If you give home exercises, your Clients Need me. Here's why and how that helps you
You’ve got a busy practice, there are so many people here in the Valley that need your amazing skills, and only so many you can get into your schedule. You know that there are people waiting for your services.
Maybe I can help.
I'm making contact with a few select practitioners in town. You are someone who my clients have praised, and to whom I’ve referred them to. I’m hoping we can collaborate to provide an even more comprehensive service to our clients, and be able to help more people.
You’d like to be able to help more people and at the same time know that the ones you’re currently caring for have the tools to sustainably take care of what’s troubling them.
If you give home exercises, I can help support your clients to help themselves, maximize their results, and so that you have more space in your practice so you can help more people.
If you'd like to set up a time, email me and I will come to your office at a time that works for you, or you can come to my studio.
But I know we’re all busy and meeting in person isn’t always the easiest so if you would prefer to read…
First of all, I think it’s important to know why we’re complementary and to give you a bit of insight into what I do.
I don’t diagnose, or put my hands on people to manipulate or do any manual therapy. That’s not my role but I can often see when someone needs help getting those areas to function properly. So, I send them to one of the amazing health care service providers here in town, you.
My tools are awareness, education, breath, stillness and movement.
I use those tools to help establish home programs that help heal and truly support the great work you do and help your clients get even better results. With increased awareness of their personal movement patterns, combined with some education, they are often able to help themselves move better, and feel better!
We all want what's best for our clients - why else would we be giving our hearts and energy in everything we do.
It takes a team to help our people.
AND they also have to be willing to help themselves.
We all know that a home program is crucial to success for many clients. Why else would you be giving them exercises to do at home?
But what if the exercises were actually hindering their progress? Because that happens more often than you might think.
I had a local client who was unable to raise her arms to shoulder height. No shoulder blade movement at all, and it was very painful for her to do everyday things like open doors, or reach a higher cabinet.
She called me because she was about to give up doing one of her most favourite things in life: gardening. She knew me from my Yoga for Gardening and therapeutic movement classes. Although she hadn’t attended one, she knew of them.
She took me through what was happening in her life, what she thought made it hurt, who she was seeing and what homework they had given her.
She was given a home program from one of her service providers to hang from a bar with her arms over her head.
She was diligent and did her homework daily but couldn’t understand why she wasn’t getting better. All she knew is that her pain wasn’t subsiding and thought that somehow maybe it was getting worse. It was very confusing.
So we did a few tests to determine if this homework actually helped, or hindered.
Turns out this homework made her pain worse, a lot worse, and she discovered that she was actually very stressed out after this movement. But it took some time for her to understand that this movement was causing her pain to increase.
Hanging from a bar doesn’t create good shoulder blade function, it requires it...and she didn’t have enough movement in her shoulder blades to get anywhere near this movement.
We decided to stop this exercise until we could get her to a point where she could move her shoulder blades well.
We went back a few steps and she learned how to move her shoulder blades well enough to reach those high cabinets and eventually be able to hang from a bar - which as it turns out was not something she wanted to do any more.
More importantly she was gaining the skills to see how her movements increased or decreased her pain.
And that makes your job easier...
It’s probably frustrating for you to know that there are things that they can be doing to help themselves more...which is why you give homework.
You know that the way they sit, sleep or work affects their body and I’m sure you’ve probably mentioned it to them to be aware of those things.
But like this real life example of a local woman, your clients may just need a little more support in understanding their movements and what to do about them.
In fact, the homework portion of your client's work needs to be a whole session to itself to really be effective, and there’s only so much you can do in a session...and you’re doing the invaluable work that they’ve hired you to do.
I've seen problems with homework enough times to want to do something about it. You may not know that your clients are experiencing it but I’ve seen it a lot. I have clients tell me about their take home programs and their frustrations with it.
I ask if they tell you, turns out they want to please us and so most don't, if not directly asked. But more often than not, I don’t think they know, their pain is just one big jumble and they’re exhausted from it.
What if there was a more effective home practice that would help you take your client to the next level and allow you to help them progress even more?
Home practices can be the crucial part of getting better, but only if they are fit for the client.
A well planned and practiced home program can be life altering.
A well planned and seldom practiced program is not very useful.
A well meaning but inappropriate home exercise can be a huge set back to clients.
Unfortunately what most practitioners don't do is actually test to see if the movement they've given is getting the results they intended, or if the client truly understands it, or if it is actually the next step that that client needs.
Two people will do the same movement differently. How a person responds to that stimulus and all the compensations in the breath and body that can happen is quite unique. It's truly amazing to step back watch how the body ACTUALLY responds.
There's no way to go through all of the intricacies of a well planned movement home practice at the end of a session, a well designed home practice is a session of its own.
I help people understand how their daily activities and movements affect their pain, and help them find relief and create more ease.
Together, I believe we can get even more people moving better, so they feel better.
Let me know if you'd like to talk further about my work to see how it fits for you and your clients.