While carrying out an assessment we do, of course, listen to our patients to understand their symptoms, how & when they started & how they are affecting the person. However, the concept and practice of ‘listening’ to a patient’s body is different and is not very well understood.
The listening technique is a hands-on skill that is used and refined by experienced therapists throughout the world. Although there will be no sounds to hear, ‘listening’ is a very good word to describe what is happening. When you place a hand on a body it will often give you very subtle signals as to what is wrong, or where the problem lies. The therapist will not hear what that body is telling them if they are not listening! It usually requires subtlety & patience.
Although Physiotherapists have a science degree, physiotherapy is still very much an art as well.