Friday, August 13, 2010

Myoskeletal AST (Articular Stretching Techniques) Explained

I subscribe to Erik Dalton's newsletter and get regular updates on his seminars

Who is: Erik Dalton Ph.D., Certified Advanced Rolfer and founder of Freedom from Pain Institute

In a recent email he talks about . . . Muscle or Joint Pain? Where he also gives a quick rundown and explains the concept behind his techniqe:

Myoskeletal's "Articular Stretching Techniques" (AST)

Articular stretching is a soft-tissue form of joint mobilization that requires proper training and good hand skills to become proficient. Myoskeletal Alignment uses bones as levers to assess and release deep spinal muscles that restrict normal joint flexibility. Articular stretching is performed to help restore joint play and to relieve protective myospasm. Normal muscle function depends on normal joint function. If joint motion is not free, the involved muscles that move it cannot function and cannot be restored to normal. Thus, impaired muscle function leads to impaired joint function, and impaired joint function leads to impaired muscle function. In this cycle, muscle and joint function cannot be functionally separated from one another.

AST is a specific type of direct technique using voluntary contraction of the client's muscles. The joint is placed in a specific position to facilitate optimal contraction of a particular muscle or muscle group while the superior vertebral segment is secured with fingers or thumbs. The client then is asked to isometrically contract the muscle(s) against counter-pressure (Fig 4). This causes the muscle to pull on the bony attachment that is stabilized by the clinician which results in moving one bone in relation to its counterpart. AST is an extremely valuable technique for restoring joint play and releasing protective muscle spasm. By combining deep tissue maneuvers and precise joint stretching routines, AST promotes optimal, pain-free movement.

So now you know ;-)

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