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My View From Here

By Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCTMB

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Having the Opportunity to Change a Client's Life

I promise I'll get back to politics in my next column. The information, this method I am sharing with you in this column, can change the lives of both patients and therapists in such a dramatically positive way, it trumps politics, so of course you want to know about it.

A therapist in her mid-forties attended a seminar I was teaching about a year ago. It was a Neural Reset Therapy® (NRT) lower body class. It seems she had been in a severe auto accident seven years ago and all her injuries had been treated and resolved except for a very severe, nagging low back pain that she experienced deep to her PSIS and superior SI Joint. She was functional, "working through it," but it was always present to one degree or another. After receiving NRT work during the class practice time from her partner, plus a few extra resets from me that came from the NRT home study module for the lower body, she was pain-free for the first time in seven years. (The lower body modules include the lumbar and abdominal regions.) I treated her for about 10 minutes. She did not experience any pain during or from the treatment. Neither did I!

When a treatment is so simple, quick, and painless, the first question a therapist will probably ask is," Will it last?" That was in November. She returned for the NRT upper body class in late February (3 months) and the pain had never re-occurred.

The pace of massage has not changed for decades. Yet, everything is moving faster these days. Doesn't it seem that way to you? Patients want faster results than ever before. Of course so do us as providers. Think about it, wouldn't you like to be able to get better and faster results in your clinical work? Wouldn't you like to learn a way to stimulate the nervous system to get the exact response you desire from it? I wonder why any therapists wouldn't?

massage client - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark The last big advance in massage therapy was trigger-point therapies like Neuromuscular Therapy (NMT). Some may argue that the various myofascial methods, from superficial to deep were the last big advance. They both happened about the same time. Since then, everything has been a variation on these themes. They are all relatively time consuming, strenuous for the therapist, and at least somewhat uncomfortable for the patient.

The human nervous system moves at the speed of thought. It knows exactly how to relax a muscle instantly. It does this every time we move. Sherrington's Second Law states that when a muscle is contracted, its antagonist is simultaneously inhibited. This is called the Law of Reciprocal Inhibition and is published in medical textbooks. If reciprocal inhibition (RI) didn't happen, we would be rigid and movement would be very difficult. Reciprocal inhibition occurs almost instantly, at least at the speed of our movement. Just think how fast we move in an athletic sport or dance event.

The question for decades has been, how can we elicit this reciprocal inhibition function of the nervous system when we desire to, in a specific, "target" muscle, and even more importantly, how can we get it to last longer than during the moment of movement? How could we elicit it in a way to "reset" a muscle's tonus back to a "default" or normal level of tonus that would last at least until an adverse event resets it into dysfunction?

Various attempts at accomplishing this have been around for at least 25 years, but they were never predictable, consistent, or lasting. PNF, MET and AIS all utilize RI but they are slow, repetitive, and not all that long lasting.

Embedded in the body's tissue matrix are sensors called mechanoreceptors. They perceive stimulus like vibration, pressure, movement, slow stretch, tension, etc. When they are stimulated in a non-threatening, maybe better to say a non-harmful manner, they send a signal to the central nervous system (CNS). Its response is to send an inhibitory signal back to the area reporting in. Wouldn't it be awesome if we could better utilize these mechanoreceptors to "reset" muscles?

The most consistent comments that I receive from other therapists is how much easier NRT is on their bodies and how much more they can do for their clients. That is a win-win situation! The other thing that I hear is," How come it took so long for someone to figure this out?" A lot of things in life are like that. The main thing is for you not to wait to learn something that will enable you to continue to work in the profession that you love for many more years to come.

NRT is not just a set of techniques. NRT is a process where we apply techniques with conscious effort, utilizing the different application methods, "The Rules," and the "Insights" to cause a significant positive change in the nervous system. NRT combines well with any other therapy you might use. It is completely based on neurological laws, anatomy, physiology, and kinesiology. Done through clothes, it does not require lubricant, and is mostly done supine.

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