Primal Reflex Release Technique (PRRT) is a hands-on treatment approach that has changed a lot of beliefs about pain and dysfunction. John Iams, a Physical Therapist out of California, developed the technique after nearly 4 decades of research. The theoretical basis of this approach is that certain primal muscle reflexes become activated when we are in pain or when we experience a traumatic event. This over stimulation of the reflexes maintains pain and keeps painful patterns active. The treatment of these reflexes is effective in treating about 80% of people with painful conditions.
PRRT assesses these reflexes and then treats them 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 over-sensitive reflex signaling the muscle to remain contracted. The PRRT practitioner aims to remove the reflexive response to the muscle as opposed to merely stretching, massaging, manipulating, or putting a hot pack on it. Releasing this muscle can help not only the affected muscle and the joints they attach to, but areas distant to the treated muscle as well. Clients are often surprised that pain in one area of the body can be removed by working on reflexes in another. Even more surprising is that sometimes only two or three sessions can provide permanent relief to problems that have persisted for years or even decades.
What makes PRRT unique is its ability to assess and treat a client in a matter of just minutes and usually increase range and speed of motion along with decreasing pain. Often clients experience nearly a 50% improvement on just their first session. If a client hasn’t experienced some improvement within the first couple of sessions, PRRT is not recommended, as it’s not that person’s solution to their problem. We often say that PRRT either succeeds fast or it fails fast. You won’t be wasting a lot of time, energy and money over weeks and months waiting to see if you will get pain relief.