The concept behind myopractic therapy is that where there is a bone or joint misalignment, then there is a muscle that is responsible. Once the muscle disorder is corrected, the skeleton will respond correcting the misalignment.
Myopractic is an advanced form of bodywork and works with soft tissues (muscles) and the skeleton to achieve deep relaxation and relieve chronic pain. Myopractic employs postural assessment as a guide to its treatment plan for clients aiming to restore the body’s structural integrity to its ideal state.
The name would suggest it is a derivative form of chiropractic designed with greater emphasis on muscle soft tissue techniques- The name might also suggest it is a chiropractor who has lost their glasses.
Here is an article found in the Australian Vital Magazine in 2003. Hope it helps.
Myopractic is the latest new bodywork therapy, developed in Australia by Osteopath and Chiropractor Dr Neil Skilbeck and featuring techniques derived from the works of the late Tom Bowen, Osteopathy, Chiropractic and Chinese organ massage.
In a nutshell, myopractic integrates important diagnostics aspects of osteopathy and chiropractic coupled with the effective cross-fibre technique used by the revolutionary body worker; the late great Tom Bowen.
Dr Neil Skilbeck was one of a host of professionals Bowen trained in his bodywork methods and has used and taught aspects of his work for many years.
Four years ago, Dr Skilbeck had a revelation while working on a client that led to the development of myopractic. Dr Skilbeck was assessing a client’s pelvis and noticed a common misalignment in the sacrum. At first he didn’t pay too much attention to it but proceeded to perform a cross-fibre move to the muscle group. When he checked the sacral area again, he noticed that it was now positioned correctly. This was puzzling, as he thought that misaligned bones created muscle problems, not the other way around. He later decided to explore this phenomenon in more depth and found that when a muscular lesion (a dysfunctional muscle that has contracted and isn’t doing its job properly) is released, it often moves the misaligned bone, thus myopractic was born.
Myopractic asserts that muscles are the prime movers of the skeletal system; therefore if the muscles are not functioning correctly then the bones and joints will be disrupted also. The misalignment of the skeletal system indicates which muscles are involved in the process of disruption, and also gives the therapist a way to measure the success or failure of the treatment. Myopractors are trained to identify these key areas of structural misalignment, determine the muscles responsible and release muscular lesions.
The therapy addresses a broad range of musculo-skeletal complaints including sporting injuries, headaches, migraines, digestive disorders, respiratory difficulties, menstrual irregularities and muscle dysfunction of areas such as the neck, shoulders and back.
A typical session with a myopractor begins with a full history assessment, including any medical conditions, x-rays, past operations, falls, etc., combined with a physical examination including psychological complaints, such as sleeping disorders.
According to Victorian-based myopractic practitioner Paul Barratt-Hassett, after the examination there are three areas that are assessed.
Firstly, the therapist looks for lymph pooling – anywhere there is a muscle lesion, there will be associated swelling from lymph fluid.
They then look for visual abnormalities such as muscle irregularities including the muscle temperature, as the swollen areas will be hotter to touch.
Finally, they look at the integrity of the skeletal structure to check for any misalignments, starting with the pelvis before moving to the rest of the body.
The main technique used in myopractic is the cross-fibre muscle technique, which is a firm flick across the muscle fibres. According to Barratt-Hassett, the results of a myopractic session, including this technique, are instant. "About 95 per cent of people respond the first time, and if they don’t it’s because something else is the problem or it’s because the muscle has crystallised," he says.
"If it has crystallised then we use a deep tissue muscle oscillation technique, which means we get in deep and use little circles on the muscles to break up crystallisation to get the muscles working again. There are not many people that we can’t fix. The clients leave either knowing it has worked or it hasn’t. But it usually does. And because myopractic removes misalignments of the spine, patients should expect similar benefits to that of osteopathy or chiropractic, without the crunch."
The principles of Chinese organ massage have also been incorporated into myopractic work. This involves assessment of the organs and energy channels (meridians) that are too low in or too full of energy (chi) and their relationship to postural problems. After the assessment the therapist works on pressure points on the meridians and in the organs to get the chi moving properly around the body. Although Tom Bowen had no training in traditional Chinese medicine, startling similarities have been found between the critical points in the body that he identified and the pressure points used in oriental bodywork therapies such as organ massage, acupuncture and shiatsu.
Barratt-Hassett says that myopractic is becoming the preferred choice in body work and those who experience the work, swear by it.
The Australian Myopractic Association sets the professional standards for Myopractors, and represents the interests of Myopractors.
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