Neuromuscular Technique (NMT)
There are many variants of Neuromuscular Technique's (NMT's), and some terms are frequently used interchangeably such as Trigger Point Therapy, Acupressure etc. Neuromuscular Technique (NMT) is commonly used to not only assess dysfunctional tissues but also to treat them. The technique involves the therapist applying pressure to sensitive points of muscle tension widely referred to as Myofascial Trigger Points (MTPs). NMT can be performed by hand or via specially shaped tools to aid with the application of the technique. There are many theories as to how and why NMT's can be used to relieve myofascial pain. One such theory proposes that Neuromuscular Technique's (NMT's) have their effects due to reflex mechanisms (reflex arc) and more specifically the pain-spasm-pain cycle. Usually, when one's body feels pain the body's natural reaction is for tissues to tense up and move away from the painful situation. Pain is one of many types of stressor that can initiate the human fight, flight, freeze stress response and tensing tissues is a way of body trying to armour itself from physical trauma (please see the stress related articles for further information on the fight, flight, freeze response). However, tensing injured tissues or muscles in spasm tends to create more pain and a cycle.
Over time the body adapts (see adaption article) to tensional and compressive changes within tissue structures and these new levels of (hypertonicity) become the "norm" as far as the brain and body are concerned. However, tissue tension and dysfunctional tissues restrict movement and can cause pain as other structures within the body adapt to these changes. Tissue adaptions or dysfunction in one area of the body frequently affect other areas of the body and the kinetic chain and the underlying fascial network. The Neuromuscular Technique (NMT) aims to reset the bodies neuromuscular system back to its base level and thus relieve pain, restore normal tissue tone and function. It is possible for a therapist to break the pain-spasm-pain cycle in the clinical environment, through careful palpation and the correct application of Neuromuscular Technique (NMT's). There are also thought to be some similarities between the mechanisms behind Neuromuscular Technique (NMT) and Myofascial Dry Needling. It is possible to self-treat with Neuromuscular Technique (NMT's), such as self-trigger point therapy. However, there are limits as to the effectiveness of self-applied trigger point therapy, and the article on Self Trigger Point Therapy (TPT) discusses these in more detail. A suitably qualified therapist can usually get far better results and frequently with less pain than trying to self-administer the method. Neuromuscular Technique (NMT) is not the only way to help release the effects of muscle spams and other techniques include Positional Release Technique (PRT).
Massage and Myotherapy Registrations
Terry brings over 15 years of experience working in the MSK field back to Australia from the UK. He also has training in a wide array of techniques and currently works as a Myotherapist. His main areas of interest relate to trauma and myofascial pain relief. He has also taught as a senior course coach on one of the first myotherapy courses in Brisbane.