When you arrive, the therapist will ask you to fill out a history form. You will be asked to clarify your history and an assessment of posture may be done. The therapist will palpate some of your muscles as part of the assessment. Some range of motion may be checked as well.
You will be asked to disrobe to expose the areas that will need to be treated. Usually the patient does not need to fully disrobe and may keep their underwear on. Some people like to bring running shorts to wear during the session. If the shorts are made of thin fabric, this works very well. You will be properly draped and the groin and breasts are never exposed. Blankets are provided for comfort so as not to become chilled. The room is kept warm during the cold months.
Typical massage sessions include working on the whole body. Typical NMT sessions work on areas that are dysfunctional and the session does not include working on the whole body. Typically NMT may get to the whole body during a series of sessions but not during one session.
One session generally last for 50-60 minutes. Patients can also purchase ½ hour sessions and 1 ½ hour sessions from myself. These are typical throughout the industry. Some therapists offer 2 hour sessions. I personally stay away from 2 hour sessions. NMT can be strenuous not only for the therapist but for the patient as well.
An NMT session may or may not use oil. It depends on what other modalities are brought into the session. In my situation, if I use a lot of lymphatic and myofascial techniques, I may not use oil at all. But, I often will use oil after I treat an area with dry techniques so I can glide through the area and flush the tissues. People will often wear comfortable clothing or bring comfortable clothing to put on after a session. The oil generally washes out easily especially natural fabrics such as cotton.
What you can expect after an NMT session.
When working specifically with muscles and other soft tissues experiencing dysfunction, then one can expect that some discomfort may occur in the hours and days after a session. Immediately after a NMT session the patient often notices improved range of motion (ROM), a lighter feeling, and pain relief. If there is after soreness, its onset is usually hours later. This is to be expected after NMT since its primary purpose is to release tight tissues and flush fresh blood into these dysfunctional areas. When muscles are tight their own metabolic wastes (or garbage) is trapped in the tissues. Massage effectively released this garbage and it takes time for it to clear out of the muscles and other tissues.
Often, if the patient experience soreness, it is soreness to the touch. One can have a sense that they are bruised when there is no bruising or it may feel as if the muscle was overworked as in exercise. If the tissues are significantly unhealthy then the experience after an NMT session can feel even more uncomfortable. The patient should always report the after affects to their massage therapist in order that the work may be modified.
Occasionally a patient may feel burning pain after a massage which may indicate inflammation. This should definitely be reported to your therapist.
Strategies for the patient after an NMT session.
1. Drink extra water to support the kidneys in dealing with all the extra matabolic waste being flushed out of the body.
2. Cold packs may be applied to areas that were particularly sore during and after the session. I recommend using gel packs as they are relatively safe to use. Use for 15 -20 minutes. Your therapist may instruct you in using other forms of ice therapy.
3. Moist heat can be applied to areas especially areas that housed trigger points. In general apply ice to tendon areas and heat packs to muscle bellies. You can ask your therapist to point out the differences.
4. Soaking on a warm bath for 15-20 minutes. Some things that can be added to the bath water are:
1. 4 tablespoons of ginger
2. 1 cup of table salt + 1 cup of baking soda.
3. 1-2 cups of Epsom salt
4. sea salt.
Generally the above are individual baths. There is no need to combine the above ingredients into one bath.
5. Use mild to moderate stretching of the areas that the massage therapist worked on.
6. Mild to moderate exercise to promote ROM.
7. Eating more fruits and vegetables during the weeks you are getting NMT can be very supportive of your body. This of course is good for general health at all times but I recommend to really try to do this during the time of therapies.
What to expect