Functional Manual TherapyTM

Functional Manual TherapyTM (FMT), developed by Gregory S. Johnson, PT, and Vicky Saliba Johnson, PT, is an integrated evaluation and treatment system that promotes optimum human performance by enhancing total body mobility and Core FirstTM postural and movement strategies. With a combined clinical experience of 75 years and innovative treatment methods, the founders of FMT bring a unique and comprehensive approach to patient care.

Recent research and functional imaging of the brain continue to reveal the interrelationship between pain, muscular inhibition and poor movement strategies. Just mobilizing joints, giving patients stretching and strengthening exercises, or having them participate in "core stabilization" is not sufficient to address the complex interrelationship between the available mobility of the human system and the integration of automatic and volitional motor strategies.

The Institute of Physical Art's (IPA) comprehensive and innovative FMT curriculum prepares the physical therapist to competently and intuitively integrate evidence and clinical experience with each patient. This innovative approach to patient care and wellness seamlessly incorporates mobilization, neuromuscular facilitation and motor control training.

The Functional Manual Therapist is trained to identify specific mobility limitations within the joints, soft tissues, viscera and neurovascular tissues. Limited mobility in these structures can impair an individual's function and ability to automatically and efficiently control routine activities. Gregory Johnson first developed and presented Soft Tissue Mobilization to the physical therapy profession in 1979 as an adjunct to joint mobilization. Over the years, Gregory Johnson developed Functional MobilizationTM (FM), an effective evaluation and treatment system for joints, soft tissues, visceral and neurovascular structures. This unique and immediately effective intervention combines active movements and resisted contractions with a specific directional pressure to produce efficient mobility. FM strategies enable the therapist to assess the effect of limited mobility in both weight bearing and non-weight bearing positions, promoting a more direct relationship between the mechanical treatment and the desired functional outcome. Today, the IPA is the original source of Functional MobilizationTM (FM) and Soft Tissue Mobilization.

The unique aspect of FMT is the integration of the mobility treatment with neuromuscular facilitation (ability to initiate the right muscles at the right time with proper strength and endurance) and motor control (the ability to effectively produce coordinated postural and movement strategies).

Unlike many systems which teach the patient to volitionally activate their core muscles during daily activities, the Core FirstTM approach developed by Vicky Saliba Johnson and exclusive to the IPA, facilitates an Automatic Core Engagement (ACE) through efficient postures and specific proprioceptive and kinesthetic training. The goal of Functional Manual TherapyTM is to provide the patient with the mechanical ability and the neuromuscular tools of strength and endurance as well as proprioceptive awareness to become self-sufficient and more proficient in all the areas of human performance. This training is reinforced with the utilization of unique Functional Test which demonstrates to the patient the importance of efficient mobility and proper alignment.

So why choose a Functional Manual Therapist? At IPA, which is the official source of Functional Manual TherapyTM, our physical therapists receive specialized training which enables them to become facilitators of optimum human performance and self-reliance.