Some interesting questions come up when we use Integrative Manual Therapy to help our patients.  Most times people just want to get rid of their pain and get on with their life; doing the things they had been unable to do or were limited in doing, due to pain and other limitations.  But, at times, patients want to know how Integrative Manual Therapy (IMT) works, and if it is scientific.

When observing an IMT session or having one yourself, the practitioner usually places his or her hands lightly on the client and leaves them in one place for a while, a few seconds or up to a few minutes.  To most people it looks like nothing much is happening.  What could possibly be the benefit of something so light and seemingly innocuous. This is understandable when most times, when someone thinks of bodywork, hard massage, chiropractic adjustments or some other form of deep hands on work comes to mind.

To fully understand what is happening and the science and the theory of what is happening and why it works, one would have to be familiar with scientific findings and principles found in cell biology, cell transport (membrane wall integrity), biochemistry, epigenetics (cell membrane work and DNA), quantum physics and psychoneuroimmunology; even the study of fractals and frequencies (tensegrity) and architecture would be useful . So for the truly inquisitive, study in these areas would be the place to look for answers.  But, I will give some basics.  Before I begin though let me start with a quote from Arthur Clarke, who recently passed this March 2008.  Arthur Clarke was the author of 2001 A Space Odyssey.

His quote:

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
Arthur C. Clarke, “Profiles of The Future”, 1961 (Clarke’s third law)
English physicist & science fiction author (1917 – 2008 )
I bring up this quote so that if you find what I am about to write impossible think about it and see if you can open up your mind to the possibilities.  First off let’s remember that in our school physics classes, we learned that everything and every body is composed of atoms and the atoms are composed of little sub atomic particles (neutrons, protons and electrons) but what is the atom mostly comprised of?  Space, lots of space.  In fact almost all of the atom is space and an impossibly small part of any atom is the actual matter.  And from a physics point of view even the physical matter, the protons and neutrons are really more like information rather than a physical thing.  So most everything in the physical universe including us is comprised of space and some packets of information.  Another principle in physics is that the observer matters.  What this means is that one cannot look at a sub atomic particle without changing it.  By merely looking at it, you change it.
And depending on how you look at it and what you are looking for will change what you see.  For example if you study sub atomic particles and you look for them as wave forms, you will find wave forms and if you look for solid particles you will find them as solid particles.  You are basically sending information out to them and they are responding to that ‘intention’ and presenting themselves as either particles or wave forms.
Now if we change gears and look at this phenomena from another science, Epigenetics, we see how it looks to a bigger organism like a living cell.  In his book “The Biology of Belief” Bruce Lipton, PhD discusses some of these findings.  In experiments, researches have found that the cell membrane is more a “brain” to the cell than the DNA.  A cell will survive for some time without DNA but without a cell membrane in dies quickly.  The DNA is the machinery to make proteins and what the cell needs to live but the cell membrane is what tells the DNA which protein to make; or how to express itself.  And how does the cell membrane decide which part of the DNA to activate?  It does it depending on what is in the environment and how it perceives the substance; is it toxic or food?  In the field of epigenetics and quantum physics, researches have even been able to show that the cell membrane is looking at information from the environment.  And they have been able to show that even thoughts and emotions are information to a cell; and depending what the cell membrane comes in contact with will determine what happens even on a DNA level.  How the DNA is expressed is determined by what is in the environment and whether the cell perceives it as toxic or useful.
Now in the study of tensegrity and fractals/frequencies we find that most of nature is set up on angles of 60 and 120 degrees; like geodesic dome or a spider web.  It is much stronger than something built at right angles and interestingly enough a small pressure on one part of a spider web or a geodesic dome will impart a force on all parts of the structure.
So let’s combine these sciences.  By treating the body like an information processing organism or structure we can impart an intention; some information to a specific part; a light touch with information and because of the tensgrity principle, the force will be transmitted to the cells and the cell membrane can take this information and process it.
In the study of the Collective Unconscious, which is in the field of quantum physics, as well as philosophy and spiritual traditions, one finds the theory that all is connected.  That because we are all mostly space and packets of information, we are all connected to past, present, future and to each other and every living and non-living organism.  In this way, we already know the answers to many of the questions.  Some of the questions we would be talking about in this article would be why is someone in pain; why is someone not healing for 5, 10, 20 years or more; what does it mean?; what is the story?  In a book called “The Art of Dowsing” Richard Webster writes about the sticks some people use to find water.  He states that it is not like the sticks move themselves; I paraphrase his work; but the important thing to know is that these water dowsers’ hands move little bits and direct them to the water.  The hands do so because on some level the person already knows the answer.  Is this the collective unconscious directing the water dowser?  When we search for the reasons someone is not healing and do this light touch hands on diagnostics and treatment are we tapping into the collective unconscious; an intelligence we don’t yet fully understand.  This could be part of the reason IMT and other subtle light touch therapies work.
This is basically and very simplistically how a light touch method like IMT can have huge effects and help a body change it’s condition.  If you treat the body like a mechanical bag of bones and muscles, it will behave as such; if however you look at the body as a complex information processing organism connected to space and time in an exceedingly complex and elegant system of consciousness and you interface with it as such, quantum effects are possible.
Ralph Havens, PT, OCS, IMTC



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