It has certainly been an interesting 10 months in any walk of life, kids have had longer periods off school and have found their parents becoming teachers, family and friend gatherings are virtual, commuters have found an extra couple of hours in their day where they’d normally be travelling to the workplace and instead are working from home, parents are juggling a new job or the job they may have done for several years with ensuring the kids are doing some form of school work, but how have things changed in the Physio world?
It is so easy when people ask what I do for a living to say, “I’m a Physio”. Recently however, I am more inclined to say, “I’m a Physiotherapist”. I think the ‘therapist’ aspect of our role has become more significant. Clients are needing to talk. There is a bit less emphasis on physical treatment; more on talking and listening. It is amazing to see the difference from when someone enters the clinic with the weight of the world on their shoulders. Their posture, physical presence and pain all change after a session with you working as their ‘therapist’, looking, and listening throughout the treatment session in combination with an assessment of their physical symptoms.
This pandemic has taught me to observe how people change as they relax, and to recognise when someone is holding something back, by reading their body instead of their facial expressions now that they are hidden behind a mask. It is a wonderful feeling being able to connect with someone in times where we have learnt to be distant from others physically. Maybe this will make us all better friends, colleagues, therapists as we learn to connect in other ways?
As Physiotherapists, we are so used to seeing the problem and engaging with the person in front of us. Listening to all corners of life, from relationship or family problems, work troubles, financial stress and now home-schooling. It is so rewarding when our clients come to the clinic and feel that they can talk to us about anything, safe in the knowledge that everything will be spoken about confidentially.
A nervy start to virtual
I have always been a little averse to the idea of remote Physiotherapy as I am so ‘hands-on.’ At first, during the pandemic, I was worried about video physiotherapy sessions, teaching Zoom Pilates too. However, like ripping off a plaster, I taught my first feared Zoom Pilates class and breathed a huge sigh of relief. It was not just alright, it was great! The class could see me, I could see them, I could even correct their movements and we have had fun finding household objects which can be turned into Pilates equipment, from tin cans to tights! We can even do Pilates assessments online too if you’ve been thinking of joining a class
The revelation of the role of a Physiotherapist and embracing of virtual Pilates has led me to become less cynical towards online Physiotherapy sessions. It is a valuable tool to have. Normally during our face-to-face sessions, we must picture your home environment, the workspace you have set up or envision you doing the activities you enjoy in your spare time. On a video session we can see these things, allowing us to spend more time concentrating on you, the client (and sometimes there is the added perk of seeing gorgeous pets and children joining the sessions!)
Times are strange right now, we are juggling different roles and have adapted to being in our homes more, people need a treatment plan which is not going to put more pressure on their already busy lives. It is evident that clients are more accountable to their own recovery if they are educated to build small changes into their day and have a tailor-made plan which suits their own environment and lifestyle. If we then need to get you into the clinic for hands on treatment, we have all the background information to hand.
How has it been for you?
It would be interesting to hear from you, our clients. How have you felt about your treatment sessions at the clinic throughout the pandemic? As a regular, have you felt a shift? Or as a new client how has your experience been?
It is not just Physiotherapy which can be accessed face-to-face or by video from Courtyard Clinic. Why not give us a call and our fantastic reception team will help you decide the best service for you.