Strain / Counter Strain
The strain/counter strain technique was initially discovered by an osteopathic doctor named Dr. Lawrence Jones. Dr. Jones identified tender points, which are tiny tender spots on the body that result from an abnormal reflex (unnatural movement). When sloppy movements (for example bad posture) are carried on for a number of years, eventually strain and injuries will develop.
Once the practitioner is able to identify their patients tender points they will be able to choose a suitable strain/counter strain technique to help correct it.
With strain/counter strain, Dr. Jones found that by using palpation and passive positional procedures, the therapist could restore pain-free movement. The gentle technique of strain/counter strain puts the client in a comfortable position for approximately 90-seconds. During this time the patients muscles will naturally reset to their proper positions. Its an important part of the healing process for the muscles to be at their natural tension and position before the strain/counter strain techniques are applied.
Once the muscles are in their natural position, the strain/counter strain treatment is applied by the practitioner, who gently stretches the injured muscle in its natural position; while at the same time shortens the dysfunctional tender point so that it becomes rebalanced with the rest of the body. When the original position is resumed, the muscles are now realigned in their natural position and the pain should disappear.
Strain/Counter Strain emphasizes the correction of abnormal muscle movements and placements for example if one hip or shoulder sits lower than the other. Dr. Jones identified flaws in many types of osteopathic therapy because he said that they simply attempted to heal the painful symptoms of misaligned muscles, but they didnt deal with the misalignment of the muscles themselves. Dr. Jones asserted that until muscle imbalances were dealt with, complete healing would never occur.