What is physical therapy?
Physical therapy [PT or PTs] encompasses the art of healing and empower patients with the courage to cope. Talk about a drug-free experience! Wow! Take that to the bank, surgeons! You could think of PT as, sort of what Jesus did some thousands of years ago when he was on earth; who mind you, is our prime example, because never had he once gave someone a shot of something (drugs or any such contraptions) for any type of sickness presented to him. He may have given them a piece of bread and a fish or two; but, you name it, he can heal: Blindness, blood issues, cripple, dumbness, even death--he simply used his hands and applied His faith in the father. That's it! The rest as we now read it, is history. Cool ha? Sure is!
Although we may never believe, admit nor embrace it's very presence, our profession is faith-based. Think about it? You need to have at least some, to do an effective diagnosis; follow some 18 steps guideline, let alone, manipulate. The lack of it, faith, would lead us to an erroneous chase of endless symptoms; which we do know is the manifestation of something gone wrong. Hence, our primary reason for not treating pain..."not about to happen, but something has already happened" (S.V. Paris). It takes courage to cope with all that life throws at us, and our patients. Many times, all it takes is a good listener. While doctors mean well, and most do, they don't have the extra time to spend with each patient, but PTs do!
Benefits and power of listening:
Good PTs do a full and thorough examination; thus, reducing the possibilities of error, unnecessary surgery, and or strain on the health care system. A successful PT is one who has acute listening skills and highly sensitive (the ability to see through his hands) touch. Most often than any, you will find that, your patients will tell you how to treat them. They will say something like, "it hurts here, there, under, and over there." With exceptional listening skills and attention to details, the clinician should discover a diagnostic lead.
Our role as listener, is to use our God-given gifts, and apply our learned knowledge to make the right diagnosis; which, then leads to the most effective and "if necessary," predictions to bring about a successful change, the outcome. It's amazing that we seldom treat people; on the contrary, we help them treat themselves by providing the necessary information that is pertinent to limiting their dysfunctions, improve restoration and return to normal function.
So what do PTs really do?
They do not prescribe drugs or medications, however, they seek to improve, restore, encourage, motivate, educate, and emancipate patients from their state of dysfunction to a higher level of awareness, both mentally, physically and to change habits that will preserve proper body alignment through postural education, and research-based evidence that will bridge the gap to the lay person's understanding and adaptation to correct body mechanics, right techniques, and self empowerment. That' Physical Therapy! not some "do-one-more-stretch," Mr. Bob, then c'mon back next week, as some would have you believe. We do more than just therapy, we restore!
The main purpose is true restoration:
Noticed that, Jesus' prime reason for coming was to restore us back to the father. His journey also lead him to restoring us back to our normal function, as result of sin and the manifestation of aberrant diseases. We don't have the ability to cure anything in life, only, we restore normal function and lives. Moreover, even though we have not yet tapped into our full potential, could you imagined if we did? Jesus' said to his disciples (at the miracle of the fig tree), "I tell you the truth, marvel not over these simple things (paraphrased) because greater works than these shall you do" (John 14:12).
Now that, my esteemed friends, blows my mind; I don't know about you, but washing my feet in the tub is "mi-nute" compared to washing them on the epidermis of an entire ocean (walking on water), and he did that.
So be proud of your profession; be an advocate, you have a lot more to offer than exercise, stretches and manipulations--you bring restoration and wholeness!