To complement the MASSAGE Magazine article, “Thorough, Precise and Effective: Neuromuscular Therapy,” by Judith DeLany, in the July 2011 issue. Article summary: NMT is a manual therapy that is a precise, thorough assessment and treatment of all muscles and related structures that might be associated with a particular local or regional condition. It also addresses (either directly or by professional referral) a number of perpetuating factors that may be intricately tied to the presenting condition.

by Judith DeLany

Neuromuscular therapy (NMT) bridges multiple professions and has been incorporated into a variety of settings, including clinical and on-site massage therapy practices, as well as chiropractic, osteopathic, sports-medicine, occupational therapy, physical therapy and nursing settings and within health spas, professional and collegiate sports, and conventional medicine. NMT serves as a powerful tool for addressing injuries and repetitive traumas, and for post-surgical care and preventive purposes.

NMT has gained popularity in the last two decades as complementary medicine has emerged within mainstream health care and has been incorporated into spa settings. Because I have also had an experience of chronic pain firsthand, the cover story, “Understanding Pain,” in Time magazine (March 7, 2011) caught my eye. Almost one third of the issue was devoted to choices in pain management, including thought-provoking and positive discussions of a variety of complementary and alternative (CAM) treatments for chronic pain.

The article stated, “The encouraging news is that rigorous science is now showing that CAM therapies can work well to treat pain. In some cases, trials are demonstrating that CAM therapies reduce pain more effectively than standard drug treatments do.” Finally, mainstream media is reporting evidence on what many clinicians already know: Complementary medicine is emerging as an integral and effective choice in health care.

Massage therapist Greg Bez integrates NMT into his work at The Camelback Inn Resort and Spa in Scottsdale, Arizona.

“Since I have studied and become proficient with NMT, the techniques have become second nature in my private practice and at the spa,” he says.”[NMT] allows me to very effectively help clients with specific issues, plus I get referrals from the other therapists as well as the reservation agents that have experienced my NMT skills.”

Judith DeLany, L.M.T., has spent 28 years instructing and writing about neuromuscular therapy for multiple health care professions (www.nmtcenter.com). She is a textbook author for Elsevier and served as an associate editor for the Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies for more than 12 years. She presents a broad perspective on research and its impact on massage therapy.

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