RMIT Advanced Diploma of Myotherapy students went to Udaipur in India as part of an international work placement to further their professional practice in a rewarding and life changing experience.
In 2016 18 RMIT myotherapy and remedial massage students took their training to Udaipur, the “City of Lakes”, India.
With the help of translators over two weeks the students where challenged with queues of patients with injuries from being hit by a buffalo to being electrocuted.
"You can treat with pigeons walking around, turtles walking through the clinic and 80 people waiting for treatment. It was like a nightclub queue for people waiting to get in to see us," said Hugh Wignell, Advanced Diploma of Myotherapy student.
The life changing experience was a complete contrast to the RMIT city clinic with views of Melbourne’s CBD, and where common complaints include neck and shoulder pain from sitting in front of computers.
The clinic environment teaches students to perform assessments and develop treatment plans for patients and receive immediate feedback.
Students used a broad range of techniques including massage, myofascial tension techniques, dry needling, and neuro-dynamics, to diagnose and treat chronic, the complex or acute injuries and conditions of the locals.
The students found that they needed to work in different ways, using the floor and other tools available to them in the new environment.
To take part in the trip the Advanced Diploma of Myotherapy students had to have first completed the Diploma of Remedial Massage to build their knowledge and understanding of muscular treatments, anatomy, physiology and pathology.
"Working with patients to alleviate pain and improve their musculoskeletal ability is the most rewarding part of the job." said Wignell.
As well as international placement opportunities such as this trip, RMIT has strong industry connections allowing students to work with elite athletes and performers such as local junior AFL teams, the National Institute of Circus Arts and the Australian Ballet.
There are also health-related placements with rehabilitation and community health centres.
Graduates of the programs have gone on to open their own clinics, join exiting existing clinics, and are now working with professional and local sporting teams.
Many of the students who went on the India trip are keen to return.
A myotherapy student that took part in the trip to India felt that it had changed lives.
"As therapists many of us are motivated by finding opportunities to make a difference. But what a rare opportunity it is to have the privilege to make a real impact while pursuing your vocation."