About Erik Dalton
Creator of Myoskeletal Alignment TEchniques
A Leading Educator in Bodywork: Erik Dalton PhD
Erik Dalton, PhD, has been a manual therapist for more than four decades and a leading bodywork educator for more than 30 years. Dalton earned his clinical psychology and philosophy degrees from the University of Oklahoma. A seminar featuring Dr. Ida Rolf launched him on an impassioned mind-body adventure, leading Dalton to study at the Dr. Ida Rolf Institute, the Menninger Foundation, the Mueller College of Holistic Studies, and Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine.
Dalton has long been fascinated by the patterns of pain that recur in people from all walks of life. As he began to see that neck and back pain occur at almost epidemic rates, Dalton set out to develop a streamlined yet comprehensive way to effectively address that pain. He took the most holistic approach possible, studying not only anatomy, but also the complex impact of the nervous system on human structure. Post-graduate workshops with legendary osteopath Dr. Philip Greenman sparked the desire to integrate joint and connective-tissue techniques into his own pain management practice.
Through his studies and practice as a manual therapist, it became apparent to Dalton that mind and body cannot be separated, and that physical pain is deeply connected to the nervous system. Using this knowledge, he began to develop a system of manual therapy to address pain patterns and movement disorders at their very core. He called this system Myoskeletal Alignment Techniques (MAT) — and as he watched it work wonders on clients with chronic pain, Dalton knew he had to share MAT with others.
In 1998, he released one of the industry’s first nationally approved home study courses, titled “Myoskeletal Alignment Techniques.” Overwhelmed by the positive response, Dalton decided to open his own teaching facility with a full MAT training curriculum. He licensed the facility with the Oklahoma Board of Private Vocational Schools and named it the Freedom From Pain Institute.
In addition to founding this MAT training facility, Dalton has written three bestselling bodywork textbooks and created a full slate of online continuing education courses. A perpetual student himself, Dalton continues to study pain management from every angle. Inspired by the latest advances in brain imaging, he has begun exploring the brain’s role in chronic pain — and now blends this exciting research into his brain-based bodywork teachings.
Dalton is a lifetime member of the International Association for the Study of Pain and an affiliate faculty member at the Indiana State University Department of Applied Medicine and Rehabilitation. In 2012, Indiana State became the first major university in America to offer Dalton’s Advanced Myoskeletal Massage Therapy program as a minor degree in massage.
Dalton was inducted in the Massage Therapy Hall of Fame in 2007. In 2012, he received the One Concept Lifetime Achievement Award. Along with his busy teaching and writing endeavors, Dalton has maintained a private manual therapy practice in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, for more than 40 years. He and his two overly optimistic dogs split their time between Oklahoma City and Santiago, Costa Rica.