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The long-standing intensive work on fundamental research and clinical practice finally led to the Matrix-Rhythm Therapy and is illustrated by the following interview with Hans Ortmann, (Verband Physikalische Therapie, VPT) and Dr. Ulrich G. Randoll.
Hans Ortmann, Vice President of the Federal Association Physical Therapy, Germany (Verband PhysikalischeTherapie, VPT)
At the annual conference of the International Society of Holistic Dentistry (GZM) in Munich in 2007, I heard about the Matrix concept and Matrix-Rhythm Therapy in connection with the treatment of cranio-mandibular dysfunction (CMD). This cell-biological concept, as presented there by Dr. Ulrich Randoll (Munich), reminded me of a way of thinking that for some years was familiar from quality management. In general, Dr. Randoll views biological systems as complex, regulated systems constructed by the three interacting areas: information, process and structure (I-P-S Management). To perceive human beings here from the perspective of management systems regarding a symptom as a process breakdown within a systemic approach is new. It was quite easy for everyone to understand how mobility restriction can be linked to interferences at the cyto-biological level and how from this insight concepts for physical medicine can easily be developed. This will lead to a plausible yet totally new scientific basis for our specialist field. After his presentation, I had the opportunity to interview Dr. Randoll in order to delve further into the topic.
H. Ortmann: Dr. Randoll, you are physician, having worked for many years at the Department of Oral Surgery (Prof. Dr. Dr. E. Steinhaeuser) and Trauma Surgery (Prof. Dr. F. F. Hennig) at Erlangen University and you have supervised a project for several years: “Clinic-linked Foundational Research”. As a consequence you have been applying the results of your research in a modular Matrix-Therapy concept at the Matrix-Centers. The Matrix-Rhythm Therapy is a most important result of your project. How did you come up with this idea and what is it all about?
Dr. U. Randoll: The idea to concern myself at all with physical therapies came up as a clinical necessity. We had partially poor therapeutic results which made me reconsider these handed down methods. We were not able to help seriously ill people to full capacities despite all academic possibilities. Based on new epistemological models, we tried to develop new therapy models, then leading us finally to high resolution vital-video-microscopy as a research method.
In contrast to electron microscopy, we were able to see the living cells. At the end of the 1980s, the terms “cybernetics”, “chaos theory” and “non-linear thermodynamics” were quite unknown to me. These ideas inspired our experiments using the video-microscope within the framework of our research project at that time. We stimulated tumour and ordinary cells merely by the change of the culture medium – using chemical (pharmacological-homeopathic) or physical (mechanical-electromagnetic) manipulation to find out how they readapted to the stimulation. The movements of mitochondria and the rhythmic process within the plasma of several cells, which we could stimulate extrinsically, were revealing. For the first time, we could show cell processes by living human cell biopsy and capture it with video cameras. I had entered an unknown territory.
Considering the spectrum of physical therapies, we looked and asked which of these methods have a non-specific effect (chaotic) and a specific effect (creating order). Taking into account today’s view, this was an interplay of stimulus / response on the cellular-regulative level with physical medicine methods. A possible therapeutic principle, for example to apply a specific rhythm thus achieving proper metabolism and efficient tissue, seemed plausible from the perspective of the into bio photon research in those days. But it took a long time until we could benefit from this research by applying it practically in the field of physical therapy. The insight that biochemical and biophysical cellular processes are interlinked with rhythms in the body as well as external rhythms put us on track. With the help of piezo sensors on the skeletal muscles, we could prove in a dissertation that decelerated or intensity-reduced rhythms correlate directly with pain, hardening and other medical conditions. Healthy muscles synchronise between 8 and 12 Hz. Obviously, a different elasticity and plasticity of muscles is interlinked with a different “logistics” on the cellular level. The skeletal muscle system became the focus of our research. With the message “without rhythm, there’s no life” or “the adequate rhythm a healthy life”, we now could cover a wide range from holistic medicine deriving from latest results in physics to the classical Hippocratic medicine considering health as “harmony of life processes” and from which a “functional view of illness” come into being. Based on this biological relevance of body-inherent rhythms in healthy tissue, Matrix-Rhythm Therapy interlinks coherent mechanical-magnetic vibrations deeply into the body. Biochemical and physical processes, rhythm interlinked, that have been derailed are reactivated or regenerated and readapted. This approach can be compared to that in an orchestra where the conductor (impulse generator) is permanently organising the musicians (cells) and encouraging them to cooperate.
H. Ortmann:What precisely does the therapy do?
Dr. U. Randoll: Before coming to that, I would like to briefly look at my approach from the perspective of the science of synchronism. Here, researchers consider biological systems as harmonic or coherently vibrating systems. Coherent rhythms, e.g. the rhythm of the heart or brain or muscles, affect all hierarchical levels – from microscopically tiny processes to macroscopic processes and structures and serve as pulse generators or clocking devices. In the body, the clock-generating rhythms are coupled to the directed movements of the fluids bathing the individual body cells, comparable to the nutrient medium in a cell culture. You can imagine the cells to be like fish in water and cooperating as individual oscillators, thus building up the rhythm that is perceivable to us. If there is no exchange of water, the fish suffer noticeably because the supply and disposal is no longer correct. The complete logistics comes into disarray and littering occurs. As a consequence, continuous incongruous rhythms lead to a deterioration of the cellular environmental quality also known as extra cellular matrix (ECM). With compensation and decomposition occurring, the systems derail more and more. Similar to a material fatigue, these cells become less and less efficient via micro-procedural derailments and result in tissue conversions with negative effects (symptoms). These are processes which express themselves in pain, hardening, muscle contractions, fascia and tendons sticking together, cramps, loss of elasticity, and coordination, which start on the micro cellular level.
H. Ortmann: In what cases do you recommend the therapy?
Dr. U. Randoll: The therapy has been proven effective in all cases where symptoms are caused in micro-circulation. That means due to the cellular-regulative approach each and every medical field can potentially benefit from the therapy. Having been developed at Erlangen University ten years ago, Matrix-Rhythm Therapy has been become firmly established primarily in the fields of rehabilitation, high performance sports and veterinary medicine. During the last three years, it has also been accepted in company departments of occupational health – especially in the auto-mobile industry. The application of Matrix-Rhythm Therapy is meaningful for prevention (to prevent pathological dysfunctionality) and rehabilitation (to prevent or reduce secondary damage after overexertion, injuries, accidents and surgery). In sports medicine, the considerable reduction in time for recovery between training sessions and after overextension, traumata, hardening, tendonitis, myoarthopathies and other disorders are highly appreciated because the therapy leads to an intensified training cycle and a fast return to high performance after injuries. It is also effective in treating different kinds of pain (including migraine), after surgery, badly healing wounds, for all kinds of chronic degenerative illnesses like rheumatism, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, etc., for accidents related or postural degenerative changes in muscles or spastic contractions of disabled people. In the field of dentistry, it has achieved acceptance as a medium of choice for systematic pre-treatment before registering the position of the lower jaw. Post-operative application can reduce the tendency of swelling.
H. Ortmann: How do you classify this therapy?
Dr. Randoll: From a historical viewpoint, the Matrix-Rhythm Therapy can be seen as an oscillation or vibration therapy specifically concentrating on the skeletal muscles and in the widest sense can be described as a further development of the classic manual vibration massage. It is traditionally applied as an effective method in the field of rehabilitation and sports. However, due to the fact that this method is quite exhausting for the therapist, the deep impact has a clear limit. In due course, Matrix-Rhythm Therapy has turned out be an effective, rhythmic, deep impact micro-extension-technique, which systematically interlinks into closed physiological loops. It may be considered as a supplement to different methods of physiotherapy, osteopathy and manual therapy.
H. Ortmann: Do you mean to say that the therapy is a contribution to physical therapy which has been an inherent part of regulative and holistic medicine at all times but with the inclusion of the scientific progress of today?
Dr. U. Randoll: Exactly! In my opinion, the development which finally led to the Matrix-Rhythm Therapy is the logical scientific pathway in the context of the miniaturisation during the last century. Surgery has become micro-surgery and physiotherapy will be settled on a cytologically regulative level where interaction between information, processes and structures takes place. It is a contribution to regenerative medicine, a new scientific branch. It is a field of bio-medicine focusing on tissue-enginering and self-healing processes. The physical-chemical milieu (extracellular matrix) which regulates cellular processes via the so-called epigenetics has become more and more important. These are quite interesting interfaces between cytology on the micro level and therapeutic consequences on the macro level having today led to exciting research topics.
H. Ortmann: This scientific approach you described is highly-interesting, but in their daily routine physiotherapists fall back on the restrictions of our statutory health-insurance system. The time frames for particular services are being reduced ever more. What relevance do you see for future physical medicine?
Dr. U. Randoll: From time to time, I am just wondering if the present physical medicine is on its way to eliminating itself. The setting of time standards has already reached a zenith so that procedures for patients become ineffective. Concerning the effectiveness of the therapy, it has almost been forgotten that many methods of physical medicine focus on humans being treated and not on a technical device. The same applies in surgery. The person using the scalpel is paid but not the scalpel itself. It is the therapist who influences the biological system by regulative methods, and she works with a human being and does not work on a passive piece of wood or dough in the treatment room. A further reason to achieve sustainability of a therapy is conducting a private conversation with the patient in order to also convey the most important facts of the body’s functionality, the body’s instruction manual if you wish. In our society, health has become more and more a matter of consciousness. Neither extreme complex technical instruments for diagnostics nor recent statuary regulations have led to systemically economic solutions. This is a pity because at the beginning of the 20th century physical medicine experienced a cultural blossoming in combination with the Kurhaus and health-spa tradition. At the moment, I see physical medicine in combination with resources for the health resorts as a slumbering cultural value of the forgotten European traditional medicine as this had been cultivated by the Benedictines. A scientific physiotherapy can only develop on the foundation of understanding cytology. Concepts from modern quality management can assist in accelerating this understanding because, looking closely, it is quite easy to recognise how biology displays itself as a perfect quality management system. The result of the adjustment process to continuously new stimuli decides if symptoms appear or don’t appear. And today, more than ever, impulses aligned with nature should be established in the public health sector and in our daily lives. In the future, and I think you probably learned this in the course of this symposium of the Society for Holistic Dental Medicine (GZM), the prospects for physical medicine in combination with natural resources will be strong. Yet, people who have the courage to walk on the path of 21st century scientific medicine are needed. Why not follow that which scientifically has already been worked out? Based on process-oriented biomedicine, fluctuating space-time-patterns play an important role. Self-organisation, synchronism, salutogenesis, potentiality and self-healing effects are further topics that are now apparent. Contributions from the field of spirituality will also find their integration.
H. Ortmann: Dr. Randoll, thanks so much that you had the time for this interview.