Great question and with all the hype in physiotherapy around whether manual therapy is waste of time in our profession, this question has come at a good time.
Some therapists are very manual therapy orientated and others prefer to not be and there is a clear fence between the two sides.
I feel we as physios have a skill set that is very powerful to our profession and that is the ability to put our hands on our patients to feel, mobilise, manipulate and massage.
This in combination with our other skills of exercise prescription and much more, make us stand out from our competitors as the go- to health professional to manage injuries and conditions of the body.
An Exercise Physiologist prescribes exercises.
A Chiropractor manipulates.
A Remedial Massage Therapist massages.
and we do it all.
Yes, I agree that some conditions do not warrant manual therapy, but in many cases it can give our patients a head start to their stretching program or alleviate some pain initially so they can start their exercises at home comfortably. Would you deny your patient these perks?
I know in the long run, both clients whether hands on or not may get the same outcome in 6 - 12 months, but it is getting them started to end the journey that is the most crucial for a lot of our clients.
Our patients have an element of trust and reassurance that goes with placing our hands on to complete manual therapy. It is like the hand shake agreement to confirm the deal that you as a therapist will do your bit in the treatment agreement and the patient will do their bit.
Without that human connection and contact it is very hard for our patients to believe and trust us. It is part of the process of treatment.
There are many ways to the top of the mountain, meaning everyone treats differently and can get a great result either way, but the buy in from our patients is greater when that element of human contact and connection has been made.
I want you and your graduate to watch this video from Simon Sinek on the Why & Trust.
As you watch it, I want you to relate it back to your work in private practice.
Especially the part about doing business with a hand shake agreement.