Treatments & Therapies

Integrative Manual Therapy (IMT)

What is IMT?

Integrative Manual Therapy (IMT) is a unique compilation of diagnostic and treatment methodologies that assess and treat pain, dysfunction, disease and disability. Developed by Sharon Giammatteo, Ph.D, I.M.T.,C. over the past 30 years, IMT is a new approach to health care developed to address the needs of complex clients.

IMT practitioners identify and address the underlying causes of dysfunction using a comprehensive and holistic approach. While IMT diagnostics and treatment modalities are predominately hands-on, IMT also integrates a wide range of diagnostic and treatment technologies, nutritional programs, and IMT body based psychotherapeutic approaches to develop a customized solution for an individual client’s needs.

How does IMT work?

IMT treatment techniques are manual (hands-on), and generally involve gentle manipulative techniques to promote tissue repair, normalize structure and restore function. Unique to IMT is the integration of manual therapy techniques for all systems in the body (i.e. bone, nerve, fascia, muscle, organ, lymph and circulatory systems). As each tissue type in the body has unique requirements for healing, tissue specific techniques are used to yield optimal results. Often, multiple systems are addressed to facilitate recovery, as a dysfunction in one system may influence or be influenced by a problem in another system.

IMT treatment techniques are based on the premise that the human body has the potential to self-heal under the right circumstances. Pain and dysfunction are an indication that there is too much cell or tissue dysfunction for the body to restore health on its own. Under these circumstances, in order to improve the body's self-healing mechanisms, intervention is required.

Who is IMT good for?

IMT offers a comprehensive solution that benefits all types of clients. In many cases, clients who seek IMT have undergone previous treatments with limited success, and find IMT to be a sustainable answer to their health care needs.
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What is IMT good for?

IMT practitioners specialize in treating clients with complex health conditions. IMT treats such ailments as chronic back pain, migraine headaches, learning disabilities, autism, diabetes, sports related injuries, chronic fatigue, fertility and women’s health needs, cerebral palsy, spinal cord injuries, depression, anxiety, and many other problems. In addition, many clients use IMT preventatively to maintain optimal health.

Examples of how IMT works for some common health conditions:

Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)

A child who has trouble concentrating would be assessed using the diagnostic techniques outlined above. With ADD, the practitioner would expect to find dysfunction at the frontal lobe of the brain, as the frontal lobe is responsible for intelligence, concentration, judgment, perception and attention. If however, the diagnostics did not indicate a problem at the frontal lobe, the practitioner would investigate other areas which may be contributing to the signs and symptoms. It is often the case, that the frontal lobe is being affected by dysfunction in another area. By uncovering and treating the primary site of breakdown, the signs and symptoms of ADD would begin to change. Common areas which have been found to contribute to ADD are the eyes, the occipital lobe of the brain (associated with visual perception and processing) and the ears. Even seemingly unrelated issues, such as chronic ear infections could influence ADD, and IMT diagnostics would uncover this type of connection and treat it accordingly.

Lower Back Pain

Another complex example might be low back pain that is not responding to treatment. An IMT practitioner would widen the scope of investigation beyond the muscles and bones at the low back, to see what other structures were contributing to symptoms. It is common to find the organs which sit in close proximity to the low back contributing to low back pain. For instance, both the sigmoid colon (the end of the colon) and the cecum and ileocecal valve (the beginning of the colon) are often implicated. They often exhibit dysfunction due to a gastrointestinal problem and may have lost their integrity, resulting in a ‘leaky gut’ syndrome. Treatment techniques to restore integrity to these structures, coupled with nutritional counseling are often highly effective at reducing chronic and stubborn presentations of low back pain.

Alternatively, diagnostics may point to the source of the problem being a multi-systems breakdown at the low back region, where dysfunction in bone, disc, joint, nerve, blood vessels and organ may all be involved. IMT has specific techniques for addressing each of these types of structures. A customized treatment plan would again combine manual therapy to normalize the structures involved, with nutritional counseling to optimize the physiology of the structures involved.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

As with all dysfunction, total body diagnostics would be done to discern the pattern of dysfunction for a given client. Common patterns contributing to chronic fatigue include a breakdown of one or more of the structures of the immune system, the circulatory system, the detoxification and/or the elimination systems. A treatment plan might include manual therapy techniques to normalize and in turn optimize function of lymph nodes, arterial and venous blood flow, the liver and kidneys for detoxification and the colon for elimination. Dietary recommendations and natural supplements would be given to normalize the physiology or the biochemistry of the structures involved. Furthermore, IMT body based psychotherapeutic approaches would be integrated into treatment sessions to decrease mental and emotional stresses. 

What to expect in a session?

In your initial consultation, the primary goal is to do an evaluation through multiple body systems in order to find the root cause(s) of your symptoms, disease or problem. Your IMT practitioner will review your medical and family history, details about your signs and/or symptoms, your goals and other relevant information such as diet, hormonal and digestive health.

A general exam is conducted and range of motion and movement restrictions are assessed. Your IMT practitioner then combines the information and puts together a customized treatment plan and nutritional wellness program for each client.

Further recommended treatment plans, both the duration and frequency will be discussed with you, depending upon your needs.

After the initial evaluation, a typical session may include Integrative Manual Therapy’s (IMT) hands-on manipulative techniques along with guidance on your nutritional wellness and supplement program.