What is an Accredited Exercise Physiologist?

“Accredited exercise physiologists (AEPs) hold a four-year university degree and are allied health professionals who specialise in the delivery of exercise for the prevention and management of chronic diseases and injuries.”

Exercise and Sports Science Australia (ESSA) has the above definition on their website www.essa.org.au. It is an adequate definition however it really doesn’t explain why the need for such confusing terminology. To be an Exercise Physiologist (EP) who can practice within Australia I must be accredited through ESSA otherwise

I would not be eligible to register for a Medicare provider number. So that explains the “Accredited” part but what about the word “Exercise”. Well this just means that our primary method of rehabilitation will be exercise based unless we have further training in any specific areas.

The final word “Physiologist” is essentially a term that means a person who studies physiology, specifically human in this case. As an AEP I essentially use the science of exercise and human physiology in order to help people with disease or injury.

What does this mean in terms of Pilates at MD Health I hear you ask? It essentially means that our EP’s and Physio’s are more highly trained than Pilates Instructors and Personal Trainers. It means that all our staff are Allied Health Professionals and their services may be claimable with your private health fund or Medicare.

It also means that we are accountable, to you, but also to our employer and to our governing bodies. Standards and scopes of practice exist that we have to know and be on top of and it is much harder to become an AEP than many people would understand.

All AEP’s have completed 500 hours minimum of clinical experience working directly with clients like you and all done before they got their first job.

On top of this the MD Health AEP’s have also completed the MD Health technical training program to ensure the highest possible quality of service before they ever set eyes on a client.

What you can be assured of by knowing that you are working with one of our AEP’s:

• We use evidence based treatment
• We work closely with any other medical or allied health professionals you may be seeing
• We are focused on long term improvement not just short term pain relief
• We are required to stay up to date with current research
• We are probably more excited about the exercises you are doing than you are
• We understand what the exercises we are giving feel like (even if sometimes we can’t do them as well as you)
• We can work you hard as well as make sure you are doing the exercises correctly

Finally, I will just say that the easiest thing you can be told if you are in pain is what not to do. Any doctor, trainer, friend or acquaintance can tell you if you have a sore knee “don’t bend it” “don’t stand on it” etc. and short term that may be part of your treatment.

It just takes a much higher level of knowledge to be able to tell you which exercise you actually can do, not just to get a workout but also to manage injury and disease.

This is what an Accredited Exercise Physiologist at MD Health can do by carefully selecting the right exercises based on your full body assessment and any relevant medical history.

Kyle Richardson
Accredited Exercise Physiologist at MD Health Pilates

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