Intro to IMT: Integrative Manual Therapy
Tina Esquivel, PT
Good Health Physical Therapy
One of the reasons I love our clinic at Good Health Physical Therapy is that we have an amazing team of Physical Therapist with very diverse skills and specialties. This allows us to offer incredible potential under one roof. And it reminds me about how I fell in love with Integrative Manual Therapy (IMT ™), the technique that I specialize in. It offers incredible potential- to heal, to improve, to live a better life. And I am honored and grateful to know it.
Integrative Manual Therapy is a unique and gentle hands-on approach developed by Dr. Sharon Giammatteo over 35 years ago to address pain, dysfunction, disease, and disability in a holistic manner. It considers the body and all its’ systems to better find and address the underlying causes of dysfunction.
IMT treatment techniques are based on the premise that the body has the potential to self-correct or heal itself under the right circumstances. Tissue repair at the cellular level is a normal process that occurs within the body. The healing of a cut or wound on the skin, or a broken bone that heals itself once it has been immobilized, are two examples of this mechanism at work. Pain and dysfunction, on the other hand, are an indication that there is too much cell or tissue dysfunction for the body to restore health on its own. Under these circumstances, in order to improve the body’s self-correction mechanisms, intervention is required.
IMT treatment techniques are manual (hands-on), and generally involve gentle manipulative techniques to promote tissue repair, normalize structure and restore function. Unique to IMT is the integration of manual therapy techniques for all systems in the body (ie. bone, nerve, fascia, muscle, organ, lymph and circulatory systems). As each tissue type in the body has unique requirements for healing, tissue specific techniques are used to yield optimal results. Often, multiple systems are addressed to facilitate recovery, as a dysfunction in one system may influence or be influenced by a problem in another system.
For example, if a patient comes in with shoulder pain we may need to treat locally (at the shoulder), regionally (through the neck, arm, or ribcage), systemically (inflammation through all joints, for example) or total body (infection, for example). IMT gives us the tools to better differentiate the sources of pain and dysfunction.
All types of patients can benefit from IMT- joint or muscular injury, spinal pain, vertigo, GI dysfunction, lymphatic drainage issues, headaches, etc. In many cases, patients who seek IMT have undergone previous treatments with limited success, and find IMT to be a sustainable answer to their health care needs.
I hope this helps you see how IMT can provide amazing potential for the body to change and heal! Please let us know if you think IMT would be a good fit for you or someone that you know.