Integrative manual therapy

Last updated date: 13-Mar-2023

Originally Written in English

Integrative manual therapy

Integrative manual therapy


Integrative Manual Therapy (IMT) is a diagnosis and treatment approach developed by Sharon Weiselfish-Giamatteo, PhD, PT in the early 1980s that is still improving today. Through non-invasive, light touch procedures, your body is permitted to access its extraordinary self-healing potential.

IMT diagnostic procedures are used to assess tissue motion and locate areas where normal motion is obstructed. One such method is myofascial mapping. As a result of mapping, a change in tissue motion will occur over the structure in dysfunction, and this change may be detected by the experienced touch of a trained physical therapist.

Mapping is a good diagnostic technique for the following reasons: Why you hurt is more important than where you hurt. Shoulder pain, for example, can have a variety of reasons.

Determining whether the shoulder pain is caused by joint, muscle, tendon, fascia or even vessel or organ restrictions makes a huge difference in how a problem is treated. How the therapist decides to tackle a problem determines in large part how quickly and completely the problem will resolve.

The therapist applies light hand pressures to particular tissues during Integrative Manual Therapy session, allowing those tissues to relax and move in a more typical, pain-free manner. In order to set up these pressures accurately and successfully, the therapist needs have a thorough three-dimensional understanding of anatomy. Because you may believe your therapist is doing very little, but you will feel significant changes in your body when you get off the table and begin to move. IMT procedures frequently provide remarkable, long-term physical improvements without the uncomfortable and harsh stretching associated with standard physical therapy.

If you have not had success with other more traditional methods of treatment, you will want to make an appointment with an IMT trained therapist who will have a different way of looking at your whole body. When your body is integrated, all systems work well together. The result is less pain, greater ease of motion, and a healthier you!


What is Integrative Manual Therapy? 

Integrative Manual Therapy Definition

Integrated Manual Therapy (IMT) is a functional and structural approach to rehabilitation that works with all of the body's systems, directing the body's homeostasis to a higher level. IMT is a new age therapy that uses procedures created by Dr. Sharon Weiselfish-Giammatteo to alleviate pain, dysfunction, and limitations that impede your body's inherent knowledge from properly mending itself. This therapy approach differs from typical treatments that focus on symptom management. IMT is a non-aggressive manual treatment technique that attempts to reduce myofascial restrictions and spasms, correct skeletal joint biomechanics, and enhance the function of the muscular, neurological, artery, venous, lymphatic, and energy systems.


What is the Difference Between IMT and Regular Physiotherapy?

IMT and Regular Physiotherapy

IMT differs fundamentally from traditional physical therapy in that, unlike physical therapy, which concentrates solely on treating the wounded region, IMT seeks for the root cause of the injury and eliminates it. Hip discomfort, for example, can be caused by a variety of factors. Determining whether the hip pain is caused by muscle discomfort, joint pain, fascia, tendon constraints, organ or vascular limits makes all the difference in how the condition is examined and treated.

A qualified and experienced therapist will know how to approach an issue and make the patient feel better as quickly as possible. When the source of the discomfort is identified, the therapist may assist in resolving it entirely. It should be noted that, in contrast to traditional physical therapy, which is sometimes quite unpleasant and harsh, IMT is non-invasive and gentle on your body.


Structural and Functional Rehabilitation

Structural and Functional Rehabilitation

IMT divides rehabilitation into two types: structural and functional. Structural Rehabilitation helps the body's structural integrity. It focuses on joint mobility, muscular tone, soft tissue flexibility, range of motion, muscle control, and other issues. It corrects patho-anatomy in spine and appendage biomechanics, muscles, connective tissue system, organs, neurological system, blood vessels, lymphatic system, and energy structures. 

Functional Rehabilitation restores functional results based on the client's maximum potential. Balance, coordination, proprioception (internal joint sensation), exteroception (sensory capacity), strength, endurance, hearing, vision, speech, smell, learning, and behavior are all addressed.


What Conditions Respond Well to IMT?

IMT Conditions Respond

  1. Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)
    A child who is having difficulty concentrating would be evaluated using the Diagnostic approaches. If the IMT practitioner discovered positive diagnoses on the kid's frontal lobe, the young person has ADD. Intelligence, focus, judgment, perception, and attention are all controlled by the frontal lobe. If the diagnostics on the frontal lobe are negative, the practitioner will look into other regions. It's possible that the child has vision problems. The occipital lobe (in charge of vision) in the rear of the head would be tested. Occasionally, the ears are the source of the issue. 

  2. Shoulder Pain
    An IMT practitioner would begin by determining the cause of the discomfort. This might be local (at the shoulder), regional (for example, the neck and arm), systemic (inflammation of all joints, immune system breakdown), or complete body (infection in the circulatory system). If the practitioner finds no signs of tissue failure at the shoulder, he or she may look into the 5th cervical vertebral body. This portion of the spine innervates the tissues and structures of the shoulder girdle region.

  3. Low Back Pain
    A more complicated case might include persistent low back pain that is not responding to therapy. In this situation, the IMT practitioner would examine the organs in the lower back. A gastrointestinal disease, for example, might cause malfunction in the sigmoid colon (the end of the colon). Alternatively, it might have lost its integrity, resulting in a 'leaky gut' condition. If the client has food allergies, the IMT practitioner will look into the cecum and ileocecal valve (the beginning of the colon), which are frequently linked to low back discomfort.

    The practitioner may also examine the L5 disc. The L5 disc has a variety of cell and fiber types. IMT has created particular strategies for dealing with issues in these fibers. When combined with bone, joint, and nerve tension treatments, they can fully eliminate low back pain.

  4. Hip Pain
    A protective muscular spasm of the right pelvic muscles (such as the iliacus and psoas), fascial dysfunction in the specialized gluteal fascia of the buttocks, a spasm in the arteries of the right pelvic bowl, and constrictions of the veins in the right pelvic bowl can all cause pain in the right hip. Nerve stress is also possible. All of these symptoms might be caused by a 'bone bruise' on the right ilium. When a bone bruise occurs, the body often produces muscle spasms, arterial spasms, and other tissue responses to limit mobility in the region and preserve the bone bruise. The IMT practitioner can access that bone bruise, use ‘The Bone Bruise Technique’ (developed by IMT) and eliminate all the secondary protective modes.


How IMT Works?

IMT Procedure

One of the most amazing aspects of the human body is its capacity and propensity to repair itself. Most health issues, whether acute or chronic, are merely the result of blockages and other dysfunctions that impede various elements of the body from recovering fully and mending optimally. These dysfunctions may be inherited or produced by an accident, injury, or acute/repetitive trauma.

Furthermore, an environmentally challenged world and emotional pressures can overburden the body's immunological and filtration systems to the point where they can no longer handle the buildup of toxins effectively and efficiently. These are only a handful of the most prevalent ones. The basic principle of IMT is to identify the source of the dysfunction and restore the body's normal structural and physiologic function.

Once these natural functions are restored, the body's innate healing capacities return to normal. This non-invasive Integrative Manual Therapy concept embodies the medical oath of "First, do no harm." While IMT is a hands-on approach, it differs significantly from massage and typical physical therapy. Patients are completely dressed. The therapeutic method is effective, yet it is gentle and non-aggressive.


Integrative Diagnostics 

Integrative Diagnostics 

Once these natural functions are restored, the body's innate healing capacities return to normal. This non-invasive Integrative Manual Therapy concept embodies the medical oath of "First, do no harm." While IMT is a hands-on approach, it differs significantly from massage and typical physical therapy. Patients are completely dressed. The therapeutic method is effective, yet it is subtle and non-aggressive.

The diagnostic evaluation checks various body tissues such as muscles, arteries, veins, lymph vessels, connective tissue, organs, and bone. Integrative diagnostics structurally breaks down the dysfunctional chain of command. The tale of the body will begin to emerge by exposing the faulty tissues that are causing the localized discomfort. In certain circumstances, the major issue is localized pain. In other circumstances, it might represent a zone of defense or compensation for other faulty structures.


Integrative Manual Therapy (IMT) Techniques

Integrative Manual Therapy (IMT) Techniques

When using Integrative Manual Therapy (IMT) to treat patients, many different types of techniques are used. The following is a partial list of treatment techniques more commonly used and what they do. 

  1. Myofascial Release
    The treatment focuses on discomfort that is thought to be caused by myofascial tissues, which are the strong membranes that surround, link, and support your muscles.

    Myofascial pain differs from other forms of pain in theory because it is caused by "trigger points," which are stiff, anchored places inside the myofascial tissue. However, the discomfort caused by a trigger point is sometimes difficult to pinpoint.

    The therapist uses gentle physical pressure to pinpoint myofascial regions that feel rigid and fixed rather than elastic and malleable during myofascial release treatment. These locations, which are not usually near the cause of pain, are considered to impede muscle and joint mobility, contributing to generalized muscular discomfort.

    The focused manual pressure and stretching used in myofascial release therapy loosen up restricted movement, leading indirectly to reduced pain.

    Many studies have found that massage, chiropractic manipulation and similar manual therapies work as well as other treatments for back pain. Few studies, however, have tested myofascial release therapy specifically, partly because the exact elements of myofascial release therapy vary from therapist to therapist.

  2. Strain Counterstrain
    Strain Counterstrain is a manual therapy technique in which therapists treat muscle and joint discomfort only with their hands. It employs passive body manipulation of hypertonic (spasm) muscles and malfunctioning joints toward postures of comfort or tissue ease, compressing or shortening the offending muscle. The goal of shortening movement is to relax the aberrant reflexes that cause muscular spasms, inducing an immediate fall in muscle tone to normal levels. This enables the joint impacted by the newly relaxed muscle to operate properly, expanding its range of motion and alleviating muscle and joint discomfort. Strain counterstrain is an effective yet mild therapy approach because it moves the patient's body away from uncomfortable, limited directions of motion.

  3. Advanced Strain Counterstrain
    Advanced strain counterstrain is used in treating autonomically innervated muscular tissue, including arteries, veins, organs, lymph, and discs. 

  4. Neural Tissue Tension Technique (NTT)
    NTT, or Neural Tissue Tension, is a technique for releasing tensions in the nerves that stretch from the spinal cord and link to all of the body's muscles, blood vessels, bones, and organs. When nerves become tense or compressed, electrical impulses reaching the target destination may be changed. This can result in discomfort, impaired function, altered posture, muscular spasms, and other symptoms. Nerve tension can be caused by injury or trauma, muscular compression, joint abnormalities, mental disturbance, and other factors. This therapy complements cranial therapy, strain counterstrain, and muscular energy.

  5. Muscle Energy Technique
    It is a type of manual therapy commonly employed in Osteopathy that employs a muscle's own energy in the form of moderate isometric contractions to relax and stretch the muscles via autogenic or reciprocal inhibition. MET is an active approach in which the patient is also an active participant, as opposed to static stretching, which is a passive technique in which the therapist performs all of the work. The ideas of Autogenic Inhibition and Reciprocal Inhibition explain MET.

  6. Visceral Manipulation/Mobilization
    We can achieve deeper and longer-lasting improvements in body mechanics and function by eliminating tensions carried in visceral tissue. Visceral manipulation is a gentle, hands-on manual treatment that aids in the smooth movement of your internal organs (viscera) throughout your body. This approach can be used by your physical therapist to treat stomach discomfort, constipation, cramps, indigestion, and other symptoms.

    Connective tissue surrounds your internal organs and retains them in place in the body. When you rotate or bend your torso, healthy connective tissue should enable organs to slide on top of one other.

    Connective tissue should be loose enough to allow your stomach to expand when you eat, your lungs to open and accept air, your intestines to constrict and relax to move waste to your colon.

    Congested or inflamed connective tissue impedes these small but significant movements. This creates visceral discomfort and dysfunction and can lead to restricted movement and pain in other parts of the body.

  7. Cranial Therapy
    Cranial therapy is an extremely important technique used in healing concussions, traumatic brain injury, whiplash, and other spinal trauma.  


What is the Cost of Treatment?

Integrative manual therapy cost

The cost of an initial assessment is $85. Each 55-minute therapy session costs $120. Treatment sessions of half an hour are also offered for $60. Dry Needling sessions are available in quarter-hour increments for $30 following an initial consultation.

All other insurances will need payment for treatment at the time of service. Our office will bill your insurance for any out-of-network services for direct patient payment.


Do Most Patients Receive Insurance Reimbursement?

The majority of our patients rely on insurance coverage. We charge standard and typical PT codes and ensure that patients obtain all required documentation to achieve the highest reimbursement attainable. Prior to their initial session, we suggest our patients to contact their insurance carriers to determine their benefits for outpatient, out-of-network physical therapy visits.



Integrative Manual Therapy

IMT is a distinct collection of methods, concepts, and philosophies that address pain, dysfunction, disease, and disability. It is a complete approach to healing from both a structural and functional standpoint. IMT is best characterized as a health care procedure by Dr. Sharon (Weiselfish) Giammatteo. As an alternative and/or supplement to traditional medical procedures, IMT provides clients with the potential for healing, recovery, and rehabilitation.

IMT achieves health and healing by taking into account the diverse systems of the human body and addressing dysfunction at the anatomical level, physiological level, and psychological level. Incorporation of nutrition to improve one’s health is also included in IMT. IMT practitioners use predominantly their hands to diagnose or identify problems and treat clients. The techniques include light touch or gentle movements of a particular area of the client’s body by the practitioner’s hands. IMT techniques facilitate and encourage tissue repair.