The history of work

Work

Physiotherapy is inextricably linked to work; to returning people back to productive labour or meaningful activities.  As an important cog in the health services of many countries around the world, physical therapies have proven a powerful and effective way to rehabilitate people who have been ill and injured and maintain their

Australia’s polio scourge

The recent movie Breathe, the inspirational true story of Robin Cavendish’s battle with paralytic poliomyelitis, is a reminder of a disease that is almost forgotten, except by those whose lives were and remain directly affected. In recent years adults who suffered minor illnesses or had mild muscle weakness during the

Quarterly IPHA Meeting Notice

The quarterly open meeting of the International Physiotherapy History Association will take place on-line at 7am (Auckland time) on Tuesday 14th August.  Please check your local times. We’ve been very busy since our last meeting, so will be able to update you on the website and social media activity, our

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Símbolos da Fisioterapia: Os antigos e o novo.

Symbols of Physiotherapy: The old and the new.   A história da Fisioterapia também é representada por meio de símbolos. Os símbolos, pela sua natureza, evocam num determinado contexto algo abstrato ou distante. No caso da Fisioterapia brasileira vários símbolos foram utilizados, sofrendo modificações ao longo do tempo, evoluindo sempre, até

Physiotherapy history as a tool to identify the ‘soul’ of the profession

“Critique needs friction or a kind of dialogue. Existing reality must be confronted with strangeness and the historically different can assume the function of this counterpart, meaning present and past must continuously be set in relation to each other”. This quote comes from a recent paper by Thomas Foth, Jette Lange and

How a yachtswoman revolutionised physiotherapy

Many of the earliest casualties from the First World War were large guardsmen with grievous wounds. For the short of stature like Mrs F Guthrie Smith – the masseuse in charge of a temporary command depot hospital on the British Downs – exercising these men was both a problem and

New book: The Oxford Handbook of Disability History

The Oxford Handbook of Disability History (link) Michael Rembis, Catherine J. Kudlick, and Kim Nielsen, eds. Table of contents Part I. CONCEPTS AND QUESTIONS 1. The Perils and Promises of Disability Biography – Kim E. Nielsen 2. Disability History and Greco-Roman Antiquity – C.F. Goodey and M. Lynn Rose 3. Intellectual Disability

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The Massage Robot (c.1931)

“Most of us know how valuable massage is for our limbs but most of us also know what a tiring job it is – too! “Here’s a novel pneumatic massage machine, that envelops the patient like a diving suit, and massages the body by means of air impulses circulating through

Become a contributing author for IPHA

Become a history.physio contributing author

With the new history.physio website, we’re looking to have contributions from across the whole physiotherapy community. Each month we’d like to publish a short piece from 8 to 10 IPHA members who would be our regular contributing authors. We’d provide full editorial support and promotion, and in return give you

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Ministering angels

One of the most interesting new areas of research in the history of physiotherapy surrounds the work done by masseuses during World War I. Some of the most studied artefacts from the time are the Bliss Series of postcards held at the Wellcome Library in London.  These postcards tell us some interesting

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