Why I Love TMR(Total Motion Release)

By Leanne Depa, OTR/L

For years I had dealt with various forms of chronic pain.  In my 40’s I had a shoulder impingement that improved with spinal manipulation but continued over the years to have flareups.  I mostly learned to ignore any discomfort but was always vaguely aware that my left shoulder wasn’t as good as my right.  Regularly I would notice tightness that sometimes spread up my neck or down my back.  When I looked in the mirror, I could sometimes see that my left shoulder was higher than my right.  


Then I developed plantar fasciitis in my right foot.  In the morning, I would hobble out of bed and around my house as I prepared for my day.  I tried icing it regularly and exercising, but never really achieved any lasting benefits from it.  I wore athletic shoes that the podiatrist recommended, and they helped but it still didn’t completely heal.  One day I discovered rocker bottom shoes.  They proved instant relief; it was as if I was walking on clouds.  The rocker bottom shoes did not come without challenges.  The first time I attempted to dry my hair upside down, I almost fell over.  Without going into details, you can imagine my first attempt at using a public restroom.  Without a concern for my fashion style, I wore the rocker bottom shoes everywhere for 2 years.  Eventually I progressed back to wearing most of the shoes in my closet, but I still could feel that my right foot wasn’t as good as my left.


Then came my 50’s.  The aches & pains continued to progress, especially in my left shoulder and right foot/ankle.  Overtime I had more low back pain that eventually became sciatica.  I tried everything – ice packs, hot packs, a tennis ball, foam rolling, a chiropractor, massage, and traditional PT.  I ended up on crutches for 6 weeks because the spasms were so bad anytime I put weight into my right leg.  I remember telling the physical therapist about my various aches, pains, and spasms in other parts of my body.  He wasn’t able to address my other concerns because I didn’t have a doctor’s prescription for those areas.  I knew as an occupational therapist that the entire body needed to be addressed for any lasting results.  That began my search 2 years ago for techniques to cure my own pain.  


I kept seeing advertisements for courses in Total Motion Release.  To be honest, I had come across them for years, but like many I ignored them.  Eventually I signed up for a mini 2 hour course along with 26 other therapists and like all of them, I was astounded at how well the techniques worked.  At the time, I was working in pediatrics and decided to take the courses adapted for the pediatric population and those that required more physical assistance.  We used the techniques with medically fragile children and saw great gains in reduction of tone, as well as an increase in range of motion.  I had one particular infant that had so much tone that he was constantly in a fetal position.  I watched his face relax and a smile come across his face the first time I used TMR with him.  Eventually I decided to advance my knowledge and signed up for more courses geared towards children and adults that could follow instructions and didn’t require hands-on assistance.  


Through the knowledge that I gained in taking TMR courses, I was able to progress from being in pain 90% of my day to an occasional few minutes of discomfort.  I have learned to use the techniques to stop my pain in its tracks before it takes over again.  The techniques are gentle, and many can be incorporated into your regular activities.  I use them while cooking, cleaning, shopping/running errands, gardening, working at a desk, and even painting my house.  That brings me to the picture at the top of my blog.  That day I was outside painting adirondack chairs and my back went out while I was bending over washing out my brush.  All I could do was collapse to the ground on my back.  Thankfully I knew all the TMR techniques for every position you could find yourself in.  Using the techniques, I was able to get off the ground and back into the house on my own.  The next day I was back to painting again.  Total Motion Release is driven by science, it is easy to learn, and it teaches you how to reduce or eliminate your pain quickly.  It is something once learned, can be used over the years with any new soft tissue pain.

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