Neuromuscular Therapy

What is Neuromuscular Therapy & How is it Accomplished?

Neuromuscular therapy is a scientific approach to the problem of pain which utilizes advanced concepts in the science and art of pressure therapy. During the initial examination the therapist will note:

  • Sensitivity to pain
  • Temperature and firmness of tissue
  • Postural distortion
  • State of myofascial tone and contraction

A thorough examination is made of all active trigger points in the general area of the complaints as well as silent Trigger Points in the common referral zones in order to determine which triggers are contributing to pain, tension, or other symptoms.

The areas of pain referral vary slightly from person to person, but are remarkably consistant and reproducible in the same individual. The therapist will create a “bodymap” of  the client’s complaints noting each symptom, muscle, ligament, and tendon that will require therapy. Depending on the symptom and location, the therapist will use his hands and fingertips to manipulate tissues and apply  pressure to the involved tissues. Sometimes additional modalities, such as specific applications of heat and cold, will be utilized during the treatment session. Specific movement exercises and self-treatment techniques will be provided for maintaining the benefits of the session.

As a result of treatment it is not uncommon to experience:

  • Increased mobility
  • Increased circulation and warmth, especially in the extremities
  • Reduction or Cessation of pain
  • Relaxation, softening and lengthening of connective tissue
  • Reduction of the sensitivity of trigger sites.

Neuromuscular Therapy allows  a reversal of the stress-tension-pain cycle. The treatment specifically interrupts afferent impulses to the spinal cord, reduces the intensity of nervous activity within the tissues, and mechanically forces out toxic irritants which have accumulated at nerve receptor sites. The muscle relaxes, circulation is increased, and the body returns to normal neuromuscular integrity and balance.

What are the General Benefits of Neuromuscular Therapy?

  • Decreased Pain
  • Decreased Bodily Toxicity
  • Greater Flexibility
  • Greater Freedom of Movement
  • Increased Circulation
  • Increased Energy and Vitality
  • Increased Sense of Well Being
  • Improved Postural Patterns and More Graceful, Balanced Movements

Does Neuromuscular Therapy Hurt?

There is a certain amount of occasional discomfort in any deep muscle therapy. The greatest discomfort is usually experienced after the first session. Mild pressure does not elicit pain in normal healthy tissue, therefore the presence of tissue tenderness is a valuable guide for the therapist. It indicates those areas where adhesions, muscular spasms, trigger points, and cellular toxins are located. Continuous feedback from the client is encouraged to insure that the therapy is conducted with the minimum amount of force necessary, while achieving maximum results. As you continue treatment, you will feel better each time. Some clients compare the sensations of treatment to “scratching an itch they didn’t realize they had”.

How Long Does a Complete Program of Therapy Take?

The initial examination and therapy session may last around an hour and a half. Each subsequent session lasts approximately thirty minutes to one hour. As a rule, Neuromuscular Therapy clears the way for rapid results, however, healing is a biological process that takes time.* The duration of the total therapeutic program depends on:

  • How much damage has been done
  • How rapidly your body heals
  • The state of your general health
  • The stress factors influencing your life
  • The length of time that the condition has existed
  • The effort that you put into your home exercise and self care program

What is the Role of Exercise in Neuromuscular Therapy?

Skeletal muscle is an extension of your nervous system. It is a mechanism through which our nervous system expresses itself in physical realm. Our nervous system, and our muscles, learn through repetition. We learn dysfunctional postures, dysfunctional movements, actions and patterns of physical tension that physically stress our systems. These mechanical stresses result in pain, impeded  circulation, inefficient oxygen exchange, poor elimination of wastes from our tissues, excessive wear on our joints, and decreased mobility and range of motion. These “habits of motion” are cumulative, and responsible for a large part of the decreases in physical ability and decreases in physical comfort that we associate with the process of aging.

A carefully thought out system of self care and exercise can prevent  symptoms of neuromuscular pain and dysfunction from returning. The therapy sessions create release and mobility and reduction of pain, but proper stretching, exercise, diet, and body use are what maintain these benefits.

The major purpose of the stress reaction is to prepare the organism for fight or flight. Primitive man met nearly all stress with physical action. Modern man is prepared in the same way for physical exertion in the presence of stress, but has limited socially acceptable ways to respond through physical expression. The implementation of an individually appropriate exercise program is vital to any system of stress reduction.

What Specific Health Problems have responded successfully to Neuromuscular Therapy?

  • Athletic Injuries
  • Back Pain
  • Bodily Stiffness
  • Bursitis
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Constipation
  • Equilibrium and Balance Disorders
  • Extremity Numbness
  • Fatigue
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Frozen Shoulder
  • Gastric Reflux
  • Headaches/Migraines
  • Hip Pain
  • Jaw Pain/ TMJD
  • Joint Immobility
  • Knee Pain
  • Leg & Foot Pain
  • Lowered Vitality
  • Muscular Cramping
  • Muscular Tension
  • Muscular Weakness
  • Neck & Shoulder Pain
  • Nervous Tension
  • Neuritis
  • Poor Circulation
  • Postural Disorders
  • Sciatica
  • Shin Splints
  • Sinus Disorders
  • Sleep Disorders
  • Spinal Distortions
  • Sprains & Strains
  • Stiff Neck
  • Tendonitis
  • Tennis Elbow
  • Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
  • Weak Wrists
  • Whiplash
  • And Various Other Conditions

The nervous system must participate in all bodily functions. Such participation may change and even aggravate conditions, with pain as the most common symptom. When influenced by Trigger Points, the nervous system may may make some conditions worse, prolong the duration of others, or transform acute conditions into chronic ones. The introduction of Neuromuscular Therapy interrupts this Stress-Tension-Pain cycle, and aids the body in returning to a state of well-being and balance.