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What are Muscle Energy Techniques?

Updated: Aug 26, 2023

Muscle Energy Techniques (MET) are a set of manual therapy techniques commonly used in osteopathic and chiropractic practices. These techniques involve the active participation of the patient to engage specific muscles and muscle groups in a controlled manner. The goal of MET is to improve joint mobility, release muscle tension, and restore balance and alignment within the musculoskeletal system. MET is based on the principles of reciprocal inhibition and post-isometric relaxation. Here's how Muscle Energy Techniques work and how they benefit the patient:

Reciprocal Inhibition: Reciprocal inhibition is a neurological concept where the activation of one muscle group causes the relaxation of its antagonist (opposing) muscle group. MET takes advantage of this principle by using a controlled contraction of a specific muscle to induce relaxation in its opposing muscle.

Post-Isometric Relaxation: This involves the muscle being contracted isometrically (without changing its length) against a resistance applied by the practitioner. After a brief period of contraction, the muscle is then relaxed, which often results in a greater release of tension and improved joint mobility.

Patient Participation: One key feature of MET is that the patient actively participates in the process. The patient is guided by the practitioner to perform specific movements or muscle contractions against resistance. This engagement of the patient helps enhance proprioception (awareness of one's body position) and promotes a sense of active involvement in the healing process.

Improved Joint Mobility: MET can help improve joint mobility by addressing restrictions in joint movement. The controlled muscle contractions and subsequent relaxation can lead to the stretching of soft tissues, such as muscles, tendons, and ligaments, which can help restore normal joint function.

Pain Reduction: By targeting areas of muscle tension and imbalances, MET can help alleviate pain caused by musculoskeletal issues. The relaxation of tense muscles and the improvement of joint mobility can contribute to reduced pain and discomfort.

Enhanced Circulation and Healing: MET can stimulate blood flow to the treated area, which can promote the delivery of nutrients and oxygen to tissues, aiding in the healing process. Improved circulation also helps in the removal of waste products and toxins from the area.

Normalized Muscle Tone: MET can help reset muscle tone by addressing imbalances between opposing muscle groups. This can contribute to better posture, movement patterns, and overall musculoskeletal balance.

Prevention and Maintenance: Regular use of MET can contribute to maintaining healthy joint function and preventing future musculoskeletal issues. It can be particularly beneficial for athletes and individuals with physically demanding lifestyles.

Non-Invasive Approach: MET is a non-invasive technique that doesn't involve the use of external tools or equipment. It relies on the patient's own movements and contractions, making it a safe and natural approach to improving musculoskeletal health.

Ann Shivas brings over 9 years of invaluable experience in the field of Osteopathy. Her journey has taken her across the globe, where she has had the privilege of working closely with professional athletes, aiding them in their pursuit of optimal health and performance. Ann's passion for Osteopathy extends beyond the limelight, as she is dedicated to sharing her extensive knowledge with her local community in Comox Valley, Courtney, and Cumberland. Through her work, Ann aims to raise awareness about the remarkable benefits of Osteopathy and its potential to transform lives. For those seeking to experience the advantages firsthand, appointments can be conveniently booked online via this link: Book Now.


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