The Mind of a Manual Physical Therapist


I pick up the prescription. It reads, “following a car accident, right collarbone fracture, fractured spine, lower extremity weakness, and fatigue.”
Phew. That’s a lot to digest but it’s not uncommon. I start preparing my thoughts like when I was stepping onto the pitching mound in fastpitch softball. I’m looking at the stats of the hitter coming up to bat. I ask the patient how it happened, where he hurts, and what his goals are.

And then I start to smile. Even as he’s talking I thank God for my training and ultimately my compassion for another person.

I’m grateful that in ten years I’ve come to a point similar to when I was a pitcher in softball that I’m looking at a problem and can say, “I can do this. I can help you with that. I’m all in.”

Yes, the pool we have at Aquacare is awesome!! It’s big, it’s 90 degrees, and yes you can move easier. But the interesting part: Many of our patients are getting better because of manual techniques, our willingness to look at the big picture, and ability not to see you as one body part but how that part integrates with the whole person. I can look at the other therapists that I work with and I can say, “They’re ALL-IN too.”

Sometimes, it means we go home tearful because we can’t heal a patient faster. Or, we cry with the patient because they’ve gone without back pain for the first time in 15 years.
I’m not a mechanic, I don’t know how to fix cars. But, when I meet a mechanic or a person in another profession, I can tell if they like what they do. It is not just their time but their heart that is invested in what they’re doing. One-on-one care is of great importance and every therapy office advertises this point. But “standard of care” is not standard across the board and may not be how you want to be treated. There is nothing standard when your health care provider is “all in”. These are the providers that are calling personally to check on you, providing extra educational materials for you to better understand you condition, and listening to your personal goals of wellness.

I want you to look for the professionals that are “ALL-IN”.

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