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Downtown -Anji Plaza,

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(+86 21) 6345 5101 * 223/ 225


Minhang -Zhidi Plaza,

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The Total Body Adjustment

The Total Body Adjustment

Osteopathy has grown a lot since it was founded over 100 years ago. With the advancements of modern medicine and a greater understanding of how the body functions many new treatment techniques have evolved.

With these advancements and developments many Osteopaths now work in ways that would be unknown to the early pioneers of Osteopathy. While many of these new techniques are excellent in rehabilitation and helping people in pain, the techniques of the early Osteopaths which are often overlooked hold just as much relevance now as they did then. The Total Body Adjustment is a good example of this.

What is the Total Body Adjustment (TBA)?

The Total Body Adjustment was developed by Dr. Taylor Still over 100 years ago and has been refined by osteopaths since.

Principles of Osteopathy and the TBA

The principles of “The Total Body Adjustment” are based on the core principles of osteopathy, which are holism, inherent motion, and the understanding of the body as a self-healing mechanism. These concepts are simple but profound.

The concept of holism means that the body functions not as parts in isolation but as a whole. In other words, think of it as the difference between treating back pain vs. treating the person with back pain. When the whole body functions better, it can better protect itself and heal quicker from injury and damage.

The body is a self-healing mechanism, so when looking at an injury we should try not only to understand what is causing the symptoms but try to get an understanding of what is preventing the body from healing itself. We try to engage with the body in a way that encourages change in a way the body can accept.

The most difficult concept to understand is inherent motion. Our body, like nature, has a natural rhythm when it is healthy. Life is motion, tissues even at rest are inherently moving. The TBA works to restore the body’s inherent motion and rhythm patterns.

What Happens in a Total Body Adjustment?

The Total Body Adjustment is a sophisticated discipline that is delivered in a systemic sequence of gentle, rhythmic, precise joint articulations, mobilization and stretches to the body, applied at the body’s own natural oscillation pattern. After careful analysis of what pattern a person has, these functional movements are applied first at a local level on individual joints and then throughout the whole body. TBA makes sure movement is occurring in an efficient, harmonious, balanced way, as it should in daily life.

By applying this precise series of rhythmic movements, the treatment aims to stabilize the structure, balance the body, and restore full range of mobility to each joint in the body. It also removes obstructions, restoring the body’s self-healing and self-regulating abilities so health can flourish.

When is the Total Body Adjustment the Right Treatment Option?

The is no one answer to resolve pain or dysfunction. If there were, there would only be one therapy and we would all be practicing it. Though the TBA doesn’t have all the answers it can be especially beneficial in people who suffer from long-standing chronic pain. It is also ideal for people suffering from multiple areas of pain or dysfunction as it addresses the whole body.

Total Body Adjustment: A Truly Whole Person Treatment

While treating the whole person is a key tenant of Osteopathy, pressures to reduce pain and restore function as soon as possible sometimes move the focus away from this core principle.

The Total Body Adjustment is a unique and effective form of therapy, reducing pain and restoring function while remaining true to the underlying principles of Osteopathy. These principles have just as much relevance today as they did 100 years ago, perhaps even more considering the imbalances caused by our busy lives.

Contact us to make an appointment with Matthew Stevens. Matthew is specialized in integrative manual therapy, combining osteopathic treatments with medical massages as well as with some TCM techniques. He offers consultations at our Hongmei Road Clinic – Hongqiao.


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Body & Soul is your solution for wellness in Shanghai, with over 13 years successfully treating patients with a holistic blend of TCM and Western therapies. We also offer Shanghai’s largest team of multi-disciplinary pain management and rehabilitation experts.