Sunday, December 15, 2013

Neuro-Muscular Massage and GeoCaching

The first time I went Geocaching was with my wife and her brother in Boston, Mass. Having only been to the city once before, I was tied to my GPS and route maps for the "T" - the local train.  When going on a scavenger hunt, a map will only get you so far. Once you get to the site, or GPS coordinates, you have to think smaller, more direct, less general. For example, we went to a sidewalk in the middle of a hill. It overlooked a fenced in basketball court at the bottom and a back door of an old brick building at the top. There were several big rocks piled on top of each other on the hill that we could climb on. There was a park bench. There was a small stone wall to one side. There was a tree and some flower beds on the other side. The GPS got us there, but then we had to start looking for things that were out of place. We had to pick up rocks and feel under the bench seat. We had to check window sills and bird baths to find what we were looking for.

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.

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