Welcome! Today we’re pleased to introduce Table Talk… some thought provoking reading for the astute Massage Therapist (or just something to do while you’re waiting for clients). We hope it will become a regular fixture on Tuesdays right here on the Bright Health Training blog.
Over recent years, some important discoveries have been made about the nature of pain. In short, it is a complex, personal experience and no two people experience pain exactly the same way. Our massage and myotherapy approaches need to respect that no two clients should be treated in the same way. This may sound obvious in black and white, but have you considered lately, how are you treating your clients?
A recent paper by Falla and Hodges (2017) highlights this point, in this research they describe how there is a huge amount of variability in areas such as motor changes to pain, the role of social factors and the psychological state whilst someone is in pain. You may have heard about the biopsychosocial model? We are starting to understand that treating pain isn’t just a one-dimensional, biological/biomechanical approach. We should be looking at other aspects of care.
What does this mean in the context of your treatments? Are you encouraging clients to move in a way that feels best for them, instead of a pre-conceived model of “perfect” movement?
Here are some factors to identify when assessing clients and creating a treatment plan:
- What type of exercise are they likely to adhere to?
- What are their interests and goals in daily life?
- What are the best options to build confidence for this individual?
- How can we improve objective markers such as strength, flexibility and endurance?
I suggest that we avoid following cook-book style approaches (as one size doesn’t fit all) or always using the same protocol to treat a specific problem. After years of doing massage it is easy to fall into the habit of using familiar techniques, so keep an open mind. Instead, “listen” carefully to your client to gain a better understanding of what approaches will work best for them. Don’t just rush to get them on the table, take the time to understand the whole picture. This might just make a difference to your treatment outcomes.
We’d love to know what you think. If you’ve got any questions or comments be sure to let us know in the comments below or on Facebook!
Ref: Falla, D. Hodges, P. 2017 Individualised Exercise Interventions for Spinal Pain Exercise and Sport Science Reviews Vol 45 No. 2