I recently received a voicemail message from a former patient (whose son I had also treated) asking if I practice a specific proprietary, trademarked, and well-publicized technique. I responded via email, and then realized that this response could have been written a dozen or so times over my previous 17 years as a therapist, so I ought to just make a generic letter regarding all such techniques:
I hope you and your family are doing well. ____ is a proprietary treatment approach that incorporates very good marketing resources, with very expensive tools and educational materials, and is a treatment technique very similar to many other techniques that have been used for dozens of years, if not for centuries.
Despite the hype, _____ has yet to demonstrate it’s effectiveness as a technique above and beyond other techniques. I just checked their website and found a list of published case studies, most of which were single case studies. That means that as a “new” treatment, it was published with the data from only ONE patient that was treated using the technique.
Although they tout a presentation they put on at a_________ meeting, that research has yet to be published in a peer-reviewed journal. There is no date regarding what year the presentation was made, but it looks to have been quite some time ago.
They have an effectiveness chart for ______ that looks very impressive, but again, it does not compare the effectiveness of their technique to any other treatment. In the fine print it also states that their outcomes include other treatments, with _______ being ONLY A PORTION of the total treatment.
Their site also references research studies that only mention _______ in passing, as a “new” or “alternative” technique for a particular problem, as if mentioning it in a publication is evidence of effectiveness.
The same treatment techniques have been taught to physical therapists (including me) for decades, but without the same expert marketing panache and expensive accessories.
The generic term for this kind of treatment is _________ and it does has proven effectiveness in very limited circumstances, however, may times, based on scientific evidence and experience, I select a technique that results in fewer visits or less expense for the patient.
Hope this clears some things up. Some healthcare providers are sold on the latest and greatest technique, only to move on to the next new thing a few years later. I wish they would reference scientific literature to inform their choice of treatment, or simply find a therapist whose judgement they trust. Unfortunately, many therapists have simply given in, and pay exorbitant fees for this certification so that they can advertise that they provide a technique, even if it’s known to be ineffective. It’s simply a marketing decision.
So….call me to ask if I can treat a particular problem, and ask me my opinions of the technique. Allow me to use my best judgement and the most current information, and I can give you the best outcomes possible. If things are not working out as planned, I have several “alternative” tricks up my sleeve as well that may be helpful, and I can route you to the person who can ultimately solve your problem if I cannot.