The other day I had one of my runners come in from a recent physical therapy appointment with a bruise on her leg where this professional applied a massage technique called friction that I use just about every day. I was pretty upset, but I kept my cool and we chatted a little about it. She’d been in PT for a minor injury just before the NY Marathon and was very keen on running it again this year. I am very supportive of my clients and try to never contradict other professionals, so I kept my upset hidden as best I could and supported her continuing to see this therapist because she felt she was making progress with the sessions. Then she came in again and she had two more bruises. We chatted a little more and I coached her to make a request to her PT to go a little easier on the manual therapy because she didn’t want any bruises. I think that worked out well. She had a terrific run and all in all everything was fine, but what I want to say is you shouldn’t be getting bruised by a licensed medical professional. The first rule of medicine is “Do no harm”. I apply friction all the time and I have never caused bruising. The therapist must be able to feel resistance under their fingers and give the patient/client time to breathe and soften the area, get the muscle to relax and then repeat the stroke. If they can’t get in there are other things they could do, lighten the pressure, jostle the area (this confuses the Nervous System into letting the muscle come out of contraction), and/or apply PNF and Muscle Energy techniques. There is no reason with all the knowledge and techniques abounding out there for you to ever get a bruise from your therapist. So what do you do? I coach you to make a request of your therapist as I did with my client. Simply ask them to go a little easier on the area if you feel too much pain, your muscles resisting the work or you are simply unsure. I encourage you to have conversations with your practitioner. Remember their career must start somewhere, but they don’t need to be bruising you. If you found this helpful please Tweet the link out or forward to a friend. All the best in health and life. Sherrin
Is your Practitioner bruising you?
by Sherrin Bernstein | Nov 9, 2010 | How to..., Massage Therapy | 0 comments