The disease hypothesis
Although inductive physiotherapy practitioners do not deny the importance of muscle contractility or extensibility, they postulate that bone/segment misalignments (and, more generally, movement disorders) are caused by dysregulation of the residual muscle tension at rest (referred to as muscle tone). Muscle tone is controlled by command centres located well below the cortex, notably in the depths of the brain.
In fact, this part of the brain is not influenced by intentional thought. Hence, muscle tone does not respond to intentional thought any more than blood pressure, glycaemia or diuresis do (the command centres for which are also located deep in the brain). Muscle tone cannot thus be consciously regulated. The direct treatment pathway (from cortex to nerve to muscle) has no effect on tone disorders.
Targeting the muscle tone thus requires a necessarily indirect, inductive tool that has a normalizing action on these centres.
The principle of indirect, inductive work has been used for decades in the neurological rehabilitation methods developed by Bobath, Kabat, Vojta and others. These inductive methods were designed for treating patients with demonstrable nervous system damage.
Given the absence of nervous system damage, the treatment of tone disorders requires a specific, inductive tool.
The underlying principle and mode of action
The therapeutic tool based on this disease hypothesis is called normalizing induction: the patient is required to perform a specific, voluntary movement that triggers a remote, involuntary response. The involuntary nature of these responses is characteristic of the deep brain’s activity, and the appearance of a response attests to the fact that the target has been reached.
Muscle contraction is involved in this process but serves only to trigger a chain reaction intended to reach and regulate the muscle tone centres.
Muscle tone disorders can have a range of severe, invalidating impacts: deformities of the trunk and limbs; decreased mobility, functional capacities and sporting performance; pain and muscle/ligament inflammation; sleep and respiratory disorders, etc.
Treating the underlying cause of these disorders requires a reduction in the tone disorders. A disease-modifying treatment is thus possible as long as one can target, reach and regulate the brain centres involved.
Inductive physiotherapy’s therapeutic tool (normalizing induction) generalizes the use of a remote effect, which allows the treatment to be initiated early (in the acute phase even).
The new disease hypothesis for inductive physiotherapy and the associated treatment tool (normalizing induction) constitute a unique, novel treatment paradigm.