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Treatment Approaches

Brain Techniques

In this approach the therapist applies carefully directed pressures through the skull to release tensions he/she detects within brain tissues in order  to treat the damaging effects that these tensions cause.  For example, releasing tensions within the cerebellar portion of the brain can relax long-held muscular tensions anywhere in the body.. Brain techniques are beneficial even for conditions not originally involving the brain because tensions develop within the brain tissues in response to chronic pain elsewhere and then these tensions perpetuate the pain. Brain tissue restrictions are among the most important and yet least often addressed component of somatic (body) dysfunctions. 

See and for more information. 

Cranial Sacral Therapy (CST)

The cranial sacral system refers to the bones and membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord.  Restrictions in the mobility of the cranial sacral system can impose strains on neural tissues that supply any part of the body. Cranial Sacral Therapy uses precise, light, manual forces to trigger relaxation responses of restricted cranial sacral system tissues, and this lessens the strains on neural tissues and reduces the symptoms they were causing.  Cranial Sacral Therapy is used with problems as varied as chronic muscle and joint pain,  headaches, digestive and endocrine disorders, and learning disabilities. 

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Frequency Specific Microcurrent (FSM)

Microcurrent is a physical therapy modality providing electric current to the body in millionths of an ampere. This amperage is comparable to that which the body naturally produces and is therefore physiologic, very safe and painless. Microcurrent is thought to work by restoring normal resonance to dysfunctional tissues. It has been shown to have beneficial effects at the cellular level.

Frequency Specific Microcurrent, in contrast to other microcurrent devices, delivers current in specific frequencies using two channels, one for the condition being treated (e.g. pain, inflammation or scarring) and one for the type of tissue being treated (e.g. muscle, tendon, nerve, bone or joint capsule). This specificity of dual frequencies is proven to be the reason for FSM’s exceptional effectiveness in reducing inflammation. 

For more information regarding FSM see

Correction of Movement and Postural Dysfunctions

Tissues of the body are shaped according to how they are used. If we move with our bodies out of balanced alignment much of the time, our tissues adapt to these unbalanced postures--that is, some tissues lengthen, others shorten. These tissue imbalances cause  wear and tear on joints and other tissues, and symptoms eventually result. Many muscular-skeletal pain syndromes can be prevented or ameliorated with accurate diagnosis and correction of muscle length and strength imbalances, and with patient education to correct postural and movement faults.  Most patients who come to Progressive Physical Therapy are given guidelines and exercises for improving their posture and ways of moving based upon Kentro Body Balance and Shirley Sahrmann approaches.

Lymphatic Drainage Therapy (LDT)

Trauma, lack of exercise, infection, and various disease processes all can result in stagnation of lymph flow. Stagnation of lymph flow prevents cellular waste products from being eliminated adequately, and this causes swelling, pain, stiffness and loss of function.

Beneficial affects of Lymphatic Drainage Therapy include: reduction in edema (swelling) in joints, muscles and other tissues; detoxification of the body; relief of chronic pain; reduction of symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and fibromyalgia. 

Please note: Martha has not had the specialized and expanded training required for treating significant lymphadema with bandaging and specialized elastic garments. 

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Neuromuscular Therapies: Myofascial Release, Positional Release, Trigger Point Therapy and Muscle Energy

Following injury, muscles are often held in a contracted state due to no-longer-appropriate neurological adaptations. The gentle hands-on techniques of various neuromuscular therapies trigger a “resetting” of neurological sensors that allows muscles to relax and lengthen which in turn allows normal joint movements.

Orthopedic Manual Therapy (OMT)

Orthopedic Manual Therapy is based upon comprehensive examination and clinical reasoning to determine specific neural, muscular or skeletal tissue origins of symptoms. Treatment consists of the application of passive movements to the dysfunctional tissues to promote healing responses.  The clinical reasoning concepts of OMT provide a framework into which all other therapeutic methods can be integrated.

Visceral Manipulation (VM)

Surgeries, infections, trauma, childbirth, or aging can lead to scarring or tightening of the ligaments and fascia that support and surround organs. These restrictions create relatively fixed points around which surrounding structures must move, creating strains  that lead to dysfunction, inflammation, pain and disease.  Visceral Manipulation (or "organ-specific fascial mobilization") is a manual therapy in which the therapist uses soft and carefully directed forces to encourage normal mobility of tissues within the body cavities (the pelvis, abdomen, thorax and cranium). 

See for  further information. Also, see below  some of the common problems that are often due to visceral restrictions.

A Sampling of Problems That May Benefit from Visceral Manipulation

  • Back pain:  Tightness of ligaments that connect the large intestine to the back wall of the abdomen can cause pain that is referred to (felt in) the back. Similarly, tightness of the "root" of the small intestines can impede normal spinal movement and this, VM experts have found, is a common cause of lumbar disc degeneration.  
  • Pain in arm or leg joints:  Intra-pelvic, -abdominal, or -thoracic restrictions transmit significant tensions to the jonts of the limbs via fascial membranes that go from the torso into the limbs. The unbalanced and compressive tensions from the tight fascial membranes interfere with the normal alignment and movement of joints which can lead to chronic irritation, degeneration and pain. 
  • Neck pain and stiffness: The suspensatory ligaments of the lung and the pericardium (the sack that surrounds the heart)  attach to cervical vertebrae. Their tightness contributes to cervical joint compression and faulty  movement. 
  • Shoulder pain:  The ligaments that suspend the stomach and the liver, if tight and irritated, often affect the shoulder joint capsule on the same side due to shared neural origins. Visceral therapists find that treating these visceral restrictions is frequently a crucial aspect of treating  shoulder capsulitis.
  • Digestive dysfunction, e.g. constipation or Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Tensions or scars from abdominal surgeries, infections, chronic stress, or trauma transmit tensions to the intestines, impeding function.  
  • Fatigue: Loss of organ mobility due to restrictions of supporting or surrounding tissues causes general fatigue. Whiplash patients in particular (whose organs have been jarred!) comment on decreased fatigue and depression following Visceral Manipulation.
  • Incontinence: Imbalances of tensions in pelvic floor muscles or tightness of ligaments supporting the bladder impair sphincter control and restrict comfortable bladder expansion.