The wonders of the Wellcome Archive

There are many wondrous things to be found at the Wellcome Library in London (link). Some years ago I spend a very happy month at the Wellcome researching the archives of the CSP for my doctorate, and a few days ago I stumbled across a file of photos I’d taken

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Call for Papers

MECHANICAL MEDICINE Exploring the History of Healing by Exercise, Manipulation and Massage. 23 May 2019, Science Museum, London. A symposium at the Science Museum, London, organised by Dr Kay Nias (Medicine Galleries Research Fellow). ‘Physical medicine’ or ‘physical therapy’ has ancient origins. For thousands of years, people with illnesses and

Sir Charles Strong applying a low frequency current

A royal history of animal physiotherapy

‘’As humans respond so rapidly to this form of treatment for their injuries, why isn’t it used on horses for theirs?’’ Lord Luis Mountbatten to Sir Charles Strong (1939) Many will know of Lord Luis Mountbatten, a great british sailor, a notable diplomat, and the last Viceroy of India. Many

The first self-propelled wheelchair built by German paraplegic, Stephan Farffler

History of the Wheelchair

The 1st of March is International Wheelchair Day so we are getting ready for the celebrations by having a look back at the history of the wheelchair. While both chairs and wheels have been around of thousands of years, the Ancient Greeks and the Chinese were the first to combine

Office aerobics c.1917

It’s not unusual for people to think that today’s vices are worse than anything we’ve seen before in history, but this is plainly nonsense. Paleolithic cave-dwellers were just as worried about food security as we are today and Victorians worried about the accelerating pace of life as much, perhaps even

Gym machines and gynaecological massage

Many of you will know of the pioneering work of Anders Ottosson, whose histories of mobilization, kinesiology and the gendered basis of physiotherapy history were some of the first critical scholarship to be published in the field.   Well, Anders along with Michaela Malmberg have published two chapters in a

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François Humbert – a pioneer of 19th century orthopaedics

Last week I had a series of email conversations with Axelle Mokry (www.senselab.ch), a Swiss physiotherapist who has for some time now been part of an association looking to research the work of French doctor François Humbert, who created the first orthopedic centre of France in 1817.   Unlike many academics

A century of blind physiotherapists

2019 marks the centenary of the first ever physiotherapy special interest group. The Association of Blind Certified Masseurs (changed in 1953 to The Association of Blind Chartered Physiotherapists), was formed by the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, then the Incorporated Society of Trained Masseuses (ISTM), in 1919 in response to three

The oral history of physiotherapy in the UK

Last week we finally got the chance to talk to Barbara Richardson about the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy’s Oral History Project that she led. You can find more information on the project here. The audio quality of the Skype call was a little patchy, but in this interview, we talk

IPHA update podcast

This podcast is a different way of keeping up to date with the goings-on with the IPHA. If you prefer the whole-group online meetings, please let us know.  We’re hoping these give you all the information you need, in a small parcel of jolliness.

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