Neuromuscular massage therapy

Neuromuscular therapy is also referred to as trigger point myotherapy . The American Academy of Pain Management recognizes this form of massage therapy as an effective treatment for back pain caused by soft tissue injury (such as a muscle strain.)

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 thirty seconds.

I also use techniques that are not painful by accessing the various proprioceptors of the muscle tissue that determine if a muscle should contract or relax. By gently working the Golgi Tendon Organs in the insertion point, I can activate the brain to release Acetalcholine Esterase, which dissolves the calcium bridge from the nerve to the muscle fiber, allowing it to relax.

Massage therapy can reduce muscle pain -
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
  • Additional movement promotes pain, which causes the muscle to become defensive and spasm.
  • The spasm creates Ischemia and decreases blood/oxygen flow to the muscle.

After the muscle is relaxed through massage therapy, metabolic watse 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 me regarding the pressure - whether the pressure is too much, too little, getting better, getting worse. The 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 the session.  Drinking lots of water increases the Lymphatic System's ability to flush out the metabolic waste that was built up. Light stretching with an emphasis on holding the stretch increases the blood flow to the area as well.

Don't confuse it with other modalities

People tend to refer NMT as “Trigger Point Therapy” or “Deep Tissue Massage”. Either is only partly accurate. TPT is only a small part of NMT, based on Trevall's work. NMT also involves Range of Motion Techniques , Postural Assessment, Muscle Testing and Nutrition.

Deep Tissue Massage is a very confusing phrase that many therapists use to imply that they do more than Swedish Massage. However, one can affect tissue that lies deep without a lot or any pressure, while one can apply a lot of pressure or just cause pain without affecting any deep tissue at all.

As I have pointed out, I can use NMT to affect deep layered muscles without pain or pressure depending on the area affected, the precise muscle that is traumatized, and the specific pathology (constriction of Fascia, calcium deposit, excess nitrogen, Glutenization, etc…).

Neither NMT nor DTM are methods of just “pushing harder”. They are very specific ways of assessing the problem, testing the surrounding muscles, and treating them with a complex understanding of the neuro-chemical relations of the muscle fibers.

I am currently in the process of getting Nationally Certified in Neuro-Muscular Therapy in the American Version through the Neuro-Muscular Therapy Center in Florida .