Pain. We all know what it feels like, but what is it and why does it occur? Pain is your brain's response to perceived threat in the tissues of your body. It can occur for a variety of reasons, from the very obvious such as trauma (macro and micro), to less obvious such as repetitive stress, habitual aberrant movement patterns or poor posture. In any case, when excessive or prolonged stress is applied to the body your brain reacts by creating pain, with the hope that you will stop doing whatever it is that is causing the problem. This can lead us to stop doing the activities that we love most or must do. From work, to sports, to playing with your children or grandchildren, pain can interfere with your life. Functional Manual Therapy (FMT) can help you get your life back.

Functional Manual Therapy is not a technique, or even a system of techniques. It is a unique and comprehensive approach to the art of healing and restoring function. World leaders in physical therapy, Gregory and Vicky Johnson, originated The Institute of Physical Art and the FMT approach in the mid 1970's in the USA. Since its inception, only two hundred therapists world-wide have completed the thousands of hours of course work, training and mentorship to become Certified Functional Manual Therapists (CFMT).

FMT fuses, synthesises and integrates all aspects of physical care. We begin with comprehensive evaluation techniques that look at every individual as completely unique. Two people with the precise same pain may have entirely different treatment needs, and we have the skills and knowledge to see through to the core of the problem. But, it doesn't stop there. What sets us apart is that we methodically dissect your symptoms to better understand the true source of your pain. What further sets us apart is that a Functional Manual Therapist is willing to assess every tissue and movement pattern to discover that source of pain and the appropriate path to recovery.

If decreased mobility is determined to be the driver of your pain, the Functional Manual Therapist dynamically evaluates and treats from the premise that optimum mobility requires all the tissues of the body to move and support your activities of daily living efficiently. Addressing these complex and interdependent relationships, our therapist utilizes Functional Mobilization to effectively trace, isolate and mobilize restrictions found within the soft tissues, joints, nerves, viscera and vascular structures.

Lack of mobility is not the only source of pain. Simultaneous to restoring efficient mobility, the Functional Manual Therapist continuously assesses the brain and body's ability to initiate the right muscles with appropriate strength and endurance. We call this neuromuscular control. You may be able to do hundred sit-ups, but your deep core muscles may not be firing. You may have done months of shoulder exercises and the muscles of your shoulder blade, necessary to stabilize and protect your shoulder, are still asleep - and you still have pain. Don't feel bad or guilty, just know that these integral muscles need direct facilita tion in specific functional patterns to wake up and work for you. Utilizing very specific manual assessment and facilitation techniques, every primary muscle group in the client's body is evaluated and exercised in a personalized manner at VARDÄ€N.

The catch is, even with full mobility and strong muscles, you can still have bad posture and poor movement patterns that in themselves can cause pain. For example, the core may be firing, but your activities of daily living may not incorporate CoreFirst strategies. A CoreFirst strategy is when the brain automatically engages your core prior to any movement or activity. This gives the big "mover" muscles of the body more strength and coordination.
Interview with
Vicky and Gregory Johnson
We have the potential to change an entire country's perception of physical therapists, or better yet change an entire profession's perception of itself."
Interview with
Jevene Summers and Charles King
No matter what your level of fitness, FMT can bring you to the next level. It can make you more efficient regardless of your starting level - from armchair athlete to professional sportsperson."
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