Manual Ligament Therapy (MLT) is a new and original technique created by Arik Gohl. Arik discovered a way to manipulate ligaments that allows our muscles to relax and almost completely “let go” of the tension held within.
What the research says: Research has revealed that ligaments feed the brain with more proprioceptive information about joints than muscles and tendons. We have learned that ligaments are a significant source of pain, especially in cases of chronic pain. Until injured ligaments can heal from their underlying dysfunction, muscles will remain in a tense and guarded state.
Q: How does MLT work?
A: MLT stimulates cells in our ligaments called mechanoreceptors. By gently stimulating these cells, we are able to manipulate their sensory output to the muscles, tendons and fascia. The end result is a dramatic reduction in tension.
Q: What do mechanoreceptors do?
A: The job of mechanoreceptors is to make sure the joint is stable. They do this by monitoring the joint via the tensions felt on the ligament. When these special cells sense instability in the joint, they send a signal to the surrounding muscles to tighten up in an attempt to stabilize the joint.
Q: Does MLT hurt?
A: MLT is so gentle it can be used even in the most acute cases. You should experience no pain whatsoever with this technique.
Q: What does MLT feel like?
A: MLT acts on a very subtle level. Most people hardly notice anything when they first experience it. However, most will notice less tenderness in muscles that felt sore before. Tight muscles soften and range of motion increases as tension disappears. Many clients have reported feeling warmth or “energy” radiate throughout the muscle as it relaxes after MLT treatment.
Q: Can MLT help when nothing else has?
A: Yes, MLT treatments have made the difference in some cases. In particular, when there is chronic ligament damage, muscles become stuck in a pattern of spasms. This state is initiated and perpetuated by ligament dysfunction. As long as the ligament remains in this condition, the muscle will constantly be recruited and kept under tension to stabilize the joint and take the load off of the ligament.
MLT not only sends a message to the muscles to relax, it also promotes the initial healing process in the ligament. Utilizing MLT techniques creates a healthier environment that allows the muscles to relax and circulation to improve. Areas in the body that were painful or tight before often open up miraculously.
Q: How long does an MLT treatment last?
A: This depends on the individual, but you can often expect the effects of a treatment to last many days. Repeated sessions have a cumulative effect. Once healing has begun in the ligaments, the technique may not be needed every time and the positive results may continue for weeks.
Q: How does MLT facilitate the healing process?
A: MLT facilitates the healing process in many ways. First, by relieving tension in the muscles and fascia, they can then be lengthened more. This allows for greater gains in less time and with less effort. The relaxation effect of MLT also allows the muscles and fascia to function at a higher level.
The effects of MLT also carry over into improved circulation of blood and lymph. Tight and restricted tissues no longer place undue pressure on the circulatory system, which allows for better venous and lymphatic flow throughout the body. Massage, stretching, strengthening, and whatever work you are already doing for your body will be enhanced after an MLT session.
Q: How does MLT work with other treatment modalities?
A: MLT applied alongside other treatments is ideal. Utilizing MLT before massage, stretching and stability work relaxes the muscles allowing for deeper access to the tissues before doing other techniques. Applying MLT after exercise routines helps to reset the muscles, reducing the tension that has built up in the tissues and avoiding any potential tightness and soreness that is often present following physical training.