What is Mechanical Link?

matrix illustration

Mechanical Link is a hands-on therapeutic approach that analyzes the mobility and movement of anatomical structures through the living matrix of connective tissue, the web or net-like system that surrounds, connects and communicates with all parts of the body. Developed by French osteopaths Paul Chauffour and Eric Prat, this technique offers a simple, effective way to safely locate and address restrictions in all parts of the body. Because of the intercommunicating properties of the connective tissue system, a restriction in one part of the system can cause symptoms in quite a different part of the body. With Mechanical Link, we don't treat the symptoms; instead, we find and address the root cause of the problem and the symptoms go away as the body heals itself.

Because Mechanical Link is a comprehensive system that addresses all connective tissues, and releases restrictions in ways not otherwise possible, each treatment addresses many kinds of problems at once. For example, patients often report that as well as relief from their pain, they notice more energy, a much better outlook on life and better elimination. This could mean more regular bowel movements, easier bladder emptying, or less frequent trips to the bathroom.

What is the significance of restrictions?

kinked garden hose

To create and enhance health, it is not possible to separate one part of the body from another. All parts are connected, and must work together harmoniously, or there will be various problems. Restrictions, or limitations of movement in the body, cause pain or ill-health. It is medically accepted that a muscle spasm prevents movement in a certain direction; an impinged nerve creates pain down the arm and into the hand. Arthritis, a roughening of the interior surface of joints, makes movement grinding and painful. Less obvious are restrictions in other systems of the body, such as the cranial, digestive, cardiopulmonary, or nervous systems.

How can we locate and address all these numerous restrictions?


If your neck hurts, you naturally feel that the problem is in your neck. Most conventional tests and treatments will focus on your neck. However, the root cause may be in the pelvis, the abdomen, or anywhere else, and that place may not be painful at all. With highly developed palpatory skill and in depth anatomical knowledge, the ML therapist uses hundreds of small gentle tests to find restrictions in the body's tissues. and employs a system for ranking those restrictions to identify which need treatment with recoil. It is more helpful to apply only the necessary treatment in exactly the right location, than to do many things, hoping that one of them will work. For example, when a door is sticking, which is smarter - to plane down the edges where it's sticking, or to check the hinges that may be loose? The sticky edges are the symptom, but the loose screws at the hinges are the problem.

What is a Mechanical Link treatment like?


Most people find it very relaxing; some even fall asleep. The recoil treatment is a very subtle technique that can be applied even to sensitive or fragile structures, and may be so light as to be almost unnoticeable. The effects of Mechanical Link can be both dramatic and subtle, and progressive changes may be noticeable for several weeks following treatment. Increased mobility produces changes throughout the body, and there is often a period of adjustment. You may find yourself moving in new ways, or noticing parts of your body that you were unaware of before.

What should I do after a session?

Martha walking

I encourage patients to walk after their session, even if it's only around the parking lot, before getting into the car. Walking helps to integrate the bodywork. It's best to walk again after you get home, either on a treadmill or outside, if you are able. Those who are unable to walk will still find improvement from ML.

Please don't schedule your first session on the same day as a long car trip or meeting where you will be sitting for many hours. Plan to take it easy for a few days afterwards.

You might be sore or fatigued. Occasionally, people are very uncomfortable for a few days after their treatment, possibly in different places than your original complaint. This is a sign that changes have occurred. ML stimulates the body to heal itself, but it does so on its own timetable.

What kind of problems can be addressed with Mechanical Link?

Patients who come for ML have often tried many other treatments and therapies without much benefit. Some times they have been in pain for years. People with the following problems have benefited from Mechanical Link:

  • Fibromyalgia and myofascial pain syndrome
  • Back, neck and hip pain
  • Emotional difficulties
  • Indigestion and reflux
  • Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome (TMJ)
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Stress and Tension-Related Problems
  • Constipation
  • Stress and urge urinary incontinence
  • Orthopedic Problems
  • Migraine Headaches
  • Tingling, aching hands
  • Premenstrual Syndrome
  • Athletic injury
  • Asthma
  • Arthritis
  • Chronic Fatigue
  • Repetitive strain injuries
  • Central Nervous System Disorders
  • Frozen shoulder
  • Traumatic brain injury, and more!

To learn more about Mechanical Link, visit http://www.lmoweb.com/uk/lmo/. For a very clear explanation in English, of a similar approach with a different name, click here.