By: Alicia De Mello
What is Neuromuscular therapy?
Neuromuscular therapy or technique (NMT) is the manual application of specialized pressure and strokes
that have either a diagnostic (assessment) or therapeutic (treatment) goal. The focus of the treatment is to
alleviate myofascial pain and dysfunction as well as deactivating trigger points.
What is a trigger point?
Simply, it's a knot. A small, palpable (able to feel) nodule in a tight band of muscle. Trigger points (TPs)
are painful to pressure and can cause referred pain, decreased range of motion, and even such things as
nausea, runny nose, and eye watering.
• Active trigger point: client is aware and familiar with pain
• Latent trigger point: only tender with touch
Releasing Your Trigger points
How do you treat a trigger point yourself? Visit this amazing DIY blog article, entitled "How To Fix Myself When My Massage Therapist is Nowhere to be Found." There, you will learn a step by step process for finding and releasing your trigger points, specifically for headache relief!
Need help? Book an appointment with a local massage therapist! If you're in the Connecticut, book your appointment at Grow Wellness! Mention this blog and get 10% off! 203-403-3710
Ever notice that your massage therapist will find a spot in your back and just hold pressure there and it
will hurt? Or when your shoulders are bothering you at home so you find a door jam and lean into it?
Most clients I've seen in my career, have referred to it as “that feel good hurt” – yes, it hurts but I know
it's doing something.
Our body is only able to recognize one stimulation at a time. So the pain that we go to a massage therapist
to address or we try to fix ourselves with a door frame at home can be overridden by applying another
sensation – pressure, heat, cold, electrical stimulation, vibration. A new stimulant travels faster than
through our nervous system than an old pain.
NMT should NOT be used within 72 hours of an injury
Why I chose neuromuscular therapy
I have struggled with TMJD issues since I was a child. The worst headaches I experience, are directly
related to my chronic teeth grinding. At a certain point, I accepted that this is just the burden I had to
carry. And then I started getting more and more migraine and TMJD focused clients. That pushed me to
look into ways I could further help my clients, and as a bonus, help myself.
Why You should choose neuromuscular therapy
Especially now more than ever, being post-pandemic, a good portion of the population is still working at
home. Some have went all out and created ergonomic office spaces. While, and I know this for a fact,
some are working whole shifts on laptops in bed. And if we're not working on computers with poor
posture we're “relaxing” on our phones with necks overstretched. We've had to wear masks for the last
two years. Many of us have felt facial pain after a whole day of wearing them, myself included. As much
as we were appreciative of having to wear mask so people around us couldn't see how we really felt about
an interaction (and of course the global pandemic), our facial muscles – from the eyes up – sure did get a
Unbeknownst to a surprising amount of people, our muscles encompass our whole body. The same way
we get knots in our back and shoulders, we're entirely capable of developing knots in our scalp, forehead,
eyebrows, and cheeks. Whether we know it or not, our face is constantly making micro-expressions.
There's the saying “it takes more muscles to frown than to smile”. As a massage therapist, there's no
reason why we should take more care of the muscles in our back and legs than the muscles in the
seemingly less necessary areas like the neck and head. We take for granted the importance of our neck
and head until we wake up one morning and can't turn our head.
On all following charts, “X” denotes trigger points for headaches