Myoskeletal Alignment Techniques: Osteopathy Therapy to Reduce Pain and Restore Motion
I first got interested in Myoskeletal Alignment Techniques (MAT) following a painful, on-the-job accident as a young man. My new-found interest in pain relief prompted me to go back to school and change professions. Ever since, I have continued to build my skill-set with advanced techniques that might help my clients.
In 2011, after two online Myoskeletal Alignment Techniques courses, and really good client feedback ("Wow, you're onto something here!"), I began to attend as many classes and workshops as I could with Erik Dalton PhD, MAT's originator. I continued to get good results for my clients because Erik organized his classes around the patterns of pain that we see happening over and over, especially neck and back pain.
MAT: Influenced by Rolfing and Structural Integration Bodywork
Erik's study and research over many years in clinical psychology, manual therapy, osteopathy and Rolfing with Ida Rolf make MAT a richly integrated approach. Manual therapists learn how to spot patterns and develop best plans of action before even touching their clients.
Some structural integration bodywork sessions have limitations due to lack of assessment, and so this kind of osteopathy therapy may last only a few days. However, MAT teaches keen observation skills to find the causes of pain. Some examples of assessment questions:
- Which side of the body is 'short' and causing an uneven pull?
- Which type of end feel are you witnessing from joints or tissues?
- Which type of tissue dysfunction are you observing?
- Which type of movement dysfunction are you observing?
- Is hyper mobility present?
Examples of some assessment techniques:
- Visual look at lower and upper cross patterns
- Measurement of supine leg length
- Rock the Ilium, finding the stiffer side
- Prone 'raise the leg' test, a function of lumbopelvis instability and weakness
- Watch the gait, compensation patterns, movement dysfunctions
During assessments, we look for misalignment of bones, puffy, weak, raised muscles, rotational patterns in hips, and winged shoulders or scapulas. Common strain patterns are discovered. We locate familiar muscle groups that are chronically locked down. Similar to Rolfing, MAT focuses on reorganizing the connective fascia that permeate the entire body. From here, we can work on creating alignment and balance. We don’t chase pain, we look for its cause.
Benefits of Myoskeletal Alignment Techniques
- Can restore greater range of motion
- Addresses complex issues: Feet, Legs, Hips, Low back, Shoulder, Neck
- Can relieve pain, and rebalance and re-educate the body
- Releases trapped nerves
- Can correct atrophy, caused by forward head posture
- Addresses breathing issues caused by drooping rib cage
- Improves sleep by lowering nervous system tone
- Can lessen sports-related tendon and joint pain
- Prevents chronic neck and back pain due to tension, trauma and weak posture
If you’re considering osteopathy therapy and want to find out if MAT structural integration bodywork could help you, please contact me.
I am so grateful that I found Mark! I moved here from San Francisco, and I didn't think I would find someone who could help me with my sports injuries.
Hi Mark, your treatment today was amazing!! I feel a whole new level of overall physical awareness and function in my body and right shoulder.