Smile Please.. 

Have you ever come across people, who always have a smile on their face whenever you happen to look at them? That smile is somehow the best smile.. I don’t know how, but even looking at such people makes you feel better.. It just puts you in a good mood.. 

I always wonder how someone can manage to keep a smiling face all throughout the day… Don’t they have problems in life? Don’t they get sad when things don’t go their way?.. 

Or may be they smile because they know that they could deal with all the problems without letting their smile, vanish of their faces… 

I wish we all could learn to smile and just keep smiling to wave off our hard times.. 

I realised, as a physical therapist, I could use my smile as a modality to relieve my patient’s anxiety, apprehension, fear and tensed feelings.. Infact this is what has helped me treat them better.. 

So try to find a reason to smile and make others smile.. 

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Life is a drama

The Life your living is a drama.. All around, you find people trying to be who they aren’t.. Its almost like they are selling themselves to you, for you to accept them for what they are trying to be.. 

          Infact the best part about the drama, are the actors taking part.. These days, the time you spend talking to people makes you realise, how great an actor they are.. I mean hats off to them.. The way they portray each and every emotion, to make people believe it to be true is commendable.. You have people lying to you, to make you believe its true.. You have people trying to bond with you just for some added benefit from you.. 

       Today when I encounter such people, it really gets on my nerves.. I always ask myself, why do such people even exist? I hope to find an answer to this question.. 

        But the one thing that I learnt from such people was how to not be someone like them.. This is indeed one of the most important lessons of my life.. 

Be a human

One of those things that makes me proud of myself is the fact that I was brought up in a way that taught me to be modest, honest, caring and helpful.. And I thank my parents for that.. 

Today when I look around , I realise that being all of this, are qualities to be less found.. Its just so rare.. 

Growing up as an introvert, people always considered my way of keeping quiet as being egoistic and arrogant.. People judged me from my background to be someone who was too proud of who she was.. The truth being far away from what they thought.. 

But the best thing was, that when people used to come up and speak to me, they used to get to know the real me.. Most of the times, I used to have people telling me, that they realised me to be completely different than what they thought of me to be.. 

Hearing to all those good words they used, to describe me, made me feel good about myself, but I never realised the importance of that.. As I grew older, surrounding myself with new people I realised I had qualities that were no where to be found.. 

People were egoistic, disrespectful, selfish and dishonest.. I’m happy I wasn’t brought up this way.. This is what made me realise the importance of the way I was brought up.. And I’m grateful to God for the kind of parents I have.. They taught me to be a good human.. They taught me to respect everyone, be it whoever, rich or poor, elder or young.. They taught me to be selfless, helping others going out of my way, they taught me to be caring, they taught me to be honest.. And one of the most important things, they taught me the way to be humble.. Today, these are the qualities that make me suit my profession.. 

I can’t thank GOD enough for blessing me with such parents.. My parents are who taught me to grow, with my feet, still in touch with the ground.. 

 They are who, made me, ME.. 

People are teachers..

Out of those many people you would meet in your life, some would be those whom you would wish to never have met..

But guess what, we need to realise that we all are a product of what happened and who made it happen.. Consider something bad that happened to you, that you wished never happened.. Now the fact that it happened, made you the way you are today.. Isnt it? 

For instance, someone who betrayed your trust, made you such that now you don’t trust people easily.. Well that’s gud .. Because now you wouldn’t really get fooled by someone in future like you did in your past.. 

Trust me each and every person you meet has something to teach you, it depends on you, if you make it a point to learn something from them or not.. 

I know it hurts, but you see you cant learn to ride a bicycle, unless you fall and get hurt.. Its just a part of life and we need to accept it gracefully.. 

Some people teach you what to do, and some what not to… 

Your job is to take your lesson, after all life is a lesson taught by people as teachers ..

Are you lonely?

Open your eyes and look around, how many people do you see? If your answer is no one, and your answer excudes your family, and it bothers you, I would like to ask you why? 

Considering the fact we are humans, yes.. we feel the need to socialize, but is it really a need? Or just something we want, because we are used to living with people around… The question is why we are so dependent on others, for everything we need? and everything we want? 

We forget the fact, that we were all alone when we were born, and we still made it into the world… If we could do that all alone, why do we need people for everything else.. We could definately handle everything on our own… The absence of no one in our life other than your family should really matter to you… 

People think they are alone even when they have their family with them.. Guess what the problem actually is? The problem is that we try to find people other than our family to surround us, to accompany us, to give us support.. My question is why? Do you really think those people matter? Do you really think they care as much as your family does? 

The answer is no… 

This is something my profession made me realise.. As a physical therapist the only people i saw around my patients, were their family members.. You no why? Cause no one else really cared, as much as the family did, very few people remain by your side in turns of hardship, 90% of the times its only your family.. It takes alot of courage to give up your daily job and spend your time, taking care of someone who really matters to you.. And trust me no one other than your family posseses this courage.. I have seen patients, who said people left them because of their physical conditions, this is when they realised who really cared..

People who care, would always be by your side and they are whom, whose presence or absence should really matter…

So the question is, Now do you really               think, you’re alone?

Principles of treatment.. 

In physical therapy, patient’s with a neurological problem are often treated with respect to 4 principles

  • Mobility
  • Stability
  • Controlled mobility
  • Skill

The patients are supposed to be trained through each stage in this exact order..

According to me, we could treat every patient with these principles, but the only difference being that we change the meaning of all the 4 principles just abit.. 
Also this time, these stages would refer to the therapist rather than the patient..

Now according to the books, mobility is the first step and it works on the range of motion.. I believe, mobility is the way you treat the patient.. By the word treat, im not referring to the actual treatment but the way you treat (behave with) the patient.. 

  • Its about how you talk to the patient, to make him comfortable, when you see him/her for the first time.. 
  • Its about how easy you make it for the patient, to open up and tell you about his complaints..
  • It’s how you can actually win the trust and confidence of the patient in just few minutes of the first time you meet him..

Next is stability, in books this refers to the muscle strength, which is important to carry out function..

According to me, stability is the strength in the relationship, the therapist – patient relationship.. Now what do I mean by strength in the relationship? Basically, strength is achieved by

  • The bond you create between the patient and yourself, which is based on trust.. 
  • The trust that the patient has in you as a therapist.. How much does he trust you? Would he do everything you tell him to? This is why trust is important.. Its the basis of this relationship.. This would actually determine patient’s compliance..
  • The trust the patients relatives have in you.. This would determine how well they listen, to what you have to say and do as you say..

For stability to develop you need mobility.. Just the way you use mobility to build strength(stability) in muscles of the patient, the therapist needs to use mobility to build stability as explained above..

Stability is followed by, controlled mobility.. In the books this refers to the control of the movement… How well the patient can control the movement.. 
I believe controlled mobility refers, to the knowledge of the therapist of knowing when to do what.. By this what I mean is, the therapist should know exactly, when to control and what to control, i.e, when to push the patient upto his physical limit and when to make use of the patient’s emotions to push his own self.. It is the knowledge to be able to control the fine balance between the physical ability and the emotions of the patient to achieve his set goals..

Controlled mobility would help you build, your next step as a therapist..  

Next is skill, which refers to the ability of the patient to perform a certain complex task efficiently ..

I believe, it refers to the ability of the therapist, to achieve the goals set for the patient.. 

  • It depends upon therapist’s ability to know, how to persuade a patient who is reluctant to exercise
  • It depends on how well the therapist puts his knowledge into action to treat the patient
  • It depends on therapists ability to make use of patients emotional needs to achieve his own goals
  • It depends on therapist’s ability to be able to push the patient to his functional limits everytime, to achieve what he wants..
  • It depends on the therapist’s ability to understand where the actual problem lies, whether its in the mind or the body and then treat it..

Now the question is how do we actually make use of these principles in our practice?

Mobility can be achieved, by just conversing with the patient, making him comfortable in just a few minutes of you meeting him.. This would help you make the patient open up to tell you his exact complaints.. It is not what you do, but how you do that really matters… Just the simple way of talking to the patient, makes the difference.. Just the caring tone of your voice, when you talk to the patient, helps the patient become more comfortable and that’s exactly what you want.. 

Stability, can be achieved by just getting to know the patient well, talk to the patient, ask them questions, doesn’t have to always be about their condition, it could be about their life, their family, their work, their likes and their dislikes, it could be about how their condition makes them feel, how it has affected their lives.. This is what, helps you know them better and create that bond, and trust, which you want them to have in you.. 

Controlled mobility can be achieved by knowing when your patient, needs your help and when, you need to actually push him, by motivating him to achieve his goals.. Its about knowing how you can help your patient, without letting him be dependent on you.. The therapist should now when to support the patient, and when not to… This is something you build up on, as a therapist, with experience.. 

Lastly, skill.. Just the ability of the therapist to poke the patients emotional needs, to make him work harder determines the therapist’s skill.. Skill can be achieved with knowledge based on practice and experience.. Its not something that can be taught, its something that you as a therapist, would learn all by yourself.. Every patient is a different one, and each of them would teach you something new.. This is how you build up your skill.. It is this quality, that the patient admires you for, and the reason he would choose you, over others as a therapist and would always come to you, for treatment.. 

As a therapist, we need to start using these principles for ourselves, to be able to treat our patients better.. 

    Don’t forget to treat the human relations..

    One of the most important things we often forget as therapists is the fact that we are dealing with humans… Humans have relations… Patients we treat are usually accompanied by their relatives, because the health of the patient affects his/her relatives as well.. 

             Most of these, are the closet relatives of the patients, so anything that happens to the patient leaves a great impact on them.. The only difference is that it affects them mentally.. We as therapists, fail to realise that sitting beside the patient who is unconscious or maybe conscious but severly affected by his impairments, isn’t an easy job.. It takes alot of mental strength on the part of the relatives to control their emotions and not give up hope, by the patient’s physical condition..

             Every time I visit the hospital I wonder how hard it is for the relatives to spend days with the hope to see a change in the patients health… 

            Having realised it, i made it a point to consider it my duty to councell the relatives, along with the patients.. They are the ones who could take the best care of my Patients provided they themselves are mentally strong… I cannot be 24hrs with my Patient but they can and they do… 

             It’s takes a strong person to teach you how to be strong, isn’t it? 

             Quiet often I see relatives look up at me as an answerer to all their questions, because they are never encouraged to get their questions asked by other treating medical professionals.. Often I ask them.. What did the doctor say? And the answer is “nothing”.. For me, I like to give them the opportunity to ask, and I realised, this is when they open up… The day you ask them about any queries they might be having, they feel they can trust on you… Thats the trust I want from them.. They ask me questions because they know I have the time to answer them… And I feel good about it.. After all its their right to ask and my duty to answer every question I can… 

             It’s important to build a rapport with the relatives, get them out of that circle of mental stress they are in.. This would help you create a positive environment for your patient… 

            Making the patients and their relatives feel better, telling them how the therapy has already started showing signs of improvement in the patients is important.. This installs their confidence and trust in you… As a therapist what else do you want?

             The key is to understand that, its alot harder to wait and just keep waiting without a reason… Give your patient’s relatives the reason, and see the difference it makes.. It makes your job and their responsibility an easier task…

           You see its important to not only, treat the humans but also the human relations..