Mechanical Link is a form of osteopathic treatment that addresses the entire body and every system. It was developed by Paul Chauffour, D.O., who lives and practices in France. Mr. Chauffour has developed and refined Mechanical Link for over 25 years and teaches his techniques all over the world.
History of Osteopathy
Osteopathy was founded over a hundred years ago by Andrew Taylor Still, D.O., an American physician who wanted to look beyond conventional methods and what they had to offer for certain medical conditions. He felt that the body’s ability to maintain health was dependent upon structural integrity. Osteopathic philosophy maintains that the body contains the ability to heal itself, and osteopathic treatment is founded on the principle of manual correction of structural problems, rather than by the administration of drugs.
Osteopathy is well known and respected throughout Europe and Canada, but is less well known in the United States. Canadian and European trained osteopaths are intensively trained in manual techniques. Their practices consist of evaluation and treatment of the patient’s body by using their hands to correct problems in the body’s structural alignment. They are not considered physicians. Osteopaths trained in America receive an education similar to a medical doctor plus some training in osteopathic manipulative techniques. After graduation, they may or may not perform any manual techniques in their practices. They are authorized to prescribe medications and generally function as medical doctors. In North America, the mechanical link osteopathic approach is practiced by some physical and occupational therapists, chiropractors, massage therapists, and osteopaths who study manual therapy in order to integrate structural rehabilitation techniques into their treatments.
Practitioners of manual therapy are trained to feel the body for osteopathic lesions. A lesion is defined as something in the body that should move freely but does not. The body is in perpetual movement at all times. Even when we are still, we have many internal rhythms. There are the obvious rhythms of the pulse and the breath, but there are many others as well, including the rhythm and movement of the digestive organs, the pumping of the lymphatic fluids, the rhythmic pumping of the cerebrospinal fluid as it bathes the brain and spinal cord. Any disruption of these rhythms can cause impairment in the body’s ability to function and adversely affect health and well being.
Lesions can occur at any time during a person’s life, beginning with gestation and can be the result of accidents, such as car crashes, falls, blows to the head, birth trauma, and the aftermath of surgery or dental work. They can also be caused by poor habits of movement or posture, and emotional issues, such as grief after the loss of a loved one, stress and diverse emotional trauma.
Lesions exist in everyone and generally consist of a combination of physical and emotional trauma in their origins. The body has a finite capacity to absorb these traumas and to continue functioning in a healthy manner. When a body has reached a limit in its ability to absorb trauma without consequence, illness and pain inevitable follow.
Lesions can be primary or secondary. Primary lesions are the actual sources of impairment in function. Secondary lesions are caused by the primary structural problems, and these lesions will resolve spontaneously when the primary lesions are released.
Whole Body Connection
The body is designed in such a way that one part cannot be affected without all the other parts being affected in return. For example, if we were to visualize the arrangement of soft tissue in the body as a cloth spread out on a table and then tweak one corner of the cloth, we would see that by changing one area of tension in the cloth, all the rest of the surface tension of the cloth would change as well. Thus, a Mechanical Link practitioner can release body tension in a specific area to help the healing process without directly touching it. For example, it is possible to correct a misaligned jaw by healing the structural problems in the pelvis, ankles, skull and neck that are pulling the tendons and ligaments in the jaw out of their correct alignment.
Mechanical Link was developed as an efficient method of evaluating the entire body in a single session, determining which are the primary lesions and targeting them for treatment. Any one of the systems that govern the body can be addressed. Using Mechanical Link an experienced practitioner can evaluate and treat the muscoskeletal, digestive, respiratory, circulatory, lymph, endocrine, cranial, and nervous systems.
A typical Mechanical Link session consists of gentle palpation of the body to determine where the lesions reside. The practitioner will the determine which lesions are primary by using a technique called inhibitory balancing. On testing, one lesion will release and the other will remain blocked. The lesions that do not release are the primary blockages. They are the ones that are targeted for treatment.
Once the primary lesions have been isolated, the practitioner is ready to begin treatment. Treatment consists of a technique called recoil. The practicioner very gently positions the affected body part containing the lesion. Using a precise amount of direction, speed and vibration, the practitioner then releases it by recoiling using the hands. This action triggers a response in the mechano- receptors in the area, which send signals to the central nervous system and frees the blockage. Because the treatment focuses on the primary lesion, it has a profound affect on the areas depending on it as well, which then will also release in response and begin to heal themselves. Since Mechanical Link addresses the whole person and releases lesions that contain emotional components as well, treatment can have a global effect on the person’s health, happiness and ability to function.
Who Can Benefit?
Mechanical Link can be performed on anyone, from pregnant women, the smallest infant, to the most elderly. It addresses not only the whole body but also the whole person, physical, mental, and emotional. Mechanical Link can be very effective in improving conditions that have not responded well to conventional treatment. This includes joint related pain in the neck, back, hip, knees, shoulders, etc., chronic headaches and migraine, breathing disorders such as asthma, post-partum blues, depression, gait abnormality, trauma following a stroke or motor vehicle accident, sleep disorders, reflux, ADD and ADHD, autism, hyperactivity, cerebral palsy, behavioral problems, developmental delay, motor incoordination, etc.
Treatment Frequency and Duration
How long a Mechanical Link session lasts, how often the client is seen, and how many sessions are required depends on what the practitioner finds, how severe and longstanding the lesions are, how the lesions respond to treatment, and the level of experience of the practitioner. Mechanical Link practitioners operate under the philosophy that less is more and that given the correct opportunity, the body will heal itself.
The therapists at PTOSI have extensive continuing education to keep up to date on the latest techniques and expand their knowledge base to best help the patients. Each therapist participates in both internal and external training and certification programs. To learn what PTOSI can do for you, Click Here >