Some of the physical therapists at FuncPhysio Physical Therapy use Functional Manual Therapy (FMT). In this page, I will provide a brief introduction to what FMT is and its basic principles.
What is FMT?
Institute of Physical Art (IPA), a professional development organization, advocates the Functional Manual Therapy which treats each person with a whole body approach. The philosophy of the FMT is that all have existing potential. In other words, all human have room for improvement regardless of age, gender, activity level, or injury condition.
Basics of the FMT
FMT uses three fundamental pillars to treat patients: Mechanical capacity, Neuromuscular function, and Motor control. With those three pillars achieved, people can perform desired movement efficiently. The FMT techniques developed based on different types of joint manipulation and proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF) with comprehensive evidence.
Body structure, including joints and soft tissues (skin, muscles, connective tissues, neurovascular structures, and viscera), should not give us irregular mechanical restriction during movement. Tightness of the joint, limited mobility of the nerves, or poor muscle flexibility would affect the mechanical capacity. People cannot produce muscular force (neuromuscular function) with poor mechanical capacity.
After gaining the mechanical capacity, people should control muscles to move our body with a proper use of nervous system. Neuromuscular function is considered as efficient if the muscle shows an ability of initiation of contraction, strength, and endurance. To perform an efficient neuromuscular function, we require mechanical capacity to make a proper position.
After having efficient mechanical capacity and neuromuscular function, then we need to use those abilities in our functional activities. The functional activity could be: walking, running, carrying, lifting, reaching, and so on. For example, even if a person has a good mobility and a muscle control of the hip on a treatment table, that does not mean they can move hip joints properly while doing rock climbing. To achieve efficient functional movement, we should practice the movement in the functional position depending on the targeting movement.
Certified Functional Manual Therapist (CFMT)
IPA provides a certification of the FMT. After taking 10 different courses of IPA, the applicants may take certification exam. If they can pass the written and practical exams, the CFMT is given to them. At FuncPhysio Physical Therapy clinic, Dr. Takada and Dr. Yamanami hold the CFMT and Dr. Kosaki has been taking the required courses for now.