Estimating the accuracy of muscle response testing: two randomised-order blinded studies
General flexibility is a key component of health, well-being, and general physical conditioning. Reduced flexibility has both physical and mental/emotional etiologies and can lead to musculoskeletal injuries and athletic underperformance. Few studies have tested the effectiveness of a mind-body therapy on general flexibility. The aim of this study was to investigate if Neuro Emotional Technique® (NET), a mind-body technique shown to be effective in reducing stress, can also improve general flexibility. The sit-and-reach test (SR) score was used as a measure of general flexibility. Forty-five healthy participants were recruited from the general population and assessed for their initial SR score before being randomly allocated to receive (a) two 20-minute sessions of NET (experimental group); (b) two 20-minute sessions of stretching instruction (active control group); or (c) no intervention or instruction (passive control group). After intervention, the participants were reassessed in a similar manner by the same blind assessor. The participants also answered questions about demographics, usual water and caffeine consumption, and activity level, and they completed an anxiety/mood psychometric preintervention and postintervention. The mean (SD) change in the SR score was +3.1 cm (2.5) in the NET group, +1.2 cm (2.3) in the active control group and +1.0 cm (2.6) in the passive control group. Although all the 3 groups showed some improvement, the improvement in the NET group was statistically significant when compared with that of either the passive controls (p = 0.015) or the active controls (p = 0.021). This study suggests that NET could provide an effective treatment in improving general flexibility. A larger study is required to confirm these findings and also to assess longer term effectiveness of this therapy on general flexibility.