Total Motion Release

becky tmr2

Becky Clark Physical Therapist demonstrating Total Motion Release

By: Becky Clark, Physical Therapist

Total Motion Release (TMR) is opposite of what is currently practiced in physical therapy for pain relief. The major difference between Total Motion Release and other pain relief approaches is the area being treated. Conventional pain relief programs almost always treat or exercise the area that hurts. No more working through pain to get to pain relief. That never made sense to me.

Total Motion Release treats or exercises the good area or areas that do not hurt and looks at fixing the whole body, not just one part. If our body functions as several joints and tissues working together to perform a task, we need to be able to approach treatment of the body’s problems in the same way. We must focus looking at the whole body rather than just on the area of the pain.

Long term results are what make TMR so powerful. Think of how many times you might have had neck and shoulder pain, you get treatment and do well, then eventually the pain comes back. TMR is so powerful because our skills as a therapist are given to the patient so you can treat yourself.  You might think teaching a patient the skills to fix themselves would require a lot of time.  This is not the case. Total Motion Release tests for the biggest imbalances in the 5 largest joints of the body – the shoulders, spine, hips, knees and ankles using ONLY 6 motions.  We call them the FAB 6.

The body prefers to be in balance. Imbalances from abnormal areas of tightness lead to strains. If you have tightness or pain with these tests, it means other parts of your body are compensating or being overused to make up for what the dysfunctional part of the body cannot do. You could technically have a tight mid back and because it doesn’t move the neck and low back are overused and then get flared up and painful. Additionally you might have any orthopedic condition like a knee replacement where you are having difficulty bending or straightening you knee. If you improve your back and hip motion, within 5 to10 minutes you have significantly better motion in your knee.

If some areas of the body consistently move too much, or too little, eventually it will lead both to strains on those areas and will affect the rest of the body by changing the body. Furthermore, since the body has interconnected parts, a change in alignment and tension in one area will lead to changes in the tissues it attaches to. This can cause a chain reaction of changes in the rest of the body. A turn in a pelvis can change an alignment in the neck and cause a headache. A change in a rib can lead to foot pain.

The Benefits of Total Motion Release [TMR]


  • Teaches patients to fix themselves

  • Takes less visits than traditional therapy

  • Able to achieve results at home in 10 minutes or less.

  • Is a lifelong skill that can be used for any ache or pain whether it’s chronic or acute

  • Works on variety of conditions such as: surgery rehabilitation (including orthopedic conditions like joint replacements, knee, ankle, back, neck and shoulder surgeries or pain), herniated discs, arthritis, athletic injuries, or just ‘old age’.

  • Helps with those who suffer from pain with prolonged standing, sitting or walking

  • Improves function & performance of daily activities and athletic performances and even better posture.

  • Helps those of us that just have stiffness throughout their bodies since stiffness is directly related to pain

  • Did we mention – some patients  learn to fix themselves faster than many therapists can.

     You can find this technique offered through physical therapy at Synergy Healthcare in Spokane, Washington.

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