“I am the only influencer with whom you can make an appointment on Doctolib”

We knew Michel Cymes, the cathodic ENT doctor, who became a multimillionaire thanks to his shows, his books and his conferences on the theme of health. It is now the turn of physiotherapists to take the spotlight, propelled into the arena of content creation on social networks with their tutorials to relieve pain, work on flexibility or find the motivation to take up sport. All this in a light tone, playing the card of proximity. Sometimes for the worse.

“I must be the only influencer with whom you can make a one-on-one meeting on Doctolib”, deplores Major Mouvement (776,000 followers), whose real name is Grégoire Gibault, in a video where he explained, in June, the reasons for his professional break. The cause put forward: fans, often without real symptoms, who come to his office to meet him, like one rushing to a thaumaturgist guru. “Some patients just look at the number of followers, for them it’s a sign of confidence, it’s worth more than diplomas. They are sometimes in such pain that they place blind trust in me”he regrets.

Overwhelmed by the enthusiasm that he says he caused despite himself, in a few years he went from working as an ordinary physiotherapist in a practice in Toulouse to being a columnist in the show “Antidote”, the health talk show launched by Michel Cymes on France 2, and content creator on YouTube and Instagram, networks on which he accumulates eight million views each month. His first book, 10 keys to a healthy body, published by Marabout in 2020, has sold more than 180,000 copies. After a five-month break, he resumed his activity in the office, where he now practices “non-contracted” (a decision which he justifies by the duration of the intervention: one hour and a half, compared to the thirty minutes provided for by the convention), at 120 euros per session. “If influencer physiotherapists stop practicing, they lose legitimacy”assures Goulven Cornec, his agent, co-founder of the influence agency Fraich’Touch, which supports professionals to manage notoriety and guarantee them a viable economic model.

Lift taboos

No more prehistoric forums or the anxiety-inducing conclusions of Doctissimo. To talk about health and remove taboos, social networks are today one of the priority channels. Two billion pieces of content viewed on YouTube were health-related in 2021, including: “Feel good in your body: relieve your pain through movement”, by Monsieur Clavicle; “My little routines: sexuality without stress and without complexes”, by Estelle Bertrand, known as “Estelle Kiné”; “In perineum we trust”, by Sab, ex-Princess Périnée… The social network has also launched YouTube Health, a community of approved creators who distribute medical content, in association with the British public agency National Health Service, to fight against “fake medicine” and “fake news” in the health sector. In January, the World Health Organization (WHO) convened several influencers in the field, including French physiotherapists, to discuss the relevance of online medical popularization. “It’s a trans-professional phenomenon, there are content creators among doctors, dentists, gynecologists… But the most followed in France is a physiotherapist, it’s Major Mouvement”explains Frédéric Srour, physiotherapist elected to the council of the order of masseurs-physiotherapists, responsible for ethics.

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