Members Spotlight – Interview With Katie Evans
Posted By: Dave O’Sullivan
Thanks to Katie for coming onto the podcast, Katie is a soft tissue therapist working down in Cornwall. Can you tell us a little bit more about yourself Katie?
Thanks Shane, my name is Katie. I’m predominantly a massage therapist with the new title of soft tissue therapist as i’ve upskilled to a level 5 diploma in soft tissue therapy a few years ago. I’ve got over 25 years experience as a massage therapist working in professional rugby and being a lecturer in sports therapy and massage. Since moving back to Cornwall a few years ago I wanted to get back into private practice so I started working in a private physio practice, then spent a year with the Cornish Pirates.
It was their that I met their physio who was using techniques that I’d never seen before, no machines in sight, his results were incredible and he was getting players back on the pitch quicker than I’d seen in my previous experiences. He told me about the mentorship and I spoke to Dave. I think it was quite early stages then and at that point it didn’t seem right for me, I wasn’t confident enough, I didn’t feel like I had the knowledge.
Once I finished my level 5 diploma I reached out to Dave again as I wanted to rebrand myself as not just being a massage therapist. My body was starting to crumble a little bit and I was getting more aches and pains. So after our second discussion I joined up and I’ve been a part of the mentorship now for over 2 years. I’ve got a lot of experience now with the content, I’m about a year into my own practice now in a cabin in my back garden. So for me it’s been a very long journey but at my own pace, and I feel like I know the system now quite well.
It’s been really good to watch your journey from here! We’ll talk a little bit about the results you’ve been getting later on, but I think you made some really good points there. We were at Therapy Expo last week and we spoke to a number of different professions – massage therapists, soft tissue therapists, sports therapists, physios etc. Alot of them had similar reservations as you initially had – not sure if it would be too advanced for them or whether they wouldn’t be able to keep up with the content.
Can you share your insight into your initial experiences of the mentorship?
When I first joined it was a yearly mentorship, I think it’s now a 90 day program. I think the year was right for me. It was a bit overwhelming at first but whenever I had a problem I could just message you or Dave and I was always replied to very quickly. So that support was always there. The fact that it’s lifetime access too means you can go through it at your own pace.
Going up to Huddersfield too for the refresher courses have been really good for me to put myself up alongside other therapists, some of whom are really high calibur physios, and I never felt overwhelmed, I felt supported, everyone feels to be an equal. Nobody ever undermines anyone else and I felt an equal with everybody else from the start.
I think that’s good for people to hear. We try to make the mentorship very applicable. It’s not a masters. It’s stuff you can implement day 1 in the clinic. And so long as you take the effort to try it and implement it then you will be successful.
Definitely. And I think it’s not being afraid to implement. I did little snippets at a time. It’s probably taken me 12-18 months to be 100% comfortable to take somebody coming in pain and see them through right to the very end. And when I went to the refresher days it was good to see other therapists hit the same roadblocks as me. So that was reassuring and I’ve got there and now my confidence is much better with it.
The fact you can put up any case study in the group and you cover it in your calls is great too. The mentorship is not just the online course, it’s all of the support around it. Your podcast, your facebook page, the group. And you keep repeating the same concepts which consolidates what we’ve already learned and it’s brilliant. I’ve never seen anything like it. The support is second to none.
That’s really good to hear Katie. We try to make the mentorship as easy as possible to implement. Because at the end of the day if people aren’t successful with it there’s no point in us teaching it. So I think that’s a great point and a good one for anybody who may be already on the mentorship. If you’re listening to the podcast and you are struggling or falling behind come up to a refresher day or jump on a call and ask questions and get the answers you need.
So you mentioned it took 12-18 months for you to get confident. Along that time were there any small wins or anything that you first started to notice in terms of results?
The biggest thing for me at the start was not focusing on the site of pain but using the assessment to figure out what’s not doing its job well. Listening to them talk was also huge. The amount of people who have told me that I’m the only one that’s listened to their story and helped them figure out what the pain is stopping them from doing is crazy. They come to me for a little bit of nurturing and they do most of the talking and we build rapport, trust, relationship, and sometimes even friendships. They know why they want to see me and it’s a two-way relationship. It’s not just getting on the bed for 30 minutes and doing passive treatment.
The other main one for me was the hands-on techniques. As a massage therapist I always considered my hands-on to be good, but the techniques I’ve learned from the mentorship have got unbelievable results. They are less work for me in terms of stress on my body and they get better results.
Some great points there. I think that slowing yourself down and giving yourself the permission to look at the bigger picture gives you a lot of clarity on what’s actually happening, which in turn means you can explain it well to the patient which means better buy-in and better results.
Yeah and then giving them a plan. And for me as a therapist it gives me a lot of clarity having that plan so I know every session where we should be, where we are, and where we need to go. Before it was a bit like “what will we do today then” but now I’ve cut down to 30 minute appointments and I’m much clearer on where they are going. 2 years ago I would have never felt like I could cut down my appointment time to 30 minutes. 2 years ago I felt, for the patient to get value, I needed to have an hour but now 30 minutes is by far enough.
Sometimes if you need an hour I think it’s a symptom of a lack of clarity. Obviously not always, but when you have 30 minutes you need to be crystal clear on what the one thing you want to get out of that session is. And when you have that clarity magic things start to happen. So being clear on every session what you need to do to progress to the next stage of the plan.
Definitely. And I want to make the point that I’m using this mentorship with normal Joe Bloggs everyday people. Dave is treating elite athletes with England Rugby Union and that was one of the things that scared me initially – will it work for normal everyday people. And it does. I’m confident I can help anybody that comes through the door. Some people may look at the mentorship and think it’s only for people who work in the sports environment and it’s not.
That’s a great point, and with Dave’s background I think that is a common misconception. And I’d like to reiterate that that my main client base is people aged 55-70 with back pain. So it’s very applicable for any client base – the human body is the human body.
You’ve had an incredible 18 months, what are your plans for the next 18 months?
I’m pretty happy with patient numbers now which was my biggest thing. Now it’s more about business skills. I’m actually thinking about taking on another therapist and using my space and work a little bit smarter and not so hard at what I’m doing. And I would have never expected that a couple of years ago.
That says a lot about your journey over the last 2 years!
Definitely, and even you guys you can see how you’ve grown from 2 treatment rooms to the whole top floor of a shopping centre and a big team of experts in marketing, IT etc. Before it was just you and Dave doing everything, but it’s great that I can access lots of other people in the team now too.
That’s a great point. We’re constantly growing ourselves and it’s great to be able to help others do the same. Thanks very much for your time Katie, really appreciate your time. Have a great Christmas and New years!
You too Shane thanks for having me on the podcast!