What Yanny and Laurel Can Tell Us About Physical Therapy

It’s Yanny, and the dress was blue.  Now that we’ve got that out of the way, it’s time to answer the real question that’s been on all our minds – what can we learn about physical therapy from this debate?

Wait.  You haven’t been asking that?  Huh.  Well then, moving on…

The newest viral illusion – Yanny vs. Laurel – teaches us that even when we have the exact same input, we can experience that input differently.  Some hear Yanny, some hear Laurel, and even more interestingly, some people can catch them both.

The same is true for our bodies.  Different people respond to the same treatment differently.  For some people, dry needling works wonders.  For others, it doesn’t seem to change anything.  Some people respond well to doing yoga while it may make others feel worse. 

It’s difficult for us to tell someone what they should do about their (insert favorite injury here), without learning more about that person.  Not only can two people with the same injury respond to the same treatment differently, they may have gotten the same injury for completely different reasons.  It is our job to listen, determine how the patient’s unique movement and/or situation caused undue stress to that particular tissue, and select the treatment most likely to provide the patient with the best outcome.  So, the next time you hear the Yanny or Laurel sound bite, remember two things:

  1. Humans are amazing, aren’t we??? I mean, how crazy is this stuff???
  2. Listen to your body. No one experiences the world exactly like you, and no one responds to it the same either.

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