‘Hands Free’ Soft Tissue Therapy

‘Hands Free’ Soft Tissue Therapy

There are many soft tissue treatment modalities that are ‘hands free’ such as cupping therapy, electrotherapy, dry needling, IASTM etc

Although there is still conflicting beliefs on effectiveness of these tools and equipment. (The same goes for hands on techniques too) … there are many pros and cons to both therapist and client. 

First the negatives 

1- Tools cannot replace touch. 

Touch allows therapists to feel feedback in the tissues. You can feel resistance to application of pressure and adjust accordingly.  A tool doesn’t provide that same feedback.

2- Sometimes therapists can become too reliant on passive modalities due to ease of use. Passive treatments hands on or not are all tools for managing pain, not a cure.

Now for the positives

1- Reduced treatment time – this benefits both client and therapist.

2- Equipment such as cups and IASTM can allow the client to be actively involved in the treatment. 

3- Can be more tolerable for a client in pain making them more receptive to treatment. 

4- Longevity of therapist’s career – selfishly this is a big reason why I will utilise tools throughout my career. It’s an extremely physical job when you only use your hands (elbows, forearms etc). 

I’m of the belief that movement is medicine. That truly is the cure. But if pain is restricting the ability to move, then is a bit of manual intervention a bad thing? 

At the end of the day, whether a therapist chooses to use alternative treatment methods or not, this does not determine the quality of therapist.

What does determine this? 
Knowledge, integrity, compassion, empathy and a desire to learn and grow (to name a few). 

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