Therapies

Each treatment consists of a one hour "hands on" therapy session from a highly skilled therapist. Our treatment approach uses a unique set of assessments and techniques to address pain, dysfunction, disease and disability. It takes into account the diverse systems of the human body and seeks to address the root cause of the problem. Treatments are a gentle blending of Integrative Manual Therapy, Osteopathic techniques and additional adjunct therapies which are discussed below.

Integrative Manual Therapy

Integrative Manual Therapy (IMT), in development over the past 30 years by Sharon Giammatteo Ph.D, PT, is a powerful health care technology that yields profound results in returning the body to optimal health. It is a noninvasive system that uses a “hands on” technique to support the body’s incredible self-healing capacity. It is distinctly different from other modalities such as massage, traditional chiropractic or classic physical therapy. Patients remain fully clothed and gentle pressures, extensions and rotations are systematically applied to release blockages and other dysfunctions. The treatment process is powerful yet subtle, and equally important, IMT encourages the body to continue to work on itself even after session completion.

The use of motilities which can be described as circadian rhythms provide the IMT therapist with diagnostic information which can be used to differentiate healthy from non-healthy or neural protected tissue. Diagnostic rhythms are reflections of many biological systems. Through IMT Diagnostics, therapists can locate the area of greatest restriction in the body, which can most influence multiple systems, influencing its ability to heal.

Through ongoing Integrated Systems Approach, the primary dysfunction in the body, which is contributing to the patient’s problems, is determined. Range of motion, postural assessment and spinal flexibility is continually assessed. The Founder of Osteopathy, Andrew Stills, M.D. commonly states "the artery rules supreme." Sharon Giammatteo, Ph.D. PT, the Founder of IMT, identified that there was a sequence of protection that the human body follows: artery, vein, bone, nerve, organ, lymphatic, muscle, tendon, ligament and joint. Using diagnostic techniques, all systems in the body, including vascular (artery, vein), peripheral and central nervous system (impinged nerve, compression on a nerve)), viscera and organ (poor digestion, urogenital dysfunction), lymphatic (swollen lymph nodes, decreased lymphatic drainage), and musculoskeletal (muscle spasm, bone bruise, tendonitis, bursitis), are treated according to this natural hierarchy of the body to insure proper healing.

When trauma, injury or illness occurs, and there is an area within the body that becomes damaged or weakened, a protective response occurs as a result. Our body will cause the surrounding tissues to squeeze around or inhibit movement to protect itself from further damage to these areas. Similarly, when there is infection in the body, it will create a containment of this area as a protective response. However, this process can secondarily cause problems for the individual demonstrated by loss of motion, pain, inflammation and many other symptoms. Neural protective pattern techniques can help to eliminate these impingements around vessels, nerves, viscera and organs, lymphatic and musculoskeletal systems. By eliminating tension in the area and allowing for improved circulation and drainage to and from the region, there will be a decrease in inflammation or infection in the region. As a result, the person will experience more motion and movement. Neural protective pattens can exist in all areas of the body. For example, the respiratory diaphragm can squeeze around a vessel or nerve in the abdominal or thoracic region to keep it from moving. Additionally, a person can have neural protective patterns in their arms and legs that can cause significant pain and swelling. Through treatment, the person will experience improved movement of arms, legs and spine, decreased swelling, increased strength and decreased pain and symptoms.

Osteopathic Techniques

Muscle Energy

Muscle Energy (MET) Muscle Energy Technique is a type of treatment used in osteopathic medicine and physical therapy. It is a form of manipulation, diagnosis and treatment in which the patient’s muscles are actively used on request, from a precisely controlled position, in a specific direction, and against a distinctly executed therapist counterforce. It was first described in 1948 by Fred Mitchell, Sr, DO. Muscle energy techniques are used to treat somatic dysfunction especially decreased range of motion, muscular hypertonicity and pain.

Cranial Sacral

A Cranial Sacral therapy session involves the therapist placing their hands on the body, which allows them to "tune into the cranial sacral rhythm." The practitioner gently works with the spine, the skull, cranial sutures, diaphragms, and fascia. In this way, the restrictions of nerve passages are said to be eased, the movement of cerebral spinal fluid through the spinal cord is said to be optimized, and misaligned bones are said to be restored to their proper position. Cranial sacral therapists use this therapy to treat mental stress, neck and back pain, migraines, TMJ syndrome and chronic pain conditions such as fibromyalgia.

Functional Indirect (FIT)

Functional Indirect is a technique created by George Laughlin, DO, and developed and taught by Ed Stiles, DO. The practitioner takes the tissue area to complete relaxation in three planes of motion, then either compresses or tractions the tissue. This begins an intrinsic unwinding which releases protective neural barriers. These releases restore normal joint mechanics and release fascial adhesions, bone bruises and protective muscle spasm. These effective techniques are safe and gentle for orthopedic problems such as neck and low back pain, headaches and injuries to all the joints of the spine, arm and leg. FIT is out standing for rib cage dysfunction. When combined with Cranial Sacral it is very effective for whiplash and other Motor Vehicle Accident injuries.

Strain Counterstrain

Strain Counterstrain, developed by Lawrence Jones, DO, is an indirect technique which works to rebalance the nervous system with the structure of the musculoskeletal system. The practitioner positions dysfunctional tissue at a point of balance and employs tender points to identify and monitor the restriction. By placing the restricted joint or muscle in a position of maximal relaxation, inappropriate proprioceptor activity that maintains somatic dysfunction is reduced. The joint or muscle then normalizes in tone and function improves.

Adjunct Therapies

Lymphatic Drainage Therapy

Lymphatic Drainage Therapy (LDT) is an original hands-on method of lymphatic drainage developed by Bruno Chikly, MD, DO. Created out of his award-winning research on the lymphatic system, LDT takes traditional lymph drainage techniques, created by Dr. Emil Vodder in the1930’s, and adds a level of precision consistent with recent scientific discoveries. Lymphatic Drainage uses gentle and noninvasive techniques, that work through the body's lymphatic system, to activate fluid circulation and stimulate the functioning of the immune and parasympathetic nervous systems. The result of these actions can include reduction in edemas, detoxification of the body, regeneration of tissue, and relief of chronic pain. It also provides deep relaxation to aid insomnia, decrease stress and loss of vitality.

Visceral Manipulation

Visceral Manipulation (VM) was developed by world-renowned French Osteopath and Physical Therapist Jean-Pierre Barral. Visceral Manipulation is based on the specific placement of soft manual forces to encourage the normal mobility, tone and motion of the viscera and their connective tissues. These gentle manipulations can potentially improve the functioning of individual organs, the systems the organs function within, and the structural integrity of the entire body. 

Myofascial Release

The Myofascial Release approach is a form of soft tissue therapy used to treat somatic dysfunction and resulting pain and restriction of motion. It is a treatment described by Andrew Taylor Still, founder of osteopathy and osteopathic medicine, which uses continual palpatory feed back to achieve release of myofascial tissues. This is accomplished by relaxing contracted muscles, increasing circulation and lymphatic drainage, and stimulating the stretch reflex of muscles and overlying fascia.