3 Essential Skills for PTs, OTs, and Bodyworkers

Would you like to see your success rates skyrocket with your physical therapy, occupational therapy or bodywork clients? Lynn shares 3 essential skills that she uses in her clinic that produce incredible results every time.

In my initial years of practice as a Physical Therapist, I thought the technique skills, mobilizations, range of motion, and exercises I learned in PT school and in PT courses were the most critical to my success in client sessions. 30+ years later, I now know they are not! While they are critical, they are not as important as these three essential skills I have developed and learned to use over the years. Plus, if you are feeling burnt out and exhausted at the end of your day in the clinic, these 3 skills can inspire and re-energize you!

Not in order of importance, as all are equally important, here are the 3 essential skills physical therapists, occupational therapists, or bodyworkers can use to help create greater clinical success.

Loving Presence

I didn’t realize this was a thing when I was in PT school. It’s taken me over 25 years to understand what presence even is. It wasn’t until I heard some clients say, “I just love coming in to see you just to be around you again” and “I can’t wait to be in your presence again” that got the wheels turning. I started to wonder what they liked about me so much.

The answer that came to me was “Love!” They could feel the love that I carry for myself and them. Love is one of the 3 essential skills and a main ingredient for healing. The more we love ourselves, the more we can radiate that out to everyone interacting with us. While there are other aspects to developing a solid therapeutic presence, which I cover in the Birth Healing Intensive program, the most important quality we need to possess is LOVE! The more I love myself, the more successful my client sessions are. To love yourself more, healing needs to take place within you! Shifting limiting beliefs and healing wounds that have developed along your life’s path clear the way for more love to radiate for you and from you.

Ability to Listen

There are two aspects to listening, another one of the 3 essential skills, that I want to cover here. One aspect that you may automatically think about is just hearing your clients’ words. This is so important, especially in today’s modern healthcare system here in the United States. Doctors have 7-15 minutes with patients. This doesn’t allow for much interaction time. You may have already experienced the power of just letting your clients talk. That alone can be so healing for them. If you can add another step of acknowledging what they are saying and letting them know you are here to help gives them tremendous reassurance and relief as well.

The other listening that is so important is the ability to listen to the body. What is the body’s story in its tissues, postures, and restrictions? Taking a step back, and instead of going right into mobilizations, range of motions, and exercises on the body, I listen first. I listen to what I sense the body wants to do in standing and specific areas of the body, whether it is an extremity or pelvic space. When you tune into the body and listen, the body will guide you to what it wants to do and what it needs from you. When tissue isn’t releasing, get more curious about it, listen deeper to see what is being held in this space, and let it reveal itself. Knowing what to help your clients tune into and how to help them process what is coming up is an incredible skill that allows the results of your sessions to skyrocket! Magic happens in working this way AND it’s so incredibly fun!


Another one of the 3 essential skills to further your success with your clients, is to allow your intuition to guide you. Intuition is a way to work with the body from a more profound knowing inside you. I like to think of it as a way spirit or something larger than me is guiding me and helping me out. I don’t know about you, but I think spirit has a much greater knowledge of what needs to happen for my clients than my brain alone. So, I’ve learned to strengthen my intuition and trust its guidance implicitly in my sessions, as it has yet to steer me wrong!

I keep hearing from my students how much more fun their sessions are when they tap into their intuition. They tell me how their clients feel so much better in fewer sessions, and how they are enjoying working with their clients, again. I, too, experience joy, fulfillment, and incredible success with my clients. I’d love for you to have the same. Please consider joining the Birth Healing Intensive program to develop these 3 essential skills and transform your work with your clients for greater clinical success. You and your clients deserve it!

About the Birth Healing Intensive

The 2024 Birth Healing Intensive starts February 1st and is a 9-month intensive. It is open to a small group of students and is an opportunity for you to do your own inner work, so you can take yourself and your clients to a deeper level of healing.

About the Author: Lynn Schulte is a Pelvic Health Therapist and the founder of the Institute for Birth Healing, a pelvic health continuing education organization that specializes in prenatal and postpartum care. For more information, go to https://instituteforbirthhealing.com

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