Neuromuscular Therapy is a deep tissue technique intended to address chronic pain due to trauma, whiplash, sports injury, impact injury, etc…
NMT is a scientific bodywork modality designed to relieve trigger points and chronic muscular pain syndromes. The process of neuromuscular therapy is precise and thorough and requires MNT practitioners to have specialized knowledge of neuromuscular anatomy and intensive training in its application to alleviate muscular pain.
A major goal of NMT is to locate the sources of pain, free you of the pain, and help restore and maintain the proper balance of the body by bringing it back into harmony. This state of harmony or balance is called homeostasis. NMT renews structural homeostasis by restoring normal physiological functioning between the central nervous system and the musculoskeletal system. NMT techniques also help to relieve the body of ischemia, neural entrapments, postural imbalances, and nutritional related imbalances.
The process of freeing the body of chronic pain and restoring homeostasis is accomplished in NMT by locating and treating trigger points. Trigger points are tender, sensitive areas in the soft tissue that are;
1) Exquisitely painful to the touch,
2) Contains a palpable nodule at the center of a taut band of fibers,
3) Refer or send pain or other sensations to other parts of the body, (which can be far removed from the trigger point itself). The successful treatment of trigger points can bring lasting relief from long standing chronic pain syndromes.
Neuromuscular Therapy technique
Neuromuscular therapy consists of alternating levels of concentrated pressure on the areas of muscle spasm. The massage therapy pressure is usually applied with the fingers, knuckles, or elbow. Once applied to a muscle spasm, the pressure should not vary for ten to twenty seconds.
Muscles that are in spasm will be painful to the touch. The pain is caused by ischemic muscle tissue. Ischemia means the muscle is lacking proper blood flow, usually due to the muscle spasm. This in turn creates the following undesirable process:
Because the muscle is not receiving enough blood, the muscle is also not receiving enough oxygen
The lack of oxygen causes the muscle to produce lactic acid
The lactic acid makes the muscle feel sore following physical activity.
After the muscle is relaxed through massage therapy, the lactic acid will be released from the muscle, and the muscle should start receiving enough blood and oxygen.
Neuromuscular therapy may feel painful at first, but the pressure of the massage should alleviate the muscle spasm. At this point, it is extremely important to communicate with the massage therapist regarding the pressure – whether the pressure is too much, too little, getting better, getting worse. The therapist should listen and respond accordingly. The massage therapy pressure should never be overly painful. In fact, most people describe the pressure as “good pain”.
What to expect after massage therapy
Following a neuromuscular therapy massage, any soreness that presents itself should fade after twenty-four to thirty-six hours. The muscles that were tight should remain noticeably more relaxed for four to fourteen days, depending on stress, activity level, and severity of pain prior to beginning massage therapy.