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What do I do?

(and the benefits of having a small toolbox)

Social Media is full of us healthcare professionals who are “different from all the others!!! (TM)”, and so it is always tricky to answer a very common question – “what do you do?”

I often think that that question is better answered by previous clients, and so feedback and reviews are hugely important and a nice gauge of the therapist that you are considering booking in with.

When I stop and think about what I do, I realise that I have a very small toolbox compared to lots of my peers (stop sniggering), as this is because the evidence base for many of these ‘tools’ simply doesn’t support their use. It’s easy to spend lots of money on treatments and tools with little to no effect and still be having that treatment many years later.

But whilst my social media very seldom mentions any treatments (in the traditional sense) I am completely transparent about what I do, and have no “secret treatments” to offer, and because of this lack of low-effect adjuncts/treatments, it focusses my approach on the high level interventions, and the things I think we should value most.

So, after some thought about what I do, I simply aim to answer your 4 most important questions, with no upsell or gimmicks:

1. What is causing my pain?

Whilst this is incredibly complex, we aim to get as close to a workable diagnosis as possible, whilst also ruling *out* your worst fears of what is causing your pain. Having a name for your pain isn’t always that helpful, but understanding the mechanics (or otherwise) of your pain can help direct your recovery, rather than throwing everything and anything at it in the hope that something sticks.

2. What can I do to help myself?

I absolutely love being asked this as it shows interest in your recovery. Taking ownership of your pain is incredibly empowering, and many feel better straight away when understanding what they can do, rather than leaving with a long list of what not to do.

3. What can you do to help me?

Thorough, experienced assessment, coupled with explaining the benefits (and limitations) of hands-on treatments, builds understanding and self-reliance rather than over-reliance on any therapist/therapy. More time in assessment often leads to less time in treatment. We don’t fix, we guide. There are no magic hands, but as Louis Gifford once said, “effective reassurance is a bloody good painkiller”. I offer both a listening ear, and a kick up the backside (plus some shocking jokes to distract you from the discomfort 🙂 )

4. How long until I feel an improvement?

Whilst pain and recovery is often a unique experience, aligning expectations, reassurance and encouragement can do wonders to how you feel. And knowing that you are healing is a great starting point.

All pretty simple, I think.

I believe that we all have a ‘Pain-on’ and a ‘Pain-off’ setting, and that at the root of this is an understanding of *why* you are in pain. When you start to understand this, you begin to regain control, which leads to building confidence, better movement, and less pain.

I also believe that our aim as therapists should be to get rid of you (in the nicest possible sense!) and so what I do not do is offer never-ending treatment plans which consist of only hands-on therapy, giving control to me, the therapist, and not yourself.

And I do not believe that you should have to rely on a therapist to live a full, pain-free life and I have helped thousands of people live pain-free using this approach.

It’s not perfect, I am sure, and it is ever evolving.

But for now, this is ‘what I do’.

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