Physiotherapist and manual therapist
“There is always something we can do, every body can be trained.”
It is nice to coach top sports people or dancers who use their body at a high level. But I find it at least as rewarding to treat older people who have difficulty walking. I always want to involve a patient in a thorough analysis and treatment of the problems.
I am always surprised by the tremendous strength of the human body. Whether it concerns a severe stroke or a damaged tendon, your body has a great capacity for healing. There is always something that can be done. Every human being can train at his or her own level. Every body can be trained.
My input is mainly that of a coach: what is the problem and how are we going to tackle it together? You have an active say in this. In the past, physiotherapists used far more technical means, and the patient was not nearly as active. Nowadays we move and talk a great deal. I also explain what is the matter. People have to know what they can do themselves to prevent new complaints.
I started letting people move more during their session over twenty-five years ago. In those days, few physiotherapists did that. In the meantime, research has shown that the best results are often obtained by moving together. That is why we have a well-equipped training area.
I make a mix of all I know and have learned. For one patient I use this, for another something else. It is a matter of finding what results in progress for you. I still know what was wrong with people I have not seen for years. When I hear their voices or see or feel their bodies, all their stories come back to me.
Everybody has his or her own story
We were not trained as psychologists, but we do try to find out whether there are other problems. Why is it you cannot move your neck? Why does your back give you trouble? People find it easy to tell me their stories.
On a small scale
I work together with my wife, and we sometimes talk about our work over dinner. We are often moved by people, their problems really go to our hearts. Of course, I am also an entrepreneur, and I have often thought about extending our practice. But that would mean I would become a manager, and that is not what I want: I want to treat people, and I like the small scale on which we work. We can ask each other for advice, have a look at a patient together. It is nice to know the people you work with.