Muscle energy technique (or MET) is based on the principle of reciprocal inhibition, a theory that explains that muscles on one side of a joint will always relax to accommodate the contraction of muscles on the other side of that joint when indirect pressure is applied. MET is often applied to patients who suffer from muscle spasms. The following physiological effects occur:
- Golgi tendon organ activation results in a direct inhibition of the agonist muscles
- A reflexive reciprocal inhibition occurs at the antagonistic muscles: As the patient relaxes the muscles stretch further and the joint can be moved further into the restricted range of motion.