My Experience at The Institute of Orthopaedic Manual Therpay

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For 2 full years I had the privilege to be taught and mentored by Martin Langaas PT, OMT, FAAOMPT at The Institute of Orthopaedic Manual Therapy.  Martin helped me grow as a clinician and improve patient outcomes by helping me to understand and clinically implement three distinct variables of Orthopedic evaluation and treatment.

 

1. The logic behind differential diagnosis in biomechanics. 

2. The art of manual handling skills as it relates to the manual diagnostic and treatment process

3. The art of patient education and management outside the clinic.

 

1. The logic behind differential diagnosis - isn’t as common practice in orthopedic rehabilitation as one might think. I quickly realized this as Martin guided our thinking throughout the curriculum. The way Martin teaches us how to ask our patients the right questions to guide and narrow our objective exam is beyond anything that graduate school, a weekend course, or a research article could ever teach us. The questions Martin asked us about the order of our testing, what it all means, and how it dictates treatment planning made me realize how often I was working based off of assumptions rather than a systematic differential exam process.

2. The art and intricacies of manual therapy & handling skills -  is unfortunately being diluted in this day and age by the heavy interest of “evidence based practice”, research, and fancy technology. We need the research and the technology to continue to advance the profession, but we can’t lose emphasis on the details and fine tuning of manual handling skills, because when done right, it continues to prove itself as a very powerful and life changing tool. Martin brings the emphasis back to how to use your hands the right way. How to mold your hands, how and where you should stand, how high or low the table should be, how and where to position the patient, what direction your manual force needs to be in order to test and treat a painful &/or a dysfunctional joint the right way. The way Martin fostered my growth in the art of manual therapy week to week throughout the curriculum is an experience and mentorship I will forever be grateful for.

3. The art of patient education and management.

This, for me, was a critical piece of the growth process at IOMT. The first thing that people think of when they hear “manual therapy” is “mobilizing joints and tissues of the body”. Martin emphasizes that that can’t be the only way we think and it can't be the only thing we do as “manual therapists”. In order to improve long term patient outcomes, Martin teaches us how to educate our patients and use analogies to guide the patient’s understanding of the issues at hand. He brings your attention back to certain parts of the subjective and objective exam to help you understand why and how he is going to modify their car seat, sleep position, and desk setup at work. Everything about patient education and life style modification has a rhyme and reason to it. Once I started educating my patients about the specificity (rather than giving out general rules) of relating clinical signs and symptoms to alteration in life style habits, my patient outcomes immediately started to improve.

The way Martin teaches the IOMT system brings the brilliant art back to clinical practice. If you are a clinician and you have the opportunity to enroll in this program to learn from Martin, do it. Learning from Martin will save you time and money in the long run. 

 

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Martin Langaas, PT, OMT, FAAOMPT

A founding member of the IOMT. Mr. Langaas has extensive clinical experience in orthopaedic manual therapy. He graduated from Physical Therapy College in Berlin, Germany in 1982, after which he returned to his native Norway to train under Olaf Evjenth, one of the most respected leaders in the field of manual therapy and the co-developer of the Kaltenborn-Evjenth Concept.

During his six years with Professor Evjenth, Mr. Langaas completed three-and-one-half years of post-graduate study at the OMT residency program in Oslo. Other contributors to this internationaly renowned institute were Hans Gunnari, Freddy Kaltenborn, and Vladimir Janda (guest lecturer). Mr. Langaas has taught with professors Evjenth and Kaltenborn in Australia and the United States, where he has been teaching the Norwegian System since 1990. He has been certified as a Kaltenborn-Evjenth instructor by the International Seminar of Orthopaedic Manipulative Therapy (ISOMT), and is a full fellow of the AAOMPT.

In 2007, Martin received the annual Kaltenborn "Teach I Must" award in recognition of outstanding instruction in a clinical fellowship program. This award is given by The American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapy.

Ramez Antoun