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Steve-MendonidisMyosteopractic comes from the terms myo- (muscle), osteo- (bone) and practic (practice). Literally muscle-bone practice, it is a bodywork system that works with different aspects of the body, integrating a range of functional techniques to achieve optimal health and performance.

The seeds of the concept were planted in 1996 through the collaboration of Body Health Practitioner and Mixed Martial Artist, Steve Mendonidis (South African), and Michael Phaal (South African), Body Health Practitioner and Yoga Teacher.

Drawing on his martial arts experience, Steve saw the limitations of focussing a narrow range of techniques on only one structural aspect of the body (eg muscular or skeletal system). Despite these limitations, many contemporary bodywork systems focus in this singular way. Seeking to achieve better and more sustained results with his clients, he began experimenting with a mix of bodywork techniques, focussing on multiple structures of the body.

Michael-PhaalAt the same time, Michael was exploring the development of intuitive tracking systems in his own approach to more functional bodywork.

The Myosteopractic approach was born when the two practitioners began to share their explorations, working on each other, and catalysing a new dynamic in bodywork systems.

Over time, the concepts, principles and techniques of Myosteopractic were developed further, culminating in 2006 with the launch of the College of Myosteopractic in Cape Town. By this time, a growing community of Body Health Practitioners, many of whom were martial artists, could attest to the efficacy and functionality of the Myosteopractic approach.

The system has a unique relationship with contemporary martial arts, sharing many of its fundamental principles. At the time of Steve’s explorations, the Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) system was emerging. This system was formed as traditional martial artists (in karate, judo, wrestling, etc) sought to prove the superiority of their system in the ring. From this “testing match” MMA was born: a continually evolving mix of the most functional techniques and methods, in all areas (stand up, clinch and ground). Like MMA, Myosteopractic leaves behind the guarded and often territorial approach of traditional bodywork systems in favour of an open system of continual learning, where success is determined by the client alone. The framework underlying this approach is called dynamic engagement.

A key principle of the Myosteopractic system is the “whole body approach”. This recognises that the body works as a unit and that imbalances frequently move between elements of the body structure (for example, from muscle tension to skeletal misalignment to organ imbalance). The particular success of Myosteopractic lies in its practitioners’ ability to apply functional techniques across a broad range of structures, including muscles, bone structure, ligaments, neural paths and organs.

Due to its success, the system continues to grow in popularity, with certified practitioners graduating each year from the College.