Adventures in PT Land

I just came back from 2 long days at a course called TMR (total motion release) for TOTs. I have been looking into the TMR program since last year around this time, but had only read about it for adults. The creator is a marketing guru if you ask me. I wasn’t too attracted to it initially. Orthopedics is not my thing and I’ve never been good at taking ortho topics and applying it to the kids. I have felt for a long time though that there is a lot of knowledge in ortho land that could help the kids gain mobility- I just never knew how to access this information in a way that I could apply to the population that I work with.

It all started when I was on a now-defunct, but at the time an incredibly useful pediatric PT listserve where therapists would asked each other questions and share opinions, their experience, new research, etc. A physical therapist responded to a question with incredible passion and honesty about a new approach to treating the kids she works with and how the kids were making changes she never would have imagined, much more quickly, and that she no longer makes babies cry. Now if this was an ad or something I would not have thought twice. I would have taken it as snake oil. But this was a well written response from a respectable therapist with 25 years experience who had always treated within the same paradigm/philosophies as I do.

I had to know more.

Lots of information is available on their website and I purchased a webinar on TMR for kids. A lot had changed and been updated since the webinar though according to the creator and in addition this mode of learning wasn’t enough for me. I’m such a hands-on learner that I needed to be at a course. Feel the movements, see live demonstrations with children, practice the movements on myself, other PTs and my doll. Plus I didn’t want to learn a little and try it out on the kids- if I was going to try something new I wanted to do so in a competent way.

So that’s how I spent the past 2 days.

Now, I do approach new techniques/strategies very skeptically. I’m not the kind of therapist that jumps on many bandwagons. But I do know that we can help children better than we do with current rehab standards.

Some people think this is voodoo/magic/cookbook stuff, but its not at all. Another reason why I needed the actual course- to see that its not a cookbook even though at a basic level it has a nice little form and system. The approach takes positional release and strain/counterstrain techniques that have been utilized in orthopedics for 40 years and applies it to kids. It is getting fast and unexpected results by the therapists that have been utilizing it. It is easy to teach parents and for them to integrate it into their daily schedules. It reminds me of the brief period of time working with adults post-knee replacement. Another PT had taught me some myofasical release techniques (this was brand new to me at the time!) and I was getting great knee mobility using these techniques while the patient was as comfortable as can be. On the mat table next to me was another PT who didn’t feel capable of using myofascial release and would crank on the patient’s leg while they would scream out in pain. Which patient got more mobility? Mine! I haven’t been able to apply this experience to the kids since then, but maybe its time.

I have no idea at this point whether this is a treatment approach that is going to revolutionize my practice or just fall by the waist side. I do know that I am going to try it out, team up with some of my parents who are up for it, and give it a shot. How the kids respond will determine what happens next!

2 replies
  1. Barbara
    Barbara says:

    Now I want some, too!

    Thanks for screening this for me, Jodi! TMR will go on my list of desirable CE.

    While I don’t buy-into Barnes’ theory on why it works, I do believe MFR is good technique. I just wish the many ‘techniques’ (modalities?) did not have to come with a name and sales-pitch. When we do it, whatever it is, it.is.called.PT. Mobilizing soft tissue. Bound to be good for the body. Physiologically sensible. Not requiring level 1 studies. (Just outed myself there, eh?)

    Reply
  2. Barbara
    Barbara says:

    Now I want some, too!

    Thanks for screening this for me, Jodi! TMR will go on my list of desirable CE.

    While I don’t buy-into Barnes’ theory on why it works, I do believe MFR is good technique. I just wish the many ‘techniques’ (modalities?) did not have to come with a name and sales-pitch. When we do it, whatever it is, it.is.called.PT. Mobilizing soft tissue. Bound to be good for the body. Physiologically sensible. Not requiring level 1 studies. (Just outed myself there, eh?)

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *