How 2 Speak Your Clients Language

“Take things as they are. Punch when you need to punch. Kick when you need to kick” – Bruce Le

What is your primary professional language? 

Where does your comfort lie? 

Barbells? Pain science education? Yoga? Manual Therapy? Running?

If we are more proficient and comfortable with a certain language we are prone to speak it more, even if the one on the receiving end is only partially fluent. It’s only natural to deviate towards your experiences. We all do it, and there are certainly advantages at times to playing to your strengths. 

However, how close can we get to speaking the client’s language?

Can our initial encounter flesh out what they speak? Can we adapt our intervention and communication menu to meet them at their strengths? If we can identify their language and dialect, we can create a home field advantage for them. The process can begin swimming downstream rather than creating unnecessary friction.

This is the power of a generalist. An eclectic practitioner can use their preferred methods to solve the problem rather than being constrained to the comfort of only your own. 

 If we look wide and understand the essentials of what we are intending to do our tool box becomes wide. If the patient knows how to kick. We solve the problem with a kick variation. A punch? A punch variation. 

With this as a primary strategy, we stop fighting and we begin collaborating. We take away the requirement for them to learn another language. The patient is not asked to swim upstream and the clinician has the chance to become more variable. Play the role they need you to play. Be their translator.


Article: The Mechanisms of Manual Therapy in the Treatment of Musculoskeletal Pain: a Comprehensive Model

What does manual therapy actually do? This article provides a broad overview of the potential effects manual therapy can have in relation to modulating pain.

Bialosky JE, Bishop MD, Price DD, Robinson ME, George SZ. The mechanisms of manual therapy in the treatment of musculoskeletal pain: a comprehensive model. Man Ther. 2009;14(5):531-8

Podcast: The Drive Episode #179: Jeremy Loenneke, Ph.D: The Science of Blood Flow Restriction

One of the pioneers of BFR research joins Peter Attia for an in depth discussion on the mechanisms and benefits behind BFR training. This podcast will be a useful muscle physiology review as well as an overview of the current state of BFR research.

Book: Force: The Biomechanics of Training By Dan Cleather

Dan does an excellent job covering an often intimidating topic from “clinician first” lens. This book dispels many myths and misunderstanding surrounding biomechanics and makes topics such as dynamical systems theory and dynamic correspondence more digestible.

Social Media Follow: @ktdabrowski

Dr. Katie Dabrowski is the Co-Founder of Old Bull Sports Medicine in Miami, FL. She provides an excellent perspective on training, PT, and creating self efficacy for your patients and clients. Check out her page!

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