I treat massage therapy in much the same way. My initial interview with a client is a general road map. They may say, I have pain in my hip and down my leg. That gets me in the right neighborhood. Followed up with some quick assessment, like leg length or range of motion testing, I can get to the right street. I follow that with hands on MyoFascial work like fascia fists or general drags to further assess movement, adhesion, and postural patterns. That gets me to the right property on the right street in the right neighborhood. Then finally, I get to Neuromuscular Therapy. I have to poke around until I find the trigger points on exactly the right muscle. Every step is important and I can't skip straight to NMT or I would spend way too much time with too small of a tool for the job. I would also wear out my fingers by doing trigger point work through muscles which haven't been warmed up, stretched, or softened in some other way.
Neuromuscular therapy is one tool of many that should be used cohesively to provide lasting results with massage therapy.