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Master the Money Shot - Helping Patients in Pain
By: Maggie Bergeron PT; Nataliya Zlotnikov HBSc, MSc

The money shot, what is it?

A physiotherapist walks into a bar and orders a money shot. No, that’s not the kind of shot we’re talking about. The money shot we’re referring to is that one shot that you take most often. In golf, this is the putt. There’s even a saying golfers have for it: “Drive for show, putt for dough.”

If we already lost those of you reading this who aren’t golfers, stay with us! It will all make sense soon enough!

So of all the shots that you will take, 41.3% of them will be with the putter. And more than half of those will be within 3-5 feet of the hole.

That's the money shot.

With 14 clubs in your golf bag, only 2 of them make up 60% of all of your shots!

If all you do is master this single shot, you would reduce your score by 20-25% (a low score is better in golf, who knew?!). And that is the difference between winning and losing almost every game.

Still with us? --- We promise, we have a point here that doesn’t relate to golf :)

Putt in PT: What is the money shot in physiotherapy practice?

So, what is the equivalent of the putt in PT? What is the one thing that has the biggest impact?

Any guesses?

The answer: Therapeutic alliance

Research has increasingly pointed towards the importance of the biopsychosocial approach in the alleviation of persistent pain.

Biopsychosocial approach to pain alleviation and management quote

Patient education has become a significant component of modern healthcare, yet most clinicians have a limited toolkit. 

To help people make sense of their pain, we must first learn to teach.

It is more important than ever for clinicians to develop a range of engaging, practical skills that can help their patients make sense of pain and overcome it.


Ready to practice your PT putting?

Join Mike Stewart, MCSP, SRP, MSC, PG CERT, on 28-29 October 2023 for a 2-day interactive live online course ‘A Practical Guide for Persistent Pain Therapy’.

There’s a maximum of 80 seats available. Embodia Members and Students/New Grads save $120. 

Plus, you will get complimentary, lifetime access to the on-demand course that features professionally recorded videos of the lecture component of the course. 

Click here to save your seat!


A practical guide for persistent pain therapy 

Why do some patients understand information about pain and others don’t? How do we get more patients interested in managing their pain? 

Do you feel disillusioned about your PT role as a “fixer” of patient problems?

Research shows there is a mismatch between what people in pain need and what healthcare professionals are equipped to provide. Pain, education and practice are complex. 


The Solution

This live online course explores a cutting-edge, patient-centered approach using a variety of practical learning methods to help your patients better understand and manage their pain. It provides a range of practical applications and innovative learning methods to make you a more effective educator and improve your clinical outcomes.


Click here to Join the live course with Mike Stewart


3 Extra tips on how we can apply the plan for mastery to any skill or area in our lives

  1. Find the highest percentage variable - the one activity, function, or behaviour that creates the highest leverage, makes the biggest difference and is the most important to produce a successful result. This is called the small hinge that swings the big doors of results. The small causes produce the biggest rewards and the biggest outcomes for the same time and effort.

  2. Once you find it, focus on it! Give 10X more attention to the one thing that matters the most. Practice it repeatedly and intensely. Stay with it. Don’t let yourself be lured by all the new, flashy, and trendy things. Work on mastering it before moving on.

  3. Expand the circle - Once you have mastered the small hinge, keep expanding the circle. Keep expanding your skills but never stop practicing and focusing on the small hinge.


What do the Leaning Tower of Pisa and healthcare education have in common?

Mike Stewart is a wonderful speaker so we'll leave you with a 1-minute video of Mike Stewart speaking about healthcare education.



See you in the live course!

Written: 5 April 2023
Last update: 3 May 2023

Mike Stewart (he/him)

Mike is a physiotherapist, researcher and university lecturer with over twenty years of experience in helping people overcome pain.

He has an MSc in Education and Physiotherapy and is planning a PhD focusing on how people in pain make sense of their experience. His published work has received international praise from the leading names in neuroscience. Mike teaches across a variety of clinical settings including elite sports, and is an advisor on pain management to the International Olympic Committee.

Mike is a dedicated practice-based educator committed to providing evidence-based education to a wide variety of health professionals. His Know Pain workshops have provided clinicians around the world with practical pain education skills.

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