…is how I chose to spend my only day off in Indianapolis for this round of NCAA Swim + Dive Championships. Women’s team flew home this morning. Men’s team flies in tomorrow. It’s two weeks on a pool deck with some of the best in manual therapy and Olympians or soon-to-be’s in every lane and in every heat. It’s one the fastest swim meets in the world. I’m honored and humbled to have been handed the team massage therapist credentials for Penn State the last four years at this event. Only recently, the championships have been hosted in the same city for both Women + Men. For the first time, a few of the manual therapists and bodyworkers that work with these NCAA teams arranged for a continuing education class to be held on the break in between championships. It was a powerful energy to have therapists from across the country in one room working on each other and learning a new technique together. Most of us have been practicing for at least 5 years, I’m going on 9 years, while others have been bodyworkers for 20+ years. The range of experience is wide, with some having attending Pan-Ams, Pan-Pacs, Worlds or even the Olympics.
Developed by Arik Gohl, Manual Ligament Therapy (MLT) uses specific joint positioning, light pressure on the ligament, and gentle muscular contraction to effectively release the tension and improve the function of nearly any muscle in the body in a matter of seconds. Arik was inspired by the Logan Basic Technique from Dr. Hugh B. Logan, who is considered one of the forefathers of modern chiropractic medicine. The Logan Basic utilizes directional pressure to the sacrotuberous ligament to reduce the tone in surrounding muscle tissues. For years, this technique was only applied to this one ligament. Coupled with ligament research from Dr. Moshe Solomonow, Arik began to hypothesize that treatment of ligaments in other areas of the body could have a similar effect on surrounding muscle tissue. Dr. Solomonow’s research has shown that the brain is “talking” to the ligaments and fascia more than it is to muscles. I remember the first time I heard this information. I was at a cadaver dissection in Tempe, AZ with Tom Myers and Todd Garcia.
With only a few short hours to be introduced to this technique and its protocols, I’m definitely far from an expert in it. That being said, a few of my colleagues have been utilizing Manual Ligament Therapy in their clinics and on their athletes for a few years and have witnessed its efficacy in treating injury and repetitive stress compensation patterns. I’m excited to share this technique with my athletes on the pool deck this week and with my patients back home!