Integrative Manual Therapy

Integrative Manual Therapy (IMT), which is a gentle manipulation of the soft tissue, was first utilized in the United States by Sharon Weiselfish Giammatteo, a PhD and physical therapist. People all over the world have used IMT over the last thirty years to improve circulation, relieve stiff joints, correct excesses of cerebrospinal fluids, and develop better connections between the systems of the body. IMT does not seek to repair a specific medical ailment, but rather to restore balance to the body.

IMT is considered to be a form of complementary or alternative medicine. It is usually performed by practitioners who are skilled in other holistic therapies, such as matrix energetics, homeopathics, massage, energy field healing, and occupational therapy. It may be offered as a supplementary treatment to cancer patients undergoing radiation or chemotherapy. It will not cure cancer, nor will it slow cancer’s progression.

However, this therapy has the potential to ward off side effects of chemotherapy, radiation, and even of the disease itself. Also, individuals who struggle with stress and anxiety may seek relief through IMT. Although studies do not consistently report that IMT alleviates discomfort, pain, or stress, a significant number of IMT patients do comment that they achieve positive results, such as a general sense of relaxation and well being.

The Procedure

When a patient goes in for an IMT treatment, he will lay down, fully clothed, on a massage table. Then, the practitioner will lightly apply pressure to the body in specific areas. IMT can be described as a very mild form of CPR. The practitioner will use a very precise amount of pressure in a particular area and attempt to achieve rhythmic balance in the body. Rhythmic imbalances are thought to exist in the muscles, heart, and craniosacral regions. Correcting these imbalances through IMT is believed to be beneficial to the overall health of the patient. Sixty minute sessions are generally recommended. The number of sessions a patient is advised to complete will be dependent upon his individual goals.

Because IMT is such a gentle, non-invasive procedure, it may be considered safer for cancer patients than harsher, more rigorous treatments. However, it is important for patients to discuss any new treatment plans with their doctors to ensure that the risk of injury is reduced. IMT should not cause any degree of pain; should a patient experience pain during IMT treatment, it is imperative that he stop the treatment immediately.