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Embracing a New Way of Manual Therapy: A Patient-Centered Approach at True Self Speech Therapy

I am continuously looking at newly published research in an effort to provide the best possible care for my patients. Recent advances in research have prompted a significant shift in the principles guiding Manual Therapy (MT), moving away from traditional methods and towards a more holistic, patient-centered framework. Please see this new study cited at the end of this blog post. Let's explore what this means for you and how it enhances the quality of care we offer at True Self Speech Therapy.

The Evolution of Manual Therapy: From Traditional to Modern

Historically, manual therapy has been guided by principles that emphasize clinician-centered assessments and specific techniques. However, growing evidence has shown that these traditional methods may not always be effective and could sometimes even limit the value of MT. Let's break down these traditional principles and see why they're being reconsidered:

1. Clinician-Centered Assessment: Traditional manual therapy often relies on routine imaging and specialized palpation techniques, assuming these provide accurate diagnoses. However, research indicates that:

  • Routine imaging for non-specific conditions like low back pain does not necessarily improve outcomes and can lead to overdiagnosis and overtreatment.

  • The validity and reliability of specialized palpation skills are questionable, meaning these methods might not be as critical for effective treatment as once thought.

2. Technique Specificity: Traditionally, specific techniques and forces were believed necessary for successful outcomes. Current evidence shows:

  • Intended effects of specific forces are often not achieved.

  • No significant difference in outcomes between specific and non-specific MT techniques.

  • Even sham techniques can yield results comparable to specialized approaches.

Introducing a Modern, Patient-Centered Framework

Since True Self Speech Therapy’s opening, I have utilized this new framework for manual therapy that emphasizes patient-centered care, effective communication, and a supportive therapeutic context. Here's what you can expect from our approach:

1. Safety: Your safety is my top priority. I ensure a secure environment that minimizes risks and promotes high-quality care. This includes thorough screenings and creating a comfortable, anxiety-free setting.

2. Comfort: I strive to make your therapy sessions as comfortable as possible. This means considering your physical and emotional comfort during assessments and treatments. I respect your feedback and adjust our techniques accordingly to ensure a pleasant experience.

3. Efficiency: My goal is to deliver effective therapy in a well-organized manner, maximizing benefits while minimizing effort, time, and expense. I focus on fostering self-efficacy and empowering you with the skills to manage your condition independently.

4. Communication: Open, reflective, and responsive communication is crucial. I take the time to listen to your concerns and goals, ensuring a shared decision-making process that makes sense to you. This collaborative approach helps you understand your symptoms and the path to recovery better.

5. Person-Centered Care: Your perspective, preferences, and values are central to my therapy approach. I work closely with you to understand your needs and incorporate them into your treatment plan, fostering a partnership that enhances your active participation in your recovery.

Looking Ahead

At True Self Speech Therapy, I’m committed to staying at the forefront of healthcare innovation. By embracing this modern, evidence-informed framework for manual therapy, I aim to provide you with the highest standard of care, ensuring your journey to recovery is as effective and empowering as possible.

Kerry, R., Young, K.J., Evans, D.W. et al. A modern way to teach and practice manual therapy. Chiropr Man Therap 32, 17 (2024).

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