Neuromuscular massage is evidence-based manual mobilization of the body’s soft tissues aimed towards functional outcomes. A variety of mobilization techniques are utilized based on the imbalance/asymmetry, or loss of motion found due to soft tissue restriction. Two types of soft tissues targeted are fascia and muscle.
Fascia is a structural web of connective tissue that ties the muscles, nerves, organs, bones, and blood vessels together. Connective tissue is comprised of water, protein, collagen and elastin. It enables upright posture, holds abdominal organs in place, gives muscles mechanical stability, and provides venous circulation.
When fascia is injured it becomes “kinked” or forms an adhesion. This stress causes fascia to lose water and become rigid, or stuck, forming clumps with other layers of fascia, and other structures. This may be felt in the form of a knot or generalized tightness. Chronic tightness of fascia can affect the elastic properties of muscle. Remember, fascia wraps around ALL of the soft tissues in the body. Fascia can cause muscle fibers to stick to each other. When muscle fibers are injured, they form a matrix or scar. Muscle fibers are usually oriented parallel to each other allowing for contraction and relaxation. When a scar forms, movement is affected. Chronic restrictions can cause asymmetry and be pain producing. Have you ever tried to stretch your hamstrings but find over time you just cannot seem to reach any further? The issue may not be your muscle fibers but the fascia surrounding the muscles.
Functional limitations are usually limited by one or more of the following: flexibility, strength, agility, balance, coordination, muscle endurance, strength endurance, or cardiovascular endurance.
Treatment begins with a bladder diary. The diary provides information in order to begin treatment. Treatment may also involve a pelvic neuromuscular exam to test the strength of the pelvic floor muscles.
Manual mobilization of the lymphatic system to encourage movement of fluid (lymph) away from the tissues and towards the heart. When the vessels, nodes, or organs of the lymphatic system are damaged, lymph backs up and causes swelling, commonly referred to as lymphedema. Lymphedema is painful and cannot be cured, however, it can be managed with lymphatic drainage.
Used as a supplement to other therapies in the treatment of trigger points within the muscular system.
Used as a supplement to the plan of care as indicated. For example, sacroiliac joint dysfunction or leg length change due to muscular imbalance. Note: Requires physician order in North Carolina.
Medi-cupping, or Vacuum Manual Therapy (VMT), is a form of bodywork that is used to facilitate soft tissue release, or joint mobilization. The suction of the cups reaches superficially (lymph) or deep into the soft tissue, attachments, and organs as well as having a sedating effect on the nervous system. The “separation” the vacuum produces between tissue layers creates “space” allowing for water absorption and renewed blood flow to undernourished and dehydrated tissue. An added benefit of the vacuum is the pull of inflammation and toxins from the body tissues so the skin and lymphatic system can readily eliminate them. Separation of fused, congested soft tissue and the increase in tissue function can be a catalyst for change in many current health conditions. VMT, used pre-operatively, has shown increased speed and recovery following surgical procedures. The addition of magnetic micro-cups to VMT is showing great results in the treatment of scoliosis, and neurological conditions.