Neuromuscular therapy is a system of soft tissue massage techniques that were developed in the 1930’s by Dr. Stanley Lief in England. Neuromuscular therapy aims to balance the central nervous system with the musculoskeletal system correct any disorders brought about as a result of any imbalances between the two. Neuromuscular therapy enhances the function of joints and muscles, and speeds healing by facilitating the release endorphins.
How does Neuromuscular Therapy work
Neuromuscular therapy was developed after an intensive study of the nervous system and its interaction with the musculoskeletal system. When the relationship between the two systems is not in a state of homoeostatic balance, chronic myofascial pain or dysfunction can occur. Neuromuscular therapy aims to restore homoeostasis between the two systems.
Neuromuscular therapy has a holistic approach towards healing in that emphasis is laid on stimulating the body to heal itself. Once this healing has begun, neuromuscular therapy techniques are used to stimulate soft-tissue repair in the affected areas.
During a typical session of neuromuscular therapy, the therapist will first examine the patient and his or her medical history in attempt to accurately gauge all the factors that are creating and prolonging pain. Once the problem areas have been identified, alternating levels of concentrated pressure are applied on the areas of muscle spasm with the fingers, knuckles or elbow.
Neuromuscular therapy works by addressing the following six physiological factors which can intensify pain patterns. They are:
Trigger points – trigger points are highly irritable points in the nervous system.
Nerve entrapment/compression – when a nerve gets pressed constantly between the surrounding structures, it can lead to an acute kind of chronic pain.
Postural distortions – Postural distortions result in underdevelopment of the supporting muscles and thereby lead to their weakening.
Nutrition – Lack of adequate nutrition to the cells leads to an over all weakening of the entire system.
Ischemia – In a condition such as Ischemia, the cells and tissues get a reduced blood supply and as a result are under-nourished.
Stress – Stress plays havoc with the functioning of the nervous and musculoskeletal system.
Benefits of Neuromuscular Therapy
Neuromuscular therapy is used to treat conditions such as chronic pain, sciatica, rotator cuff dysfunction, carpal tunnel syndrome, temporomandibular joint dysfunction and migraines. It is also used in the treatment of some physical and sexual abuse-related traumas. Neuromuscular therapy is also the most effective type of massage therapy for lower back pain.
Neuromuscular therapy is also used to locate and release spasms and hyper contractions in the tissue. It aids the healing process for injured tissue, assists in venous and lymphatic flow, restores postural alignment, and imparts flexibility to the tissues.
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