Pictures and stories

One of the facets of the IPHA that sets it apart from many of the other sub-groups of physiotherapists is its rich heritage of pictures and stories.

Whereas for some groups a scientific paper or a treatment pathway best expresses the work of the people in the group, pictures and stories are the meat and drink of physiotherapy history.

And so, in a few weeks time, we will be celebrating the history of physiotherapy at the WCPT Congress in Geneva with a networking session focusing on pictures and stories from physiotherapy’s rich history.

The session is being hosted by IPHA Executive members Fiona Jenkins and Nicky Wilson, and other Executive members like Sarah Marshall and Rob Jones will also be present.

IPHA Networking Session: Monday 13th May at 10-11:15am, Room R+S. See WCPT planner for more details.

The session will be a chance for an informal gathering of physiotherapists with an interest in the history of the profession, and more information about the event will be available through the IPHA blog leading up to the event (

So if you have an interest in the history of the profession, and want to be part of an informal celebration of physiotherapy’s past, make a note of the date and time in your diary and we’ll send more information about the event over the next few weeks.

Posted by Dave Nicholls

Dr. Nicholls is an Associate Professor in the School of Public Health and Psychosocial Studies, AUT University, Auckland, New Zealand. He is a physiotherapist, lecturer, researcher and writer, with a passion for critical thinking in and around the physical therapies. David is the founder of the Critical Physiotherapy Network, an organisation that promotes the use of cultural studies, education, history, philosophy, sociology, and a range of other disciplines in the study of the profession’s past, present and future. David’s own research work focuses on the critical history of physiotherapy and considers how physiotherapy might need to adapt to the changing economy of health care in the 21st century. He has published 35 peer-reviewed articles and 17 book chapters, many as first author. He is also very active on social media, writing more than 500 blogposts for in the last three years. David has taught in physiotherapy programmes in the UK and New Zealand for over 25 years and has presented his work all around the world. The End of Physiotherapy – the first book-length critical history of physiotherapy, and written by David – was published by Routledge in mid-2017.

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