The Muscle Energy Technique was designed for people who suffer from somatic dysfunctions, such as muscle spasms, joint stiffness, or restricted mobility. It was created by osteopathic physician Dr. Fred Mitchell for the purpose of restoring proper physiological functioning to stiff joints by using the principle of reciprocal inhibition, which explains how muscles relax and contract in relation to applied pressure. MET rapidly normalizes joint motion through a very gentle process that quickly covers the entire body. Proper evaluation and attention to the lumbar spine, pelvis, sacrum, and hips are considered essential for a successful treatment because of the significant effect these areas have on relieving symptoms in the extremities.
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During a session, the patient first undergoes a full-body screening to help the practitioner determine the principal areas of restriction or dysfunction that limit mobility. MET then uses the muscle motion barrier concept in which the client is placed in a certain position that will engage a restriction and is then asked to perform a gentle isometric contraction against a precise counterforce applied by the therapist’s hand. As the client resists this barrier, the therapist rhythmically intensifies and slackens pressure to enhance further mobilization. After contracting the muscle for a few seconds, the client gently stretches it in the opposite direction to open up any restrictions. After treating all the joints of the body that need attention, the session is concluded with a final screening to assess the outcome of the manual techniques. The intention of this type of osteopathic manipulation is not only to mobilize restricted joints but also to lengthen and strengthen weak muscles and fascia, restore proper neuromuscular activity, and improve spinal mobility without the use of manipulation. Because MET is gentle, it is appropriate for patients with back pain, headaches, hip issues, or serious physical injuries.
This modality comes from “Our Inner Ocean”, a book by Captain LeCain W. Smith: The author, LeCain W. Smith, learned early in life that his personal path to awakening was through ocean sailing, bodywork, and transformational energetic experiences. When living on the sea, making friends with the elements and with nature, he uncovered his passion for adventure, exploration, fitness, and health. He spent many years studying and experiencing bodywork and practicing yoga, qigong, breath-work, and meditation. This passion, combined with seeing numerous friends struggle with health problems, eventually drove Smith to reach out and help others through the writing of this book. If this endeavor changes the life of only one person, he will consider it a success.
Good health is something we all aspire to, but it’s so much more than just being free of disease. A perfectly functioning body, tranquil mind, and vibrant spirit working together harmoniously create the joy and happiness that put the good in good health and the worth into a life worth living. Our Inner Ocean describes ancient and new holistic modalities of practitioner-applied bodywork and revitalizing self-care practices.