A Changing Health Scape
Changing Health Landscape for Women
There was a time when doing the weekly shopping meant visiting the baker, the butcher and (as the saying goes) the candlestick maker. However, over time disrupters have come in and merged services. Offering a “one-stop-shop” approach. We are seeing this more and more within the health and wellness space. We are witnessing a changing health landscape for women in particular with all health providers seeing the value of joint venture. These relationships are not only good for our clients (they are less likely to fall through the gaps), they lift our service offerings and ultimately the bottom line of our business.
Another very positive side effect of these relationships is the growing respect for each profession.
Fitness and Physio working collaboratively
Recently, our 2017 Women’s Health and Fitness Summit Ambassador, Kylianne Farrell interviewed Alex Lopes as part of our *Presenter Connect* Series. Alex has a long and significant career in Physiotherapy. Starting as a sports and musculoskeletal physio and then moving into women’s health after her own birth experiences. Alex like so many of us, questioned “What can we do better in this area?” And Alex has been a game changer ever since. Alex’s latest appointment was Chair of the Australian Physiotherapy Association. Alex is passionate about collaborating with all involved to improve pelvic health outcomes for all Australians.
Her passion is one that the fitness industry should be very excited about,
and Physio should be on board with.
Personally I have experienced my own challenges trying to work collaboratively with Women’s Health Physiotherapists. Physio’s may have been concerned by Fit Pro’s stepping in to their territory and they have been quick to remind me that my qualifications do not make me an expert in this space. And this is true. I have no qualifications to diagnose why women have pelvic pain, or why they are leaking or even what is the best course of action for them to improve.
But I do know about movement. I know about strengthening muscles. And I also know that women are more than the sum of their pelvic floor dysfunction. The space I hold (any many other Fitness Professionals*) is the one between the physio practice and the gym floor. And there is plenty that I can help with, that is within my scope of practice. Health promotion and health literacy are two areas that Fitness Professionals can comfortably sit in. Fitness Professionals are perfectly placed to ask questions and to listen to the answers AND then guide them to the best place to get a correct diagnosis and support their on-going care.
And this part is important. Why?
Because many, many women will absolutely minimise their pain, their discomfort, their dysfunction. Many women will re-assure themselves that what they are experiencing is normal. And many more women, will place their own needs at the very bottom of a long list of people who they deem should sit before them.
Fitness Professionals, like hairdressers are often privy to what women are experiencing on a day to day basis. We watch the mass exodus as women run to the loo before the high intensity section of the group fit class. We hear them laugh about how skipping / jumping / doing burpees makes them leak a little wee. We watch them dip out of going onto the trampoline with their kids, because the are scared that they are literally going to fall out of themselves.
But I can’t tar Women’s Health Physiotherapists all with the same brush. For everyone who has made me feel uncomfortable, I have had more than an equal amount of supporters who see the value in what I do. And my studio is open to all Allied Health Professionals. Anyone who is willing to take the time, I am an open book and show exactly what I do and how I work with my clients. And to date, not one has (after this experience) said that I work out of my scope of practice. All who have visited to date have seen value in this intermediary service between physio and fitness.
I also believe we share the same values that keeping women active, has to be our number one shared goal. And I personally know a whole lot of physio’s (world wide) who share this view.
There are also physiotherapists who see that the winds are changing. Even for those physio’s who are fortunate to have their own space for clients to exercise have to up-skill to keep their classes fresh and exciting for clients. The fitness options now available for women is a very noisy space. These practitioners find themselves doing fitness qualifications, because they want the skill and lets face it, the PIZAZZ of a great fitness instructor.
Innovation Adoption Lifecycle for business
In business, you learn about the innovation adoption lifecycle or diffusion of innovations. It does not matter what business you are in, the trends of business all follow this pattern.
First is the Innovators. They are the people that have vision, act on their vision and often seen as the “crazy ones.” However, they tend to attract the Early Adopters, who see value in the innovation and are the first to take on board the new direction, the new learning, the new trend. This leads to the Early Majority – others who see value and at this stage of the cycle. The Early Majority see significant disadvantage for not being on board. It is the Early Adopters and Early Majority who make hay while the sun shines, so to speak. They are afforded the extra time to lay the ground work, refine their processes and then put out to market… this is what we do.
The late majority come on board, partly because they must to keep up. But they are forever disadvantaged by their reluctance to stay nimble and embrace changed. The laggards in a noisy space represent the businesses that fail and close.
So my question to you is…
Are you an Early Adopter or part of the Early Majority?
Or will you be a laggard?
* The Fit Pro’s who attend the Women’s Health and Fitness Summit I would (hand on heart) say are Innovators and / or Early Adopters
Watch the full interview with Alex below:
Want to see more of our *Presenter Connect* Series?
Check out below… just click on image: