Alan Weismantel graduated from the University of Pennsylvania Physical Therapy School in 1967. His early career included proficiency in EMG/NCV studies and the clinical use of manipulation and mobilization techniques. After extensive studies in the United States and Canada, Mr. Weismantel was the third Physical Therapist from the United States to pass the International Federation on Manual Therapy (IFOMT) Examination in 1975.
During my 37 years of clinical Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapy practice, I have studied and practiced the various forms of mobilization and manipulation techniques ranging from the traditional joint to visceral philosophies. During this time I have found that there is no one system that works for every patient. My clinical experiences have revealed that a variety of techniques are needed in the same treatment session to achieve effective outcomes. I have found that manual interventions need to be directed to central structures and progress laterally in an attempt to regain core mobility, stability and function.
I have developed a system of mobility examinations and interventions that take MINIMAL TIME with immediate and often dramatic results. Re-examination validates the outcome success of the interventions.
Functional Manual Therapy (FMT) is unique and differs from other manual therapy approaches. FMT differs in three main ways:
- During the patient's examination, there are muscle tests and if positive for weakness will direct the therapist to an area of impairment. After FMT interventions to the area of impairment, the muscle tests are performed again. If the movement impairment has been successfully corrected, the weakness will be absent.
- When directing interventions to a joint complex with impairment, the therapist "locks" the joint in a maximum three-dimensional tightness. In this position, the patient moves his/her joint complex to the start of his/her pain, and then returns to the starting point. It is very important that the patient does not move beyond this point. This movement is rapidly repeated until a maximum increase in range-of-motion is accomplished. The patient is in complete control of his/her movement intervention.
- Interventions directed to the soft tissue complex are accomplished through active movement toward the resistance experienced by the patient. The resulting mobilization effects nerve, vascular, fascia, and muscular tissues. The therapist "locks" the tissue three-dimensionally and the patient actively oscillates until the soft tissue releases. The inhibition accomplished through activation of neuromuscular spindle activity provides a scientific rational as to the intervention's effectiveness.
My clinical experiences with FMT have resulted in remarkable outcomes which have led me to share my techniques with you.
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