What is Advanced Bodywork and how is it accomplished?
Advanced Bodywork therapy is a specific approach to the problem of pain based on sound physiological principles and neurological laws. Neuromuscular therapy allows a reversal of the stress-tension-pain cycle. Pressure specifically interrupts afferent impulses to the spinal cord, reduces the intensity of nervous activity within the tissue, and mechanically forces out toxic irritants, which have accumulated at nerve receptor sites. The muscle then relaxes, circulation is increased, and the body returns to normal neuromuscular integrity and balance.
Because the therapist recognizes the importance of active involvement in becoming pain-free, the client will likely be asked to do "homework" between treatments.
How long does a complete program of therapy take?
The goal of NMT is to help you get well, not to keep you coming for treatments forever. The initial examination and therapy session lasts one hour. Each succeeding therapy session lasts approximately thirty minutes. Long-standing problems do not clear up overnight, but they do respond very well to consistency in a therapy program.
The duration of the total therapeutic program depends on:
How much damage has been done.
How rapidly the body heals.
The state of general health.
Those stress factors influencing one's life.
The length of time the condition has existed.
Once the client is pain free and moving more efficiently, the therapist will recommend periodic maintenance treatments and continuing "homework."
Does Advanced Bodywork / Massge Therapy hurt?
There is a certain amount of occasional discomfort in any deep muscle therapy. The greatest discomfort is usually experienced after the first treatment. Mild pressure does not elicit pain in normal healthy tissue; therefore, the presence of pain during the physical manipulation of tissue is a valuable guideline to the therapist. It indicates those areas where adhesions, muscular spasms, trigger points, and cellular toxins are located. Continuous feedback from the client is encouraged to insure that the therapy is conducted with the minimum degree of pressure necessary to carry out the process successfully and achieve the maximum results.
Proper Stages of Rehabilitation
Based on the findings, the massage therapist will look for the cause of the client's pain, rather than just treating the effects. The massage therapist will develop a treatment plan based on the proper stages of rehabilitation. The proper stages of rehabilitating an injury are as follows:
1. Eliminate spasms and hypercontraction in the tissues (massage therapy).
2. Restore proper biomechanics (reeducation).
3. Restore flexibility to the tissues (movement and stretching).
4. Rebuild the strength of the injured tissues (exercise).
Both the nervous system and the muscular system are involved in the stress-tension-pain syndrome. Tonus is a neurological interchange between the muscle, the spinal cord, and brain. In the normal state, the brain maintains a low level of tonus in all muscles. Superimposed on this low level is a fluctuating level implemented by a reflex arc within the spinal cord and determined by the condition of each muscle, ligament, and tendon, and by the conditions around their receptors. Receptors are specialized nerve endings which adapt our body to its immediate environment by way of input into the nervous system.
When there is a state of stress such as that which results from traumatic injury, lack of exercise, faulty diet, or the daily stress of life, then increased sensory stimuli enter the spinal cord. Such stimuli entering the cord will evoke a strong motor response which is up to ten times greater than the sensory stimulus, and it may involve the action of whole groups of muscles. This manipulated motor response is a natural physiological protection as exemplified by the reaction elicited when stepping on a thorn or touching a hot stove. When muscle receptors are continuously stimulated due to injury or other forms of stress, then the muscle develops a focus of intense nervous activity and the amplified motor response results in a muscular state of "high tone" or hypertonicity. Blood vessels in the area become constricted, circulation is slowed, and metabolic wastes accumulate around the receptors. This waste will further intensify the receptor's sensory input firing to the cord, causing yet stronger motor stimuli to be received by the affected muscle resulting in tension raising to still higher levels.
The cyclic condition of stress and tension gives rise to pain and the formation of trigger points which may persist long after the original causation has ceased. The trigger is the point of strongest input to the cord and is the point of strongest motor return from the cord back to the muscle. This focus of metabolic accumulation becomes a small mass of drawn-up muscle fiber which is tender to pressure. The trigger has command over the pain and the tension of the muscle.
If the stressful condition and the resulting high-intensity barrage of sensory stimulation to the cord persists, then there can be a spreading effect to other tissues of the body remote from the trigger point site. Strong stimuli may pass up or down the cord to another segment and out to another muscle thereby causing referred pain and malfunction. Also, hypertonic muscles can create additional complicating conditions. There is a shortening effect throughout the length of the hypertonic muscle, which results in an increased pull at its attachments. When there is a constancy of hypertonicity in muscles on one side of the body and more nearly normal muscle tonus on the opposite side, then the mechanically self-evident imbalance results in additional pain.
In severe cases, hypertonic muscles set off a pain cycle that is neurologically facilitated and thereby becomes chronic. A law of neurophysiology known as the Law of Facilitation states that once a nerve impulse or stimulus has traveled through a specific route, it is then easier for the next impulse to make the same passage and then for all succeeding impulses the passage will even be easier. The pain was transmitted through a specific neurological pathway, which then becomes "facile" or "of easy access." The pain then continues or recurs on this pathway or grooves as a result of the slightest stress.
Nearly every tender muscle is a candidate for acute pain when a little more stress is imposed upon the organism. When a muscle is already close to the threshold of pain, then a minor stress to the body such as bending, reaching, or sneezing may be all that is necessary to set off pain. There are many forms of stress (physical, emotional, mental, and nutritional), but there is only one stress rea