How Can Massage Be Medically Beneficial?

Massage therapy helps you relax, realign and rejuvenate. There are many positive aspects to receiving massage therapy on an ongoing basis, and with the busy lives we lead, we can all benefit from the relief and stress-management massage therapy provides. The experienced and professional massage therapists at Massage Solutions provide clinical therapy in a relaxing atmosphere. They’re here to meet your individual needs by providing you with an effective, relaxing and enjoyable massage session.

More Americans are turning to therapeutic massage treatment to provide relaxation, relieve tension associated to the daily stresses of their busy lives, or simply to help maintain good health and achieve a balanced lifestyle. And let’s not forget how great it makes you feel to be treated by a professional massage therapist.

There are so many healthy benefits to receiving massage therapy on a regular basis:

  • Relieves Stress
  • Encourages Relaxation
  • Improves Posture
  • Improves Circulation & Lowers Blood Pressure
  • Reduces Symptoms of Chronic Pain
  • Relaxes Muscles & Alleviates Trigger Points
  • Improves Flexibility and Range of Movement
  • Strengthens The Immune System
  • Relieves Tension Related Headaches
  • Enhances Post-Operative Rehabilitation
  • Improves Rehabilitation After Injury

Recent scientific research also proves that massage therapy increases immune function, decreases stress levels and reduces recovery time in many medical conditions including:

  • Allergies
  • Depression and Anxiety
  • Arthritis
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Asthma and Bronchitis
  • Circulatory Problems
  • Insomnia
  • Sports Injuries
  • Temporal-mandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMJ)
  • Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Musculoskeletal Disorders

History of NMT

During the last several decades, neuromuscular therapy (NMT) has emerged as a significant methodology for assessing, treating and preventing soft tissue injuries and chronic pain. NMT, a series of manual treatment protocols based on the practitioner’s skill, anatomy knowledge and precise palpatory application, has found its home, not only in the treatment rooms of massage therapy, but also in occupational and physical therapy, nursing, naprapathic, chiropractic, osteopathic and physical medicine clinics worldwide, as well as in many forward-looking Primary Care practices.

With a foothold planted in both holistic and traditional medicine, NMT emerged in both Europe and North America almost simultaneously over the last half-century. It is interesting to note that the early developers knew little, if anything, about each other, yet the theoretical basis of all the modern protocols are similar since they are each rooted soundly in physiological principles.

A few years after neuromuscular techniques emerged in Europe, Raymond Nimmo and James Vannerson first published their newsletter, Receptor Tonus Techniques in America, where they wrote of their experiences with what they termed ‘noxious nodules’. Over the next several decades, a step-by-step system began to emerge, supported by the writings of Janet Travell and David Simons. Travell and Simons’ two volume set of textbooks, Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction: The Trigger Point Manual provided the medical, dental, massage and other therapeutic communities with documentation, research and references for myofascial trigger points.

Several of Nimmo’s students began teaching their own treatment protocols, based on Nimmo’s work. Among Nimmo’s students was Paul St. John, who began teaching his own system in the late 70’s. In the mid-1980’s, Judith (Walker) DeLany became an instructor of the St. John Method of neuromuscular therapy.

St. John continues to treat patients and further refine his methods through the St. John/Clark Center in Clearwater, Florida. He also teaches and trains professionals internationally in both the St. John Method of NMT and the Neurosomatics.

DeLany (then Judith Walker) worked with Paul St. John for five years (1984-89), where she assisted in the development of NMT techniques and protocols for massage therapy application and began scholarly writing on NMT. In 1989, the two separated. Paul St. John taught the St. John Method of NMT, while DeLany developed, taught and wrote about the NMT American Version. Both systems still focus on Nimmo’s original material, although each developer has imbued his or her own particular methodology with unique insights and new techniques.

European and American versions of NMT have a similar theoretical platform yet subtle differences developed in the applications. In the exploration to uncover contracted bands or muscular nodules, American-style neuromuscular therapy uses a medium-paced (thumb or finger) gliding stroke whereas European-style neuromuscular techniques use a slow-paced, thumb-drag method of discovery. They also have a slightly different emphasis on the method of application of ischemic compression when treating trigger points. Both versions emphasize the need to develop a home-care program and encourage the patient’s participation in the recovery process.

In 1996, a landmark event for American NMT occurred when NMT American version was overviewed in Leon Chaitow’s Modern Neuromuscular Techniques, as contributed by Judith DeLany. This significant text was the first to offer both the European and American methods within the same volume. Chaitow and DeLany have since published three definitive texts integrating the American and European versions of NMT. Clinical Application of Neuromuscular Techniques, Vols. 1 & 2, with accompanying Case Study Exercises, which aims to standardize the training of NMT techniques.