Did You Know?

Did you know that if you were to ask your three most recent physical therapists to give you their thought process on how to best go about working with you, all of them would give you a different answer?


At first glance, I can see how the question you just read could be something that doesn’t sound like much at all.  None the less, if you’re looking for the best results, having a clear and consistent how matters.  

And let’s not forget about why it’s important that we approach your chain differently than the ten individuals that walked through the same door before you.  

If we’re being honest, none of those outdated tools and techniques that you’re spending valuable time with in physical therapy are capable of allowing you to perform better than you did when you first started.

<img src="https://www.engagingmuscles.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/Doodle-showing-Why-Physical-Therapy-Isnt-Productive.jpg" alt="Doodle showing why physical therapy isn't productive" width="584" Height="413" />

Art by Rick Merriam (@rickmerriam)

I’m looking at you as an individual. 🙂 

If you feel like you’ve come to a place where you’ve experienced what physical therapy has to offer, and you just can’t put a finger on why you aren’t performing better than you were before the pain or injury, here are two valid reasons worth considering:

  • Physical therapy will continue to chase the pain (a.k.a. the symptom)
  • Physical therapy embraced the factory model long before you walked through the door (and since you aren’t a commodity, lackluster results is all that can be had).  

I don’t know if you’ve thought about this before, but the reality is, your body is taking advantage of a different movement strategy than the person that walked through the same door before you.

And that individual’s body is functioning differently than the person that walked in before them.

Whether you want to function better to *prevent* an injury, or you just want to perform with more efficiently than you’re right now, both are possible with the right input.  

With the right input, you’ll *perform better* than you did prior to the pain or injury.

So what makes my work so unique? 

Rather than ignore the role your muscles play in all of this, I take the time to focus on furthering the signal from your muscle to the brain.

Once the connection from the muscle to your brain is restored, you won’t feel a restriction in range of motion at the joint that the muscles are responsible for moving.

My focus is on getting the muscles that are underperforming back online.  

With more input to muscles that haven’t been pulling their weight for some time, those same muscles will be capable of pulling in the same direction.


Then you’ll be capable of moving with much more efficiency. 

*That’s what it means to be stronger.*

 ➡ Make an appointment. Touch here. ➡ 

<img src="https://www.engagingmuscles.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Contact-For-Appointment-Written-On-Paper.jpg" alt="Contact For Appointment Written On Paper" width="584" Height="484" />

Did you know that for well over a decade there has been a bunch of research (1.2.3.) that’s been done on stretching?

And the research has consistently shown that stretching dampens the connection from your brain to the muscles.

Translation: stretching makes your muscles weaker.  And because stretching is only targeting the symptoms, the muscles that were tight prior to you performing those stretches are going to restrict motion, again…  

In other words, no matter how well you performed those stretches, within a matter of minutes, those muscles are going to tighten up to protect you from an injury.  

It’s a vicious cycle. 😡   

[ Sidebar: For more information on why your muscles are tight, you’ll want to read: Tight Muscles Aren’t As Bad As You Think (Here’s Why) ]

When your goal is to get stronger and perform better, why would you want to continue doing the same old stretching exercises that you can read in a magazine?

I came to see Rick after an ankle surgery and he did more to help me in one session than Physical Therapy was able to help over 4 months. And I was released by my orthopedic surgeon 2 months early. He’s still scratching his head! – Linda

No matter how tight your muscles feel right now, by continuing to stretch physical therapy is only going against what your brain has already figured out how to do without your conscious awareness.  

See, by tightening muscles around the area of pain or an injury your brain has already figured out how to protect you from an injury.

Therefore, more and more stretching is only addressing the symptom while still focusing on the very same sensation.

Which looks a lot like chasing the pain.

Did you know that it’s impossible to strengthen muscles that aren’t receiving an adequate connection from the start?

Which means that just because your muscles are physically there doesn’t mean they’re online.

Therefore, when you perform those exercises that were recommended in physical therapy, you’re only strengthening the muscles that are already strong.

Meanwhile, the muscles that are weak are only getting weaker. 🙄 

Which means those strengthening exercises are *not* only *not* allowing you to perform better over the long-haul, they’re also encouraging more compensation that has the potential to lead to BIGGER challenges down the road.

Rather than getting to the source, old-school physical therapy is only applying one Band-aid after another…

Now imagine that there is a way to relax those muscles that are chronically tight.  While at the same time restoring the stability and strength throughout your chain.

<img src="https://www.engagingmuscles.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/Did-you-know-shown-in-big-letters.jpg" alt="Did you know shown in big letters" width="584" Height="329" />

For more information, touch this image.

Do your muscles need to be tuned-up?

All you have to do is show me the motions that are painful for you. And without using any of the same old stretches or strengthening exercises that you can see in a magazine any day of the week, I’ll figure out what muscles are not playing their role.  (For more information, touch the above image.)

I’m the mechanic for your muscular system.

If you want to get to the root cause, I’ll figure out what will allow you to function better.  And within the same amount of time, I’ll deliver on a promise.

Make an appointment. Touch here.

What my clients are saying!  😀 

DANCING BAREFOOT AGAIN!!! Plantar fasciitis interrupted my Nia practice off and on for over a year. I tried all of the conventional treatments (exercises, taping, rolling, orthotics, etc.) with NO SUCCESS.

I was super frustrated that I could not find a breakthrough and all my research pointed me back to the same treatments. A friend sent me an article on PF by Rick that blew my mind and gave me hope.

We had a total of 3 sessions. From the start, he was confident that he had the knowledge and ability to address my issue – that helped me a great deal. Everyone else I worked with would say things like “it works for some” or “may take a year to get better.” So frustrating!!!

The payoff: I don’t feel that horrible morning foot pain anymore, can walk barefoot around the house, can wear normal, attractive shoes and, most importantly, I CAN DANCE BAREFOOT WITH NO PAIN!!!

Rick thinks differently, has different/specialized training and expertise, and approaches this condition in a much different way. I deeply appreciate his ability to listen, observe and work slowly and deeply to heal. Rick, thank you for pursuing excellence in what you do and providing treatment that truly delivers the desired outcome.Misty

I was able to finish my half marathon because of Rick.  I have continued to see Rick since my race, and he has helped me tremendously.  I grin now when I remember how skeptical I was initially. – Deidra

Two of my friends have had a good experience with Rick Merriam and suggested I try him. After my second session, I realized that my pain and weakness were significantly reduced, by an estimated 60-70%. – Liz

Rick’s relentless life pursuit of understanding the kinesthetic chain (equal parts architecture and physics) and how to restoratively affect compensatory patterns makes him unique beyond words. Much like Leonardo’s quest to understand human anatomy in a time when that was decidedly unpopular, Rick has taken the time to understand how we move and how to manipulate muscle attachments when those patterns go amiss.

Though it took me two years to find him, I don’t believe that I could fully have appreciated his talent had I not experienced what else was out there first. Sometimes in life, we are fortunate enough to meet people whose passion and brilliance is dedicated to helping others. Rick Merriam is one of those rare people. – Barbara

Rick is simply a master at what he does, and what he does will truly help. I cannot recommend him enough. Go see him, and change your life. – Russ

Rick is a genius. While the goal of most professionals is to create more flexibility, unbeknownst to most of us, this creates LESS stability, which is exactly the opposite of what we need. Rick’s mission is to reactivate the muscles that aren’t doing their job in order to create STABILITY, which is what the body craves and what it needs to function properly. When I went to see Rick I could barely walk due to the pain. Today I am pain-free — you can’t argue with results! – Kathy

I decided it was worth a try and I’m thrilled I did! After only one visit, my hip pain completely went away. I went back later to see Rick for some shoulder pain and again, after 1 visit, I was free of chronic pain. I highly recommend him. – Christy

My family says that I visit Rick because he is the only one who can put Humpty together again”, and I have to agree. As an athlete, my training and injury rate have been phenomenally improved with Rick’s help. He is one of the few, if not the only, person in this field who does not merely address the site of the pain but rather the root cause, which may be an entirely different source.

Rick’s thorough understanding of the body’s biomechanics, how the body is supposed to work and also how your particular body is failing to work properly, leads to the greatest results in the least amount of time. In two hours, Rick helped relieve peritoneal tendonitis in my ankle that had plagued me for almost six months. – Maddie

If you’re looking for a different approach to recurring muscle and joint problems -especially from sports activities – I’d highly recommend talking to Rick. – Hal

I recently took Rick’s Hip CE class at Parker University. I was his very lucky model for the hands-on demonstration, and I haven’t been back to my chiropractor since!  I am hooked!  I am anxious to experience an entire session for my hips and lower back. – Kathryn

It was not until I saw Rick that the leg pain finally started to go away and I felt like I could finally recover. I believe I was able to feel better because Rick’s strategy targets muscle weakness and not tight or sore muscles. If you are struggling with any type of pain, weakness, or imbalance, I highly recommend you to see Rick as he will expertly be able to work with you to re-train your muscles to perform in the way that they should.  – Sarah

I walked out of Rick’s office feeling more relaxed and comfortable than I can remember.  The next day, I got shoes he recommended.  I continue to wear them each day.  I do question why 40 years of visiting a Podiatrist, custom orthotics, and one major foot surgery did not provide the results I got from three hours with Rick and a pair of shoes.  – Steven


In the two decades that I’ve been working one-on-one with clients, I have never seen two people using the same exact movement strategy to get from point A to point B.


If it’s answers and improved function that you’re in search of you have come to the right place.

My daughter struggled with shin splints for a year. After just two sessions with Rick Merriam, she was able to surpass both of her previous personal records in track. She dropped twenty-five seconds off her two-mile  – Beth
I grew up playing all sports but shifted my focus to football and powerlifting when I was in high school. Upon graduation, I had fallen in love with the sport of powerlifting and knew I wanted to compete for the rest of my life. I set over a dozen state records (multiple states), national records, and even one world record. I also won nationals in my short career.

In October of 2010, I was sprinting and ruptured both my patella tendons (below the kneecap). I was convinced I could return to powerlifting; however in January 2011 my physical therapist re-ruptured my left patella tendon, putting me in an almost non-existent category of people who have “achieved” three patella tendon ruptures. To keep it brief the next three years were filled with tons of pain, anxiety, and sheer frustration that I could not regain even normal function and strength in my knees and legs.I searched far and wide to find an answer to my many prayers. I truly believe that prayer was answered when I randomly stumbled across Rick Merriam on YouTube. I got an appointment set up for right after Christmas with Rick, and the fun began!  Only four treatments in I can already tell a huge difference in function and strength.

I am looking forward to my future treatments not only to gain more function but also so I can pick Rick’s brain; he is truly one of the most knowledgeable people I have ever been around. Although I never lost hope; I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel and that to me is priceless. – Chase 

Believing that I exhausted all of my options, I lost hope and just figured the orthopedic was correct and that my condition was irreversible.  For the next half year, friends and family directed me to running specialists and foot doctors, but none of the specialties took.

Then one day in early spring of 2006, I signed up for what I thought was a massage from Rick Merriam at the ESPN Fitness Center.  Going to my appointment with only the expectation of a back massage, Rick asked me if I had any issues that he could help me with.  Not expecting any kind of treatment I casually said, “I do have an issue with my hips.”  I was surprised when Rick actually looked interested in what I was saying.  I could tell he was whole-heartedly paying attention to my symptoms.

Rick then performed a range of motion assessment and began to treat the muscles that were limiting the range of motion.  He was addressing my Biomechanics and not the pain.  All though our session was only fifteen minutes and he could only work on one hip, I noticed an immediate (yes immediate) difference when I hopped off the table.    After two weeks and another hour of work on my hips, I felt completely rejuvenated.  I returned to the soccer field that spring with only the slightest pain in my hips. I wanted more.  With more work from Rick, I have since run multiple marathons; including the New York City Marathon and I’m constantly improving my performance.  I don’t hesitate to push my limits and strive for faster and greater goals.  It’s easy now.  Whenever my body is telling me there’s something wrong, I turn to Rick for a tune-up, insight and get back to business.  – Shaun

Make an appointment. Touch here.

You can also send me a message on Facebook.

75248/ 15150 Preston Rd #356, Dallas, TX

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