ASMI (Advanced Spinal Mobilisation Instrument)
"Physiotherapists are mobilisers of the spine."
MOBILISATION – the passive movement of each vertebra
I have always visualized the spine as a ‘chain link’, an intrinsically flexible and supportive structure. If one link comes out of line in your bicycle chain, you would passively move each link in the chain until they all released and settled in position. This is mobilising.
As a practitioner I have one pair of hands and you have 24 spinal joints which should be flexible and mobile. I could not do enough work in any one session to achieve the necessary release, unless I use the ASMI.
This has allowed me to complete a years worth of hand mobilisations in one session and what was considered an impossible feat of realigning the length of the spine and giving back full flexibility is achieved every day, many times a day, at Bodymatters Motion
ASMI is an extension of the therapists’ hand. It is a hand set with 4 little robotic fingers, individually primed not to force movement where there is none, but only working through the movement that is there. This makes the treatment purely a mobilising technique and allows the therapist to be fully aware of the state of each individual joint. What must be emphasised is that it is ‘only a tool’ so it is not the machine that gives the treatment but the therapist.
So, how does it work ? There are three modes;
1. Anti-Spasm mode is a gentle high speed setting that reduces muscle spasms on both sides of the spine. The Anti-Spasm mode accustoms the patient to the feel of the ASMI device and relieves muscle spasms at the same time.
Releasing muscle spasms is a vital part of the whole treatment. The basic case of back pain (tumours etc. aside), is a muscle spasm which pushes vertebrae out of place, squeezing the nerves. It is important to understand that a spasm is not the same as a cramp. After an injury or even after a minor fall, muscles can stay in locked spasm for years. Patients are sometimes not even aware of the condition of their muscles that are permanently contracted and overworked.
2. Reflex mode is used in conjunction with the Anti-Spasm mode and the Mobilisation mode. The whole treatment, which is a combination of these three techniques targets the paraspinal muscles and spinal joints of the spine to reduce pain and restore flexibility and mobility. It relieves muscle spasm, stimulates muscle reflexes and aligns each vertebra in the spine.
The reflex mode is an important part of the treatment.
3. Mobilisation With the muscles spasm reduced and vertebrae unlocked, the reflex mode is used to stimulate the reflexes up and down the spine. This allows the vertebrae to “jump” slightly and land in their optimal position. The process of mobilisation followed by reflex mode is done several times during one session.
During sessions, with spasm reduced and vertebrae better mobilised and with vertebrae in corrected positions, the pressure on the facet joints within the spine is less and less. This allows a better flow of nerves signals and white blood cells to the damaged joints and enhance what ultimately is happening, the body healing itself.