Primal Reflex Release Technique (PRRT)
Primal Reflex Release Technique is a manual therapy approach within the physical therapy profession that has changed a lot of beliefs about
pain and dysfunction. The theoretical basis of this approach is that we are all hardwired with many reflexes which get activated in certain
situations and are usually very helpful to us in our daily activities.
A good example of such a reflex is the blink. When the eyes sense
a rapidly approaching object the blink reflex is activated and the eyelids close to protect our valuable eyeballs. We also blink throughout
the day to keep the eyes lubricated and dust-free. We do not have to consciously decide to blink all day. That would be very tiring and
inefficient. Instead, our body has a kind of background operating system that uses reflexes to take care of many useful functions such as
swallowing, coughing and of course blinking.
Some reflexes are more complex than others and some are activated in many different ways. The Withdrawal Reflex is a good example.
When we experience a sharp pain in the body, we have a built-in mechanism to pull that part of the body away from the offending source
as quickly as possible. The Withdrawal Reflex along with the Startle Reflex makes up a very important part of the pain system. Not only
can both these reflexes be activated by pain but, these reflexes may become hyperactive and become factors in pain generation.
PRRT aims to assess some of these reflexes and then treat by dampening down the reflex response that the body is experiencing. For example,
if a muscle is tight, it could be that the tightness is a symptom of an up-regulated reflex signaling the muscle to remain contracted.
As such, the PRRT practitioner would try to remove the reflexive response to the muscle as opposed to stretching it or manipulating it
directly. Patients are often surprised that pain in one area of the body can be removed by working on reflexes in another part of the body.
They are usually grateful too because they experience more pain when the painful area itself is mobilized, exercised or stretched as is
the case with more traditional physical therapy. What is even more surprising about treating with PRRT is that sometimes only two or three
sessions can provide permanent relief to problems that have persisted for years or even decades. In the cases where a ‘touch up’ session is
required periodically, the patient is taught how to do their own reflex releases which is not only a great way to relieve pain but also gives
him or her a wonderful feeling of empowerment that they have the knowledge to eliminate pain.
Oren Bar PT, Oren has taken the Basic, Intermediate and Advanced courses with John Iams, the developer of the PRRT system of treatment.
Currently, Oren Bar is the only advanced practitioner of PRRT (Primal Reflex Release Technique) in the state of Georgia.
To learn more about this revolutionary technique please visit the official PRRT website
(don't miss the video of the TV segment demonstration).