Excerpted from: (Chaitow, Leon. Muscle Energy Techniques. 2006, Elsevier Limited.)
This variation on the theme of functional and SCS methods involves the positioning of the distressed area into the direction of its greatest freedom of movement, starting from a position of neutral in terms of the overall body position.
To start, the patient’s posture is modified to take the body, or part (neck for example) into a more ‘neutral’ position; maybe some balance between flexion and extension (whatever is appropriate). This is followed by an application of facilitating force (usually a crowding of the tissues). No pain monitor is used but rather a palpating/listening hand is applied (as in functional technique) which senses for changes in ease and bind in distressed tissues as the body/part is carefully positioned and repositioned. The final ‘crowding of the tissues’, to encourage a ‘slackening’ of local tension, is the facilitated aspect of the process, according to its theorists.
This ‘crowding’ might involve compression applied through the long axis of a limb perhaps, or directly downwards through the spine via cranially applied pressure, or some such variation.
The length of time the position of ease is held is usually suggested at just 5 seconds. It is claimed that altered tissue texture, either surface or deep, can be successfully treated in this way.