Western health professions are trying to become more effective in helping patients to manage
chronic pain and, as a result, are looking to complementary and alternative methods, often
originating from the east (Asia). The physiotherapy profession, however, appears to be at a critical
juncture in its development, whereby incorporation of too much holistic treatment may destabilise ‘the body as a machine’ concept, a concept that has long been the profession’s major basis for its rationale for treatment. Yet, a large amount of recent literature has warranted the need for physiotherapists dealing with chronic pain, to understand the psyche as unseparate from the soma in order for treatment to provide a lasting effect. Such understanding puts large emphasis on physiotherapeutic intervention being placebo- or nocebo-based, thus implying that
intervention will often become a necessity in order to tolerate pain, or, become a conduit that
exacerbates the pain.
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