What is a Movement Therapist?

It's really tough to decide what to call yourself if you have not followed a traditional regulated profession route of Physiotherapist, Chiropractor or Osteopath. The qualifications of those regulated professions mean that they can become a member of a list of professionals and they can use the name from their degree programme as their title.

In the unregulated world it is a bit different. This is why we thought we would explain a little bit more about what we think a Movement Therapist is so that you can then see if this is these are the kind of skills that you are looking for.

Movement Therapists help restore movement and function when someone is affected by injury and/or pain. We do this through movement and exercise, manual therapy, education and advice.

Restore Movement & Function

Movement Therapists assist in maintaining health for people of all ages, helping clients to manage pain and reduce the risk of preventable diseases.

A Movement Therapist helps to encourage development and facilitate recovery, enabling people to stay in work whilst also teaching them strategies to help them remain independent for as long as possible.

Client Education and Empowerment

Movement Therapy is a science-based profession and takes a ‘whole person’ approach to health and wellbeing, which includes the patient’s general lifestyle. They are well versed in the latest in Pain Neuroscience Education and have learnt how to apply the theory in to practice.

At the core is the client’s involvement in their own care, through education, awareness, empowerment, participation and design of their own treatment plan.

Movement Therapy can help at any time in your life. It can help with back pain or sudden injury, preparing for regular daily activities or a sporting event.


Levels of education in the UK - where we fit in

Movement Therapy is a higher education based profession - the key to higher education levels is the assessment.We have designed an assessment process that is immediately applicable to practice.

Therapy education in the UK has long been focused on Levels and as you climb the levels the focus was on learning new techniques. Much of the focus of the current National Occupational Standards is based around the outdated narratives of postures, movement discrepancies, trigger points or fascia causing pain. These topic areas are engrained within the course material and in the assessment process. 

Say goodbye to... "We have to teach this for the exam but you don't do it in real life"

We delivered qualifications through awarding organisations for over 15 years but it meant that we had to teach and assess based on outdated information. This way of teaching puts therapists at a disadvantage when trying to work alongside other medical professions.

We decided to move away from these awarding organisations so that we were in control of our content and assessments and this means we can immediately implement changes in scientific approaches to therapy and relay this information to our learners so they are being taught the most up to date information. We have done this by using PD Approval - PD Approval are an external body that validate our teaching delivery and assessments. We have mapped the Movement Therapy Diploma to the National Occupational Standards at Level 5 and this is verified by PD Approval. At the end of the course you will receive an Externally Accredited Qualification from PD Approval, the Movement Therapy Diploma and full Accreditation from the Sports Therapy Association. You will be able to join the STA as a full member and gain your insurance through Balens.

 "Movement Therapists use their knowledge and critical thinking skills to improve a range of conditions associated with the musculoskeletal system"

Movement Therapy is a science-based profession and takes a ‘whole person’ approach to health and wellbeing, which includes the patient’s general lifestyle. They are well versed in the latest in Pain Neuroscience Education and have learnt how to apply the theory in to practice.

At the core is the client’s involvement in their own care, through education, awareness, empowerment, participation and design of their own treatment plan.

Movement Therapy can help at any time in life. It can help with back pain or sudden injury, preparing for regular daily activities or a sporting event.

Bridging the Gap...

Why did we create the course?

The Movement Therapy Diploma was created due to the gaps that exist between clinical courses and those that are focused on soft tissue therapy as the primary modality.

There is clear benefit for some clients when they receive manual therapy but these benefits are often short lived and, on their own, do not empower clients to help themselves.

The Movement Therapy course is unique in that it bridges the gap between the soft tissue/personal training professions and registered healthcare. 
We understand our limitations and are well trained in identifying potential conditions that fall outside of our remit. We understand how certain pathologies can masquerade as musculoskeletal injuries/pain and have a safety net system in place to ensure that clients safety is always paramount.

The Movement Therapy Diploma has used the key modules from the Osteopathy, Chiropractic and Physiotherapy (MSK) degree programmes for its inspiration in putting together the 25 modules that make up the Diploma. The main focus for many other therapy courses is soft tissue therapy and whilst we teach the modality we focus more on the key, scientifically proven, factors that improve outcomes for clients: case history taking, empowerment, knowledge of pathology, clinical and functional anatomy, clinical testing, education & exercise prescription. 

We believe that combining the manual therapy skills of Osteopathy/Chiropractic/Soft Tissue Therapy, with the exercise prescription skills of physiotherapy and Strength & Conditioning coaching with the clinical skills of Osteopathy, Chiropractic and Physiotherapy makes a therapist that is perfectly placed to work with the regulated professions for the betterment of their clients.

The main goal of the Movement Therapist is to get clients back doing the things they love.

Know your limitations

We wanted to create a course where we can effectively communicate with both clients and healthcare professionals alike. 
By learning the key areas of pain neuroscience education (recommendations by the International Association for the Study of Pain - IASP) and systemic pathology you will have had learnt the same subject areas as covered on clinical degree programs. This is NOT to enable you to diagnose (this is the remit of regulated clinicians) but to understand the thought processes of a clinician so that you can communicate effectively with them.

Many of our learners want to improve their clinical skills but don’t have the time or money to go to University. They are also not usually interested in becoming a regulated clinician - they just want to be better therapists - this course will give you that.

Overview of the Four Phases

The course is split into 4 phases and each phase helps build on the experience from the previous modules. Our first module is an introduction to research methods. This is essential for anyone who is trying to find good information to inform their practice. 

To be good at clinical reasoning you must be able to read the literature; to read it, you need to be able to find it, once you’ve found it you need to be able to critically analyse it. It is the that you can decide whether it will inform your practice or not. 

This level of research methods is usually taught at degree level but we embed the principles throughout the entire course, we will teach you how to find relevant research papers, help you interpret them and provide you with a framework for critical analysis.

You start to use the research and critical thinking skills from the pre-course module straight away in the Phase One assessments. Here you’ll be expected to search beyond the course materials and find information for yourself - critically analyse the information that you find and then apply it to the answers in your assessments. We cover the topics of pain and tissue healing - these are both essential areas to learn so that you can start to construct evidence informed treatments for your clients.

Phase Two is where you will examine every part of the body in detail. We cover all joint regions - Anatomy: Bones, Joints, Connective Tissue, Ligaments, Bursa, Nerve and Blood Supply for each region. You will have live anatomy education, continuously, every week via our FaceBook Group Learn Anatomy Online. With this level of detail to your anatomy knowledge you will then understand what a physical examination does, what structures are affected in certain positions. 
We also go in to depth regarding local and systemic pathology that effects each region so that you can identify when someone needs to be referred and when you can safely carry on with them. You will also learn how to create an evidence informed exercise plan for each area of the body. The aim of this section of the course is to teach you how to help reduce someone’s pain and getting back to what they enjoy. More importantly we teach you the signs and symptoms to look out for when things aren’t progressing smoothly and when they may need onwards referral. 
Once the client has passed through these early stages we then recommend you team up with strength and conditioning coaches so that you can then pass your clients on to them when your role is complete.

Phase 3 & 4 start to layer on specialist examination skills such as peripheral and cranial nerve testing as well as introductions to pharmacology and medical imaging, again, this is not so you can prescribe or interpret an MRI scan, but so that you know what the side effects are of the most common drugs and understand the benefits and limitations of certain types of imaging. 

Training at this level usually only occurs on degree programs. Once you have completed the Movement Therapy Diploma you will be one of the most evidence informed and analytical musculoskeletal therapists that you can be. 

What happens after?

Our graduates have gone on to open their own clinics, degree programmes in Physiotherapy, Osteopathy, Chiropractic and Strength and Conditioning and Masters level education in healthcare, worked in the NHS or, and most commonly, carried on in their current role but with a huge amount of confidence with what they can and can’t deal with.

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