Myoskeletal Alignment Therapy (MAT)
The founder of the Myoskeletal Method is Erik Dalton, Ph.D. The foundation of the Myoskeletal Method is recognizing and treating imbalanced myofascial and skeletal strain patterns. By learning to recognize and treat muscle imbalances and strain patterns in the body, the Myoskeletal therapist can bring order and balance to the body even before the onset of pain. Prevention of pain is the primary goal of the Myoskeletal Alignment System.
The second goal of MAT is to re-establish ‘whole-body, pain-free movement’, especially during the walking (gait) cycle. To accomplish this task, the Myoskeletal Therapist must test for muscle imbalance, recognize strain patterns as they present themselves, and always attempt to restore function in the alignment process.
Myofascial and skeletal alignment therapy begins with a well-developed therapeutic strategy. The development of the strategy is based on the therapist’s ability to recognize common strain patterns in the human body. The most common alignment problems therapists encounter today are centered in the lumbopelvic and cervicothoracic spine. This is precisely where Dalton’s Myoskeletal Method is most effective!
The two most prevalent strain patterns seen in today’s culture are known as the ‘upper and lower crossed syndromes’. These syndromes were originally described by Dr. Vladimir Janda who named these observations the ‘proximal and distal crossed syndromes’.
By recognizing and understanding the mechanisms of these dysfunctional patterns, the Myoskeletal Therapist can quickly locate and treat the muscle imbalances responsible for creating the asymmetries and functional lesions, which if not treated, can result in muscle and movement impairment, and chronic pain. Even if the client does not present with either of these two common patterns, the Myoskeletal Method muscle testing system will still differentiate and correct the dysfunctional pattern successfully.
For best results, the idea of muscle/movement impairment must be taken one step further to include skeletal alignment techniques. When shortened tight muscles overpower weaker structures, the uneven pulling distorts our skeletal framework. Whole body alignment requires both myofascial (muscle) and osseous (bone) structures be systematically treated to prevent strain patterns from becoming, or continuing as chronic pain patterns.