Excerpted from: (Chaitow, Leon. Muscle Energy Techniques. 2006, Elsevier Limited.)
All areas which palpate as tender are responding to, or are associated with, some degree of imbalance, dysfunction, or reflexive activity which may well involve acute or chronic strain. Unlike Jones’ approach which begins from the viewpoint of identifying the likely position of tender points relating to particular strain positions, it makes just as much sense to work the other way around and to identify where the strain is likely to have occurred in relation to any pain point which has been identified. We might therefore consider that any painful point found during soft tissue evaluation or palpation, including a search for trigger points, could be treated by positional release, whether we know what strain produced them or not, and whether the problem is acute or chronic.
Experience and logic tell us that the response to positional release o0f a chronically fibrosed area will be less dramatic than from tissues held in simple spasm or hypertonicity. Nevertheless, even in chronic settings, a degree of release and ease can be produced, allowing for easier access to the deeper fibrosis.
This approach, of being able to treat any painful tissue using positional release, is valid whether the pain is being monitored via feedback from the patient, or by palpation alone.
As previously described, a period of 60-90 seconds is recommended as the time for holding the position of maximum ease.