So what do you think it is that makes a good manual therapist?
Someone that likes working directly with people? someone that wants to help people? someone that has a good sense of humor? someone that enjoys inflicting a little bit of pain? (I’ve been accused of this one) Someone who is not afraid of differing body types? – hair, sweat, body odor, peeling skin, pimples, the odd involuntary flatus release.
All those fun things that we manual therapists must deal with. Well I know a good therapist must be in control of their own body, with the ability to restrain any cough, sneeze, sniffle, rumble, burp and fart. Its funny how its your clinic but its you that has to be on your best behavior.
I started massaging as a 19 year old trying to be the perfect professional, proper stance, calm tone of voice, limiting conversation to only appropriate and necessary topics. One day a client was asking about me, we found common interest and began to have a joke throughout the treatment. At the end of the session, he said and I quote “I’m glad you got the stick out of your arse, the real you is much more fun”
Now i couldn’t name the client or even picture his face anymore, but his comment remains firmly in my memory. So now I let my personality shine through, most of my clients love it and i suppose if they didn’t they wouldn’t come back. I am much more comfortable being human than trying to be perfect. I find common ground and mutual interests with my clients and chat about it during the treatment. I find this helps a lot to create a good rapport with the clients and get them comfortable with me. The chatting keeps me focused on my client and we can both then enjoy the treatment.
The point that i’m getting to here is to be yourself and express yourself through your treatments. That is a trait of a good manual therapist.
In the video below I discuss 8 essential skills for a manual therapist and how they create a well rounded therapist. Check it out now.