Friday Feeling Physiotherapist Happy
This Physiotherapist is Friday feeling happy. This weekend we are touching skin. To be exact this weekend’s course is teaching Physiotherapists to feel skin, touch skin, press on skin, move tissues, squeeze tissue.
The Physiotherapists are coming to learn how to touch someone else’s skin and have an affect with a goal to have an effect. Sounds complicated but it’s not, sometimes we call touching skin, massage.
In the UK Physiotherapist is a protected title and the profession of Physiotherapy is regulated by the Health & Care Professions Council. To be exact, there are two protected titles, Physiotherapist & Physical Therapist and anyone using either title must be HCPC registered. If someone tries to pass themselves off they can be fined up to £5000, which is a lot of money. The register can be checked online and it’s a way to safeguard the public. To remain on the register, there are some strict requirements for continued professional development, codes of conduct and behaviour.
There are 16 registered and regulated professions and Physiotherapy is the only profession which has massage as one of the 4 pillars of practice.
The pillars of practice are the cornerstones of Physiotherapist professional work. The scope of practice of physiotherapy is defined as: “any activity undertaken by an individual physiotherapist that may be situated within the four pillars of physiotherapy practice where the individual is educated, trained and competent to perform that activity. These activities should be linked to existing or emerging occupational and/or practice frameworks acknowledged by the profession, and be supported by a body of evidence.”
Massage & manual therapy, hands on work, have been part of the professional practice of Physiotherapists since the emergence of the profession.
In the UK Massage isn’t nationally & independently regulated
In many countries, massage is a stand-alone state regulated profession with strict requirements on length of training and code of conduct.
But this is not the case in the UK.
In the UK, the public have little safeguarding because anyone can call themselves a massage therapist, or sports massage therapist, or any other form of massage therapist because these titles are not protected & regulated.
The lack of protection is even greater because the UK has no national independent body that massage therapists are mandated to be registered with. This leaves the door open for anyone to set up, including those without a formal education, insurance, ethics, code of conduct but with a criminal record or more. A set of certificates on a wall can be fabricated and printed, uniform bought, business cards printed.
Setting up as a massage therapist can be as simple as reading a book or attending a one day course
People wanting to book massage therapy also run a risk of booking for a service they didn’t expect. The world of ‘massage’ has long been associated with prostitution. An innocent ‘full body massage’ advert outside a ‘private’ shop, is likely a metaphor for sexual practice.
Professional Treatment for Medical Issues
Providing massage therapy, hands on treatment for medical issues requires that the professional practitioner has a science based training. In the UK Physiotherapists are trained in the Neuromatrix Theory. This is a theoretical framework in which the contributions of genetic, neuronal-hormonal, neural and sensory processes are all treated with an equal importance. It’s a complex framework but provides a useful structure to approach pain work. Pain is the number one reason people seek help from a Physiotherapist.
The framework emphasizes the importance of an interdisciplinary treatment approach that addresses the many facets of chronic pain, which goes beyond the concept of a simple one-to-one relationship between injury and pain. This framework supports clinicians working in teams, each professional addressing some of the complex aspects of an individual’s presentation. For the public, this provides a security because each professional can easily refer to each other and they all work from a science base.
Another public safeguard is that Physiotherapists are HCPC registered, regulated & checked by the DBS service. Clinicians can be disciplined or struck off the register for misconduct.
Continued Professional Development
The group of Physiotherapists attending the course this weekend have already received graduate level basic training in hands on work, but want more advanced skills. Some may be taking their work into specialist niche areas of clinical practice, others may be developing more skill for an existing specialism. They are all attending to comply with their continued professional development requirements. Part of my role is to provide quality skill training, science details & evidence. Another part to stimulate their curiosity & love of learning.
Touch is part of the course
The course starts with a review of the importance of touch, components of empathy, and how this fits into care plan. The sense of touch has a critical importance in daily life, but touching is often missing in everyday busy work or social settings. Touch enables not only the ability to discriminate, explore and identify objects, on example to differentiate between a cup and a plate. But it also allows us to communicate with others, to create and maintain social bonds.
Touch has a powerful place to assist people to heal and massage has a place in ongoing self-management of health problems.
You can rely on a Physiotherapist
Times are changing, leaders are changing, environment changing. But some things don’t change and can be relied on.
Physiotherapists remain committed to supporting people to live well, happy, active through the whole of their life. Touch & massage have been powerful foundation tools in UK Physiotherapist toolkit for more than a century. So allow yourself to feel that nice, calm, warm, happy, content, confident, Friday feeling knowing, Physiotherapists care.
Brothers L. (1990). The neural basis of primate social communication. Motiv. Emot. 14 81–91. 10.1007/BF00991637
Case L. K., Čeko M., Gracely J. L., Richards E. A., Olausson H., Bushnell M. C. (2016). Touch perception altered by chronic pain and by opioid blockade. eNeuro 3 10.1523/ENEURO.0138-15.2016
If you are having problems with pain or injury and would like some advice and help then please contact me via the contact page or phone. Everyone is provided with a 15 minute consultation at only the charge of your phone provider