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  • Writer's pictureCheryl Cunningham

The Cameleon Approach to the body - EMMETT Technique

What is the EMMETT Technique?

The EMMETT Technique is a unique form of body relaxation therapy for both people and animals, involving the application of light finger pressure at specific points. It is based on the belief that light touch can trigger a relaxation response in the soft tissues of the body, and that the therapist may thereby help relieve feelings of tension. Many people find that they feel more at ease within their body and their emotional wellbeing is enhanced.

How does the EMMETT Technique work?

With the correct light touch, the brain receives and evaluates the stimulus and initiates a relaxation response in the soft tissue.  There are receptor points all over the body, so the therapist can target the area of concern. It may sound surprising, but the relaxation response and the feeling of ease in the area is often immediate.

Who is Ross Emmett?

Ross is a dynamic and unique Australian practitioner. He is a trained massage therapist and Bowen therapist. He developed the EMMETT Technique having been inspired by a diverse mix of life experiences, jobs and hobbies, including a passion for animals. He has continued to develop and evolve the technique up until the present day.

The technique Ross developed is widely recognised as a gentle, safe and simple-to-apply, muscle-release therapy based on an understanding of the body’s response to light touch. Ross says "I simply notice things other people don’t; I have found ways to stimulate the body’s ability to self-correct and as a therapist, I have been able to use this insight to help people." There are now tens of thousands of people trained in the EMMETT Technique worldwide.

What are the benefits of the EMMETT Technique?

The relaxing nature of the technique results in people reporting typical responses such as:

  • more restful sleep

  • enhanced mood

  • a sense of lightness within their body

  • improved comfort and ease within the areas treated, such as back, abdomen, hips, legs, knees, ankles, feet, shoulders, arms, hands and neck.

Most people report an immediate and significant improvement with the problem that has been troubling them. Many people who previously had limitations on what they could do, find that they can perform these actions more easily after treatment.

Can EMMETT be considered a complementary therapy?

EMMETT may be applied in isolation, but it can be easily combined with all other bodywork and exercise specialities such as massage, chiropractic manipulation, physiotherapy and Bowen therapy.

Do I need to get undressed and lie down?

People can be treated while sitting, standing or lying down. The treatment can be applied directly to the skin or through clothing. Sessions can last anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes, if the EMMETT Technique is used alone – longer if combined with a relaxing massage or other therapy.

A Recent Study

A study in 2020 by Tony Sherry looked at changes in self-reported pain scores following a single EMMETT Technique treatment.

In order to prove that the EMMETT Technique does what is claimed by Ross Emmett and the thousands of practitioners worldwide, it was decided that a project should take place within a hospital environment on medical and ancillary staff, as these individuals are often quite sceptical and would be very honest about their results.

58 staff members at a London teaching hospital were offered 15-minute treatments using the EMMETT Technique to assist with general muscular pain and discomfort. All participants reported a significant improvement following treatment. Results showed that treatment using the EMMETT Technique created a statistically significant reduction in pain.

The Results

There were 58 participants in this study - 38 females and 20 males.

Nurses made up the largest group and lower back pain was the biggest issue.

Pain scores pre-treatment ranged from 4/10 to 9/10.

  • 95% rated their pain score at 5/10 or higher pre-treatment and

  • 34% rated their pain at 8/10 or higher pre-treatment.

All participants reported a reduction in pain following a single treatment with the post-treatment scores ranging from 0/10 to 4/10.

  • 52% reported being pain free following treatment.

The mean pre-treatment score was 6.7 and the mean post-treatment score was 0.9.

Why should you try EMMETT?

It is a gentle and effective therapy that can provide immediate results!

This week I treated a client with a shoulder restriction using EMMETT. During the pre-treatment testing her shoulder movement was limited to shoulder height. After holding the points on the upper trapezius, she could feel her shoulder tension easing. She was amazed by how instantaneous the results were. We re-tested and her range of movement had improved significantly.

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