Physiotherapy has changed a lot over the years. Originally it was taught through a hospital-based training programme and it was a very practical hands-on therapy. Now it is far more academic with a university degree training which this has changed it into a mostly exercise-based therapy with very little, if any, hands-on treatment. This is a great pity because a lot of people want to work with their hands and have the instinctive skills to do this very well. The old traditional hands-on techniques that Physiotherapists used to use are still as effective today as they ever were, also patients still like them and respond very well to them. Indeed, we now put on special Soft Tissue Therapy courses for recently qualified Physiotherapist who desperately want to develop these hands-on skills again. They do this because they prefer to work in this way and it brings them far greater success in the private sector where hands-on treatment is still in great demand.
Soft Tissue Therapy (STT) training is far less academic and instead it puts into practice the most effective traditional hands-on therapy techniques. Although STT’s cannot work with serious injuries in hospitals they are able to treat the most common of all minor and chronic injuries, aches and pains that everyone suffers with at some time in life. It is the most hands-on of all therapies and can be thoroughly enjoyable to do. Not only do STT’s treat the immediate problem but they also look for the root causes of injury, such as poor posture, past injury or occupational stress factors. This gives it the longer term aim of preventing injury and improving overall physical wellbeing. And although there are very few ’jobs’ in STT it does offer huge potential in the private sector with many full and part-time options.
Physiotherapy training takes three years on a full-time degree with tuition fees of nearly £30,000, plus living costs. At the end of this, most take up jobs in the NHS starting at around £22,000pa. Although this may give some job security and employee benefits it is not the working environment that everyone wants in their life. Soft Tissue Therapy training only costs around £3,000 on a part-time (usually weekends) course taking no more than a year. It is far more suited to those who enjoy using practical hands-on skills rather than those with a more academic tendency.