A therapist can put a tremendous amount of energy into comforting a patient. This may be a very difficult task for the therapist to do and can often leave the therapist frustrated and drained. There are a couple things the therapist should remember before trying to hug a patient. First, a therapist cannot physically put their hands on a patient. So if they did attempt to do this, the patient would inevitably push them away. Second, even if they were able to physically touch the patient, it would be in an improper situation and could cause the patient to become hurt.
What can a therapist do to help ease some of the anxiety that can arise during a therapy session? How can a therapist help the patient relax during a therapy session? One way a therapist can help the patient is by giving them encouragement. When a therapist hugs a patient, there may be some tension that arises as well as a little bite from the other person. Sometimes this is alright, other times it is not. So what can you do to help alleviate some of this tension?
First off, when you are hugging a client, don’t forget about your own physical comfort. If you are used to holding people’s hand throughout your entire life, it might not seem like a big deal when you are trying to work with someone new. Remember that you cannot hug your patient one-on-one and try to keep your body at a suitable distance. Also, make sure that you keep your head up and that you keep eye contact. You want to show your therapist that you are confident and that you trust them.
Once you have given the okay, the next thing you want to do is to look comfortable doing it. Can a therapist really feel comfortable hugging a patient? Can the therapist’s arms fall to their sides? Can the therapist be themselves during a hug? These are all questions that should be considered carefully because they may have an effect on the other party as well.
One way to help ease tensions is for the therapist to remind himself or herself that they were once patients themselves. The therapist should picture themselves in the same situation now as they were when the patient was sick. For example, if they were diagnosed with cancer, what kind of words would they have used to describe themselves? How would they act now? If they can imagine this scenario, it will help them relax a bit.
If the patient feels uneasy, then it is okay to take a step back and begin a light conversation with them. You can ask them questions about their recent diagnosis or what they think of their therapist and if you notice that they are beginning to worry, you can offer them comfort and reassurance and that will take the edge off. Physiotherapy is sometimes uncomfortable because the therapist has not broken contact with the patient. However, it is important to keep physical contact with the patient because this will provide the necessary support during the course of physiotherapy.
As touching is a big part of physiotherapy, you should establish ground rules before you begin. One of those ground rules should be about physical touching. If you are going to massage one area after another, for example, it might be better for one therapist to start with that area and continue from there. It is much more comfortable for the patient if they feel as though they are a part of the process. They also tend to relax easier when they know that they are not the only person in the room who is providing physical assistance.
Another common question is can a therapist hug a patient? Physiotherapists hug each other as part of the therapy process, but there is nothing inappropriate about physically hugging your therapist. There are a variety of reasons that physical contact is therapeutic. Physiotherapy is sometimes uncomfortable because the therapist cannot hug each muscle as deeply as they could if they were massaging another part of the body. Therefore, the therapist will use their arms, legs, and occasionally their shoulders to provide more substantial stimulation to patients.