What Is Manual Ligament Therapy (MLT) for Animals?

Manual Ligament Therapy is a revolutionary osteopathic massage technique that was developed by Arik Gohl after years of working on people with chronic Equine Manual Ligament Therapymuscle 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.)

Canine Manual Ligament TherapyThe results of MLT include reduced pain, improved muscle memory and greater stability at the joints. Best of all, the results are easily achieved and lasting.

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.

Lola Michelin
Lola Michelin is the Director of Education at the Northwest School of Animal Massage. She is also a founding member of the National Board of Certification for Animal Acupressure and Massage (NBCAAM) and co-chair of the Legislative Committee for that organization. An internationally recognized animal massage practitioner for over 25 years specializing in equine and exotic animals, she also owns and operates Paxhia Farm, an equine retirement and rehabilitation facility on Vashon Island, Washington. Learn more about Lola
Lola Michelin


The Northwest School of Animal Massage was founded in 2001. We teach equine & canine massage, acupressure, aromatherapy, Manual Ligament Therapy and Equi-Tape.
Great article! This is exactly why we promote a form of active isolated stretching over static stretching for... https://t.co/SMHrSldwCZ - 2 days ago
Lola Michelin

Latest posts by Lola Michelin (see all)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.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

To prove you're a person (not a spam script), type the security text shown in the picture. Click here to regenerate some new text.
Click to hear an audio file of the anti-spam word