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Posted by: Joyce Laurie, 8 Nov 2006 1:23PM
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Referring someone on to another for treatment

Hi all, some advice required. A lady phoned when I had nipped out and another therapist took an appointment for me for this lady who had what "to me" sounded like a very severe case of sciatica. I phoned her back and advised her to see a physio, chiro or osteopath as I only do massage, reflexology and reiki. I, personally felt she would be better seeing someone who specialised in musculo-skeletal issues (I prefer stress management and mental health issues) I did however say that if she had no joy with these modalities then I would be happy to see her in the future. Anyway, the other therapist thought I was off my head knocking back business and made me feel a bit stupid , but at the same time I wouldn't have felt right taking this ladies money. What do you think? Was I right or wrong? Joyce


Ruth Maguire
8 Nov 2006 2:23PM

Hi Joyce, I think you did the right thing. It's really important to be honest with people and direct them to the therapy that will work best for them at that time. I have on a number of occasions referred clients of mine who have injured their backs onto a local osteopath because in my experience they will find relief there a lot quicker. Ruth
Joyce Laurie
10 Nov 2006 9:04PM

Hi Ruth Thanks for confirming what was my gut instinct. It must be karma as I have had someone else come in for treatment and booked a few sessions in advance (Reiki) Just wouldn't have felt comfortable as this lady told me she had to leave work (self employed, so wasn't slacking) due to the pain. I just felt we shouldn't muck about with acute injury like that and it says more about our integrity to know when to refer on. Thanks Joyce p.s notice your not far from me, maybe meet up some time.
Ruth Maguire
16 Nov 2006 9:22PM

Hi Joyce, yes it would be good to meet up. I'll e-mail you my contact details. Ruth
Nicki Lee
19 Nov 2006 7:18PM

Hi Joyce, You were certainly right to refer on any client when you don't feel confident or comfortable with the problem they are presenting. Many therapists specialise, and if you focus on stress relief, that's great. I do want to add, though, that massage can be a very effective treatment for many people with sciatica, which may be caused by piriformis syndrome which can be addressed by soft tissue work. So you might want to consider adding to your referral network massage therapists who do work on musculo-skeletal problems. I think it's important for body workers to realise that soft tissue work can be as effective as osteopaths, chiropractors and physios in treating many complaints... in many cases, although we use different methods we will all be able to help. While this isn't true for every person or every complaint, I don't like massage to be seen as a 'lesser' treatment - I've seen it help people dramatically! That's me off my soapbox now :) Nicki
Penny Mallett
26 Nov 2006 6:07PM

Hi, I would happily take referrals for sciatica, apart fro manything else! I am a Bowen Therapist, and it is far more gentle in its application than chiro or osteopathic work,and extremely effcetive both in cost and time for the client.So please, dont always think along the lines of the heavy duty guys, look to the complementary stuff to. Penny
Ruth Maguire
26 Nov 2006 8:47PM

I'm not sure I could send clients that far south, particularly if they were in pain - thanks for the offer though :) ! On a serious note this probably illustrates the need for therapists from different disciplines to get together and network. I will continue to refer clients with back pain to the local osteopath because that's where I go and I am completely confident in her practise however, I would be delighted to hear from other therapists in my area with a view to forming links and cross referring clients. Ruth
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