Tuesday, April 30, 2013

What is Neuromuscular Therapy?

This is a great question, and one I get a lot. Neuromuscular Therapy, also known as NMT, is a branch of medical massage. Medical massage is goal oriented. The goal of the session is decided by the client and the therapist based on assessment. The therapist begins the session by listening to the client's concerns. This gives the therapist clues about where to start looking. This should be followed up and corroborated by assessing the body structure visually and analytically through observation, palpation and measurement. Once NMTs know where to begin, a plan of action can be made to achieve the clients goal.Neuromuscular Therapy does this by addressing things like postural distortions, nerve entrapment, fascial restrictions, ischemia, trigger points and other issues. When these disturbances are removed the muscles and the nerves communicate more effectively bringing the body back into balance. Now, the thing is, most massage therapists will claim they do the same thing. Which is true. All massage will accomplish these things to some degree, depending on how a technique is applied. That is why there are good therapists out there that are not NMTs. NMTs are different because we are very specific. NMTs will address each muscle in a very specific way, in a particular order. NMTs call this step by step process, a protocol. Being this specific also has another benefit, it is very gentle. NMTs can work extremely deep, often without clients realizing it.Even though NMT is very gentle work, it is not a relaxation massage. Tissues that have issues can be hyper-irritable and sensitive, so the amount of pressure depends on the client. Therapeutic intensity is sometimes necessary to interrupt the body's pain pathways. However, the pressure should not be painful, as the body would then guard against the intrusion and reject the treatment.  Beware of the 'no pain, no gain' idea.  But that is a conversation for another day.

Welcome, I hope to create a discussion here about health and wellness with a massage perspective. Please feel free to stop in for a chat. Thanks Kristi