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Myotherapy – What is it all about?

The practitioners of Myotherapy, known as myotherapists, make use of various techniques that are shared by Osteopaths as well, to release muscular tension and strain. It is a non-invasive therapy administered to help with pain management, trauma-recovery, and problems caused to the soft-tissues. It was developed in 1976 by Bonnie Prudden. It adopted various techniques used by the remarkable Dr Janet Travell, who was John F. Kennedy's private doctor.


How does it work?

Until the 1900s, this idea that pain can originate in a muscle was quite alien, but ever since the medical community has come to believe that pain can develop in an individual's strengths. It is more common than one might think.  


Myotherapy is an advanced remedial massage, in which the therapists use trigger point release in addition to other movements which are all aimed towards relieving myofascial pain. Trigger points are nearly sensitive areas of tight muscles that have formed due to overuse or injury. Myotherapists use their hands, fingers, elbows and knuckles to stimulate these trigger points and release tension. 


When is it required?

You can opt for Myotherapy to deal with a wide array of medical conditions involving your soft tissues and muscles. Here's a list of conditions that might improve with the aid of Myotherapy:

  • Sprains
  • Joint Pain
  • Back Pain
  • Overuse Injuries
  • Sports Injuries
  • Postural Problems
  • Cervicogenic headaches

What are the types of treatments?

Your Myotherapist will assess to understand your requirements and expectations. After thoroughly examining your physical ability and medical history, they might use one or a combination of these techniques to help alleviate your pain:

  • Trigger point therapy
  • Dry needling
  • Hot or cold therapy
  • Passive stretching
  • Massage
  • Ultrasound

What are its benefits?                 

Given that Myotherapy is still a budding field, there are not too many extensive research that can prove its effectiveness. Yet, being a remedial therapy that uses modern methods to achieve the same goals as traditional physiotherapy, Myotherapy holds many potentials in the coming years. According to the literature review conducted by 'The Institute of Registered Myotherapists of Australia' here are the benefits of getting Myotherapy:


  • Delayed onset of muscle soreness (DOMS)
  • Reduced chronic lower back pain
  • Reduced stress and anxiety
  • Increased quality of life
  • Positive well-being among patients with terminal diseases like Cancer
  • Pain management in Fibromyalgia in addition to other treatments


Moreover, there have been observations in the last decade that suggest – treating painful trigger points might result in improved muscular movement. Myotherapy might not be the same as physical therapy. Still, there are many similarities between the two, while Myotherapy aims specifically on muscles and fascia; physical treatment gets to work on a wider-range of musculoskeletal issues. 


Being an upcoming field, there is not a lot of evidence to support the effectiveness of Myotherapy or if it works better than traditional physical therapies that have been around for years. But it has shown anecdotal results and could be the next big thing in the remedial massage realm. 


Yours in self-care,

Adrian Wilk

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