What is NeuroMuscular Therapy?

Understanding the difference between massage therapy and neuromuscular massage should help when it comes time to decide what kind of therapy is right for you and for what you hope to achieve. Neuromuscular therapists not only have an advanced understanding of the body, the systems and their delicate interplay, but also possess a solid understanding of the techniques of NMT and their practical application.

The principle of NMT is not only to reduce and eliminate pain, but to restore function and to educate clients about what they can do at home to help keep their progress moving forward. To involve clients in their own healing is a foundational element in NMT, and has proven to help keep clients active in their progress as well as more informed about their body in general

It’s a comprehensive approach to assessing muscular imbalances and restoring proper functional relationships in the neuromuscular system.

NMT, a form of medical massage, or clinically relevant deep tissue massage, which recognizes the critical relationship between posture and biomechanics relative to proper function.

It employs holistic clinical massage therapy techniques and patient education to reduce or eliminate pain to help restore postural balance, to mobilize tight myofascial restrictions, and optimize musculoskeletal function.

NMT seeks to eliminate pain, chronic or acute, by addressing five key elements that cause pain based on physiological laws and principles. learn more

Biomechanical Disturbance: Imbalance in the musculoskeletal system resulting in faulty movement patterns.  (i.e., poor lifting habits, computer keyboarding, bad mechanics in a golf swing or tennis stroke).

Ischemia: “Tissues which suffer from lack of circulation. Ischemic tissues are areas so contracted that they restrict the flow of nutrition and oxygen into the muscle, and the removal of metabolic waste products from the area.” (As sited by Chaitow and Delany*), pain associated with fibromyalgia may be derived, in large part, from muscular ischemia. Chronic muscle tightness produces ischemia; ischemia produces pain.

*(Leon Chaitow, N.D., O.D., and Judith Walker DeLany, L.M.T., N.M.T., Clinical Application of Neuromuscular Techniques: Vol 1-Upper Body, Churchill Livingstone, Harcourt Publishers Limited 2000)

“Trigger Points”: Dr. Janet Travell, physician to President John F. Kennedy, coined the term “Trigger Point,” to refer to discrete areas of soft-tissue structures with low neurological activity that, when stimulated or stressed, transform into areas of high neurological activity with referred sensations to other parts of the body (the referral “target” areas).

Nerve Compression or Entrapment: Pressure on a nerve by a bone, cartilaginous structure, or a soft-tissue structure, which can produce a range of symptoms from numbness, tingling, thermal sensations, (called parenthesis), to overtly painful sensations and decrease in muscle function. Nerve compression and entrapment syndromes occur at the level of the spinal cord itself, but also “locally” through the peripheral nervous system, manifesting, for example, as a cold, numbed or “dead” feeling in the forearms, wrists or hands.

Postural distortions: imbalance of the muscular system resulting from the movement of the body off the longitudinal and horizontal planes. Longtime poor postural habits are the most common cause of pain from this element.

How do athletes benefit from a neuromuscular therapy session:  Athletes can reach peak performance sooner and sustain their level of performance longer. The muscles will be trained to perform more quickly and powerfully. Athletes can increase their career span and their level of performance. Athletes are able to recuperate more quickly with this type of program. Spasms are also reduced as a result.

NeuroKinetic Therapy the concise roadmap to the “why” of muscle dysfunction.