NMT and the Gravity Game



Our bodies are challenged to deal with gravity every day. Muscles and bones are designed to compensate in a functional manner while conserving body resources. However, when adaptional demands are too great or are prolonged, decompensation with serious consequences may result. You can be more effective for your clients/patients by learning useful strategies to observe, assess and deal with poor posture, muscle substitution, dysfunctional gait mechanics, the close environment and habits of use.

This 12 CEU course will include assessment for anatomical/functional leg length difference, assessment of pelvic position, and navicular drop test for arch loss, as well as take a look at the usefulness of Fukuda-Uterberger test, Hautant's test, single leg stance test, Trendelinburg test, and other assessments for balance and gait.

Beyond this, the course also includes:

  • Palpation of structural landmarks – Participants are expected to enter course with basic postural assessment skills. This exercise will be quickly performed as a group to record individual static postural data that will be used in the course.
  • Overview of gait patterns – Course will discuss the gait cycle and look for common gait dysfunctions. This is not a gait assessment training, which is likely outside of scope of LMTs, but instead uses observation of gait dysfunctions to point to probable causes of myofascial conditions and emphasizes the need to stabilize the weightbearing foot.
  • Balance, foot stability and adaptational responses, such as muscle substitution, are discussed and common tests and assessments will be trained.
  • Methods of assessing posture will be discussed (not trained), including visual observation, taking of measurements, computerized methods and use of pressure sensitive mats.
  • Postural factors should influence choices in manual therapies. Habits of use, bioimplosion (postural degradation), the close environment, and other factors that influence postural positioning will be shown in detail. Emphasis is placed on the point that these influence static and dynamic posture more than tight muscles do.
  • Morton’s foot and body-wide consequences of pronation dysfunction are well known factors that influence dynamic posture, gait and muscle substitution. Simple tests for Morton’s foot and pronation will be given. In the end we will see that body-wide repercussions associated with pronation issues are often the roots of somatic dysfunctions for which we treat patients long-term. Unless we address structural dysfunctions of the foot, our practices will be filled with ‘maintenance’ therapy.


Judith DeLany


Judith DeLany has spent almost three decades developing NMT techniques and course curricula for massage and manual practitioners. She has co-authored five NMT textbooks, served for 12 years as an associate editor of peer-reviewed Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies, and was primary contributor to Anatomy for Manual Therapies, a 3D interactive anatomy-based software for massage therapists (Primal Pictures, Inc). Her ongoing professional focus aims to advance education in all health care professions to include myofascial therapies for acute and chronic pain syndromes.



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