Vampire power is defined as the electrical power that is consumed when electronics are shut off/idle, but still plugged in. You are probably thinking this has nothing to do with physical therapy, but it does..I hope I get the point across!
The way I think about it, vampire power is the extra oomph that is drawn from the device (it is negative in terms of eating at your electric bill but this post will flip the coin and be positive). It will happen no matter what (unless you unplug the device). In this example, we consider ourselves as manual clinicians or…well devices. We want to stay plugged. We want to get the most out of the treatment.
More often than not, a manual treatment will provide some type of meaningful clinical effect. We provide this intimate, personal intervention for physiological and even psychological purposes. Could be just short term or hopefully more long term. Either way, bottom line is that we know there are immediate effects. Patients like immediate effects (why do you think chiropractic care has been around so long!).
We may be confused about what to do with patients, especially new grads. The evidence doesn’t give straightforward advice on manual approach(es) but if you sit back and listen to your patients (or family, friends), we all want some type of hands-on to get us better. I hear all the time, “the doctor never put his hands on me!”, “how does he/she know what is going on?”.
Even if you aren’t sure what to do, put your hands on the patient. Use your palpatory, tactile and magic touch on each of your patients. Trust me, it will pay off.
Go forth with manual therapy.
Set aside fears.
Keep physical therapy physical.
Put that extra oomph in your treatment.