The chocolate cake of Physiotherapy

Neil - Doctor of PhysiotherapyBlog, Health, Manual Therapy, Physiotherapy, The Kettlebell Physio0 Comments

I reckon if you asked 100 people what one word they would use to best describe Physiotherapy as a profession, “massage” would be a popular response.

Much the same way that “cake” or “spatula” doesn’t accurately describe a Pastry chef, massage does not accurately describe Physiotherapy or what a Physiotherapist does either… and if it does reflect what an individual is doing, then they’re in the wrong profession!

Interestingly, the only person at PRIDE Physiotherapy who *doesn’t* have a massage qualification, is Dr Ashlie. As a GP she doesn’t offer massage either. As a Physiotherapy practice we recognise the benefits and value of remedial massage and that’s why we employ Remedial Massage Therapists (RMT). Chiropractors often do the same.

If a new client initially sees me as a Physiotherapist and they have an expectation of needing or wanting a manual therapy treatment, they are generally referred to the RMT after their initial appointment, because that’s what they’ve trained to do and the client doesn’t *need* to get it from me!! The only thing the RMT cannot do which I can (although don’t), is cervical manipulation.

From 2006 until 2015 I trained Remedial Therapists and was fortunate enough to develop and help write an Advanced Diploma course; I know what the standards are like and how they compare to Physiotherapy. The manual therapy skill set of the RMTs and Myotherapists I been lucky to teach, was vastly superior to a Physiotherapist with equal industry experience.

Based on the feedback we get, our clients really *love* the treatments they receive at PRIDE too!

Everyone has a ‘thing’ they really value or appreciate. Let’s say that your thing is cake and there’s a cake at a local café that you hang out for all week and enjoy as a weekly indulgent treat. It’s a phenomenally good cake, $13 a slice. It comes with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a chocolate too.

You wouldn’t dream of asking the café owner if they could sell you a slice of your favourite cake but run it through the cash register as a $6 hot chocolate instead though would you? Aside from that being f’ing rude, it demonstrates zero acknowledgment of, or appreciation for, the time and skill involved in preparing the cake. The café owner certainly isn’t going to see you as a valued customer or look forward to your return either, as that request makes your intentions to support their business loud and clear.

It reminds me of this post from a GP in the The Sydney Morning Herald last month here.

We’ve had a handful of people at PRIDE who have thoroughly enjoyed our Remedial Massage service (and been regulars)
until the ‘massage’ component of their private health insurance has run out, then subsequently ask us if we can bill it as Physiotherapy.

No. We won’t do that.

Physiotherapy is not massage.

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