What is the core, governing theory behind the Arneson Method?
The core theory of the Arneson Method is that the human body automatically conducts biological self-regulation when not constrained by the stress response, which contracts muscles and other tissues. When stress is converted to deep comfort—thereby relaxing contracted tissues and organs—blocked healing functions are released instantly. The pivotal question is, then, what is the best strategy for relaxing the stress response?
The current pain relief paradigm assumes that muscle tension must be forced to soften and the spine forced back into alignment—events that happen spontaneously when relaxation is adequate. Manipulation methods exist because they force tissue changes that invite a partial, secondary relaxation response that, in turn, affords pain relief. It may appear that they force relaxation itself, but this perception is incorrect; relaxation cannot be forced. Since relaxation is a secondary response that may or may not occur, the force approach always involves an element of guesswork, and fails to release blocked healing functions to their potential.
Logically, for best results, normal self-regulation should be restored, i.e. homeostasis. When relaxation is properly guided, self-regulation events occur that are currently unknown to the manipulation methods. Guided relaxation requires in-depth knowledge of the mechanics of relaxation. The bridge from stress to relaxation is the experience of comfort. In contrast to the mainstream pain relief paradigm, the Arneson Method seeks only comfort; it does not treat any particular condition, nor does it force tissue changes with manipulation. Relaxation is not a secondary response; it is the method itself, affording spontaneous self-regulation as determined by individual needs.