Todd Steele, LMT

Todd Steele, LMT

Massage Therapist, Fort Worth

Online scheduling


Muscle Energy Technique: Simple, Effective and Relaxing

Muscle energy technique (MET) involves you in the solution by asking you to contract the problem muscle against resistance without moving it and then relax. This resets the thermostat, so to speak, of how tight the muscle thinks it's supposed to be. The therapist, or you if doing self treatment, then move the muscle into the resulting new length, and repeat 3-5 times, more if the muscle continues to relax and lengthen. It is not stretching; the muscle lengthens because it is relaxing.
This method works with the nervous system instead of trying to overpower it. Typical stretching methods work by mechanically forcing the muscle to lengthen, yielding results that are not as effective nor as long lasting.
Recently injured muscle, painful spasms, and chronic pain respond to this technique because it works with the nervous system. It can be used to normalize joint problems caused by imbalanced muscle shortness, and effectively lengthens the shortened fascia (connective tissue) that surrounds and interlaces muscle. It can also inactivate myofascial trigger points, so it is ideally suited for self treatment of muscle problems.
Self treatment of muscle problems gives you a powerful stress coping skill because you no longer have to tolerate aches and pains that drain you of energy and enthusiasm.
How to do muscle energy technique:
Find a position that targets the problem muscle.
The position should allow you to be relaxed and supported.
Move the problem muscle, where it first resists moving further, to take up the slack of it.
If possible use gravity as the resistance to contracting the muscle.
Contract the muscle against resistance without moving it.
Breathe deeply and concentrate on relaxing during your exhale.
If possible, use gravity as encouragement for the muscle to relax and lengthen.
Relax and move into the slack that develops.
Repeat 3-5 times; more if the muscle continues to lengthen.
Introductory Class for Muscle Energy Technique:
A 20 minute class for horse Eventers at Greenwood Horse Trials, May 4-6, 2012. Class takes you through the small details that make big differences in the results you get, and gives you the basic method to adapt to stretches you already know.
With regular practice, the results can ensure:
More balance in the stirrups
Good Posture is easier
More energy
Feeling more comfortable
Better coping with stress
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