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Combined Movement Theory for Massage Therapists [Article]

We have all been in the situation where a patient presents to us with severe pain and impaired motion in a particular direction. We want to relieve their pain but don't want to do too much treatment and make them feel worse. Combined Movement Theory (CMT) is an examination and treatment framework incorporating spinal manipulation techniques, muscle energy techniques and mobilisation. Patients are placed in comfortable positions and moved in a manner that evokes a brain orchestrated pain inhibition mechanism, quickly. Patients learn that the threat they perceived, with a particular motion, can be simply reduced with movement. Now that we understand the neurophysiological effects of Dr Brian Edwards’ ‘combined movements’, it is clinically reasonable and a valuable tool for anyone interested in addressing specific impairments with specific physical education (Manual Therapy). This article explains the essential elements of CMT, how to put theory into practice, how to incorporate mobilisation and manipulation, how to detect regular and irregular patterns of spinal movement, and finally how to progress treatments.

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