Frequently Asked Questions

Precision Neuromuscular Therapy

1. What is Precision Neuromuscular Therapy (PNMT) about?

Accurate assessment: You will have assessments and tests during, in the middle and after each treatment to assure me that the muscle I am treating is an important player in your discomfort. Just because a muscle is tender does not mean it is the cause of your pain. These assessments are movements to check for discomfort and limited range of motion. Precise Treatment: The heart of it all is precision. You will NOT be receiving “deep tissue” or heavy pressure. Precision Neuromuscular therapy is about precision, not pressure. If I am close to where you feel the discomfort, I don't need to go deeper, I need to adjust where I am treating. These techniques will not only yield great results, but be much more comfortable. Stellar Results: It is all about results! The assessment approaches I use become benchmarks for the effectiveness of the work. It will be very clear to you when the treatment is working. It will also be immediately apparent when the treatment did not work. In this case, we change strategies and assess again. If I find other issues that I cannot address, I will refer you to your doctor, chiropractor, physical therapist or some other kind of health care provider.

2. What can I expect in a PNMT session?

Before and after the treatment you will go through range of motion measuring and a series of movements to investigate which muscles may be the source of your pain. During the treatment you will be actively engaged as I work on the muscles found in the testing. Your feedback is crucial in helping me know the exact problem areas. The soft tissue treatment uses a variety of techniques such as trigger point therapy, myofascial release, gliding strokes, compressions, lifting and kneading, frictioning muscles and tendons, along with passive stretching. The goal is for you to walk away noticing an immediate difference and clear sense of how we can work together to reduce your discomfort.

3. How long will a PNMT treatment last?

The first session will last 75 minutes, which includes your 15 minute neuromuscular assessment. Depending on the problem found that needs to be addressed, the therapist will discern a treatment plan of either 30 minute, 45 minutes or 60 minute sessions to be tailored to your specific issue.

4. How many PNMT sessions will it take for my pain to go away?

Pain that took years to come, doesn't go away with just one session. Plan on four to six sessions to truly see a result in truly decreasing discomfort. But be assured if you see little improvement after four, we will figure out the best course of action. Not all muscular pain is solved with massage. Often physical therapy and chiropractic care make excellent compliments to neuromuscular work.

5. Why choose PNMT?

If you have an annoying muscular pain that you work and live through daily. It gets better and worse depending on your activity, but always seems to be there at some level. PNMT may be for you. PNMT can treat many types of back pain, shoulder pain, sciatic issues, foot discomfort, neck pain, headaches among other issues. It is not a replacement for those who need true medical care for medical health problems, but can be the solution for those who have sought relief for a dull, achy pain and been frustrated and disappointed by the outcomes. I can work with you to help alleviate this kind of pain.

6. How does PNMT differ from general massage?

The goal of general massage is relaxation, but the goal of PNMT is specific problem solving for the muscle discomfort you are feeling. Both have hand-on treatment where no equipment is used, just the power of healing touch. However, in general massage the client usually undresses and lies under a sheet, where the therapist addresses each part of the body equally. In PNMT, the session is focused on uncovering and treating the muscle causing your pain, which may be done completely dressed, in a sitting or laying down position or combination of both. In general massage the client can zone out and is a passive recipient of the therapy, whereas with PNMT feedback from the client is essential to problem-solving the issue. Finally, unlike general massage, problem-solving muscle pain takes more than one session. With PNMT, plan on four to six sessions to see a results in truly decreasing discomfort that has developed over months.

7. What should I expect during my first PNMT visit?

You will be required to fill out an online intake health form, prior to your first session. Then you will be asked about your story of pain to establish the conditions that need to be addressed and determine if massage is appropriate for you. A series of range of motion assessments and testing may be done to evaluate your condition. The extra 15 minutes it takes to do the assessment and history is required for all new clients, so expect your first session to last around 75 minutes. Follow up sessions will be scheduled at either 30 or 60 minutes depending on if you have a single pain issue or multiple pain issues. Your therapist will help you decide whether clinical massage therapy or neuromuscular therapy is the best treatment for your pain.

8. Where will my treatment session take place?

Your Therapy session will take place in a private, warm, comfortable, quiet therapy room in our office a 2000 Maple Ave, Evanston, IL. Soft music may be played to help you relax. You may lie on a table especially designed for your comfort or be treated in a chair depending on your what areas of the body need addressed.

9. What do I wear during the treatment?

For your first session, we ask all clients to wear comfortable exercise clothing, so that they can move around easily during assessment. Once your therapist helps you decide whether clinical massage therapy or neuromuscular therapy is the best treatment for your pain, they will also help you decide what to wear during follow-up sessions. Depending on the primary techniques used and areas addressed in your treatment plan, you may or may not need to remove any clothing. For clinical massage of back and leg work, many people undress completely. However, you may choose to wear underwear. In the case of undressing, you will be given your privacy to undress. During the therapy session you will be fully draped with a sheet at all times with the therapist exposing only the area currently being worked on. However, with Precision Neuromuscular Therapy, all work can be accomplished without undressing.

10. Will I need clinical massage therapy or Neuromuscular therapy?

During your first session, your therapist will help you decide whether clinical massage therapy or neuromuscular therapy is the best treatment for your pain. In general, clinical massage therapy is recommended for muscle injuries, strains, sprains, chronic muscle pain or prevention, wellness and whole body tune-ups. Neuromuscular Therapy is recommended for unresolved pain issues, mysterious nerve problems, Temporomandibular Joint disorders and persistent pain.

11. What do I do during the treatment?

Make yourself comfortable. If I need you to adjust your position, the therapist will either gently move you or will ask you to move the area of your body that needs to be moved. Otherwise, change your position anytime to make yourself more comfortable, clinical massage and neuromuscular therapy work best when you are relaxed. For a both Clinical massage and Neuromuscular treatments, you will be communicating with the therapist during the session about how the treatment is affecting your body. Your feedback is crucial in helping the therapist know the exact problem areas, so that they can be released. Do not hesitate to ask questions at any time.

12. How will a treatment feel?

In receiving Clincal Massage or Neuromuscular Therapy for a specific issue, the treatment will not be painful, but may produce a “good discomfort” in the effort to find what is causing the complaint that you came in with. You will NOT be receiving “deep tissue” or heavy pressure. Precision Neuromuscular Therapy is about precision, not pressure. When the therapist is close to where you feel the discomfort, they don't need to go deeper; they need to adjust where they’re treating, resulting in a comfortable treatment.

13. Where did PNMT come from?

PNMT was created by Douglas Nelson, a Licensed Massage Therapist in Champaign, IL, practicing since 1977.

Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction

14. What is Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMJD)?

The Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) is your jaw joint. Dysfunction of the TMJ, according to The National Institute of Dental Research, has three main types.
1.Myofascial pain (most common form) -discomfort or pain in the muscles that control the jaw as well as the neck and shoulder muscles
2. Internal derangement of the joint - a dislocated jaw or displaced disc, or injury to the condyle
3. Degenerative joint disease - osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis in the jaw joint.
Most clients have an overlap of these conditions.

15. Do I have TMJD?

Only dentists and physicians can diagnosis TMJD. You may need to visit multiple practitioners to complete a diagnosis for TMJD If you have two or more symptoms around the jaw, in addition to any symptoms from around the head or through out the body from the following list, you may want to see a dentist or medical practitioner who specializes in diagnosis and treatment of TMJD1.
Around the Jaw:
1. Clicking, grating or popping the jaw joint
2. Pain in and/or around the jaw lenching or grinding teeth while you sleep or during the day
3. Difficulty opening your mouth
4. Jaw locks open or shut
5. Pain in the teeth
6.Tired or sore jaw when you wake up
7. Jaw deviates on opening and closing
Around the Head:
1. Difficulty swallowing
2. Muscle soreness or spasms around the head and neck
3. Ringing in the ears
4. Difficulty hearing
5. Frequent earaches with no infection present
6. Headaches of all kinds
7. Sinus pain
8. Pressure behind the eyes
9. Eyes tear up for no reason
Throughout the Body:
1. Muscle spasms in the neck, shoulder, back, arms or legs
2. Numbness in arms or fingers
3. Dizziness
4. Backaches
5. Difficulty sleeping
6. Fatigue, nervousness, anger or depression
7. Arthritis
Uppgaard, Robert O, DDS. Taking Control of TMJ. Oakland: New Harbinger Print 1999.

16. Will the massage lotion used cause me break-out?

We use a hypoallergenic sunflower oil based massage lotion with simple, natural ingredients. However, if you have sensitivity to certain types of lotion please bring it to the massage therapist's attention. Very little lotion is used with Precision Neuromuscular Therapy.

17. How will I feel after the treatment?

The specific problem that was addressed, may feel some soreness the following day, but then should feel improvement. If the problem begins to return, you need to see your therapist as soon as you can, so that it does not continue.