“Take things as they are. Punch when you need to punch. Kick when you need to kick” – Bruce Lee
What is your primary clinical language?
Where does your comfort lie?
Barbells? Pain science education? Yoga? Manual Therapy? Running?
If we are more proficient and comfortable in a certain language we are certainly prone to speak it more, even if the one on the receiving end is only partially fluent. It’s only natural to deviate towards your experiences. Your comfort zone. We all do it, and there are certainly advantages at times to playing to your strengths.
However, how close can we get to speaking their language?
Can our initial encounter flush out what it is? Can we adapt our intervention and communication menu to meet them at their strengths?
This is the power of a generalist. To use their methods to solve the problem rather than being constrained to the comfort of only your own. If we look wide and understand the essentials of what we are intending to do our tool box becomes wide. If the patient knows how to kick. We solve the problem with a kick variation. A punch? A punch variation.
When we do this we stop fighting and we begin collaborating. We take away the pre-requisite requirement for them to learn another language. The patient is not asked to swim upstream and the clinician has the chance to become more variable. Play the role they need you to play. Be their translator.