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The EMMETT Technique - Australian Bodywork

by Lesley Salt and Sue Gassick(more info)

listed in bodywork, originally published in issue 236 - February 2017

Australia has produced many fine bodywork techniques over the years including various different physiotherapy approaches, the Alexander Technique and Bowen Therapy to name but a few.  The EMMETT Technique is destined to become just as well known as its popularity is spreading globally.  Currently taught in over 26 countries and about to launch into the USA and Canada, Ross Emmett is in high demand as a presenter.

Logo Emmett Technique

What is the EMMETT Technique?                                         

It is a safe and simple muscle release therapy that addresses pain and discomfort and movement restriction issues. It involves light finger pressure at specific locations on the body surface to stimulate the gentle release of muscle and soft tissue tension. Instant pain relief is often the result.

Integral to its success is the ability of an EMMETT practitioner to act like a chameleon when treating clients. The chameleon is very good at adapting and changing its colour to suit to its environment. The EMMETT practitioner will adapt their style according to who they are working with to achieve rapport and the best result for each individual client.

The EMMETT Technique is a non-invasive technique but hugely effective in gaining access to important deep structural muscles with minimal discomfort for the client and therapist alike. 

It is a truly complementary technique that can be incorporated into any other bodywork approach, but is robust enough to be applied in isolation.

How Was it Developed?

When Ross left school, he started working with animals. He began to watch the animals he was working with and caring for, seeing the changes in their movement or behaviour. The animals would show him what they needed or wanted, where they wanted a comforting hand or a scratch. When they had received enough they would simply walk away. This is where his technique started. He had no training in bodywork in those early years when he was developing his technique. His early experiences, occupations and hobbies taught him how to read people and animals, to see their strengths and weaknesses and how to make change to both with the lightest of touches. He also learnt to adjust the way he worked to the needs of each client, becoming the chameleon, to enhance his results. His technique is about making a change or making a difference to the way the body works.

How Does it Work?

The way it works, we believe, is through the sensory receptors within the body. The brain has the ability to self-evaluate and re-calibrate. The technique works on unique micro points within muscles and muscle groups. The EMMETT Technique needs to be performed with the right pressure, in the correct direction and with precise timing to achieve the best result. This is very similar to using a touch screen on a computer. If you place a finger on the touch screen with too much pressure, for too long a time or with touch from more than one finger, the computer does not respond and your action does not get a result. The same can be said of the body.

We believe the lightness of touch is the key to making a difference. A gentle touch, without forcing the pressure, will allow a person's brain to go and re-calibrate without the potential overload of a heavier treatment - without forcing the issue. We're allowing the body to react within its own scope. EMMETT Technique is a light, simple touch therapy. It has nothing to do with the heavy, hard, submission type of therapy.

What makes it Different to Other Therapies?

It is a unique therapy. It is extremely gentle. It involves no high velocity thrusts or painful adjustments. It does not need any special equipment or environment and can be done anywhere, at anytime.

The chameleon approach refers to the ability of an EMMETT practitioner to be like a chameleon when treating clients. We believe the words we say or do not say with a client will enhance their outcome. We acknowledge the interconnectedness between the body and mind: you can't have one without the other. If you consider this analogy: the body without the mind connection is like having a balloon without air in it - you've got to have the balloon full of air to have the shape - to get the full potential.

What Can it Help?

We know of no limits to the symptoms that can be assisted with the EMMETT Technique. We know it has a large influence over anything to do with muscular aches and pains and restriction in movement.

Can it be Applied to Animals?

Yes! This is where it started.


Graph 11 Paired Scores of Hamstring Move

The ‘Degrees of Difference’ project gathered data by four EMMETT therapists providing support to 250 cyclists in the Cardiac Challenge in Cairns, Australia in September 2015.  The therapists treated participants experiencing tight muscles and aches in less than seven minutes, enabling them to continue with the challenge without tightness or pain and with increased mobility. Data was collected during the challenge using a range of movement measuring app on a smartphone and results showed a positive change for every EMMETT move made, proving statistically that the therapy has a significant impact on muscle tension, flexibility and range of movement. The above graph demonstrates the improvement gained in the left hamstrings of the riders.

We recently collected data from 1500 clients across the UK to determine the difference in their pain and mobility before and after treatment.  The average score of eight out of ten before treatment, where ten is the most problematic, dropped dramatically to just three once EMMETT had been applied.

How to Train or Find a Practitioner near You?

To find a Practitioner or Animal Practitioner in the UK and Ireland visit

For Practitioners in other locations, visit the head office website

Training in the EMMETT Technique is available at two levels.

EMM-Tech (also called Easy Muscle Management) is an 8-hour course that is suitable for everyone. No prior knowledge is necessary. This course was originally put together for people to use for self-care, to use to help their families and their friends. The intention was to train people in a first-aid kit of procedures that could be used to ease pain quickly and simply, and was especially useful for people who had to travel long distances to see their nearest therapist, as is often the case in Australia. This short course is now popular with the general public, but increasingly with other therapists, medical personnel and exercise professionals who want something different to add to their existing skills and to sample the technique before committing to the practitioner training.

EMMETT Technique Practitioner Training is designed for qualified medical professionals and complementary therapists interested in extending their skills.  All practitioners are encouraged to enhance their existing practice by integrating the EMMETT Technique with their prior training. Undergraduates and non-therapists may also attend.  This is an 11-day course, taught in two-day blocks, called Modules, with 6 Modules in total, with a review day for the final Module.

There are EMMETT 4 Horses and EMMETT 4 Dogs courses.  The six-hour Short course is ideal for owners; the longer Practitioner course are more suited to animal therapists but owners are welcome to attend.

Further Information

For more information email Visit  for all training dates and locations.


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About Lesley Salt and Sue Gassick

Lesley Salt (L) and Sue Gassick (R) are the Directors and Senior Instructors for EMMETT Therapies UK. Trained by Ross Emmett in 2007, they offer workshops around the UK and Ireland, and are responsible for recruiting and training the other EMMETT instructors and tutors. The may be contacted via   


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