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Tales from the Table - Mistaken Identity!

December 17, 2020 5 min read


Tales from the Table - Mistaken Identity!

We are really pleased to share the second in our Tales from the Table series written by Sports and Holistic Massage and Reflexology Practitioner Andrew Stevenson! You can learn a little more about Andrew at the bottom of this post but let's jump in and hear Andrew's tale of an awkward mistaken identity that still makes one physiotherapist blush to this day!

So let's begin! 

Dark blue background with a white speech bubble with the text - over to Andrew!

Disclaimer: The person in this tale wishes to remain anonymous and the names of the clients have also been changed to Albert and Marlene (which I have borrowed from 'Only fools and horses' as this happened in the London area)

This story was told to me by a fellow professional who spent many years working as a physiotherapist in both the NHS and in private practice. He has now retired after a very fulfilling career but the memory of this day still haunts him....


This story happened a very long time ago, in the 1970’s. Until this time physiotherapists could only treat people by referral however the law on this had recently changed. “Mr Physio” was an forward thinking chap and set up his own private practice outside the NHS and the practice had not been open for very long when this happened. 

As Mr Physio walked out into his new waiting room and sitting there was a man (Albert) in his late 60’s and a lady (Marlene) who was a few years younger.

Mr Physio went in and said “Good Morning would you like to come through”

Both Albert and Marlene stood up and followed him into the treatment room. 

How can I help? Albert then proceeded to tell Mr Physio about the problem he had with his shoulder caused through many years working in the construction trade as a plasterer. 

Mr Physio asked Albert to remove his shirt and sit on the bed and carried out a full and extensive examination and then treatment to the shoulder. 

After the session was over Mr Physio realised he had not spoken to Marlene who was sitting there and had not said a word so he turned to her and said;

“So Marlene when you get Albert home I want you to make sure he does the exercises I have given him and if you want to give his shoulder a little rub and maybe put a hot water bottle on it before you go to bed, it will ease the pain and help him to get a good night’s sleep”

Marlene stared at him with a puzzled look and replied “ I am sorry but I don’t think I can do that”

Mr Physio looked at her and asked what the problem was. Did she understand how to do the exercises and would she like him to show how to do them again?

Marlene looked puzzled and said  “No” there was a pause  “I don’t know where he lives”

It was at this point Mr Physio's heart sank he broke out in a cold sweat and in his words he got that sick feeling in the pit of his stomach you get when you know something is very wrong.


Mr Physio dreading the answer he was about to receive, So Marlene, Can I ask, how do you know Albert? 

Marlene replied “ I don’t know him, I have never met him before.

Confused, Mr physio asked can I ask why you are here with him?

Marlene replied “I am not with him, I have an appointment to see you later on and the bus timetable wasn’t right so I had to catch an early bus so I wasn’t late”

You can just imagine the picture of horror and embarrassment on his face.


He has never lived this down and never made the same mistake again!

So the moral of this story is never assume as it makes an ass (of) u (and) me!


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Tales from the Table is written by Andrew Stevenson - Sports and Holistic Massage and Reflexology Practitioner (Husband, Dad, Granddad, Chief cook and Bottle Washer) 

Andrew Stevenson Sports and Holistic Massage

I started my working life as an Engineer in the armed forces and I have spent many years participating in a wide range of sports at high levels both locally, nationally and internationally. My body was always in good condition and everyone called me “Peter Pan” as I was always up for a new challenge. However as my age increased so did the injuries, the severity and the recovery times. It was recommended by a friend that I try reflexology and massage to be honest I was very sceptical to point where I said “if jabbing things in your feet makes you better I will just walk around outside on the gravel with no shoes on and save myself a few quid”

My life changed in my 30’s when I had a particularly bad back injury and was given a choice to give up playing sport (Football as a goalkeeper) or give up walking. Having two young children at the time I can still remember my wife’s words "I can’t push the children around in the pushchair and you in a wheelchair so no more football"

At that point I thought my life was over and the world was going to end.

So I tried both reflexology and going for a massage. The older one amongst us will remember the old advert at Christmas for Remington shavers. “I was so impressed I bought the company”. I found the benefits astonishing not only to my physical wellbeing but also my mental wellbeing so in 2005 I qualified as a reflexologist and massage therapist through the AoR (Association of Reflexologists) and started my journey of helping others, working with clients, local sports teams and professional athletes.  

Since qualifying as a therapist I have become a qualified football coach, manager, and club “physio” only retiring from the game in 2020. I have driven rally cars, played cricket and still play golf and compete at both field and target archery. My experiences have taught me first hand to always remember the body is just like any other piece of machinery - if it is not properly maintained then it will fail!

You can follow Andrew on Twitter here! 

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