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What is Activation Therapy and how it can benefit you...

Activation Therapy

by Andy Scott, Activation Therapist/Physiotherapist


This technique uses a series of massage points to improve the neural drive of muscles, re-balancing the efficiency of our movement and breathing patterns. These patterns have often become compensatory or dysfunctional due to postural habits, stress and injury.



In search of ‘whole body’ approaches for my work, I trained with Douglas Heel, a South African physio and coach who had adapted elements of Chapman’s Reflexes with his own philosophies on movement, psychology and neuro-anatomy. It is founded on the concept of support coming from the deep core, particularly the psoas ( connecting the spine to the hip ) and the diaphragm. When this is in place, supported by good breathing patterns and positive headspace, our bodies are free to be their efficient and playful best.


In the pursuit of ‘getting the job done,’ we sometimes learn to use sub-optimal patterns which can lead to defensive movement and structures becoming overloaded. As creatures of habit, we often continue regardless until the wheels start to fall off!!


Having used this approach for 8 years now, both personally and with hundreds of clients, I see it as one of the most prized items in my physiotherapy toolbox. I have found it amazing for my own climbing, and invaluable for dealing with injury. Fast, measurable changes with clients have made me trust this technique across a wide range of conditions, ages and body-types.


Hands on therapy begins with assessing what patterns people are running and what changes could bring more balance and efficiency. I use activation points to start this process, working through the system to restore better function. I’m also passionate about teaching people how to massage the points themselves. This becomes real empowerment, they can then activate themselves as part of a daily routine, as warm-ups prior to sport, or before a challenging day at work.


What pattern do you run? Try adding activation to your movement habits – time for a change…


Read more:

https://www.pathwayphysiotherapy.nz/post/hands-on-therapy

https://www.pathwayphysiotherapy.nz/post/the-human-trampoline

https://douglasheel.com/