For a long time I’ve had the impression that movement that relieves pain is creative in nature, as opposed to that which strengthens or lengthens us. Movement of that sort I refer to as productive. In David Whyte’s lecture, The Inner Necessities of Leadership, he makes the point that the workplace has always in the past asked for more production. Production can be coerced, measured and legislated if need be, and any management strategy must employ those methods if it hopes to succeed.
The problem of managing creativity can only be resolved by understanding the origins of the creative process itself, and Whyte reminds us that creativity arises from an internal conversation. This is the kind of self-examination and soul searching that virtually every artist engages in for prolonged periods. Without an invitation from the manager toward the worker to engage in that, creativity cannot be expected, only production.
Think of the modern therapy department. Designed to hold numerous stations for the application of modalities and exercise protocols, there is precious little space for any patient to engage in the internal dialogue creative movement requires. Of course, if strength and range are all that is required for recovery, there is nothing lost here. But the vast majority of painful problems will not respond to repetitive movement choreographed by another. If that works particularly well for non-pathologic problems, it’s news to me. Regimens like this are productive, to be sure, but individually acquired problems of deformation would have no reason to improve like this, unless by luck.
When your patient needs to create a movement, they will need an invitation that promotes unique expression, instinct, and, to some extent, courage. I say courage because the creative process invites failure into their life. This is why so many avoid it. Consider the story about Edison above. In my opinion, when someone says they are left brained and therefore unable to see a certain concept or develop an idea in a certain way, what is actually happening is that they are avoiding the internal conversation that the right brained are willing to risk. The manual technique I employ in order to promote creative movement is Simple Contact. It begins with the premise that within the unconscious processes of the person in pain (or those without pain, for that matter) exists a strategy for expression and correction and new patterns of use that will prove effective for pain relief. It is simply a matter of moving in a certain, creative way.