Hanson Manual Therapy, or HMT, is an advanced technique that provides immediate relief from muscle pain and tension through the application of manual therapy to both trigger points and acupressure points.
It is based on the concepts of muscular imbalance and hypersensitive myofascial reflex points. Here is what you should know.
What Is a Muscular Imbalance?
A muscular imbalance occurs when there is an uneven pulling force on a limb or joint that forces the body out of alignment. The muscles work in pairs, one lengthening while its partner contracts. However, this push and pull can become imbalanced for a variety of reasons, from overuse to trauma to emotional stress.
In many cases, muscular imbalance is the root cause of chronic pain, injuries, decreased performance ability, and even overall poor health. Even if you have another condition, such as spinal degeneration, muscular imbalance can magnify the problem and worsen your overall fitness. A few common symptoms of muscular imbalance include:
- Oxygen deprivation to the contracted muscle
- Poor posture due to decreased joint space
- Poor cardiovascular circulation
- Muscle weakness
- Weakened lymphatic drainage
- Joint degeneration
Testing for Muscular Imbalances:
HMT uses a variety of testing methods to identify exactly which muscles are out of balance. These include, but are not limited to:
- Postural evaluation
- Range of motion assessment
- Specific muscle testing
The goal is to find out exactly where each person holds tension within her body, and to determine which muscles need attention. HMT is then customized according to this feedback to deliver precise, targeted, fast results.
Hypersensitive Myofascial Reflex Points:
Also known as trigger points, the myofascial reflexes act as circuit breakers within the body. When overloaded with tension, pain and inflammation, along with an increased risk for injuries, are likely to occur. This is known as hypersensitivity.
Reflex points can become sensitized by direct physical stressors on the affected muscles, such as overuse or trauma. Dysfunction in other areas of the body, including problems with the joints, internal organs, or other reflex points cause stress. Mental or emotional stress is also a common contributor. Everyone has a place in their body that they tend to carry stress, and those muscles are the most likely to become hypersensitized.
HMT combines modern Western physical therapy and sports medicine with ancient Eastern beliefs regarding acupressure and meridians. As in acupressure, the spot that hurts is not always the proper spot to treat. HMT therapists carefully choose from among the 700 fixed acu-points (acupressure points) and the movable trigger points of the 360 skeletal muscles. Many people have multiple points that must be addressed. Once the proper acu-points and trigger points are identified, HMT therapists often apply acupressure along with the manual therapy techniques of today.
A deep friction massage relieves the identified points of excess tension. The fingers and hands apply intermittent pressure in a specific direction for each point. This causes the tension to disappear, taking with it the pain and impaired functioning.
Please note that we can often achieve dramatic results in just one session. If you have complex pain with many trigger points, though, it may require a few sessions to work through all of the tension. In addition, we will teach you ways to manage your stress and protect your trigger points, making it less likely for your pain and impaired functioning to return.
A full-service health and wellness center with locations in Santa Cruz and Watsonville, Santa Cruz CORE combines massage, chiropractic, corrective exercise, acupuncture, personal training, and nutrition consulting under a single roof. To learn more or schedule an appointment, call 831-425-9500 (Santa Cruz) or 831-426-0608 (Watsonville) today.