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Motion Specific Release (MSR) is a “Treatment System”, combining the benefits of various and diverse therapeutic perspectives. MSR has one singular focus, the resolution of musculoskeletal conditions. MSR follows the EPIC paradigm, (Evidence-based, People-centred, Interdisciplinary, and Collaborative) in its perspectives. (1)

MSR is NOT a technique, it is a treatment system! We did not invent pin-and-stretch, fascial manipulation, acupuncture, joint mobilization, nerve flossing, cross-friction massage, the concept of functional training, or a hundred other techniques. Yet, in MSR, we often integrate many of these methods and concepts into our treatment protocols.

Let’s face it, in some form or another, manual therapy has been around for thousands of years. No matter how many times technique Guru’s say they invented a so-called unique technique, it doesn’t make it true. We all stand on the shoulders of those who came before us. One group claiming singular superiority is like someone claiming they invented Italian cooking, simply because they came up with a phenomenal new recipe.

As Aristotle said, “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts”. This is especially true when treating musculoskeletal conditions. By combining the benefits of diverse treatment perspectives we are able to achieve results that would not be possible by using just any one singular modality.



Millions of years of evolution in our species has given us a pretty amazing set of tools - our hands! We would be foolish not to take advantage of this. Many of the most effective MSR procedures we teach are hands-on in nature.

It is very hard to duplicate the tactile sensitivity of a trained clinician’s hands. Our hands can delineate the difference between anatomical structures, and feel restrictions in both soft-tissue and joint mobility, we can even feel the restrictions that prevent one layer of tissue from gliding over another or the nerve that is passing through these tissue layers.

Yet as amazing as a clinician’s hands are, they still may not be able to address all problems. This is where MSR Protocols can help. In addition to, being a Chiropractor, my background also includes Chinese medicine, primarily acupuncture, Tai Chi, and meditation. Hence, you will see that we often combine acupuncture points in our protocols, teach our students (and patients) Tai Chi exercises, and often include mindful meditation. It is interesting to see how research from around the world (including Harvard Medical School (2) is now objectively validating these ancient healing arts through the use of functional MRI brain scans, nerve conduction tests, and other procedures. (3; 4; 5) Practitioners are often skeptical about me teaching them Tai Chi until they see the research about how it can make the tactical sensitivity in their hands equivalent to that of a blind person reading Braille.(6; 10) Just imagine how that could improve the palpation skills of a practitioner!

On top of this, when we consider how Tai Chi and meditation are both effective ways of reducing stress (cortisol and other hormones), improving the quality of sleep, and increasing nerve conduction (even in diabetics), then why would we not take advantage of integrating these powerful tools into our practice. (6; 7; 8; 9)

Another aspect we often integrate into MSR is the amazing research coming out of the fascial community. I have been involved in this community for several decades and have attended numerous research congresses and courses around the world. The Fascial Community is producing some of the best, leading-edge musculoskeletal research in medicine today. It brings together top researchers and clinicians and frequently provides objective data that can be directly integrated into clinical practice. (11)



Art is often defined as “an expression or application of human creative skill and imagination”. Whereas Science is “the pursuit and application of knowledge and understanding of the natural and social world following a systematic methodology based on evidence”.

When we bring together the creative nature of art with the systematic methodology of science, we develop a formula for solving complex problems that could not be addressed by using a singular perspective. Creativity brings forward new solutions, while logical methodology brings an objective eye to new solutions.

Most clinicians are incredibly creative people. When that creativity is allowed to foster, remarkable results can be achieved. The problem I have seen is that many technique courses inhibit that creativity; in contrast, we encourage creativity. Techniques often speak in absolute terms, as if they are presenting the ultimate way to address a problem, MSR does not take this perspective. The reality is that all treatment hypotheses are tentative, and there may be a better solution. No one methodology holds the ultimate solution, and we should all be open to new ideas, and new methods to solve our clinical problems.

When we present our MSR protocols, we are giving you procedures that are based on our extensive clinical experience over the past 30 years. The MSR procedures we are providing have evolved far past anything we were previously taught, and have been shown to provide exceptional results. That being said, we know these protocols themselves will continue to evolve into something even more effective and serve as launching pads for better solutions.

The greatest compliment any of our students could give us is to use their creativity to modify or invent new procedures that are even more effective than what we provided!



The diversity of methods that MSR brings to the table can achieve remarkable results. With the constant input we receive from our students and instructors, MSR is constantly evolving. MSR is not about claiming superiority it’s about bringing clinicians together to find the best results for their patients.

If you would like to learn more about Motion-Specific Release go to



Dr. Abelson (Brian) is the developer of Motion Specific Release (MSR) Treatment Systems. His clinical practice in is located in Calgary, Alberta (Kinetic Health). He has recently authored his 10th publication which will be available later this year.

Dr. Abelson believes in running an Evidence-Based Practice (EBP). EBPs strive to adhere to the best research evidence available while combining their clinical expertise with the specific values of each patient.



  1. The World Federation of Chiropractic - Our Principles. [Online]

  2. The Harvard Medical School Guide to Tai Chi: 12 Weeks to a Healthy Body, Strong Heart, and Sharp Mind. . Wayne, Peter M., and Mark Fuerst. 2013, Amazon, Shambhala.

  3. Tai Chi Chuan exercise related change in brain function as assessed by functional near–infrared spectroscopy. [Online]

  4. Can Tai Chi Reshape the Brain? A Brain Morphometry Study. [Online]

  5. Tai Chi Improves Brain Metabolism and Muscle Energetics in Older Adults: MR Spectroscopy and Tai Chi. [Online]

  6. Tai Chi Chuan vs General Aerobic Exercise in Brain Plasticity: A Multimodal MRI Study. . [Online]

  7. The Effects of Tai Chi Exercise Program on Blood Pressure, Total Cholesterol and Cortisol Level in Patients with Essential Hypertension. Lee, E. N. 2004, Taehan Kanho Hakhoe Chi 34, pp. 829–37.

  8. Long Term Tai Chi Exercise Improves Physical Performance among People with Peripheral Neuropathy. Manor, L. Li and B. 2010, American Journal of Chinese Medicine 38, no 3, pp. 449-59.

  9. Effect of 12-Week Tai Chi Chuan Exercise on Peripheral Nerve Modulation in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. Hung, J. W. 2009, Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine 41, no. 11, pp. 924–29.

  10. Tactile Acuity in Experienced Tai Chi Practitioners: Evidence for Use Dependent Plasticity as an Effect of Sensory-Attentional Training. Kerr, C. E. 2008, Experiential Brain Research 188, no. 2, pp. 317–22.

  11. Fascia Research Congress. . [Online]

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