What is the Integrated System Model of Disability and Function (ISM, Lee & Lee): “it is a framework (not a classification system) to organize your tools.” Instead of abandoning the skills you already have it aims to organize your skills in a way that optimizes diagnosis and treatment. Check out these up coming courses: schedule

Key components of the model:
1. For each client it is the therapist’s goal to identify the primary driver, co driver, or secondary driver contributing to pain or dysfunction.
2.The treatment process is based upon: Release, align, connect, and move: RACM.
3. It is centred around the patients values and goals. You must aim to find out what tasks and movements have meaning to the person in front of you.
4. The Gestalt of experience. It is our goal to bring awareness to the body as a unit, not separate parts. Clients must experience their body in a different way for them to have success.
5. Body Self Neuro matrix (check out this picture from Melzack): the integration of many things contribute to our pain, our dysfunction, and our challenges.


What makes the ISM powerful? I picked out six things that really stuck out to me:
1. The ISM model is based around giving people success. If we get them to move safely and without pain, their experience is both positive and powerful.
2. The patient must feel that they have control of their recovery and must understand that they have the tools to get themselves better. We are not lying people down and fixing them!
3. The relief of pain is not the end goal. Return to function and performance is more important.
4. The first question in your assessment should not be: where is the pain? We should try “what brings you in today…tell me your story.”
5. Recognizing that when treating one area of the body we can elicit changes to the entire system. We have the power to change thoughts, emotions, and experience with our hands and our words. Can we elicit a “system-wide response?” Mark Finch, an incredible RMT out of Vancouver taking part in The Series, coined this term…thanks Mark.
6. When we begin to classify clients we begin to lose sight of who is in front us. Each client is unique!

I work at the clinic within the ISM model but I can’t wait for parts 2 and 3.

Thanks for reading
Dave Carter