Neuromuscular Therapy (NMT)
Neuromuscular Therapy (NMT) is a methodology for assessing, treating and preventing soft tissue injuries and chronic pain. There are many variations of NMT. Deb uses the St. John Method of NMT and was an instructor for St. John Seminars for several years, teaching other practitioners how to perform NMT.
NMT includes a full postural assessment to determine the muscular imbalances in the body. Treatment is based upon those findings to rebalance the body. In short, the assessment allows the practitioner to create a "blueprint" or plan for treatment. The client is measured in both the standing and supine (laying down) positions. A practitioner may have taken training in these methods to learn the muscular treatment piece, but the work is not complete without the assessment.
The assessment shows where the muscular imbalances are, and it helps to rule out any structural issues. According to Dr. Janet Travell, a small anatomical leg length difference or a smaller hemipelvis (one hip bone bigger than the other) can have a tremendous impact on the recovery process. Structural issues might not cause the pain, but they do perpetuate it, and can keep the client from getting well. Deb cannot diagnose these conditions, but the measurements taken during the assessment can indicate whether they might be present.
Another common principle of NMT includes how the healing process works. These are the 5 stages of rehabilitation:
Ultimately, the goal of hands-on work is to address the soft tissue causes of pain. Many times, the cause for a client's pain can't be determined, and that may be because the soft tissues haven't been thoroughly examined. Muscle pain does not show up in an x-ray.
NMT systematically examines the muscles, tendons, ligaments, organs, and other soft tissues to eliminate those potential causes of pain. Restoring proper posture and movement patterns is also crucial in this process. Improper posture and movement makes our muscles work harder. If our bones aren't supporting us, then our muscles must do that job too. When the body can function more efficiently in gravity, pain and other problems are often alleviated.