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  • colinliggett

84 Muscles tested - an Example Treatment

Updated: Mar 31

42 muscles were tested bilaterally. That's 84 muscles tested in total in the first session. 28 of those muscles were objectively noted as dysfunctional. All these muscles were back to normal function by the end of the initial session.

In a typical first session, I test about eighteen muscles bilaterally (thirty-six in all) in a supine position (lying on the table, facing upwards). Ideally, I'll get them all back to normal function by the end of the session. This client's first session was slightly different; the client had previously sat in on several sessions observing a friend's treatment. I didn't have to explain the neurological processes that cause muscle inhibition, talk about how the acupoint system is intimately integrated with our nervous system, or pace the session's speed on their acceptance of the new paradigm they were experiencing.

I could test more muscles than usual, as I knew the session would likely be efficient enough to bring them all to normal function within the designated 80-minute initial treatment. The client presented with chronic left-side neck tension, which, in turn, would cause headaches that would radiate from the front of the head to the back.

The client also had left medial knee pain for the last two years, which would occur during running and persist for a few days afterward.

A right hip up-slip was noted on the postural assessment, and in the movement assessment (Selective Functional Movement Assessment), there was decreased hip rotation to the left. A right weight shift was present with a deep squat. The single-leg stance with eyes closed indicated the vestibular system might be sub-optimal.

When the client stood on a balance pad, the nervous system went past what I describe as "the neural edge" (see this blog post) and went into global inhibition. Global inhibition is when a threat is significant enough for the nervous system to downregulate every muscle. When reverse engineering why global inhibition occurred, the occiput bone (of the skull) was identified as misaligned (likely the nervous system was receiving sensory information that gave the perception of misalignment, causing the presenting safety mechanisms). When the faulty proprioceptive information related to the occiput bone was corrected, the global inhibition no longer occurred when standing on a balance pad. Additionally, 19 of the 28 dysfunctional muscles returned to normal function.

If you refer to the image of the client's chart (created on the whiteboard as we worked through the session), you can see a list of dysfunctional muscles on the left side. On the right are the SensoriMotor Repatterning (SMR) interventions used to correct the dysfunctional muscles. The colored lines between the left and right denote what muscles were brought back to normal function by a particular SensoriMotor Repatterning (SMR) intervention.

As all the neck extensors came back to normal function (from the occiput bone intervention), I decided to reverse engineer why the neck flexors had not come back to normal function and specifically honed in on the Anterior Scalene muscles. I found an imbalance in the lung meridian (Lg), which brought the neck flexors and eight other muscles back to normal function.

In the first session, I primarily focus on previous injuries and ensure no sensory dysfunctions or related limbic threats are causing ongoing muscle dysfunction. SMR injury protocol checks for 12 separate dysfunctions associated with each specific injury. When complete, a further 5 muscles returned to normal function. Interestingly, at the right knee (where the client had weakness), the nervous system switched the inhibited Vastus Intermedius and Vastus Medialis muscles to overactive muscles. An overactive muscle is a muscle that does not inhibit.

A dysfunction in the kidney meridian was found to relate to the overactive knee muscles. Correcting this brought all of the remaining muscles back to normal function.

As stress is likely a player in symptoms, the client was instructed on how to breathe into the abdomen correctly and given homework to practice this.

In the follow-up session, we will re-test all of the muscles that were dysfunctional at the beginning of the initial session. It takes about four days for the nervous system to comprehend findings from the first session and re-organize its safety responses based on this new information. For this reason, it is typical that roughly 20% of the muscles that were brought back to normal function on the first session will go back to an inhibited state. These muscles are likely prominent players in the client's symptoms, e.g. left levator scapulae muscle and the muscles on the left knee may be back to dysfunctional if the symptoms have not fully resolved.

We will also be testing all of the ankle muscles and forearm muscles. Once all the muscles are functional when supine (lying down), we will ensure they are functional when standing. Standing is much more demanding on the brain. This increased neural load can cause the nervous system to go back into safety mechanisms, inhibiting some of the muscles that are functional when lying down.

Once all muscles are working standing, we can look at more complex movement patterns (functional movement) and ensure the client can complete these movements without the nervous system compensating with inhibition or overactivity.

With functional tests complete, I ask the client to increase exercise incrementally and note if any symptoms return. I have many additional tests in my toolbox that I can implement if symptoms are still present. For 90% of clients, at this stage, symptoms are resolved and stay resolved.

A checkup session is booked in one to four months to ensure the nervous system is still optimal. If they experience a new symptom or recent injury, one session is typically enough to bring them back to their current functional state. The next checkup can be further down the line if we are happy with how the nervous system has held up concerning maintaining muscle function.

You can book an SMR appointment with me here

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