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Tom Arild Torstensen
Tom Arild Torstensen

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Tom Arild Torstens

Tom Arild Torstensen and the Holten Institute organises courses and seminars in Medical Exercise Therapy (MET) and in Cognitive Rehabilitation Therapy (CRT) – Pain communication and physical activity as pain management.

Tom Arild owns and works clinically at the MET Clinic in Lidingö, Stockholm (www.mttkliniken.se). Furthermore Tom is a PhD student at Swedens Karolinska Institute, where he is currently running a multicenter study on the impact of high repetitive, high dose medical exercise therapy in patients with osteoarthritis of the knee.

Tom Arild is a Norwegian specialist in Orthopaedic Manual Therapy and current clinical Director of the Holten Institute in Lindingo, Stockholm Sweden. He gained his advanced M.sc degree in physiotherapy in 2001 from the University of Bergen, Norway after first graduating with honours in 1983 from Ulster University in Belfast Ireland with a B.Sc., in physiotherapy.

Over the last 25 years Tom Arild has been teaching MET courses in Europe, North America and Korea and more recently courses in Cognitive Rehabilitation Therapy (CRT) which details communication about the psychology and physiology of pain and why graded exercise therapy is excellent pain modulation

Medical Exercise Therapy (MET)

Tom Arild, through many years, has developed MET from a biomedical to a biopsychosocial treatment. MET is a tailored and appropriately dosed exercise and treatment approach suitable for all patient categories such as; Pain, Neurological diagnoses, cardiac, vascular and respiratory conditions. MET was developed by physiotherapist Oddvar Holten in Oslo in the 1960’s.

Cognitive Rehabilitation Therapy (CRT)

CRT can be described as a method to create a better understanding and insight into patients using a set of educational tools delivered with a positive and humorous tone or approach. CRT explains in an understandable way, complicated pain physiology and psychology, and how physical activity activates the body’s pain modulatory systems. These educational models can be integrated into everyday clinical physiotherapy practice. They can also be combined with behavioral methods such as “gradual exposure” and “acceptance”.

Tom Arild Torstensen and Holten Institute

Tom Arild Torstensen is the Holten Institute’s second owner. After several years of collaboration with founder Oddvar Holten, Tom Arild has continued operations of the institute since 1988. In 2009, Tom Arild moved the Holten Institute from Oslo, Norway to Stockholm, Sweden and registered the business as a Swedish limited company. Tom Arild travels widely teaching organised courses in MET and CRT while still working clinically with patients in the MTT clinic at Lidingö in Stockholm, Sweden. The clinical work is the basis for developing MET and CRT theoretically and scientifically.

Research and publications

Tom Arild Torstensen has since 1994 been a driving force in research on the effects of MET, and has continually developed this exercise aproach both practically and theoretically. He has presented his findings at national and international conferences, published in scientific journals and is to date a co-auther of six clinical studies on the effects of MET.


The Holten Institute collaborates with various european universities including Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland, SUPSI in Lugano, Switzerland, Zaragoza in Spain and the Sør-trøndelag University College in Trondheim, Norway. The Holten Institute’s courses in MET and pain communication (CRT) are held in several european countries, Korea and throughout North America.