“Reaset” — A Revolution in the Evolution of Manual Therapy
Tom Meyers, Osteopath D.O., MSc. Ost., Wellbeing Futurist, author of “Futurize Yourself” and “The Futures Effect”, and the founding father of Body–centred Stress Coaching through the (r)evolutionary Reaset Approach
We are living in a fast-changing and challenging time. A time where we are under immense pressure due to the radical, disruptive changes the world is going through at an accelerating speed.
These disruptive changes include radical transformation of entire industries, workplaces and working conditions. Changes that are already happening and require a rapid upskilling and reskilling revolution for the millions of jobs that are being automated or made obsolete. No industry is safe, and the effects will influence not only working conditions but also our private lives.
Furthermore, while all this is happening, let us not forget that climate change is affecting our natural environment, fuelling conflict and mass migration in many parts of the world, harming our health and wellbeing, global security and world peace.
In these unsettling times, with everything changing so rapidly and extensively, it should not come as a surprise that stress levels are increasing. Consciously or subconsciously, these increased stress levels have a detrimental impact on the individual’s health and wellbeing globally.
As an osteopath, I see the impact of chronic stress on the health and wellbeing of my patients — but also how the health complaints for which they come to me are changing. The main complaints continue to be neck-shoulder or back problems. However, these musculoskeletal problems have become more complex, come with a wide variety of other seemingly unrelated problems, and are experienced without any apparent cause or specific onset (idiopathic disease).
In my practice, up to four out of five patients report the prevalence of seemingly idiopathic and plurisymptomatic conditions. By this I mean that patients who present themselves with primarily physical complaints also say they have other complaints (comorbidity) like increased levels of stress, anxiety, depression, headaches, cognitive decline, emotional instability, mood swings, a feeling of being detached or disconnected — to name but a few.
In my search for answers, I’ve become aware that these idiopathic and plurisymptomatic conditions are often classified by doctors as medically unexplained symptoms (MUS) but in fact, more often than not, they are all related to and caused by stress-related dysautonomia.
Dysautonomia is an umbrella term for the dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system (ANS). Stress-related dysautonomia, as the name indicates, is the dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system due to a maladaptive stress response.
When stress-related dysautonomia is involved, current treatment methods, with their disease-by-disease focus, don’t lead to the desired results and are often counterproductive.
Some newer, more holistic approaches look further and start with the biomechanical/structural or psychosomatic origin of a patient’s problems. But they often miss or fail to go beyond the structure-function aspect and do not link these seemingly unrelated physical, emotional, mental and behavioural symptoms. Thus, they are just a more elaborate but limited symptom-by-symptom form of treatment.
Traditional treatment methods still have their place and are often sufficient when a patient has a health problem in one domain, but this type of patient has become the exception.
The Reaset “health & healing” Approach, which can be applied preventively or curatively, used as a stand-alone or in combination with other treatment methods, brings about a revolution in the evolution of manual therapy. It brings manual therapy into the 21st century with its issues and societal questions that are very different in nature, urgency and time perspective from those of the previous century.
The Reaset Approach has evolved over the past 15 years. It fuses futures thinking methodology with osteopathic and body-centred stress coaching principles. This is what makes it such a unique and ground-breaking approach.
Practically, this new integral treatment solution for changing times is first and foremost a body-centred hands-on treatment method which, from the beginning to the end, addresses the evolutionary process of the patient’s dis-ease. This process is based on one fundamental principle (EʘD) and is applied over and in three distinct phases.
In the first unwinding phase, the physiological state of “ease” must be facilitated/promoted, and this is maintained throughout the treatment. In other words, the primary objective is to get the body to “Return to Ease” — in short, to “Reaset”. Ease being the dynamic neutral state between stress and relaxation and a sign of autonomic balance, which is essential for health and healing to have a chance to express itself.
In the treatment’s second unwinding phase, attention is given to the biomechanical/structural/psychosomatic dysfunction(s) to clear the overcompensations and complications. Overcompensations and complications resulting from the adaptive shifts and alterations in the body. They are caused by changes in posture, behaviour and mindset from the onset of the problem and/or the experience of pain/discomfort that influence overall health and wellbeing. This phase includes specific spinal decoaptive reaset-promoting adjustments.
In the third phase, attention is given to the actual symptom or symptoms the patients present. It can be that these symptoms have already been resolved or have improved significantly. Lingering symptoms — now without interference from the overcompensations and/or complications, as these have been cleared in phase two — are treated further with therapist-specific techniques (osteopathic, physiotherapeutic, Ayurvedic, chiropractic, etc.). This is why, at this stage, to attend the Reaset Approach four-day intensive training courses, the participants must be practising therapists with at least a bachelor’s degree in some form of manual therapy.
The three phases are all done in one treatment session. Depending on the practitioner’s skill and the seriousness of the patient’s complaints, the hands-on treatment time takes between 15 to 30 minutes. However, healing is a process — an individual, non-linear experience. Depending on the health problem, the length of time it has been present, inner resources and one’s environment (among other factors), a single session or multiple sessions are needed.
In brief, the Reaset “health & healing” Approach is a solution for our changing times. It is a novel, integral manual treatment solution that addresses, first and foremost, the evolutionary process of a patient’s dis-ease. In other words, it takes into account the larger context and cause of the patient’s problems that have led to the multimodal and often unexplained symptoms, the experience of pain, discomfort and/or illness. Before the treatment of biomechanical/structural/psychosomatic dysfunction(s) and the treatment of the symptoms themselves, a state of ease is promoted through a series of hand placements and movements to improve the functioning of the ANS.
I believe that manual therapists (physiotherapists, osteopaths, holistic manual medicine practitioners and others) who use the Reaset Approach will have a vital role to play in this fast-changing and challenging world. They will be instrumental for humanity in dealing with the ever-growing conflict between biology and culture that is at the origin of the increase in stress-related dysautonomia. Because with the Reaset Approach in hand and the mindset to go with it, physical therapists can make a difference and help prevent a health disaster from happening.
Health and wellbeing are our most valuable assets. They are essential to enable us to flourish and thrive in a fast-changing and challenging world.
For more information, visit www.reaset.com