St. John's Method
A Hands-On Approach to Healing Your Pains
Neuromuscular Therapy (NMT), or more commonly known as the St. John Method, is a type of bodywork that specializes in effective pain relief and has revolutionized the pain treatment field. It addresses the root cause of most pain conditions. When natural balance between your muscular and nervous systems are restored, your body functions pain-free … and with ease.
Focus of Neuromuscular Therapy
- Restore correct posture
- Release nerve impingement & entrapment
- Eliminate trigger points
- Improve circulation
- Enhance the way we move
5 Stages of Rehabilitation
More than 30 years ago, Paul St. John developed NMT. With his approach, pain sources are identified and treated using the first of 5 stages of rehabilitation:
- Abolish muscle spasms
- Regenerate flexibility
- Reinstate proper biomechanics
- Increase muscle strength
- Escalate muscular endurance
Therapeutic Applications of the St. John Method
Ischemia refers to a lack of blood flow to an area of the body. Ischemia leads to pain, poor movement and postural problems. Ischemic compression is a hands-on pressure therapy designed to restore your blood circulation, reduce muscular tension and promote healing.
This is a deep-tissue massage therapy technique that describes how a therapist applies thumb or finger pressure to a muscle, ligament or tendon. The therapist glides the thumb in a transverse direction (across the muscle fibers) several times in an effort to break up fibrous adhesions and restore circulation to the area. It’s a useful technique to heal and restore normal function in chronic conditions.
Hydrotherapy (applications of heat or cold)
Depending on the level of inflammation or nature of the problem, your therapist will determine if a heat- or cold-based application is appropriate. Cold applications are applied when your problem is acute and within the first 72 hours of an injury. A combination of heat and cold, called contrast therapy, is applied during the sub-acute stage, after 72 hours. A heating approach is generally useful in chronic pain conditions, especially if your pain persists beyond two months. Heat is also applied after deep-tissue massage therapy to promote relaxation and decrease the possibility of soreness.
Muscle Energy Techniques (MET)
These therapist-assisted techniques lengthen soft tissues or re-position a joint. For example, a therapist contracts your muscle or muscle group against the therapist’s resistance. Then, he or she assists you in stretching the same muscles. This sequence is repeated until the desired length of the muscle or muscle group is reached.
Trigger Point Therapy
This approach is similar to ischemic compression. However, it also alleviates your localized and remote sensations, such as:
- aches & pains
- nerve sensations like “pins and needles” or numbness & tingling
- thermal sensations, such as burning
Trigger points can develop in ischemic areas of soft tissues, such as muscles, tendons or ligaments. When a trigger point becomes stimulated or stressed, it causes a sensation that is usually remote from the trigger site.
For example, if a trigger point develops in your neck muscle and becomes active because of injury, poor posture, repetitive motion or stress, it commonly causes a sensation in certain areas of your head, like a headache, or even causes upper back, shoulder or arm pain. Another example involves active trigger points that develop in your lower back or hip muscles. These can cause hip and leg sensations that are similar to sciatic pain.
When it comes to active trigger points, the cause of your pain is often remote from where you sense and feel the pain. At Neuro Massage, we find the root cause of pain … and eliminate it.
Because your body’s center of gravity is located at the pelvic level, it’s important that you hold a proper pelvic position. If there’s a pelvic rotation, it causes unwanted postural changes and dysfunctional movement patterns that ultimately lead to your pain. Trauma also causes pelvic distortions and de-stabilizes your center of gravity. Neuro Massage therapists are trained to recognize pelvic rotations and distortions. They know how to restore balance to this area of your body. This assists other areas of your body to heal.