Integrative Manual Therapy is based on the assumption that most health problems (whether minor or chronic) come down to blockages and other dysfunction that prevent the body from self-healing.
By addressing the body as a whole and not focusing on just one system (eg circulatory, nervous, autonomic nervous, lymphatic and endocrine), IMT allows the practitioner to locate the source of pain and disability and not just the symptom, they can then re-establish the body’s internal flow and innate healing abilities.
Sharon Weiselfish Giammatteo Ph.D, P.T., I.M.P, C., has been developing Integrative Manual Therapy (IMT) for the past thirty years. It is the focus of clinical practice and continuing research at Center IMT USA ( Connecticut). Dr Weiselfish Giammatteo’s 1992 doctoral work incorporated advanced IMT in the field in rehabilitation for the neurologic client.
A variety of disorders including chronic neck and back pain, migraine, and mild vascular problems, GI and urogential dysfunction and impaired respiratory function.
During your first visit with a therapist of The Body Group a Body Map is performed. Mapping is an Integrative Manual Therapy (IMT) technique to assess the health condition of an individual’s health. The technique is performed by the therapist simply placing their fingers gently over areas of the individual’s body. Mapping is a diagnostic tool frequently utilized in Integrative Manual Therapy. It is the evaluation of circadian biologic rhythms and movements of the body.
There are thousands of biological rhythms throughout the body; two examples are our heartbeat and our breathing rate. Biological rhythms can be fast or slow, strong or weak, in or out of synchrony. These rhythms tell us whether the structures in our body are functioning properly and optimally or whether there are restrictions impeding their functions.
Mapping identifies the specific areas of tension in our body and indicates the origin of the pain and symptoms. Muscle and bone dysfunctions can cause pain, but most of the time they are not the only cause. Impeded blood flow, compressed nerve tissues, sluggish lymphatic drainage or tensions in and around the organs can also contribute to the symptoms and discomfort in our bodies. In addition, from our experience, we notice that while some pain and dysfunctions can result a from local area, there is a possibility that what seems to be a local problem is, in fact, a larger regional and/or systems challenge. For example, apart from local muscle spasm and tendonitis, shoulder pain can stem from compression of the nerves in the neck region, a lack of structural integrity of the lower back or stiffness over the rib cage. Therefore, it is important for the therapist to be able to diagnose and differentiate between primary and secondary causes of dysfunctions, i.e. whether the shoulder pain is due to shoulder problem, or a consequence of a lack of structural integrity somewhere else in the body.
When the practitioner maps the entire body, it is called Full Body Mapping. The assessment is integrative, taking into account all systems and structures of the body, including the bones, muscles, ligaments, organs, circulatory system, nervous system, lymphatic system and digestive system; it, therefore, gives a clear understanding of the condition of the individual’s body. On the basis of this comprehensive evaluation, the therapist is able not only to treat the symptoms, but, more importantly, to identify the underlying causes, thus resolving the associated symptoms, and to support all the specific functions of the body.
The human body is complex in nature. The condition of every individual’s body is unique. The Mapping technique offers a detailed, thorough assessment specific to each individual. It enables therapists to formulate an efficient and cost-effective treatment program specific to the individual and his or her health-related needs.
During an IMT session, gentle pressure extensions and rotations are applied to release blockages and dysfunction.
This is a gentle and non-invasive technique and patients remain fully clothed at all times. Although IMT is a hands-on technique it is very different from massage or classic physical therapy. IMT practitioners use gentle palpation techniques to “listen” with their hands to the rhythms within each bodily system. The palpation techniques help the practitioner discover information about the health and functionality of all parts of the body including the lymphatic system, organs, muscles and bones.
Throughout the therapy sessions practitioners continually revisit the diagnostic process so they can find and treat newly revealed layers of dysfunction. They treat the body as a whole and look at all the problems that affect a patient’s health, finding and treating the cause and not just the symptom.