My Name is Rachel Rees and I graduated as a sports Therapist in 2012.
Now, for those of you that are unsure what Sports Therapy actually is, it is defined as an aspect of health care specifically concerned with the prevention of injury and the rehabilitation of patients back to optimum levels of functional, occupational and sport specific fitness, regardless of age and ability. So in short my degree focused on Musculoskeletal rehabilitation.
Sports Therapists are qualified to access, treat and rehabilitate all Musculoskeletal based injuries-such as, but not limited to, sprains, strains, fractures and tendinopathies. Despite this most people think my three year degree was sports massage when in reality we probably spent less than 2 week studying this particular topic. I’m certainly not slating sports masseuses in any shape or form because massage certainly has its place and has its benefits, but this is not what I trained to do. This is not where my particular passions lied. All I wanted to do is utilise the rehabilitation skills which I’d gained I wanted to share my knowledge and in the beginning of my career journey I felt limited, restricted from every angle.
Since graduating in 2012 I have dabbled in many areas of therapy from working in sport, clinics, working as an associate lecturer, within medical health screening, within hospitals, gyms and most recently, for the last 5 years in an in-house rehabilitation centre, delivering exercise rehabilitation.
This might sound like an extremely busy eight years, but in all honesty at the beginning I was searching for something that worked for me and, at times, I was working multiple jobs. I was searching for something that allowed me to earn a decent wage, that allowed me to implement the skills that I had gained. Something which I enjoyed, but also something which sat right with me morally - and this was a hard combination to find.
Within private clinics people would attend an appointment then were always encouraged to re-book for a course. The majority of the time I questioned “did this person really need this?” and with paying customers and wanting success (and being self-employed), I felt I had to give the patient what they wanted (i.e. soft tissue treatment not want they always needed - reassurance, education and usually a decent rehabilitation exercise programme).
When people pay for a service - a therapist - most people want to leave thinking that they have had something done to them. When, in reality, therapy is something that you do, it is not something that you have done to you. Of course, a passive approach feels good at the time and some manual therapy can be extremely helpful, however an active approach on top of this is much more likely to give you better outcomes.
I thoroughly enjoyed working as a therapist in football and was able to implement lots of my rehab skills but unfortunately the hours were extremely antisocial. Teaching was great but I wanted to “do” not teach. Health screening was very interesting but again a time where I was not using my MSK skills and the list goes on…..
In 2015, I was extremely lucky to say that I found exactly what I was looking for - “my ideal Job”.
Working for a non-profit organisation, a Charity, a place where people would come because they had chosen to be there. A place where people wanted your help, knowledge and guidance. A programme based on education and individually made rehab programmes. A place with no financial targets for therapist to meet, no ulterior motives, no biases. Therapy based on evidence not just the most popular fads.
This job gave me huge Satisfaction. I had time to spend with people and I was certainly seeing the benefits first-hand.
Having seen these huge benefits and just wanting to help and educate more and more people I decided to help write this blog, to make a platform that educates patients, solely for their own benefit. To empower people. To give people the tools and education to manage their own condition.