What is Integrated Positional Therapy? (IPT)

Integrated Positional Therapy (IPT) is a comprehensive program of recovery from both chronic and acute neuromuscular pain that is safe, effective, and gentle. IPT has been successfully used to address many neuromuscular conditions often when other approaches have failed. These conditions include:

  • neck, shoulder, and back pain
  • sciatica
  • plantar fasciitis
  • hip, knee, and ankle pain
  • tennis and golfer’s elbow
  • carpal tunnel syndrome
  • headaches
  • fibromyalgia
  • many other conditions

Relief from pain is often immediate – and long-lasting – when followed up with supportive exercises.

skeletal-alignmentThe primary cause of neuromuscular pain is muscle imbalances. This simply means that muscles are either too short or too long. Both short and overstretched muscles will feel tight (in fact, overstretched muscles actually feel more sore – 3 to 4 times tighter than short muscles). Since every muscle is attached to a bone, these tight muscles pull the frame of the body out of alignment. Misalignment of the skeletal structure leads to compression of the fascia, nerves and discs which results in less oxygenated blood getting to these tissues causing ischemia. It is estimated that 80% of all pain is related to these muscle imbalances and ischemia.

Designed to eliminate pain at its root cause, IPT uses the osteopathic techniques of Muscle Energy Technique (MET) and Strain-Counterstrain (SCS) to realign the body’s structure and improve muscular-skeletal function and range. MET, an assisted form of stretching using active muscle contractions, is a very powerful tool that quickly and easily lengthens tight, constricted muscles and restores range of motion. SCS is a more passive technique where the affected area is shortened and held for 60-120 seconds, allowing the muscle fibers to effectively reset and return to neutral.

During a session, the client is encouraged to wear comfortable clothing to allow for ease of stretching and positioning. Then through an in-take, postural assessment and gentle palpation of the affected areas, the root causes of misalignment are identified. In addition to treating the affected area, an important component of IPT is getting the pelvis, “the foundation” of the body, in proper alignment. If the foundation of a house is not structurally sound the imbalance will show up throughout the entire structure. The same is true with the skeletal structure.

Following treatment, a wellness plan outlining supportive stretching and strengthening exercises and lifestyle changes/workspace improvements is provided to help the client maintain long-term treatment outcomes and personal well-being. One of the most important parts of the recovery program is that the client becomes an active participant in their own healing process. When recommended exercises are practiced faithfully and lifestyle/workplace improvements are implemented, the results are often dramatic and long-lasting.

The Albert Protocol for Muscle Pain relief – Integrated Positional Therapy (IPT) was developed by Lee Albert a neuromuscular therapist and wellness lecturer at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health from over thirty years of his clinical observations. Lee Albert is also the author of the book Live Pain-free Without Drugs or Surgery: How to use Integrated Positional Therapy to eliminate chronic pain, a best-selling book which can be purchased on Amazon or through his website at http://www.leealbert.com.

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