The Hendrickson Method

Dr Tom Hendrickson began developing his wave mobilization and soft tissue mobilizations back in the 1990s.  Tom’s wave mobilization is a side lying approach to manual therapy.  I began training with Tom in 2006 and the Hendrickson Method became the cornerstone of my practice.

I found that Tom’s wave mobilization supported my approach to treating people with sensitive nervous systems, those dealing with long term trauma and PTSD.  At the heart of Tom’s work there is the wave mobilization, joint mobilization, and a unique way of interweaving muscle energy technique.


At the heart of the Hendrickson method, a unique technique called the wave mobilization the strokes are rounded, scooping strokes performed transverse to the soft tissue and applied as arrhythmic oscillations at a frequency of approximately 60 cycles per minute which matches the resting heart rate.  Performing wave mobilization is akin to ‘moving meditation’ which leads to an energetic opening for the therapist as well as the client.  These strokes are extremely relaxing and profoundly healing.


The joints and surrounding soft tissue are often the original source of pain in the body.  Acute injuries often cause swelling, heat and inflammation inhibiting normal muscular function by neurological response.  Chronic joint problems are usually due to either degeneration or dysfunction and are almost always due to misaligned and restricted joints which prevent normal movement.  The Hendrickson method uses specific protocols for treating acute and chronic joint problems that are effective in reducing pain and restoring normal movement.


As you may be aware muscle energy technique (MET) can be an extremely effective treatment for dysfunction of the nervous system.  Injury and chronic pain in the joints generate neurological reflexes which tighten or weaken specific muscles around joints.  I have found through Tom’s work, creating whisper-like resistive pressure provides enough neurological input to creating changes in the fibers, creating a pathway to enlighten the people we are treating to enable patients to get to know their body’s function better.  A unique aspect of the Hendrickson Method is that it provides treatment for the joints, the nervous system, the soft tissue, and the fascia because the cross-fiber scooping strokes address the fascia that holds and supports the fibers.

The Hendrickson Method has given my patients long term benefits that have gone beyond when I have used my conventional oil-based massage.  Studying Tom’s work has made my anatomy knowledge grow out of the requirements for precise hand movements.  I have found my treatments for back pain, neck and hip degeneration, headaches and TMJ pain clear up a lot quicker.  Feedback from the people I treat have found the treatments profoundly relaxing and will often say to me, “I feel you have relaxed me from the inside out rather than the outside in.”  Nobody gets up feeling overwhelmed by the treatment they have received. The bonus is that we can work through the patient’s clothing, for some patients this gives them a ‘safe’ feeling especially when dealing with lifelong pain states.




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