The History and Fundamental Principles of Myoreflex Therapy
Myoreflex Therapy has been evolving since about 1990 based upon a number of discoveries from a variety of disciplines. It was founded by Dr. med. Kurt Mosetter. As an integrative and holistic form of therapy, Myoreflex Therapy incorporates experiences and insights drawn from ancient cultures along with the latest discoveries of modern physics and contemporary academic medicine.
So what is Myoreflex Therapy? Here's a short definition:
MRT is a regulation therapy that for historical and efficiency reasons takes its starting point in pressing at muscles attachments – thereby influencing the tensegrity in the myofascial system both locally, but first and foremost globally, in the body. By applying neuro-muscular pressure point stimulation which in succession provokes self-regulation of maladaptive body schemes, we are able to target various health problems and pain symptoms related to the muscles and joints, but also to complex metabolic imbalances.
Over time, Myoreflex Therapy has developed into a very integrative approach encompassing several independent disciplines that work synergistically with the original approach - utilizing all the newest scientific knowledge of western physiology and medicine as well as the experienced based knowledge of the eastern disciplines.
At first sight it would seem that seemingly foreign elements from very different conceptual systems are intersecting here to form a new and multi-layered model of treatment and therapy. Through a fruitful interplay between specialized individual disciplines, Myoreflex Therapy becomes a kind of connective tissue that can reconcile apparent contradictions between the divergent perspectives of the individual disciplines. In particular, it interweaves models with a static/mechanical orientation and those with a biodynamic/biomechanical as well as a biographical orientation. Myoreflex Therapy can thereby engage in an interplay and interactive effect with each of the medical specialties and provide fruitful enhancements to their efficacy. Building upon these disciplines and focused on the muscular system, Myoreflex Therapy can serve as an important element in interdisciplinary collaboration.
The aim is to construct a bridge that connects seemingly contradictory elements. Often, the right solutions can be found by uniting these elements. The essential structural underpinnings and, at times, close cooperation partners of Myoreflex Therapy include:
- Functional anatomy and the human muscular system
- The physics and biomechanics of the locomotor system (with mathematical calculations and models as developed by Packi in Freiburg)
- Orthopedics plus manual medicine, particularly modified atlas therapy (Arlen; Goerttler, in Badenweiler)
- Neural therapy and the teachings and functional dynamics of muscle meridians (Bergsmann, in Vienna)
- Psychology and psychological medicine; psychotraumatology and Fischer’s biographical dialectical change model (in Freiburg, Cologne)
- Neurophysiology and neuropsychology (Teuchert-Noodt, in Bielefeld)
- Neurobiochemistry, pain metabolism (Neuromyology as developed by Mosetter)
- Phenomenology and experiential medicine as practiced in the Eastern hemisphere by classical Chinese medicine, the acupuncture system and Tui-Na massage, as well as classical Ayurvedic Indian medicine with Marma Points.
- Osteology (Prof. Dr. med. D. Felsenberg, in Berlin)
- Osteopathy with trigger point treatment (Travell/Simons, USA); Anatomy Trains (Myers)
- Physical therapy procedures
- The perspectives of Feldenkrais and Levine.
These systems of knowledge form the foundation of Myoreflex Therapy; it integrates a range of different models and accurate theoretical descriptions to create a multidimensional treatment concept. This does not reflect an uncritical eclecticism of methods, but instead, the richest possible multi-layered base for describing and treating one and the same entity – the human being in motion.
»An observer of physical phenomena is also the interpreter of his observations. The observer of living systems must be a ‘meta-interpreter;’ in other words, he must interpret the interpretations of the living being that he is observing.«
Thure von Uexküll and Wolfgang Weisack
Upon closer examination and comparison of the individual therapy systems as they are placed alongside each other in combination, and looking beyond their boundaries, lets us recognize a great number of unmistakably equivalent shared elements. Thus, different languages, cultural perspectives, and seemingly disparate models quite literally converge at a single point. Empirically derived acupuncture points can be formulated as being analogous to osteopathic trigger points, neural therapeutic infiltration points, anatomical muscle insertions and neurophysiological muscle and tendon receptors.
It is interesting to realize that in their respectively coherent approaches, concepts and ways of thinking, each of these systems is actually engaged in exploring the same phenomena. Physics, anatomy, basic neurophysiology and special acupuncture points ultimately turn out to be independent of any cultural, geographic or temporal context. Thus, the issue is not determining which model is right or wrong, or which way of thinking is outdated or innovative, but instead, an additive interplay of multiple internally consistent solutions.
Attention to muscle insertions resulted in the rediscovery of treatment zones that had been long understood by the medical systems in all of the cultural groups, and descriptively demonstrated as important zones. As a result of study and involvement with acupuncture systems, which have consistently described the same points on the body over very long periods of observation, it could be determined that these points very frequently correlate directly with muscle insertions. The very same points are familiar to neural therapy as myofascial maximal points or trigger points. In a similar way, meridians can be described in terms of the muscular chain functions as muscle meridians. (The first antecedents in academic medicine are described as Head’s reflex zones).
Myoreflex Therapy primarily treats muscle insertions in their functional relationships and kinetic chains. Touch stimuli are perceived more intensively at these sites; thus, even a slight increase in pressure can lead to a sense of pain with radiation to distant sites similar to referred pain. On palpation, one can often detect painful areas of hardening, myogelosis, and connective tissue swelling. One finds hypertonicity in the affected muscles.
After accurate palpation and targeted pressure point stimulation of such points, the palpable abnormalities resolve after a brief time period (from seconds to a few minutes). Gradual manual increase in pressure at the muscle-tendon-bone junction sets off neuromuscular and connective tissue reactions. It is very clear that the elevated resting tone of the affected muscles begins to fall spontaneously.
Myoreflex Therapy involves the immediate resolution of excessive resting tension in muscles/muscular systems and thus, the unburdening of joints and soft tissue structures. Readjustment stimuli let the body engage in the appropriate regulation to restore the properly functioning pain-free anatomic configuration of the locomotor system. This is associated with the alleviation of the wide-ranging symptoms that can result from muscle-induced symmetry disturbances and chronic inappropriate strains. In addition to postural asymmetry and chronic pain conditions, these symptoms may include diverse effects on the autonomic nervous system, including sleep disturbances and generalized anxiety, among others.