New Directions in Manual Therapy

Muscle Energy Technique

Muscle Energy Technique (MET)

The Muscle Energy Technique was developed by Fred Mitchell, Sr., D.O., in the 1950’s as an osteopathic alternative to high velocity manipulation. It is basically a neuromuscular mobilization system for all motion segments of the body. That is, it engages and regulates the sensorimotor impulses and any musculature that moves a particular body joint. We had the good fortune to learn this technique from Dr. Ed Stiles, D.O., who was part of the first small group of osteopaths that Dr. Mitchell later instructed in his approach.

MET uses precise, three-dimensional positioning of joints, followed by specific isometric muscle contractions of a patient against the manual resistance of a therapist. By employing the principles of Post-Isometric Relaxation and Reciprocal Inhibition on the relevant hypertonic musculature, dysfunctional joint mechanics and their associated mechanoreceptor hyperactivity can be normalized.

Immediate results include:

The MET Advantage

The Muscle Energy Technique is a mobilization tool with many facets. It is simultaneously a neuromuscular method, geared toward resetting muscle spindle activity and resting length; muscular re-education, stimulating muscles intrinsic to a joint towards functional balance and fine-motor redevelopment; postural re-education, whereby these intrinsic fibers reclaim duties adopted by the longer extrinsic musculature; and a passive approach to mobilization of the various joint surfaces. And as MET was developed by an osteopath, it offers its greatest advantages when applied from a holistic, osteopathic perspective.

When the Muscle Energy Technique is ideally used to mobilize a primary dysfunction, what follows is not an isolated increase in ROM but rather a bodywide event. A chain reaction of interdependent restrictions, some symptomatic and some not, can spontaneously progress toward normalcy.

Of course, for the Muscle Energy Technique this assumes:

The alternating passive mobilization, active contraction mechanism of MET brings a distinct advantage over pure passive facet or joint glide or high-velocity manipulation. And self-mobilizing through exercise alone, whether strengthening routines aimed at “weak” musculature or stretching programs for shortened tissues, tends to leap over the very structures most in need of mobilization; the body is very adept at protecting its primary dysfunctions, which once established, dictate compensatory routes to movement.

Since MET combines both passive and active mobilization cycles, and focuses precisely at these primary restrictions, it offers an efficiency and synergy difficult to achieve by other individual methods.

These courses include three distinct aspects:

Learning Objectives :

The participants of this course will learn:

WHAT to treat:

MET Treatment

HOW to treat:

WHERE to treat: