Most people are aware that there are multiple kinds of massage. If pressed, many can even name popular forms like deep tissue massage, Swedish massage, and hot stone massage. Precision neuromuscular therapy (PNMT) does not enjoy the same level of name recognition. Although generally not the first type of massage to come to mind, PNMT is a highly effective form of soft-tissue therapy that can be incredibly useful in treating a wide array of disorders.
Exploring Precision Neuromuscular Therapy
Precision neuromuscular therapy does not roll off the tongue easily, so it is no wonder that it is often referred to as PNMT. Created by Douglas Nelson, a licensed massage therapist with decades of hands-on experience helping patients, this form of soft-tissue therapy combines a science-based approach with a commitment to customized care in order to treat pain and dysfunction caused by misalignments and muscle imbalances. With its focus on applying clinical reasoning effectively, PNMT involves both a physical technique and a way of thinking.
How PNMT Works
PNMT takes a focused, problem-solving approach to treating discomfort and dysfunction. After discussing the problem with the patient, a therapist using this form of soft-tissue therapy will conduct tests and take measurements to explore factors like the firmness of the tissue, sensitivity to pain, postural distortion, temperature, muscle tone, and level of muscle contraction. After assessing the situation thoroughly, the therapist will use the information that they have gathered to identify the likely source of the problem and devise a treatment plan that efficiently targets the specific muscles involved.
What Makes PNMT Different?
Generally, massage treatments are intended to promote relaxation. Everything from the atmosphere in the room to the utilization of deep, repetitive strokes is designed to calm the mind and prompt the body to release tension. PNMT is different. Rather than working towards relaxation, this form of soft-tissue therapy actively investigates discomfort or dysfunction with the ultimate goal of identifying and resolving a specific issue. While traditional massage allows the patient to be passive, a patient undergoing treatment with PNMT is expected to be an active participant. The therapist will often seek feedback from their patient as they work to deduce exactly where the trouble is and develop an efficient, effective way of using soft-tissue bodywork techniques to correct any underlying issues.
Another factor that sets PNMT apart involves the area treated during the session. With most forms of massage, the treatment is spread fairly evenly over all the major muscle groups. When delivering PNMT, a therapist does not disperse their efforts over a wide area. Instead, they zero in on the area that is negatively impacted and likely the source of the pain.
PNMT also delivers a greater level of customization. Where other forms of massage often teach therapists to follow specific routines, PNMT requires therapists to respond to the symptoms and clues that they discover, so every session is tailored to the individual patient. Because of PNMT’s analytical nature, therapists who provide this form of treatment must have excellent anatomical knowledge, exceptional palpation skills, and strong deductive abilities.
Conditions PNMT Can Treat
PNMT can be used to treat numerous conditions. These include but are not limited to the following:
- Headaches and migraines
- Temporomandibular joint disorders
- Back pain
- Neck and shoulder pain
- Frozen shoulder and rotator cuff issues
- Whiplash injuries
- Carpal tunnel syndrome and other repetitive strain conditions
- Thoracic outlet syndrome
- Plantar fasciitis
- General muscle spasms, cramps, and strains
The Benefits of PNMT
PNMT is a noninvasive, drug-free way of combating many painful and debilitating conditions, so it is an appealing alternative for people who want to feel better without worrying about the negative side effects often associated with surgical interventions and prescription or over-the-counter painkillers. By addressing structural and functional imbalances, circulation issues, trigger points, and neural influences, PNMT can provide the following benefits:
- Relieve pain
- Reduce muscle tension
- Prompt the release of natural painkillers called endorphins
- Improve physical function, flexibility, and range of motion
- Strengthen muscles
- Decrease stress
- Encourage better sleep
- Improve blood flow
Loehr Health Center is delighted to include precision neuromuscular therapy among our many wellness offerings. Could PNMT help you feel better? To learn more about this and other forms of soft-tissue therapy, contact us by phone at 417-887-8075 or by email at [email protected]. We look forward to hearing from you!