Occupational therapy addresses a person’s injuries or illnesses that make it more difficult to perform functions of daily life.

Total Motion Release protocol.

Regional One Health’s Center for Rehabilitative Medicine uses a new therapy called Total Motion Release that treats body imbalances by focusing on the good side of the body rather than the part that’s restricted. For example, a person’s right knee has limited motion. But instead of focusing there, Total Motion Release places the emphasis on working the left knee to bring about better motion and pain relief in the injured right knee.

Total Motion Release is a biomechanical pain relief protocol that balances the asymmetries in the body. Ann Gupton, Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant at Regional One Health’s Center for Rehabilitative Medicine on the East Campus, is certified in Total Motion Release, a therapy that’s existed for about 15 years and is now in Memphis. It’s a rare pain relief protocol that almost seems too good to be true.

What makes Total Motion Release different? It’s simply the focus on the good side of the body. Gupton begins all patient visits by putting them through a range of exercises, known as the Fab 6. These movements compare one side of the body to the other and asymmetries are discovered. These simple exercises examine range of motion, pain and quality of movement across the whole body.

All patients go through a range of exercises known as the Fab 6.

The ”good” side is treated and followed by retesting of the “bad” side to determine how much asymmetry remains. The bad side then is scored in comparison to the good side by comparing the differences in pain, tightness, range of motion, strength, tension and quality of movement.

Carolyn Wilburn’s primary care physician recommended her to Regional One Health’s Center for Rehabilitative Medicine. She had extreme levels of pain that made it much more difficult to use her legs, back and left hand. But after occupational therapy that included Total Motion Release, she was able to rest at night without medication, could return to sewing and working in her garden.

When Wilburn first visited Regional One Health, she used a walker because of the severity of pain. She was off the walker after one session and her range of motion greatly improved. She’s now able to do the Total Motion Release exercises at home to keep the pain away without the use of medications.

“They’re manageable to do at home,” she said. “I had stopped sewing because I was in so much pain. Now I’m back to sewing and we’ve planted a garden out back. I’m able to go back to doing the things I was able to do before.”

Ann Gupton, Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant, leads patients through Total Motion Release.

Gupton said Total Motion Release works well for people with overuse issues, arthritis, fibromyalgia or orthopedic injuries, ranging from low back pain to bad knees or shoulders.

“I had a young athlete come in. He had been a basketball player in college and had strained his shoulder three or four years prior,” Gupton said. “Ever since he had strained his shoulder he couldn’t get the pain worked out no matter what he did. He was an expert in yoga and tried to fix it with yoga. One session and we got rid of his pain.”

But while Gupton can take care of the pain during that one session, it takes four to six visits to help the patient fully understand the exercises to then be able to do them at home. She said people sometimes go home after one session thinking they’re “fixed,” but everyday twisting and lifting will bring on the inflammation. Her goal is to help the patient practice the exercises enough so they can do them with ease at home.

Patients interested in Total Motion Release should first get a referral from their primary care physician or make an appointment with Center for Rehabilitative Medicine Medical Director Dr. Chris Covington, D.O. PM&R, by calling 901-515-5900. He can do an assessment and refer patients to Gupton who will then help determine if Total Motion Release is the best path to follow.