Yes to the first two. And to the last answer: if they were not written by my certification agencies, I probably would have been writing them for myself in a very similar manner.
Acting professionally is self-evident for me, even though I must confess that I find it a lot easier to respect the actions of some ‘personal trainers’ when I do not have to witness them personally. When people tell me what they see, I can be rather non-committal. I have my own studio and therefore train without anybody around.
My NASM certification is the only to spell out that – as personal trainers – we are not to diagnose or treat. And I am firmly in agreement with that statement.
However, I find myself often in a position when asked by friends and clients about certain conditions. I sincerely hope that I am always toeing on the right side of that line. My standard reply goes something like that: “I am not a doctor or physical therapist, and I advise you to seek medical advice for XXX.” I have some clients who have some chronic problems that are familiar to me and who have worked with therapists for them. In those cases, I may add: ” Personally, I would (rest, ice, compress, elevate), and if it is not better by XXX, I’d see a doctor.”
What I do, though, is educate my clients about the way the body functions and where there can be deviations. As an example: I had shoulder problems in the distant past and required surgery for inpingement syndrome. Only later did I fully comprehend the mechanics of the shoulder and the symdrome in particular. This knowledge had led me on a mission to prevent others from going down the same path. So when a client mentions the first little twinge, I immediately test for imbalances in the rotator cuff muscles. If I find an imbalance, I will commence with the appropriate exercises. An just about all cases, the client quickly tells me that the twinge went away; in those cases, I usually keep rotator cuff exercises in the ‘mandatory’ program to prevent it from happening again. However, if that does not show quick improvement of the muscular imbalance, I immediately recommend medical attention.
It is a twilight zone. As we both know, many injuries start with muscular imbalances. It is fully in the scope of my practice to identify those and to try to restore the body to a more balanced alignment.