Author: James Fowler PT, ACSM, DEAS (Founder of James Fowler Physical Therapy)
Sometimes it takes a very unusual circumstance to push oneself toward increased perceptions and observations that you would not normally see or discover. I personally can attest to this experience working as a physical therapist during this COVID-19 pandemic. I compare this to losing one of the 5 senses. For example, it has been well documented that when an individual becomes vision impaired, the individual develops an increase of awareness of touch and sound.
Well, as physical therapists we have lost our ability to touch and feel structures under the tips of our fingers, hands, forearms and elbows. We temporarily have lost a form of communication that occurs between a patient and their physical therapist: communication through touch. This communication is nonverbal and occurs within the incredible complexity of information that comes through pressure, texture, temperature and energy that a physical therapist “senses”, processes, and communicates back to the patient in the form of tissue releasing.
With that being said, PT offices throughout the world have temporarily closed. James Fowler Physical Therapy, my practice in New York City, has had to do the same. In response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, we have transformed our practice to offer Teletherapy sessions. Teletherapy is personalized physical therapy that is administered through a Video Conference application. We have completed over 800 teletherapy sessions so far, of which I personal have participated in close to 150 sessions in these last 8 weeks.
I have discovered that this challenge to re-think and reinvent what I have done professionally for 26 years, is an incredible opportunity to grow as a physical therapist and grow as a person. I will continue to blog about my experience with these Teletherapy sessions and what I have learned. Check back Wednesday to read my next blog post on “Teletherapy and The Power of Observation”
James Fowler PT, ACSM, CEAS
Founder of James Fowler Physical Therapy