The Institute of Physical Art is one of the premier Manual Therapy Credentialed programs in the world. The IPA has only certified approximately 350 (or less) therapists throughout the world. It is founded by Greg and Vicky Johnson who have integrated principals from Feldenkrais, Maggy Knot, Kaltenborn, and others to create their own world of Manual Therapy.

The IPA uses a methodology that is similar to a 3-legged stool. Without equal lengths, the stool is not balanced. Greg focuses his attention on treating mechanical dysfunction (the first leg of the stool), as he coined the phrase and technique of soft tissue mobilization.™ He has published countless articles on the treatment of fascia and mobilization of the 4 layers of connective tissues. He has also created numerous functional movement patterns that help us to trace and isolate tissue dysfunction. After diagnosing the dysfunction, we can then use these very same principals and movement patterns to treat the dysfunction. This is what Functional Manual Therapy™ is based off of, treat the problem, not the pain. Usually the pain comes from somewhere else that is dysfunctional.

Vicky Johnson has been the driving force behind the (other two legs of the stool) neuromuscular and motor control components. The neuromuscular component is highly specific treatment that is based off of Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation. This is a highly effective method at testing and retraining muscles to initiate a muscle contraction, and help to restore strength and endurance of the core muscles of each joint. It is vital to restore proximal stability to allow for distal mobility.

The motor control component is the last, and possibly the most integral component to the foundation of the IPA. It is where we retrain movement, stemming from your bodies foundation, the spine. One must be able to own their vertical alignment, and then move from their base of support. If you’re sitting, the base of support is coming from your legs and your butt; if you’re standing, it’s your feet, but either way, you can’t accept weight before you learn to weight transfer, and you can’t transfer weight before you learn to shift your weight. Lastly, the IPA teaches about the Lumbar Protective Mechanism™. This is an innate ability to have your core muscles protecting your spine, by being in the right position as you sit, stand, and move.

Using these 3 principals, the IPA has taught me how to treat any problem that you may present with. It has given me the confidence and the knowledge to be able to help you get back on your feet and to reach newer levels, that you never knew you could reach for.


To learn more about the IPA, click here.