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What is reciprocal inhibition?

Updated: Mar 29, 2021

What is reciprocal inhibition*, you ask?

Simply put, when a muscle contracts, its antagonist is neurologically inhibited. The technique, Reflex inhibition (shown in the video) uses this principle to mobilise and release tight muscle (In this video: the epaxials). And no, I am not slapping the horse! Watch how the muscle contracts during slow motion...

- Sune du Toit (Chartered Physiotherapist and Veterinary Physiotherapist)

Also called “reciprocal innervation”. The concept, was 1st observed as early as 1626 by Rene Descartes though observed in the 19th century, was not fully understood and accepted until it earned a Nobel prize for its creditor, Sir Charles Sherrington, in 1932.

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