There is a saying, “If you always do what you have always done, then you will always get what you have always gotten.”
You try to do right by your clients. You want to give them the care they need. Their well-being is your concern, but you can’t drag them to the office.
So, what can you say to clients to make their scheduled appointments? Or better yet, what can you do to start getting clients to call and ask you for a session?
One of the first things I noticed about massage therapists is they didn’t know much about the nervous system.
My original idea to help was to develop a technique where a therapist can do a more specific session, in a shorter time frame, to work more closely with chiropractors. By doing this, maybe we could help the client get good results faster, ease the amount of thumb work and build a bigger business.
However, this turned into a stand-alone technique and something more powerful than I ever envisioned.
Here’s the basic idea: The more specific the work, the better for both the client and therapist.
When I adjust the C5 bone, for example, I get the massage therapist to work on just the muscles innervated by C5 instead of all the muscles of the upper body.
Soon after implementing this technique, patients would tell me, “I don’t want to get adjusted.” They wanted the more specific, soft-tissue session. Patients stood up, felt better, were better. Clients were asking for treatment, just as we’d hoped.
Where is the Problem?
So, I was led to develop an easy-to-learn method for assessing where in the nervous system a client has a problem.
One massage therapist in my office, Michael Lathrop, said to me, “What this technique has done for me is when someone comes in with a complaint, instead of hoping I help them, I know exactly what to do to get them better.”
There are five ways to determine what treatment your clients need to get better.
- Nerve pain
- Painful or limited range of motion
- Named conditions
- Postural assessment
- Muscle testing
Not all five ways are needed in order to determine a treatment, and many massage therapists don’t feel comfortable trying to assess problems through postural assessment or muscle testing.
Learning about the nervous system can be daunting; that’s why I teach the MyoKinesthetic System.
What is the Technique?
Once the problem is properly assessed, it’s time to use the MyoKinesthetic System to help the client. The technique itself uses stretching or contraction of the muscles with a stimulation.
Although the use of stretching initially causes some to think they may have seen something similar before, this technique is not borrowed from anything else.
If it came from anything, it was my chiropractic background. The philosophy of chiropractic care is “move one bone one way to impact one nerve root.”
I took this philosophy of being specific to bone movement and applied it to the muscular system. I grouped the muscles according to their nerve innervation, and then further grouped them according to their actions.
People who study the MyoKinesthetic System haven’t learned anything like it before, because what makes this technique unique is not in how you stimulate the muscles. (You can put a stimulation into a muscle any way you want.)
The true power of this technique is the combination of muscles you work on in the session.
The key is to stimulate all the muscles along one nerve pathway.
For example, if someone comes into your office with a shoulder problem, your first thought is it’s going to be a C5 issue.
The C5 nerve is the main nerve that goes into the shoulder joint and surrounding muscles. So, you’ll stimulate the 31 muscles innervated by C5.
Since the nervous system goes to both sides of the body, you’ll wind up working on 62 muscles bilaterally. This is about a 10-minute session.
People always ask how I can treat so many muscles so quickly. The thing to focus on is to get the nerve endings within each muscle to fire. In order to get the nerve endings to fire, time is not a factor; neither is where you put the stimulation into the muscle.
When I make nerve endings in each muscle along one nerve pathway fire, the “change” information is sent immediately to the brain when the client stands up.
The brain receives this information and instantly makes changes in posture.
Here’s the key point: Muscles that weren’t even touched will contract or relax based on the brain doing its job of making compensations to the information it is given.
There is no limit in what can be accomplished in helping people if you can balance their nervous system.
What Does This Do to the Body?
The MyoKinesthetic System is only for someone who has a problem: pain, limited range of motion or something is not working properly.
If your clients suffer from pain, or a joint or organ is not working properly, they will have unbalanced postures. Posture is an outward expression of the nervous system.
By targeting the nervous system specifically, you have an impact on the entire body.
This technique balances posture by working on the problem areas and not worrying about the compensations.
When posture is balanced, range of motion will increase. When range of motion is restored, pain disappears.
Posture, range of motion, pain: they go hand-in-hand-in-hand.
Cath Lloyd, a massage therapist at Duke Integrative Medicine, says, “I use the MyoKinesthetic System exclusively and on several occasions clients with diabetic neuropathy felt the texture of the carpet with the first treatment. With Dr. Uriarte’s mentoring, I have further successfully reduced restless leg syndrome, tinnitus, shingles, incontinence and overactive bladder, and chemotherapy side effects. Most recently we improved an Alzheimer’s patient’s ability to swallow.”
If you know the nerve pathways and the muscles innervated by specific nerve roots, it’s easy to understand why people are suffering when entire groups of muscles are in spasm.
It’s also easy to help them with their problem.
Reading the Problem
It’s too easy to simply accept a previous diagnosis and try to treat or help accordingly.
It is more fun to read your clients before they give you any information, and then tell them what their complaints are. Remember, posture is an outward expression of the nervous system.
Learn how to read posture, and you take the guesswork out of what to do to help your client.
For example, someone suffering from limited range of motion in the shoulder shows an unbalanced posture of a low shoulder that is medially rotated. Someone who suffers with plantar fasciitis will have a problem in the piriformis muscle, many times on the opposite side.
If you understand the nerve pathways and the innervations, you begin to see the correlations
Some Problems are Obvious
Some unbalanced postures reveal what to focus on and fix; others are actually compensations for unbalanced causes.
When we correct the unbalanced causes, the obvious compensations will automatically clear away.
This information streamlines your effort so you’re working on the things causing the person’s problem and not wasting time treating compensations that will absolutely return if you don’t clear the cause.
Client Bob Rude says, “Due to achalasia, I have had great difficulty swallowing food, pills or even water. My throat was clogged everyday. I was treated with botox injections into the sphincter muscle twice, which only lasted three months. One month ago, I was treated with MyoKinesthetic and it immediately opened up my throat. After only two treatments, I can swallow freely and [the achalasia] has not returned.”
The Business of Helping
All of us in the heath-care profession want our clients to get better; that’s why we are in business.
This system provides an ability to understand what is going on with a person’s nervous system, where it is not working properly and allows you the ability to correct it and let the body heal itself.
Like Oprah Winfrey says, “You cannot un-know something once you know it”—and now that you know about this system, you may take the next step and learn to implement it.
About the Author
Michael Uriarte, DC is the founder and developer of the MyoKinesthetic System. For more than 18 years, he has been doing research on the nervous system and soft-tissue therapy. He teaches nationwide and is the only instructor of this technique.