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How does neuromuscular technique really work?

Neuromuscular Technique (NMT) sound worrying and painful. Actually they are highly useful techniques that eliminate restricted movements and pain.

These techniques are used in conjunction with effleurage (light stretching) and pettrisage (deep rubbing) to enable the therapist to work on particular muscle groups.

Areas of muscle that are overly tense are painful when they're stretched out, so that part of the muscle resists being lengthened out. The new "normal" for the hypertonic (tight) tissue becomes the shortened position, because this is comfortable.

The brain makes sure that the signals being sent to the muscles keep it contracted in order to avoid pain. After all, one of the main functions of the central nervous system is to avoid pain in the body.

NMT disrupts this new pattern of comfort by causing a painful stimulous

The tight muscle is subjected to painful pressure, so that the "comfortable" position now becomes painful.

The central nervous system goes into overdrive trying to find ways to reduce the pain, and usually within 40-60 seconds will try relaxing (i.e. lengthening) the muscle to escape the pain.

Don't be put off! The pain is bearable and you will find the affected muscle immediately feels better.