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What is Neuromuscular Therapy and How is it Different from a Regular Deep Tissue Massage?

Posted on 28 January, 2013 at 18:02
Have you ever had an agonizing spot between your shoulders in your neck; a headache coming from seemingly nowhere? You try to rub it out, but to no good. You might have a friend or spouse push on the "knot" between your shoulders, or rub your forehead... but nothing happens. It might feel good for the moment, but there is no or very little relief.

The reason is that your discomfort or pain is not coming from the area you are rubbing. It's coming from a distance place elsewhere in the body and what you feel is referred pain from a trigger point.

Neuromuscular therapy involves work on trigger points and it also involves an examination of your alignment or posture. Your posture is often a reason for the formation of trigger points and therefore needs to be addressed.

When you come in for a treatment with a neuromuscular therapist, a look at your posture can give us a lot of information and a quick idea of what we should address first to lessen your pain/discomfort. Tight muscles can pull you out of proper alignment; we want your body back in alignment and in balance to stop tension and the creation of trigger points. A trigger point can form due to: posture (habitual posture at work), post-surgery scar tissue, disease, illness, vitamin deficiency, stress (mental and physical), aging, metabolic disorders, toxic food, bony anomalies and more....
 
When I work on someone, clients often ask me if I can feel the trigger point, or how can I possibly end up right on it? Most often I can feel it when working on the tissue, but sometimes I just have a sense of where it is. This "sense" is probably made up from knowing where the general location of the trigger point is in most people and a tissue response, such as a little twitch, a little flutter, resistance to my pressure, or the sensation that the area feels a little warmer than the rest.

By now you're probably thinking, "So, what is a trigger point?"

A trigger point can be small as a pin head, a little nodule pea size, or it can be a large lump, or several lumps together; tender spots in a taut band, hard muscle that feels like a cord or guitar string, ropey and stringy, like spaghetti glued together. There are different theories about how trigger points form. One popular theory is that the root of a nerve is traumatized or pinched, and trigger points form along this traumatized nerve.
 
If you are one of those who never had a neuromuscular treatment but would like to get more results out of your deep tissue massages, NMT is probably something for you. Neuromuscular work is a form of deep tissue work, but the difference from a regular deep tissue massage and neuromuscular work is the trigger point release. If we treat a muscle and neglect to release the major trigger points, the muscle won't relax much. This is usually when people will say after their massage, "Well, it felt good as long as it lasted, but it didn't do anything." That's because the trigger points weren't released. An arm or hand was probably just sliding over the trigger points. A trigger point has to be treated with a static pressure in order to release. 

- Kicki

Categories: Therapies

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250 Comments

Reply Lena Storck
1:01 on 31 January, 2013 
A deeper understanding for what happens within a body is not only practical, but also spiritual. I always felt that what sets you aside from many other massage therapists is that a lot of your work comes from a deeper place within. I am convinced you are better able at finding these trigger points and achieve what many others can not because of this. Thank you for breaking it down in a way that is easy to understand, Kicki.
Reply Morgan Kim
5:39 on 9 February, 2013 
Yes, I am agree with your talking. That is totally difference and important to all. Your neuromuscular therapy information so effective to me that helps me to know difference between the neuromuscular therapy to regular deep tissue massage.
Reply Giancarlo Brandon
7:45 on 11 February, 2013 
It's truly much different from the common massage therapy and as it works from the central area so I guess it's more effective. I'm extremely happy to get some ideas about the healing process. Thanks for writing about a precious topic.
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Reply eskorte jenter
14:07 on 4 June, 2013 
Brilliant speech of the information shared about deep tissue massage therapy that was amazing and useful for all. I was looking this sort of info and thanks. Keep on going !!!
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Take note, however, that these exercises will ask you to behave in a way that is not your norm. Be ready to stretch yourself out of your current comfort zone. A change can only happen when you are willing to change.
Reply Kicki Hjortmarker
0:46 on 13 July, 2013 
Morgan Kim says...
Yes, I am agree with your talking. That is totally difference and important to all. Your neuromuscular therapy information so effective to me that helps me to know difference between the neuromuscular therapy to regular deep tissue massage.

Thanks for your comment. I'm glad it was useful!:)
Kicki
Reply Kicki Hjortmarker
1:02 on 13 July, 2013 
Lena Storck says...
A deeper understanding for what happens within a body is not only practical, but also spiritual. I always felt that what sets you aside from many other massage therapists is that a lot of your work comes from a deeper place within. I am convinced you are better able at finding these trigger points and achieve what many others can not because of this. Thank you for breaking it down in a way that is easy to understand, Kicki.

Thanks Lena for your input! I just saw your comment. Better late than never to reply, right!?;)
I'm glad you thought the information was useful. We have talked quite a bit about the body, mind connection, and as you say, I have witnessed and can truly say that I know that there is always a body/mind correlation: Hey, if it hurts, it's gonna' bug your mind, right!Sometimes, healing is fast, because not too many emotions were involved with the trauma that your body is/was going thru, but, at other times we have pain for no appearent reason....it just seems to be there; all of a sudden a body part just hurts: That's when we might have to dig further. There are times when working on a specific area of the body of a specific person, that all of a sudden makes my client jump, start crying, fall asleep, jerk, or start mumbling funny things, or just have to tell me about a memory that just crossed their mind. I believe these are all signs of releases and are useful, and even crucial for healing to take place.
Reply Kicki Hjortmarker
1:04 on 13 July, 2013 
eskorte jenter says...
Brilliant speech of the information shared about deep tissue massage therapy that was amazing and useful for all. I was looking this sort of info and thanks. Keep on going !!!

Thank you!
Reply Kicki Hjortmarker
1:12 on 13 July, 2013 
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Take note, however, that these exercises will ask you to behave in a way that is not your norm. Be ready to stretch yourself out of your current comfort zone. A change can only happen when you are willing to change.

True, sometimes exercises will take you out of your comfort zone and I also agree that you will need to want to change. However, when I suggest exercises for my clients, they lay within the comfort zone of the subject. I don't wish anyone to hurt themselves from the exercises I suggest. I let a Physical Therapist show the really uncomfortable stretches instead ;). When working with a team of Physical Therapists they used to say that the abbreviation of Physical Therapy, PT, stands for Pain & Torture! LOL!
Reply Kicki Hjortmarker
1:14 on 13 July, 2013 
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It's truly much different from the common massage therapy and as it works from the central area so I guess it's more effective. I'm extremely happy to get some ideas about the healing process. Thanks for writing about a precious topic.

Thanks for letting me know the information was useful!:)
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