Year of Award


Document Type

Professional Paper

Degree Type

Master of Athletic Training (MAT)

Degree Name

Health and Human Performance (Athletic Training Program Option)

Department or School/College

Department of Health and Human Performance

Committee Chair

Dr. Melanie McGrath

Commitee Members

Dr. Charles Palmer, Karla Judge


manual therapy, anxiety, sports psychology, primal reflex release technique, collegiate athlete, female collegiate athlete


University of Montana

Subject Categories

Alternative and Complementary Medicine | Movement and Mind-Body Therapies | Psychiatric and Mental Health | Sports Sciences


Anxiety is a cognitive, behavioral, and physiological reaction to stress, and athletes have an increased risk being in a high-stress environment. One of the effects of increased stress on the body is a condition known as central sensitization (CS) where the central nervous system amplifies sensory input across many organ systems causing a pain response in normally non-painful areas or hypersensitivity to stimuli. The Primal Reflex Release Technique (PRRT) is a manual-therapy approach for evaluating and relieving musculoskeletal pain in patients, and is meant to facilitate a “neural reboot” of a hyper-aroused nervous system. The purpose of this study is to examine the effect PRRT has on the psychological and physical symptoms of anxiety. In this study 11 participants consented to being involved and completed a baseline State Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI), and 4 of those were chosen to receive the treatment. Those who received the treatment completed the STAI-Y1 form to measure state anxiety, had their heart rate and blood pressure measured, and had a Nocioceptive Exam completed before receiving PRRT. Immediately after the clinician performed PRRT the STAI-Y1 was repeated as well as their physical vital signs. The athlete then completed the STAI-Y1 a third time 48-72 hours’ post-treatment, which concluded their participation in the study. A significant difference in state anxiety (p=0.045) and heart rate (p=0.043) was found immediately between pre-and post-treatment. Systolic blood pressure approached significance (p=0.077) and diastolic blood pressure had no significant change. In comparison to other holistic treatments of massage and meditation, it is suggested the reduction in state anxiety and heart rate could be due to a relaxation mechanism that inhibits the stress response. In conclusion, PRRT is a unique form of treatment that needs to have further research done to understands its effects on psychology and physiology. The evidence from this study indicates that PRRT can provide immediate relief from symptoms of state anxiety and provides a relaxing effect decreasing the heart rate.



© Copyright 2018 Erika K. Vichcales