Hi! I was wondering: may a male physical therapist touch a female patient while she’s on her period? I know doctors are allowed to, but physical therapists might be considered a different category altogether.
A person that needs PT is usually because of some sort of medical need, therefore it isn’t different than a doctor. The reason a doctor is allowed to touch a female patient is because it is being done because of the medical need and not because of any (even slight) “chiba” or emotional reason, therefore it is permitted. Also we are not afraid that he will come to improper thoughts because he is concentrating on the work that he has to do.
Nevertheless it is definitely better for a woman to have a female therapist if possible.
Halichos Bas Yisroel 7-10, Taharas Am Yisroel pg 220, Ohel Yackov pg. 235.
Regarding the preference of her having a male doctor etc. see Halichos Bas Yisroel ibid, in the name of R’ Sheinberg and R’ Vosner zt”l, Minchas Yitzchok 7-73.