January 10, 2023

Muscle Energy Technique and Osteopathic Principles

Muscle Energy Technique, or MET, is a hands-on treatment protocol using osteopathic principles. It was developed in 1948 by Fred Mitchell, Sr, D.O. Muscle Energy Technique corrects anatomical impairments such as shortened or spasmed muscles that restrict healthy functioning. Impairments can be in any bodily system. The musculoskeletal, myofascial, vascular, neurological and lymphatic are some commonly affected. Such impairments lead to both acute and chronic health conditions that can be either improved or eliminated with this technique.

Muscle Energy Technique uses voluntary muscle contractions in a controlled and guided manner, It utilizes a muscle’s own energy to contract, relax and lengthen in a gentle isometric process. The treatment is based upon the osteopathic philosophy that muscular impairments and restrictions interfere with the body’s natural self-healing process.

The technique is a type of manual therapy, or manual medicine. It is a hands-on process involving a cooperative effort between practitioner and patient. The practitioner applies a gentle and constant force against which the patient gently exerts an opposing force. While the patient is an active participant, there is typically no notable exertion, strain, or discomfort.

The practitioner facilitates release of muscle spasms and lengthens restricted muscles by finding a barrier of resistance or moving a body part near the limit of comfortable positioning. Then, the patient is instructed to isometrically contract a muscle, creating a mild and brief resistance against the practitioner’s gentle force. This process expands the realm of comfortable movement, removing anatomical blocks to the self-healing process.

Muscle Energy Technique is widely applicable, and you should consult with your practitioner to see how it may help you. Some of its common uses include improved:

  • Mobility
  • Coordination
  • Range of motion
  • Pain control
  • Relaxation
  • Injury prevention


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