Collaboration – How and Why We Do It

6 October 2023

Collaboration | noun: the action of working with someone to produce something, working jointly to achieve a desired outcome.

At Muscle Medicine, we collaborate on a number of levels, all with the goal of providing a solution for our clients’ requirements.  Muscle Medicine is a results-driven clinic and that means finding a solution that works, not simply a solution we can provide!

We like to think of it as assembling a ‘Board of Directors’ for your wellbeing – the people you need in your corner to make sure you are your best physically and mentally.  If you were running a business you wouldn’t have your Board of Directors work in silos, without knowing what was going on with the rest of the business – so why should you settle for that with your health? 

Your Wellbeing Board of Directors may include professionals such as; physiotherapists, osteopaths, personal trainers, exercise physiologists, pilates/yoga instructors, general practitioners, specialists, and the list can go on.  A physiotherapist may need our help with improving a client’s range of motion post-injury or we may need the assistance of an exercise physiologist to help the client achieve their training goals, we can also work with your PT or instructor to help you focus on areas that require strengthening for balance.   Connecting with other professionals is a great way to ensure you achieve your big-picture outcome or goal. 

How does it work?

Collaborating with other wellbeing professionals

Your physio may be working to help rehab an injury or even prepare you to avoid injury for a big event coming up.  As they work with you, they may realise your soft tissues are holding a lot of tension, have particular lesions or your range of motion is not as they would like it to be.

If you are working with a personal trainer, they may suggest you book regular massage treatments to ensure your body is at its optimum during workout sessions, ensuring less chance of injury.   

The collaboration goes both ways though, in certain instances, we will have clients who we feel the issue is out of our scope, and in order for them to get the right help, we would refer them to one of the other Board of Directors who have the correct skills to help the client.  

Whichever way it is, we will reach out, or welcome a reach out. So we can share notes and discuss your circumstances to ensure that we are working in unison towards your goals.

Collaborating within Muscle Medicine

At Muscle Medicine, we are a cohesive bunch! Each of our therapists has their own unique skill set and we lean on each other for treatment plan assistance and sometimes an extra set of eyes and pair of hands.

There are a few ways we collaborate;

  • A second point of view on a complex case can help move your case to the next level. This can work with the Senior therapists lending a hand to the emerging therapists, but also the other way around – every therapist has a view to provide.
  • Dual therapists on a treatment plan
  • Team Collaboration Sessions – we run these every two weeks, sharing info, asking advice, learning from each other and the cases we have in the studio
  • Trello Sharing – we build libraries of exercises, and at-home care to share with each other, adding as we discover new options and what they are ideal for
  • Referring a client to another of our therapists due to the specialties they have

Our aim is to make sure we create the most cohesive treatment plan for your current situation, while having a future view on avoiding injuries.

Collaborating with You!

Of course, the most important collaboration is with you, our clients.   We don’t consider ourselves to be a transactional clinic.  Our goal is to help you reach yours.  To do this, we need to know about you and about your goals. So gathering information about why you are coming to see us is important – even if it is for a deep tissue maintenance treatment, understanding your motivations helps.  If you have past injuries or experiences with massage therapists, these details are also interesting for us to know, helping us to shape your treatment.

As we aren’t a day spa, chances are your therapist will be talking to you during your treatment to make sure we are always on the same page. In this partnership we each have responsibilities;

Our Clients Responsibilities

  • Checking in: Your therapist will be checking in with you regarding pressure and any pain you might be feeling. We can’t read minds, so it is important for you to talk to us and tell us what you are thinking/feeling – there’s no point in taking those comments home with you! ** Once you are past your treatment plan and into your maintenance plan there will be more chance to chill out during your sessions!
  • Giving feedback: Feedback is important for your therapist to know how to continue with your treatment, either during the session or after it – even if you have a reaction a day or so after. Keep notes and let them know when you come in next time. Of course, if you are concerned about something give us a call. We accept all feedback, it always helps us grow.
  • Doing the exercises: If your therapist provides you with some at-home care activities it will make a difference to your treatment if you stick to them! The aim is to help your muscles remember the changes the treatment made to your soft tissues.
  • Keeping to the treatment plan: The treatment plan frequency and cadence are set to drive the efficiency of your treatment. Your therapist knows the difference in your muscle tone that was achieved during the treatment and what they are aiming for to help you achieve your goals. The plan they’ve developed is the pathway to your well-being.

Our Responsibilities

  • Asking questions: Asking questions at your initial session, your follow-up sessions, and during your session is important for our therapists to know you. The more honest you are, the more they can use the feedback in your sessions.
  • Pain relief: Of course, pain relief is one of our responsibilities, but it is only the start of the journey. Pain is the last symptom to arrive and the first to leave after treatment – and it may not completely disappear after one session. Keeping track of your pain levels and other symptoms between sessions helps us to make the right moves.
  • Providing a treatment plan: A treatment plan is critical to you making improvements as most muscular-skeletal issues can’t be addressed in one session. If we don’t provide you with a treatment plan we are behaving in a transactional manner – which will only provide short-term results. We are looking for sustained results from any structural concerns you have.
  • Education: Providing information about what is going on with your body helps you to understand it and to make changes to any habits you may have developed that aren’t working for you. We try to always provide enough info, but if you feel you need more – please ask away!

We believe if we work together, with you and your Board of Directors we can get superior and sustainable results.

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