Neuromuscular Therapy sounds a bit like a bogus pseudo science therapy, but it's really quite simple. It's massage therapy that engages with the nervous system and looks at addressing dysfunction rather than just the painful area.
Some massage just presses and prods at your body without intent. It hurts and it's not helpful.
NMT is the opposite of this. NMT is massage with calm and direct purpose. It's massage that is muscle specific, focused on healing and promoting a response from the nervous system.
It's a therapy that although at times intense, is ultimately beneficial for the mind and body.
Neuromuscular Massage Therapy is about treating the whole person and not just the issue. Although the source of pain or discomfort might be the focus for some sessions, ultimately the cause of this needs to be addressed, too.
Certain physical problems arise from posture, incorrect movement habits, the mind (stress, anxiety), or disease (such as arthritis). A person is more than just muscle, bones and fascia to a massage therapist. There's a lot going on in our bodies and minds and therefore the right treatment needs to be given, every time.
How does this happen?
I often look at potential postural problems (nice alliteration there) and movement dysfunction that could be creating or enhancing the condition. This can be addressed by targeting specific muscles and forming the correct habits through exercises and awareness.
Sometimes the mind needs to be addressed as much as the muscles. By relaxing the mind, the body can be in a better state to receive treatment. Therapeutic work can start or end with a relaxation approach in order calm the body down.
Chronic conditions can be managed better with massage that treats the right structures and components of the body in a way that doesn't exacerbate the condition.
It's not just the techniques that make NMT so valuable, its the way in which we apply them, how and when.
It's the way in which we look at the whole person, body and mind.
NMT is not just about a quick fix, it's about creating long lasting change and body awareness so that you can maintain a healthy lifestyle and stay active.
Chris is a fully trained massage therapist, registered with Massage New Zealand,
he has two diplomas in therapeutic and clinical massage therapy and a certificate in relaxation.
Chris works from the historical Orewa House on the Hibiscus Coast and with the team at Lifestyles NMT in New Lynn, Auckland.