Neuromuscular massage is a type of soft tissue massage therapy, which aims in healing pain and disorders, by stimulating the trigger points located in the affected area.
Neuromuscular massage is a form of bodywork, which is primarily focused on a specific area called trigger points, rather than massaging a large body portion. In general, fingertips, hands and elbows are used to explore tissues and give direct pressure. At times, pressure is applied with the help of a small therapy device called t-bar. Originated in England, this soft tissue massage technique aids in stabilizing Central Nervous System (CNS) to treat health problems. The terms neuromuscular massage, Neuromuscular Therapy (NMT) and trigger point myotherapy are used interchangeably.
According to proponents, neuromuscular massage therapy is effective in treating unusual tingling and numbness of limbs, neck pain, back pain, joint pain and repetitive motion injury. A well trained neuromuscular massage therapist work in the localized trigger points to stimulate blood circulation in the ischemic tissues and release pain and spasm. The following information will help you understand more about what is neuromuscular massage, how does it differ from other massage and its several benefits.
The proponents of this massage therapy are of the opinion that, pain in a muscle is due to spasm in a particular portion (not the entire muscle), which then reflects to other areas, leading to painful symptoms. The blood circulation to this affected muscle is decreased, causing lack of oxygen supply and overtime, buildup of lactic acid. This lactic acid deposition causes symptoms of muscle spasms and soreness. Neuromuscular massage therapy is aimed at alleviating muscle stress and healing pain by applying concentrated pressure.
Under neuromuscular therapy, the certified therapist first warms up the soft tissues that require treatment by employing regular massage therapy techniques. This is an essential step before proceeding to actual neuromuscular massage. He/she then finds out the affected tissue or the trigger point, from which the pain has been originated. In some patients, locating trigger points take time, especially if they experience referred pain in other areas that are unrelated to the source of muscle pain.
In case of muscle spasms affecting the adjacent nerves, associated symptoms such as tingling and numbness are observed. The neuromuscular therapist tries to feel the intensity of numbing sensations manifested in other muscles. Following this, the therapist will apply gentle, yet concentrated pressure lasting for about 30 seconds over the particular area. The lactic acid buildup at the trigger point is dispersed, thus restoring normal blood and oxygen supply to the tissues.
During the session, the patient will feel increased pain sensation in the first few minutes, which will subside gradually. Muscle pain and soreness are neutralized by recurrent application of concentrated pressure over the trigger points. With this, blood flow at the affected bodily areas are restored and the tissues start functioning normally. Other notable neuromuscular massage benefits are trouble free body movements or increased flexibility, restoring body posture and higher stamina. Know more on massage therapy benefits.
In brief, neuromuscular massage cure muscle spasms by giving increased pressure in specialized areas, which are missed out by general massage. It follows the holistic approach of healing pain and disorders, whereby the affected body tissues are stimulated to heal on their own. Although some patients get relief from pain after a single neuromuscular massage session, others may need to go for repeated sessions in order to observe the benefits of neuromuscular therapy.