You have pain somewhere in your body.
It came and went. At first you ignored it.
It got more persistent. So, you saw your doctor. The result? The pain is musculoskeletal.
Now, you have a choice.
You can choose to do nothing and hope it’ll somehow go away and not come back.
Or you can find a therapist to help reduce and minimize your physical pain.
Where do you even begin? First, find several therapists.
Ask people who you trust for recommendations.
Friends, family, your Pilates teacher, your barber, your personal trainer.
Next, don’t get hung up on the techniques and names.
1) Can I talk with you first?
Remember, this is you we’re talking about. Choosing a therapist to help you with physical pain is personal.first talk with them. Sounds obvious right?
Check if they offer a ‘find-out-more consult’ by telephone. Because it is a great way to filter out the therapists that just aren’t a good fit for you. On the ‘phone, if you don’t click it’s highly unlikely you’re going to click when you walk into their practice
2) Are you accepting new clients?
This may seem like a pretty obvious question but it’s a good one to ask. If their practice is full, ask if they have a waiting list. Check if they can let you know if a place becomes available sooner.
Top tip: if you really can’t wait, ask if they can refer you to a trusted colleague.
3) How often will I have to see you?
Ask about frequency of appointments. What is their protocol? Three times a week for 15 minute appointments. Once a week for an hour. There is no right or wrong on this. It depends on the therapist’s protocol.
What is important is this: how does it fit with your schedule? What time are you willing to give yourself to move out of pain?
4) When do you see clients?
Once you know about frequency, check what days and times are available for appointments. Ask if it’s possible to select the same time and day for your appointments. This makes it easier to fit them into your busy schedule.
Plus, it help you to make that commitment to yourself, too. With floating appointments, it’s all too easy for you to let some other thing take ‘priority’.
5) How much is your fee?
If talking about money makes you toes curl, don’t worry. You are not alone.
Hopefully, the therapist on other end of the phone will help you out and tell you their fees.
If they don’t, ask. It’s important.
Part of finding the right therapist for you, is finding one that is a good fit financially too.
If you’ve had persistent pain for months or years, then moving out of pain is unlikely to happen as quickly as you’d ideally wish. Before picking up the phone, sit down and think about how much money you are willing to invest in you and your health.
2 Bonus Questions
# How Many Appointments Will I Need?
This is a perfectly good question to ask. Yet, it is a difficult one to answer accurately. Particularly over the ‘phone. But, you can ask for a guideline:
“Going on your experience, can you give me a general idea of how many appointments I may need?”
Remember though, people are amazingly individual and complex.
One person can make faster progress than expected. The next takes longer.
# How will you assess my progress?
Because you are unique, this is the key question to ask. And, part of this is you knowing what progress will mean for you.
The first thing to think is: “I want to have less pain”. That goes almost without saying.
So, think a little wider on this one. What would your everyday life look like?
You notice you can easily put on your socks and shoes. You can travel without the anxiety of a migraine attack. You can go hill walking again. Make it real and meaningful to you.
Do you have other questions that you’d ask? Pop them in the comments below. It’s be great to hear them.