Book Neuromuscular Therapy

What is Neuromuscular Therapy?

The Basics


There are many versions of NMT as it was derived from traditional ayurvedic Asian techniques and modified by European osteopaths and chiropractors and then combined into other interpretations here in America . Although they differ in technique, they are all based on the same scientific principles of treating soft tissue pain through manual trigger point release.

American NMT version is defined by its creator, Judith Delany, as: “a precise, thorough examination and treatment of the body’s soft tissues using regionally oriented protocols.” American version NMT also takes into consideration perpetuating factors in biomechanical (I.e. leg length discrepancy), biochemical (hormonal or nutritional imbalances), and psycho-social (past trauma, stress, anxiety) when seeking the cause of a person’s physical pain. NMT can use such techniques as muscle energy, positional release, Proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation, passive and active stretching, joint mobilization, and breathing techniques.




What happens in the first NMT treatment?


Your first treatment will include thorough visual assessments of your posture, gait analysis, specific movements, special orthopedic tests to the specific area, and a verbal medical history. Any left over time from the intake will be used for treatment. Please wear comfortable clothing as some of the treatment and assessment may be performed with clothing on. Should you need to disrobe as treatment progresses, I will step out of the room for your privacy and instruct you on the correct position to take ( Face up/side lying/face down) underneath the blanket. We will only be working on the affected region during NMT sessions to get the best results. (example; for shoulder sessions I will work only on muscles pertaining to the shoulder until lasting change is created before moving on to neighboring regions.




Does NMT use deep pressure?


NMT is so thorough and precise, it’s protocols require that we work from superficial to deep structures, meaning, I would first work on the muscles on the outer surface before applying pressure to deeper structures layered underneath.

To ensure treatment is tailored to your own comfort level we will communicate throughout the treatment using a pressure scale of 1-10. 1 indicates the pressure used is too light or not effective and a 10 indicates too much and potentially damaging pressure. We want the pressure to be in the 5-7 range. It should “hurt so good” or only be slightly uncomfortable. The trigger points should melt away at which you should communicate to me when and how much they have decreased using the same pressure scale of 1/10.




How often should I get NMT? How often should I get therapeutic/maintenance massages?


Although this can be different for everyone due to each person’s unique story, body, and injury history, a general guideline for chronic pain (any pain that lasts over 3 months) is to receive NMT weekly for at least 4-6 weeks. This treatment schedule along with completion of your home exercises is the most effective way to create long lasting change. As your pain decreases, so will your frequency and we will discuss these changes together.

As for maintenance massage, every 3-4 weeks is generally a good routine.




Do I have to do my home exercises?


If you want to get the MOST out of your treatments and money…. YES! The exercises will create long lasting actual change in your body in conjunction with the manual therapy. You are responsible for your own health and outcomes!




What modalities are used at RNB wellness?


Muscle Energy Technique: An osteopathic manual technique that uses the client’s own gentle isometric muscle contractions as “ropes” to pull joints back into place. The client is correctly positioned and then asked to use 20% of their force to the counterforce of the therapist. The contraction is held 5-8 seconds and may be repeated 3-5 times, increasing the range of the joint each time.

Acupressure: Uses vaccaria seeds (similar to a poppy seed, from New Zealand) or gentle prolonged manual pressure to apply just enough stimulation to specific points on the body to ignite desired outcome changes. Very similar to acupuncture and uses the same meridian channels and principles. Can be useful in treating anxiety, insomnia, orthopedic pain, decreased range of motion, head aches, and more.

Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation: A set of active stretches where the targeted muscle is gently contracted for a few seconds to shut off the stretch reflex, and then immediately brought to a new lengthened state.

Types of PNF:

  • Hold relax: The targeted muscle is taken to end range and then a gentle isometric contraction against resistance is held for 5-8 seconds. Upon release from the isometric contraction, the targeted muscle is stretched to it’s new end range.

  • Contract relax: The targeted muscle is concentrically contracted against gentle resistance through its range of motion and then relaxed into a passive stretch through end range.

  • Hold relax, agonist contract: The target muscle is gently resisted isometrically for 5-8 seconds. Upon release, the target muscle’s antagonist is activated while being taken to new end range.

Massage cupping: Alternative medicine where suction cups create negative pressure on the tissues for the purpose of increasing localized blood and lymph flow, decrease blood pressure, treating stretch marks, breaking up fascial adhesions/scar tissue, and promoting energy flow (Qi). Also can create sedating, calming effect.

Gua-sha: Gua sha is a healing technique of traditional East Asian medicine. Gua sha is defined as instrument-assisted unidirectional press-stroking of a lubricated area of the body surface to intentionally create transitory therapeutic petechiae called ‘sha’ representing extravasation of blood in the subcutis. (guasha.com)

Graston: This technique is the western version of Gua-sha. It uses transverse friction on soft tissues to re-ignite a controlled inflammatory response with the purpose of breaking up scar tissue to restart the healing process. Coupled with specific exercises to re-align fibers correctly.

Pin and Stretch technique: The generic version of A.R.T ( Active release technique). The therapist will apply pressure directly above an adhesion creating a “pin”, and the client is directed to perform active movement of the joint through it’s range of motion, lengthening the muscle. Pin and stretch is used to localize or isolate the stretch of a muscle. Can also be done passively.

Joint Mobilization: Gentle oscillatory techniques performed to increase joint nutrition and mobility. Not to be confused with high velocity thrust manipulation, which is performed by chiropractors.





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Email. caitlyn.b@rnb-wellness.com

Phone. 978-390-0198

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