This type of therapy provides a solution for each of the five elements that are known to cause pain in the body:
- Ischemia. Patients that experience hypersensitivity as a result of lack of blood supply to soft tissues benefit from this type of massage therapy. Patients can determine if the tissue is in an ischemic state by applying five to 10 pounds of pressure. If this causes tenderness, then the tissue is in an ischemic state. The massage therapist often performs a test to determine if the condition exists.
- Trigger Points: Trigger points are highly irritated points that transfer pain to other parts in the body. The trigger points inhibit proper blood flow, which may cause ischemia. This leads to additional pain and discomfort. Massage therapy helps to eliminate pain.
- Nerve Compression or Entrapment. When a person experiences pressure on a nerve as a result of soft tissue, cartilage or bone, this ailment can often be treated by realigning the vertebrae if they are dislocated or if the spinal disks are herniated. Rehabilitation is enhanced and the pain is alleviated if the surrounding soft tissues are treated through therapy.
- Postural Distortion. The muscular system becomes balanced resulting from the movement of the body off of the longitudinal and horizontal planes.
- Biomechanical Dysfunction. Massage therapy helps to heal the imbalance of the musculoskeletal system. This imbalance results from poor lifting habits, bad golf swing, poor computer keyboarding or other problems.
There is a distinct difference from the practice of neuromuscular massage and traditional massage. The neuromuscular therapist will evaluate the patient for postural distortion, biomechanical dysfunction and myofascial trigger points. They also locate and eliminate spasms and hypercontraction from soft tissues.
Restoration of postural alignment, biomechanics, movement patterns, flexibility and improved blood flow are also involved in these therapy sessions. Neuromuscular massage therapists also restore the strength of injured, weak or atrophied tissues. These therapists will also build the endurance of tissues for lasting results.
Naturopathic, osteopathic, chiropractic, nursing and occupational and physical therapy are all disciplines that may combine this type of therapy with their current disciplines. Patients can gain great benefit from combining this discipline with others for effective pain management.
This type of therapy is efficient in alleviating pain associated with:
Athletes benefit from the Optimal Flexibility Program. With this program, they can reach peak performance sooner and sustain their level of performance longer. The muscles will be trained to perform more quickly and powerfully. Athletes can increase their career span and their level of performance. Athletes are able to recuperate more quickly with this type of program. Spasms are also reduced as a result of this program.
Those studying this discipline will study: Cranial manipulation, intra-oral tissue release, TMJ treatment, spinal mobilization, lymphatic enhancement, respiratory dysfunction, trigger point deactivation, rehabilitation sequencing and advanced anatomy. Obtaining this certificate usually takes 15 months or more.