I recently had the opportunity to spend time at Kripalu studying Integrated Positional Therapy (IPT) with Lee Albert, author of Live Pain-free without Drugs or Surgery. I was very impressed with both the simplicity and effectiveness of this treatment. I’ve been incorporating IPT into my massage practice, as well as using it personally to treat some chronic aches and pains. I continue to be amazed with the results and want to share some information with you about this incredible therapy.
Designed to eliminate pain at its root cause, Integrated Positional Therapy incorporates the osteopathic techniques of Muscle Energy Technique (MET) and Strain-Counterstrain (SCS) to realign the body’s structure. It is based on the research of osteopathic physician Dr. Lawrence Jones.
The heart of IPT lies in getting the pelvis, “the foundation” of the body, in perfect alignment. If the foundation of a house is not structurally sound the imbalance will show up throughout the entire structure. The same is true in our body. If the pelvis is out of alignment it will affect everything from head to toe.
What causes this misalignment or imbalance in the body? The answer is muscles that are either too short or too long. Both short and long muscles will feel tight. Since every muscle is attached to a bone these tight muscles pull the frame of the body out of alignment. Misalignment of the skeletal structure leads to compression of the fascia, nerves and discs which results in less oxygenated blood getting to these tissues or ischemia. It is estimated that 80% of all pain that you will experience in your life is related to these muscle imbalances and ischemia.
Each session of IPT begins with a thorough postural assessment. The treatment itself involves placing affected muscles in a position of comfort/passively shortening the muscle for 90 seconds (SCS) and assisted stretching using active isometric contractions (MET). IPT achieves its benefits by means of an automatic resetting of muscle spindles. Relief is often immediate and long lasting.
One of the most important parts of this therapy is that the client must become an active participant in their own healing process. Each client is assigned simple exercises and stretches along with suggestions for changing contributing habits or improving his or her workspace. This “homework” is designed to change or manage what has been causing the pain.
Integrated Positional Therapy effectively treats conditions such as:
- neck & shoulder pain
- tennis & golfer's elbow
- low back pain
- carpal tunnel syndrome
- knee pain
- plantar fasciitis
- thoracic outlet syndrome
For more information on Integrated Positional Therapy please visit Lee’s website - www.leealbert.com