Therapeutic touch

OsteopatiaPhysiotherapy is a profession that uses as a tool of evaluation and treatment the touch on the patient’s body. Therefore, it is essential that the professional always clarify the actions that will be done in the patient and only do them after the free and informed consent. Even allowing the touch, the patient has the right to interrupt the activity of the physiotherapist if he feels uncomfortable with it. And if you feel that you have been abused during the care, be it physical or verbal, a complaint from the professional should be made to the institution or to the board of physiotherapy, having all the legal support and protection.
In order to distinguish between appropriate physical contact and inappropriate contact, the patient should be made aware of how assessments and treatments are made, about the need to discover parts of the body that involve the site of the intervention and above all what it has Autonomy not to accept the intervention or stop it at any time. This open relationship works the patient’s trust in the physiotherapist and prevents the touch being misinterpreted or, if it becomes a sexual abuse, that the patient identifies quickly and can protect himself against the aggressor.
This relationship of physical therapy with the touch can become an excuse for sexual abuse by professional offenders of professional ethics. Or as it was reported in the text, be an excuse of the patient to harass the professional. In both cases, harassment must be reported to the competent agency and the victim must receive full legal support against the perpetrator.

Reference:

Como reconhecer o contato físico próprio e impróprio. Acesso em: http://collegept.org/Assets/Sexual%20Involvement%20Fact%20Sheet/Sexual%20Involvement%20Fact%20Sheet%20Portuguese.pdf

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