Positional that maintains somatic dysfunction”” (Kusunose, 1993). To

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Positional release
also referred to as Strain-Counterstrain, is an indirect osteopathic technique;
which is commonly used by chiropractors, osteopaths and massage therapists to
treat somatic dysfunctions. This technique was created by Lawrence Jones, DO,
FAAO; “He defines Strain and Counterstrain as a “passive positional
procedure that places the body in a position of greatest comfort, thereby
relieving pain by reduction and arrest of inappropriate proprioceptor activity
that maintains somatic dysfunction”” (Kusunose, 1993).


To apply this
technique the therapist will need to place the patient in a “position of
comfort; to relax the muscle spasm – by reducing the original strain position,
by mimicking the original strain position, or applying a “counterstrain” (Kusunose, 1993). This will allow the
affected muscles to shorten; then the therapist will hold in the patient that
range for at least 90 seconds “allowing the spindle to slow down its afferent
firing frequency. Returning it to neutral in a slow and deliberate manner
avoids re-exciting the previously spasmed muscle” (Kusunose, 1993).  Positional release may be used as the main
technique in treatment, or as an accessory to other techniques such as joint
mobilizations, muscle energy technique, GTO or myofascial.


Positional release
is often favored by therapists due to “the gentleness of strain and
counterstain making it safe and effective for treating somatic dysfunctions on
fragile patients (elderly, osteoporotic, fractures, pregnancy, infants).” (Kusunose, 1993) Despite the lack of
data supporting the research model; therapists weight it against the positive
effects this technique creates for the patients, such as decrease in pain,
edema, and muscle guarding. To learn positional release, you need to be a
healthcare professional with a current license to treat patients, for the
introductory classes there are no prerequisites required. At the Jones
Institute, they have a competency rating system from levels 1-5 for
practitioners of the technique, depending on how many courses were taken, if
the therapist has taken exams, or if they teach positional release.

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