Muscle Repositioning: A New Verifiable Approach to Neuro-Myofascial Release?
The clinical observation of involuntary motor activity during application of a particular style of myofascial release (Muscle Repositioning—MR) has led to the hypothesis that this technique might evoke neurological reactions. Preliminary EMG recordings presented here show involuntary tonic cervical erector action during MR. Involuntary eye movements were also observed. This article presents these experimental data, along with clinical observations during the application of MR in the treatment of musculoskeletal conditions. The author hypothesizes that MR might constitute a novel manual technique: it produces unique palpatory sensations for the practitioner (e.g., a sense of firmness to the touch and the integration of bodily segments into a single block) that correspond to unique sensory experiences for the client. The article raises the possibility that MR’s specific sensory input might activate the central nervous system, thus eliciting neural reactions. These reactions, in turn, might be related to the technique’s efficacy. As the EMG objectively measures reactions contemporaneous with subjective palpatory phenomena, MR potentially brings the objective and subjective into congruence. EMG monitoring of touch could serve as an objective criterion in the development of treatment protocols, as well as a feedback tool for teaching. Greater objectivity, precision and reproducibility are all possible outcomes of such an approach. The author believes that MR can be used in various therapeutic settings—either as the principal approach, or as an adjunct to a variety of other approaches.
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