Manual Ligament Therapy is a revolutionary osteopathic massage technique that was developed by Arik Gohl after years of working on people with chronic muscle tension. MLT, as it is commonly known, is based on the work of Dr. Hugh Logan and the research of Dr. M. Solomonov PhD.
I was immediately impressed with the fast and lasting results I saw in my own practice using Manual Ligament Therapy. I studied the technique for use with my human clients and to use it in my own continuing care for a back disorder. But I immediately recognized the value of the technique for animals and approached Arik Gohl about transferring the technique to other species.
That began a journey that has occupied much of the last three years for me…adapting the technique for use in animals. I am proud to say that the Northwest School of Animal Massage is now the exclusive provider of training in Manual Ligament Therapy for Animals.
Manual Ligament Therapy is possible due to the complex sensory attributes of ligaments and a new understanding of the relationship between ligaments and the central nervous system related to muscle recruitment. Recent research confirms that many cases of muscle pain and dysfunction can be traced back to trigger points formed within the ligaments. MLT acts directly on the ligaments with gentle pressure to relieve the trigger point activity, reduce hypertonicity within the muscle itself and rebalance the joint by reinforcing proper proprioceptive messaging (proprioceptive messaging in simplest terms is muscle memory. It is the communication between the nervous system and specialized cells in the muscle that help to coordinate movement and maintain posture at rest.)
Some of the cases where I have seen tremendous benefit include geriatric animals, animals with advanced arthritis, and performance animals such as racehorses or showhorses. While the technique is easy to apply once a practitioner is properly trained, MLT involves the study of specific ligamentous and musculoskeletal anatomy. Developing the technique for animals required months and months of trial and error to identify the best combination of muscles and ligaments to produce results.
To learn more about the technique and to read about specific case studies, watch for the follow-up article in October when I will provide a more in-depth discussion and examples. In the meantime, if you have questions, let me know and I can address them at the same time.