Neuromuscular Massage

A specialized massage therapy that targets the nervous system and musculoskeletal system.


Neuromuscular massage is a precise, thorough treatment that applies alternating levels of concentrated pressure on areas of muscle spasm. The massage therapy pressure is usually applied with the fingers, knuckles, or elbow. Once applied to a muscle spasm, the pressure should not vary for ten to thirty seconds.

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Neuromuscular massage, also known as trigger point myotherapy, was pioneered by Dr. Janet Travell in the 1940s. Travell was the personal physician of President John F. Kennedy and is credited with helping to relieve his back pain. She discovered that applying specific pressure to trigger points could relieve pain and improve muscle function. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, Travell refined her techniques and collaborated with Dr. David Simons to publish the seminal work 'Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction: The Trigger Point Manual'.


  1. Pain Relief Neuromuscular massage can effectively alleviate chronic pain conditions such as back pain, neck pain, and headaches.
  2. Improved Mobility By releasing muscle tension and trigger points, neuromuscular massage can enhance flexibility and range of motion.
  3. Better Posture Neuromuscular massage can help correct postural imbalances by relaxing overworked muscles and strengthening weakened ones.
  4. Reduced Stress The focused pressure and release of tension can promote relaxation and reduce stress levels.
  5. Enhanced Athletic Performance Athletes can benefit from neuromuscular massage as it can help prevent injuries, speed up recovery time, and improve overall performance.
  6. Improved Circulation Neuromuscular massage can stimulate blood flow and lymphatic drainage, promoting better circulation and reducing inflammation.

How It Works

Neuromuscular massage is a specialized massage technique that targets specific areas of the body experiencing pain, tension, or dysfunction. The therapist applies direct pressure to trigger points, which are hyperirritable spots in the muscles that can cause referred pain and limited range of motion. By focusing on these trigger points, the massage helps to release muscle tension, improve circulation, and restore proper muscle function. The therapist may also use stretching techniques and work on related muscle groups to achieve a more comprehensive treatment.


While neuromuscular massage can be highly effective in treating chronic pain and muscle dysfunction, it is important to note that the treatment can be quite intense and may cause some discomfort during the session. It is crucial to communicate with your therapist about your pain tolerance and any specific concerns you may have. Additionally, individuals with certain health conditions, such as blood clots, cancer, or recent surgeries, should consult with their healthcare provider before undergoing neuromuscular massage to ensure it is safe and appropriate for their specific situation.

How Much It Costs

The cost of neuromuscular massage can vary depending on factors such as the therapist's experience, location, and session length. On average, a 60-minute neuromuscular massage session can range from $70 to $120, with some specialized clinics or experienced therapists charging up to $150 or more. Some health insurance plans may cover neuromuscular massage when prescribed by a healthcare provider for specific medical conditions, so it is worth checking with your insurance provider for potential coverage.

Virtual & Online Options

While virtual or online options for neuromuscular massage are limited due to the hands-on nature of the treatment, some therapists may offer video consultations to assess your condition and provide guidance on self-massage techniques or stretches you can perform at home. However, for the most effective treatment, it is recommended to seek out a qualified practitioner in your area by searching for "neuromuscular massage near me." In-person sessions allow the therapist to directly address your specific trigger points and provide a more targeted and comprehensive treatment experience.


Practitioners offering neuromuscular massage should hold a valid massage therapy license in their state or country of practice. Additionally, they may have completed specialized training in neuromuscular therapy techniques from accredited institutions such as the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA), or the International Academy of Neuromuscular Therapies (IANMT). Some therapists may also hold certifications in related modalities, such as trigger point therapy or myofascial release, which can complement their neuromuscular massage skills.

Complementary Practices

Some complementary practices that synergize well with neuromuscular massage include stretching exercises, heat or cold therapy, electrotherapy (such as TENS), acupuncture, chiropractic adjustments, and lifestyle modifications like maintaining good posture and ergonomics. Incorporating these practices alongside neuromuscular massage can enhance its effectiveness in treating musculoskeletal pain and dysfunction.

Practitioner Types

Neuromuscular massage is typically performed by licensed massage therapists who have received specialized training in this modality. Other healthcare professionals like physical therapists, occupational therapists, chiropractors, and athletic trainers may also incorporate elements of neuromuscular massage into their treatment plans. It's important to seek out a practitioner with the appropriate qualifications and experience in neuromuscular massage techniques.

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  • Q: What conditions can neuromuscular massage help with?

    • A: Neuromuscular massage can be beneficial for a variety of musculoskeletal conditions, including chronic pain, muscle tension, strains and sprains, postural imbalances, repetitive strain injuries, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders, and certain types of headaches. It may also help with rehabilitation after an injury or surgery.
  • Q: How does neuromuscular massage differ from regular massage?

    • A: While traditional massage focuses on general relaxation and stress relief, neuromuscular massage is a targeted therapy that addresses specific areas of pain and dysfunction. It involves applying precise pressure to trigger points and manipulating soft tissues to release tension, improve circulation, and restore proper muscle function. Neuromuscular massage sessions may also include postural assessments and corrective exercises.
  • Q: Is neuromuscular massage painful?

    • A: Neuromuscular massage techniques often involve deep pressure and may cause some discomfort, especially when working on areas with significant tension or trigger points. However, the pain should never be unbearable, and the therapist will typically check in with you throughout the session to ensure the pressure is tolerable. Any pain experienced during the massage should subside quickly after the pressure is released.
  • Q: How many neuromuscular massage sessions are needed to see results?

    • A: The number of sessions required can vary depending on the individual and the specific condition being treated. Some people may experience relief after a single session, while others may need a series of treatments to achieve lasting results. Your therapist will develop a personalized treatment plan based on your needs and goals. Typically, a course of 4-6 sessions is recommended, with maintenance sessions scheduled as needed.
  • Q: Can I receive neuromuscular massage if I have a medical condition?

    • A: In many cases, neuromuscular massage can be safely performed on individuals with various medical conditions. However, it's crucial to inform your therapist about any health issues, medications, or recent surgeries before beginning treatment. Some conditions, such as certain cancers, blood clots, or acute injuries, may require modifications to the massage technique or preclude you from receiving neuromuscular massage altogether. Always consult with your primary care physician if you have concerns about the safety of massage therapy for your specific situation.


Neuromuscular massage is a highly effective therapy for addressing a wide range of musculoskeletal conditions and chronic pain. By targeting specific trigger points and soft tissues, this specialized massage technique helps to alleviate tension, improve circulation, and restore proper muscle function. When performed by a skilled practitioner and combined with complementary practices like stretching and postural corrections, neuromuscular massage can provide significant relief and enhance overall well-being. As with any healthcare intervention, it's essential to consult with a qualified professional to determine if neuromuscular massage is appropriate for your individual needs and to develop a personalized treatment plan for optimal results.