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What is Neuromuscular Therapy?

By Greg Merriman

Neuromuscular Therapy is a form of Physical Therapy. It is drug-free and predominantly hands on non-invasive manual medicine that focuses on the effective treatment of pain and changes in sensations treating not only the musculoskeletal systems but also with a unique focus on treating fascia and myofascial trigger points.

Neuromuscular Physical Therapy offers a unique holistic (whole body) approach to health care. Neuromuscular Physical Therapists do not simply concentrate on treating the problem area, but use various manual soft tissue manipulation techniques to bring balance to all the systems of the body, through neuromuscular and fascial interventions in an effort to provide a foundation that encourages a return to or maintenance of good health and wellbeing.

The philosophy of European Neuromuscular Physical Therapy is what sets it apart from other complementary medical disciplines. The key principles are based on all parts of the body functioning together in an integrated manner. If one part of the body is restricted or experiencing pain, then the rest of the body must adapt and compensate for this, eventually leading to inflammation, pain, stiffness and other health conditions. Neuromuscular Physical Therapy takes account of the dynamic contractile ability of human fascia and the formation, etiology and treatment of Myofascial Trigger Points.

Neuromuscular Physical Therapy is the ideal complement to primary health care professionals and General Practitioners (i.e Medical Doctors) work. Treatment of pain and injury is one aspect of Neuromuscular Physical Therapy, however, a preventative role is also evident as when the body is free of restrictions in movement, Neuromuscular Physical Therapy treatment assists the body with pain minimisation, reduced stress and greater mobility providing the body with the opportunity to heal itself thereby avoiding knock-on negative effects.

Exercise and Nutrition expert John Sharkey MSc is the director and founder of European Neuromuscular Physical Therapy. Neuromuscular Therapy is also established in North America (i.e American Version) but differs significantly from the European style. There are several training centres in Ireland offering professional training in Neuromuscular Physical Therapy up to Higher Diploma level. With the best ones, students enjoy the fact that they have access to some of the world’s leading authorities in the area including eminent lecturers such as Leon Chaitow and Judith DeLany.

So what can students learn during such a course?

There are CCME course as an advanced Complementary Medical Educational (CME) programme involving Sports Massage and Soft Tissue Manipulation techniques including:

• Primary and Advanced Anatomy & Physiology • Exercise Physiology • Neuro Physiology • Cadaver Studies • Myology • Soft Tissue Release • Muscle Energy Techniques • Trigger Point Techniques • Neuromuscular Techniques • Positional and Myofascial Release

What is most important, is that graduates can start a successful career in physical therapy provided they meet general requirements. In addition to following a strict code of ethics, all licensed Neuromuscular and Physical Therapists must be a member of a recognised professional body such as the Association of Neuromuscular Therapists. Membership of this Association allows a therapists patients to benefit from health insurance payments.

The combination of continuing education and professional status will offer the reassurance which the public demand before a course of treatment commences. Patients will be able to verify the professional status of therapists using an on-line licensing register.

About the author:
This article was written by National Training Centre – http://www.ntc.ie – providing "Fitness Courses Dublin, Pilates Courses, Sports Massage Courses and Personal Trainer Certification".



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