Paul Mettler, PT, DPT

Dr. Mettler received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Physical Therapy from the University of North Dakota. He received his Transitional Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science in Chicago.

Following training residency programs, Dr. Mettler began his career as a physical therapist at Provena Covenant Hospital (Urbana, IL). He joined the outpatient orthopedic sports medicine physical therapy department at Christie Clinic (Champaign, IL) in 1984. In 1990, he opened his first physical therapy clinic in Champaign IL.


  • American Physical Therapy Association (APTA)
  • Private Practice Section of the APTA
  • Research Section of the APTA
  • American Academy of Craniofacial Pain (AACP)
  • American Academy of Pain Management (AAPM)
  • American Academy of Orofacial Pain (AAOP)



  • Innovator of Dermal-Fascial Restoration℠, a soft tissue mobilization technique to free adhesions in connective tissue.
  • Inventor of Doctor M Pillow®, a line of patented, orthopedic pillows.

Personal Quote

“To obtain optimal whole life fitness, we need to have a healthy cardiopulmonary, neurovascular, musculoskeletal and connective tissue system. Success in this field means taking an individual and transforming them through our talents and skills and giving them the knowledge, enthusiasm, and ability to be fit for life. The most important thing we can do as health and wellness professionals are to always strive for the best with long-lasting results.”

Inception of Dermal-Fascial Restoration

The first release of a dermal-fascial restriction by Dr. Mettler occurred in the Spring of 1991, after years of frustration and discontentment with inefficacious traditional therapy methods on subacute/chronic conditions.

The discovery came about while treating a patient with TMJ disorder, when Dr. Mettler’s hands made a fortuitous connection that allowed him to specifically target a dermal-fascial tissue restriction and release the restriction/adhesion. Dr. Mettler understood the profundity of this release by reason of the immediate and substantial change in this patient’s ability to open her mouth. Thus, the Mettler Release Technique (MRT®) was born. The technique has since been named Dermal-Fascial Restoration℠ (DFR℠).

Twenty years later, this profound release is the aim for which Dermal-Fascial Restoration is employed.

Development of Dermal-Fascial Restoration

Dr. Mettler often sees patients who are continuing to struggle with pain and impairment long after concluding conventional physical therapy and other medical treatments. The inflammatory process that accompanies injury is far more disruptive than commonly thought. The effects of this inflammation on the musculoskeletal system can be more debilitating than the original injury itself. This frequently accounts for ongoing, pervasive and growing impact of injury and functional limitations.

Dr. Mettler has been teaching and practicing the importance of understanding inflammatory processes’ impact on the muscular-skeletal system for years. Medical research and practice has only recently begun to catch up. Medical science now supports the idea that inflammation is a key factor leading to aging and disease of all types. Dr. Mettler recognized and acted on this realization over 20 years ago.

High Frequency Shear Wave Elastography (HFSWE) is non-invasive and quantifies tissue stiffness using color images through echogenicity of Ultrafast ultrasound. Imaging results include a colorized map and a quantification of tissue stiffness in kilopascals (KPAs). Inflammation can lead to adhesion formation in the skin and myofascia. HFSWE can demonstrate the central role of stiffness in musculoskeletal problems. Therapists can improve their effectiveness using objective tools.

Dermal-Fascial Restoration is a new approach for addressing the effect of inflammatory processes on the muscular-skeletal system. When combined with traditional therapy methods, the rate and magnitude of recovery is improved dramatically. Dr. Mettler and his associates have successfully treated more than 7,500 patients with average scores of 70% to 90% in functional improvement and over 90% in patient satisfaction. Results are objective, immediate, and long-lasting.

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