Friday, September 15, 2017

Three pictures that sum up manual therapy

You cannot be sure that what you think you "feel" in another's body (palpate physically) is really what you feel there. Furthermore, you cannot (objectively) feel another person's pain.
The best you can do is interact empathically with whatever they feel (and are willing to share), and with whatever you feel. With your hands. Without making too many assumptions.
With any luck, whatever they feel will change in the course of a session. For the better. 

Being a manual therapist is not for sissies.


We all have to do this, every day, with every new patient: carefully cross a chasm of understanding, on a rickety footbridge, through fog.
Not knowing how long the bridge is, or how deep the gorge below.
Just putting one foot in front of the other, carefully.
Because people are not objects, like cars. And we must not treat them, or any part of their bodies, as though they were.
Being a manual therapist is not for sissies. 

A "profession" (like PT) starts out as a group of idealistic individuals, who probably imagine that "certainty" is a real thing and that they can count on it to support their adventure through life. However, they can turn the profession into an "industry" over time.
People starting out in a profession feel more comfortable acquiring and using "tools."
Being part of a group that sees itself as an industry can turn the individuals within it into thinking they are car mechanics, if we aren't careful. 
Being a manual therapist with the goal of having good ethics is not for sissies.
Being part of a profession that is madly trying to turn itself into an industry is a bit of a downer, to say the least. 

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