background, Behind the scenes

Continual Improvement: Kaizen Project 2018

On 25th February 2018 a gathering of some of the biggest names in the fitness, nutrition and therapy industry took place at the 2018 Kaizen Project. Kaizen is defined as ‘a Japanese business philosophy of continuous improvement of working practices, personal efficiency, etc.’ and this event lived up to this definition in every way.

As a member of the Movement Therapy Clinics team, I attended with my colleagues to represent our therapy and educational services at our clinics across the West Midlands. However, it was of course a highlight of the job to be able to attend a number of the seminars to learn from some of the brightest names in the business – including:

  • Tom Waldron (Franklin Method)
  • Mike Grice (MTClinics)
  • Ben Coomber (Body Type Nutrition)
  • Chris Kitson (The Movement Hub)
  • Amarjit Singh (PGA Tour)
  • Mark Laws (Strength and Conditioning Specialist)
  • Rachel France (Biomechanics Education)
  • Stephen Aish (Body Type Nutrition)

To find out more about the speakers you can check out the Kaizen Project 2018 homepage: click HERE.

Kaizen is defined as ‘a Japanese business philosophy of continuous improvement of working practices, personal efficiency, etc.’

These wonderful speakers presented on a range of themes and topics relevant to the fitness, nutrition and therapy industries, including business advice, mindset coaching, as well as assessment and training techniques and theories for use with clients. One of the best things about the content delivered was that it was evidence-informed – which is an important feature to me, given my scientific research background.

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So why did I go to this event, and was it any good?
As a self-employed therapist it can by quite lonely. By that, I don’t mean that you are alone. In fact, as the face of a busy clinic you are often interacting with clients and other people involved in various aspects of your business. But despite interacting with fantastic and wonderful people on a daily basis, it is quite difficult to find time and opportunities to mix with other therapists who are familiar with the daily struggles and questions that arise when working alone in a clinic. One of the downsides of being the sole-practitioner at the Move Well Clinic is that I don’t often have visitors with common experiences and interests in the same industry as me. So naturally, I jumped at the chance to spend a day at Northampton Saints Rugby Football Club locked in seminars with host of empathetic and enthusiastic fitness, nutrition and therapy professionals.

In fact, the line-up of speakers was so awesome I couldn’t quite believe my luck when the Managing Director of Movement Therapy Clinics and guest speaker, Mike Grice, invited me along to promote our Movement Therapy Clinic services. Who doesn’t love a free entry ticket?

What did I gain or learn?
Aside from a delicious carrot cake sample and a free protein shaker, I took a lot of information and new ideas away from this event. I won’t bore you with the industry-specifics of the content – if you want to know that you should come along to the next Kaizen Project event!

My main take-home messages from this great day were:

#1: Share resources and information
If I asked you to tell me the difference between the words fitness and well-being, would you be able to define them individually? Or do you find an overlap? I would agree with you if your answer is that there is overlap. One of the biggest issues in these fields is that often there needs to be communication and referral between health, fitness, nutrition, clinical and well-being experts in order to produce the best results for the clients.

Unfortunately, a lack of awareness of the roles that each professional fills means that there can be problems in communication between these industry professionals, and sometimes even a little friction. The only person to suffer here is the client. What we really need is for everyone in these industries to ask each other for help and information, and to refer onwards to the best person for the role. For me, working within Movement Therapy Clinics has provided me with a fantastic network of professionals to whom I can referred to when a client walks into my clinic and their problem is one that falls beyond my remit of specialism. I need to apply this concept more often!

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#2: Step back and ask ‘why?’
Quite simply, it is easy to get too close to a problem and miss the bigger picture – the body is an integrated system. For me, this is particularly true when I am trying to help a client reduce their pain. Often the problem might seem to be pain in one specific location in the body. However, the true cause of the problem can be anywhere in the body – not just at the site of the pain. It can be really hard to persuade a person in pain that the cause of their problem is not where they think it is. But in order to help them they must come around to this notion.

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#3: Step out of my comfort zone
In order to create or move forward you must change something. I am typically quite an introverted person. but under the right circumstances (usually in a learning environment) I love to chat to people with similar interests. Like many business people, I am nervous about sharing content on social media in an informative video format – for fear of being shot down by trolls and killjoys. But one of the greatest things that came from this event was that I have been able to approach people with some existing social media presence in person to take part in my own future social media projects.

I am really excited to share with you my plans in later updates…

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On a final note…

It was refreshing to be part of a project that attracted so many like-minded professionals from my industry. I sensed that everyone who attended was thirsty for knowledge and information on how to improve their work – whether that was from a practical standpoint, or regarding their business approach. The event just seemed to be brimming with level of energy and enthusiasm that I couldn’t say I have encountered on an average CPD course. I can’t wait to put my newly found knowledge into action!

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