things being done all the way that they've been done for so long. 

Til Luchau:

Any other examples from our field? Really interesting what you're saying. Just that [crosstalk 00:30:42]-

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah, I wonder about this whole... I'm trying to see, is there a way in which this could be applied to what we're doing specifically in our field and in the way things are done. And I don't know that I see as many direct connections with that from the hands-on therapies that we do. But I think it's more in some of the bigger scale things like education, on the large scales where I see, where that will be most impacted by those kinds of things. Now, of course, a lot of other things have influenced us in that way. Like we now carry around a computer in our pocket all the time, because somebody innovated with the ideas of making things smaller, simpler, and instead of bigger and more complex, but making things work more efficiently for us. And how might that change the way we practice, those kinds of things have touched on us in a lot of different ways that we may not think about. 

Til Luchau:

Well, it certainly changes the way we connect with each other. So a lot of practices have adapted to say mobile friendly scheduling or communication, even just texting with your clients. But I'm thinking the big disruptive of course is COVID. Like you said, it's disrupted a lot of the ways we did things as educators, but also as practitioners and there's... For every person that's feeling still at a dead end and not sure how to go forward, there are other stories that people that have really taken this and gone to places they didn't expect to, but that are even more interesting, more satisfying and taking them farther to places they want to go. 

I hear so many interesting stories about people combining movement, combining virtual interviews, finding ways to shorten their session times or finding ways to keep it really safe for themselves and continue to do the work. So the big disruptor, that's what we're dealing with, that's what we're facing now and finding ways through. 

Whitney Lowe:

It often is something like that that really drives those kinds of changes in ways that were unexpected.

Til Luchau:

That's right. And that, well, we could go through a whole list of disruptive forces. I'm going to resist for now because there's so many at work, in our world and our field. 

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah. So what is that next on your list there?

Til Luchau:

Well, it's one of yours too, and that is the company of one. 

Whitney Lowe:

A hah.

Til Luchau:

[crosstalk 00:32:58]. We're talking about big ideas from the business world that have been influential. Yeah, I got to the place where with COVID I'm like, "Oh my God, what have I invented, victim of my own success?" I created a monster of a business that was keeping me so busy and keeping my staff so busy that it was... Really had me reflecting and talking to you. And you said, "Well, check out this Company of One book?" And it was... He just does such a great job of articulating Paul Jarvis. 

What I had been building around originally a simple, clear offering that's based around something that's compelling and useful to people, and that doesn't try to make it overly complex, but keeps it fairly simple. And part of its purpose is to give you who use our services and me who provide those services a really great lifestyle and a really great way to learn and engage and be together. So he's has been really helpful in just retooling my framework and my thinking around that, Company of One, thank you for that recommendation [crosstalk 00:34:07]. 

Whitney Lowe:

Absolutely. You know, we're so driven I think, especially in the media, by these pictures or ideas that we have to grow, get bigger, get more employees, make your company big, big, big, big, increase size. And his thing was, look at your quality of life and what this is really about for you and decide, do you really feel the need to continue driving yourself that big? And one of the things that attracted me about his ideas and concepts was that so many of the people, and the vast majority of people probably who are listening to our podcast, are people working as individuals. And so that thing about, how do we find ways to make our life enjoyable and also not get sucked into this need of having to try to constantly be bigger, better, whatever. 

And there's a lot of ways to make your individual business work very effectively for you. And this leaks over it, also into some things that are a bit more technical and technological about, how do you bring automation into your business, your clinical practice, for example, in ways that you can cut down on things that take up a lot of your time and allow you to do more of the things that you want to be doing. So, there's a lot of ways that I think we can look at some of those lessons that come out of his book and find ways to make them really work for everybody. 

Til Luchau:

Yeah. And yet paradoxically focusing more on what your clients really want from you. So it's not like you're just going to have a robo where they schedule online, pay online, show up and leave and do the rest online. It actually, when your time is freed up in a sense and where you're clear about what you're providing, you can use different tools to really understand better what your clients want and how to engage with them around that. How to deliver that too. 

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah. 

Til Luchau:

Well, I'm seeing a few more under your list there, any of those others professional ones you want to cover? 

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah. So I think we've touched on a number of those things on there that I want to... I just got to put one more plug out here also for another course that I'm doing again, this is the second time through this. I did this course live once and now I'm doing the online version. This is Greg Lehman's Reconciling Biomechanics with Pain Science course. And this is a really good course. It's online. This particular version, he does it as a live course and this one is online and you can find it through his website. And we'll put this in the show notes @greglehman.ca. 

Greg is a physiotherapist chiropractor and biomechanics researcher in Toronto, Ontario. And he's just put together some really good balanced perspectives on these questions that we come up with on, is it biomechanical in terms of a problem somebody has, or is it having to do with the larger scale bio-psycho-social pain thing or when does bio-mechanics really matter? 

And when does it perhaps not matter so much? And there's a lot of opinions that are bandied back and forth in our Facebook groups and discussion forums about this kind of stuff. And the thing that I really appreciate about him is he's done the research and he will just fly off with naming people's studies from the last 10, 15 years-

Til Luchau:

Mental citation. 

Whitney Lowe:

... it's right off the top of his head. It's all in his head. He's just really got it all there. And he knows what this stuff means in terms of integrating it well. So it's a great course and something I would encourage people to dive into because you can go back and read it, look over it and learn stuff over and over and over again from him, is a really good research. 

Til Luchau:

I'm with you. Now, we actually co-sponsored him years ago when he came to Denver, my business did because I was really learning a lot from his perspective. And there's an interesting crossover there with believe it or not Company of One in that I... Tell me if you agree, I think the part of his essential messages keep it simple. You don't have to get all complicated. We don't have to really analyze every half a degree of movements say or angle that really we can put some perspective on this and look at the forces involved or issues involved, including nonphysical forces, you could say, and make a determination, find ways to help that aren't quite so complicated [crosstalk 00:38:27]. 

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah. Absolutely. So good. Anything else that you've got there? I know we were also going to talk about some personal resources, but anything else that you want to touch base on with the professional resources there? 

Til Luchau:

No, this is blending in that direction. For sure. It's honestly... I mean, there's a couple of my lists who like the Economist magazine, I really enjoy reading the Economist magazine. It's, talk about geeky. They're totally total quants. They really measure things in terms of the financials, or they look for a way to measure it and then turn it into some really interesting analysis. It's written for people running businesses or teaching academics in that field. So it's pretty technical in a sense, but it's not dry. They're ritually really good writers. They publish their own style guide about how to write with the clarity that they are using there in that magazine. And it's, I really enjoyed the [inaudible 00:39:21] quite a bit. 

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah. Nice.

Til Luchau:

But yeah, in terms of the, as we start to go over toward that personal realm, when I have a question like I say, "Oh my God, what am I going to do about this business? This is just a little monster. So much activity." I'll call up some colleagues or ping them and say, "What do you know about that?" And that's how you, for instance, Whitney gave me the advice around Company of One, so really I got to put my professional network, my colleagues, my friends, my mentors, and my learners as a community of a network of people that I can put out my problems to and come back with some ideas, resources, inspiration that I hadn't anticipated. 

Whitney Lowe:

That is I think so crucial and so important is developing that network. And what's particularly valuable about that is, is finding ways to connect with those who have similar situations of what you're going through. A number of years... Well, a while back, I had read this thing about finding an accountability partner, somebody who has similar kinds of things that you are grappling with and how you can hold each other accountable for doing this. 

And this is a great example of that whole process and I've thought well, I could really benefit from doing something like that, and started a process doing this with Ruth Werner, because we were both doing a lot of production process. We had deadlines for writing, and similar kinds of things. I thought like, we're going to meet, and we still do. We've been doing this for, I don't know how long now, a year and a half or more, we meet every two weeks, and hold each other accountable and talk about how we're doing on a various different projects and that kind of networking process, like you said, really, really valuable there I think. 

Til Luchau:

That's sweet to know that... I forgot that you two do that. That's really great. So it can be an overt accountability arrangement you have with someone, let's meet and talk about our projects and keep each other on track. Or I think you do this with me less as more backdoor way. You said, "Hey, let's do this podcast together." And so guess, it's going to be easier to two of us. I said, "Yeah, that sounds pretty good." Guess what? It's actually like now I got to get stuff done. Now I got to be ready for some things. 

And that's a kind of accountability arrangement there too, which is similar to the commitments that I have with ABMP, one of our sponsors, writing for them keeps me on track. So that kind of accountability arrangements with people, it could be your own blog. It could be a blog you do with somebody else for your practice say. [inaudible 00:41:54] translate this into practice level kind of actions, why don't you get together with someone say, "Let's put out a YouTube? Let's take turns? Let's publish a little YouTube about..." Or one technique, we have some people in our community that are doing it and [inaudible 00:42:10] really fun results too. Get an accountability buddy. 

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah. And you know, it's part of that whole thing of the joined energy is produces I think so many more rich things that you might not come upon by yourself. And I know that kind of thing is particularly valuable and important for people like me who are highly introverted actually. I was talking to somebody the other day. We were talking about getting up at the conventions and speaking and all this kind of stuff. I said, "You know, it's really odd if you know some of these individuals and know, like me personally I go do all these things very publicly visible and all that kind of thing, but the reality is I'm a real introvert and I just, much more at home, just kind of being in my own quiet little space and being by myself and like a lot of times when we're at these big conventions and things like that, it's all I can do just to take it in the public persona thing. During the day I just have to go back and crash and recharge batteries and just do something to get kind of out of that space. Because I am..." 

Til Luchau:

I don't think that's uncommon, I think both as presenters, but then also as practitioners, I think that's so common. I'm just thinking of so many people over the years that I've heard describe themselves as introverts and from their public persona and even as their reputations of practitioner, I wouldn't guess that. But then of course, once they said that I started looking harder and go, "Yeah, I recognize a fellow introvert over there.”

Whitney Lowe:

Sure. 

Til Luchau:

For sure. 

Whitney Lowe:

And you know, from what you're doing with your work, very intensely focused on a lot of individuals each day, multiple times all really zeroing in on what you're doing with your clients I can see... I mean, I know. I certainly felt that a lot in doing that kind of clinical work day after day long hours of the day, you just get really just washed It's you got to find something to rejuvenate and bring you back up. So, what rejuvenates you and what kind of brings you back? Brings you [crosstalk 00:44:17]? 

Til Luchau:

Well talking to sympathetic ears, both professional colleagues. I can just call someone up and talk about a problem, but for sure, the personal ones. Like especially if something's really just, if I got a lump in my batter that's just not getting stirred out, somehow somebody just turning over and bugging me, I'll just call somebody.

Whitney Lowe:

[crosstalk 00:44:38].

Til Luchau:

I'll just... Yeah, calling up somebody who's got some either sympathy around that experience or can just listen to me and just being able to talk about it, what a resource, what a gift. And then it's often starting the conversation, "Can I just talk to you about this?" And then there's a number of people, of course, where we've developed that ability to do that. And I remember first time, one of my friends said, "Til, I'm so glad you called me about this. If you ever want to talk at two in the morning, I'm that guy." [crosstalk 00:45:09] speaking metaphorically, but I realized, wow, that means a lot. 

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah, [crosstalk 00:45:14]. 

Til Luchau:

And I had actually [crosstalk 00:45:15] up on that, but just to know that that offer was there, that kind of sympathetic ear, I need a few of those around. 

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah, that is indeed always helpful. 

Til Luchau:

What about you?

Whitney Lowe:

I'm going to go on a slightly different track with this also in talking about personal inspiration. When I sit down to work and sit down to do things, a lot of times there's projects that are just, I'm in the zone and I can really just zero in on it, but there's a lot of times too, that I am not in that place, and I need to find something to kind of bring me back into that creative space, into that place of being able to do things. And for me, a lot of it revolves around music. And this has to do I think a lot with my background as being a musician many years ago. But now I don't play anymore, so I don't play music anymore. 

I don't really have the time to get that kind of thing into my life a lot, but I listened to a lot of music and there are certain types of things in particular that I always gravitate back to that are really about, I think, opening up some of those creative spaces. And a lot of times it's improvisatory things, things involve a lot of improvisation or complex compositions or just really well done blends of instruments, like in particular I was [crosstalk 00:46:40], what really points out that day to me. Like top of my list is the Pat Metheny Group. And he is a jazz guitarist, and the musicians that play with him, and this is especially the roughly 1980 to 1995 version of the Pat Metheny Group, they just had some people who jelled so well together in what they played. 

And they came together with these just marvelous, marvelous compositions of things that were really wonderful. Michael Hedges is another name that has always... He's a person, is another guitarist who has always inspired me tremendously as a composer and somebody who's put... He said interestingly something one time about, "I'm not like this guitarist trying to make these sounds, I'm a composer, and trying to find ways to get these sound ideas out in the guitar simply happens to be the tool to do that with." 

Til Luchau:

[crosstalk 00:47:41].

Whitney Lowe:

So, I think for me, that kind of leaks over into feeling like there's something that I want to do about helping to reduce pain in the world and writing and teaching and education turns out to be the vehicle to get me there. So it's kind of like this thing that I try to look at it that way. 

Til Luchau:

That's well said. Now, that's, music is such a resource for me too, that you make me realize. [inaudible 00:48:10] Spotify, just getting Spotify going and having it surprise me about staff. Pandora is another one. Maybe Pandora's algorithm is even a little more relevantly unpredictable sometimes showing me stuff that I wouldn't have stumbled across on my own. And just know that I'm propositional piece. But I'm also thinking, I'm just remembering one of my favorite playlist right now is North Indian classical music for studying and somebody's compilation of Indian classical music. This is sitar, tabla music. It's actually fantastic. This is so wonderful to have as a background thing while I'm actually reading or doing something there. 

Whitney Lowe:

You know what I find interesting too about the music thing is my wife gives me a lot of grief about this because I can't listen to something Pat Matheny or Michael Brecker was another one. A saxophone hero [inaudible 00:49:02], I can't listen to that kind of music when I'm trying to concentrate doing something because my mind goes to listening to what I'm doing. Listening to like the way the bass player is playing. Wow [inaudible 00:49:13] chord variation that [inaudible 00:49:15] played there.

So when I work I have music on all day long, but what I listen to is what's most frequently referred to as space music, which is just almost like a theo rial sound, pastel textures of synthesizer stuff that doesn't have a tune, doesn't have a melody, but it is sound that I can get into a deeper sense of concentration with. Otherwise, if it's something that's melodic arrhythmic or whatever, I'll start listening to that, and that will take my attention away. 

Til Luchau:

Do you do the social music thing? Are you on Spotify with playlist [crosstalk 00:49:55]? 

Whitney Lowe:

I'm on Spotify, but I don't share platelets or anything like that. I've made my own playlist of things and put them in over time, but I don't do like the social sharing thing. 

Til Luchau:

Well, maybe I can tempt you because I just did a search for you on Spotify and I get The Thinking Practitioner, have you ever heard of that? 

Whitney Lowe:

Never heard of it.

Til Luchau:

The Thinking Practitioner Podcast. 

Whitney Lowe:

Never heard of it.

Til Luchau:

Apparently, yeah, we're on Spotify, but no, I got a couple of shared playlist on Spotify that I throw things into both for background or for foreground. 

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah. 

Til Luchau:

[inaudible 00:50:22] so that's a fun way also to share and connect and get suggestions from people as well. 

Whitney Lowe:

I'll have to explore that. What else do you got? Anything else on [crosstalk 00:50:34]- 

Til Luchau:

We got to mention this one before we wrap it up and that's the nature.

Whitney Lowe:

... yes.

Til Luchau:

It's [inaudible 00:50:39] both of our lists and it says a resource or source of inspiration. If I don't get some... And it's connected with activity for me, just being outside or being in some nature is big, but moving or being in my body or having a way that I'm being physically outdoors is a double dose of balance you could say. If I don't get one of those or both of those every day, I'm just not having as good a day. 

If I don't get some time outdoors, I don't get some time being physically active then I'm just... And this is predictable reset for me, both in terms of mood, clarity, but also just my physical wellbeing as well. And really I'm just going back to my days, 20 years ago, two decades ago, dealing with chronic pain and chronic symptoms. If I could get myself outside, if I could get myself to even physically active get myself past that initial hump of inertia and discomfort, my day was always better. And it's still true for me as well. 

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah, I think that resonates for both of us. And I find myself battling against the idea that this sort of type A driven psychological things that I have for myself of like, I got to go get this done. I got this work to do. I got to get this thing done. And which is so hard when you work at home, because it's always there, those things that you need to do. But I have really tried to work hard in the last few years and gotten better about it, of recognizing that if I do take those breaks and I go outside and I sit outside because I live in a very rural place that's backed up to the forest and I can just go stroll around out in the forest and listen to the sounds of the forest out there, it's a really rejuvenating break in that actually is beneficial. 

That really helps me get things done better. That is really good. And in various different seasons, especially in the summer season, that gets exaggerated a great deal because I'm helping my wife with the wild bird rehabilitation that she does. So we're dealing with patients in a very different world than the massage world, but helping save lives and do things with getting little critters back to their environment too. So, those aspects of connecting with the different aspect of nature are very healing, and inspiring for me too. 

Til Luchau:

So not being in nature, but then also the animal work you do?

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah.

Til Luchau:

[crosstalk 00:53:15] on your resource list? 

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah, I did. And that's an important connection of... Well, we have a bunch of domestic animals living in our house all the time, in addition to the bird patients that move through here. So I try to spend time with everybody. Go run with the dogs during the day, play with the cats, bird sits on my desk, chirps out in the podcast every once in a while when we have to. So yeah, try to connect with those things and sort of remember about all the little critters and creatures and beings that are inhabiting the planet with us here all the time. 

Til Luchau:

That's great. Well, this it just makes me think about how much kids light up when they see animal and how many stories I hear about kids' first words being dog or bird or something like that. There's something just so basically interesting, nourishing, expiring, citing about an animal, a living animal, or living sides of nature. 

Whitney Lowe:

So, well, hopefully we've produced some ideas and thoughts for our listeners there that will help them explore ways to become more creative, inspirational, and productive in your work. And, hey, share with us some other things too if you think got some ideas that we didn't think of, we'd love to hear about those things as well. 

Til Luchau:

So yeah, I think both the things that you use, that'd be fun to hear you talk about, but also the challenges you might have, because I know it's an ongoing question. How do you stay inspired? How do you stay connected? How do you manage your collections, the things that you want to do? And how do you use those to lead a really satisfying life and perform a really useful service to the people that you serve? 

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah, absolutely so. Well, very good. Well, we'll wrap that up here today. We have one closing message from our closing sponsor. Who's our closing sponsor today Til? 

Til Luchau:

It Books of Discovery. Books of Discovery has been a part of massage therapy education for 20 years, thousands of schools around the world teach with their textbooks and digital resources. In these trying times, they say this beloved publisher is dedicated to helping educators with online friendly, digital resources that make instruction easier and more effective in the classroom or virtually. 

They like to say learning adventures start here at Books of Discovery. See, basically that same spirit here on The Thinking Practitioner Podcast, and they're proud to sponsor our work, knowing we share the mission to bring the massage and bodywork community and livening content that advances our profession. They invite you to check out their collection of e-text books and digital learning resources for pathology, kinesiology, anatomy, and physiology at booksofdiscovery.com. Thanks to Andrew [Beale 00:56:02] and Books of Discovery for their support, and be sure to check out their great offer for Thinking Practitioner listeners. So, yeah, thanks to them. Thanks for other sponsors. Stop by our various sites for the full transcripts. For all those links we mentioned, we're going to put those together and just some show notes for you. Whitney, what's your site, where do people find that? 

Whitney Lowe:

They can find that also on my site over at academyofclinicalmassage.com, and Til where can they find that on your site? 

Til Luchau:

Ours is Advanced-Trainings.com. The top of any page has the blog or podcast link. And that'll take you right to this episode where you can get the transcript and all the links and such. If you have questions or things you want to hear us talk about, and we're always getting some fun suggestions, it's great to hear from you too, just email us info@thethinkingpractitioner.com, or look for us each on social media [inaudible 00:56:55] my name at Til Luchau. How about you, Whitney? 

Whitney Lowe:

I am also at my name over there at Whitney Lowe. And you can also follow us on Spotify if you will. We spoke by Spotify earlier. We are over there. Rate us on Apple podcasts or wherever else you happen to listen if that is picking up your discarded [Marion Barry 00:57:14] pie plate, tilting it up at the Starlink Satellite Network, you'll hear us over there as well. So tell a friend, share the words and I will look forward to chatting with you again here soon in a couple of weeks. 

Til Luchau:

Thanks, Whitney. I'm going to be checking out some of those resources in the meantime [crosstalk 00:57:30]-

Whitney Lowe:

I will too. Yeah, I have learned some good stuff. All right. See you then.

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