Displaying items by tag: neuromuscular massage

Upon first glance it may seem like neuromuscular massage and deep tissue massage are the same thing. That assumption could not be further from the truth. When you square up neuromuscular massage vs deep tissue massage, the minute differences start to stand out. While there are some shared similarities, these two therapeutic techniques are unique in their own ways. The stark contrasts that separate the treatments are not always obvious to most people. Our massage therapist wanted to clear the air and address the differences between these innovative massage therapies.

Neuromuscular Massage Vs Deep Tissue Massage

Before we dive into the differences, we should make it perfectly clear that these two therapies are similar. Neuromuscular massage and deep tissue massage both work to alleviate chronic pains. Both of these techniques are also far more intense than other relaxing massage therapy techniques, like Swedish massage. These two treatments can often feel so similar that some massage therapists will use the terms interchangeably.

Even with their similarities, the comparison of neuromuscular massage vs deep tissue can reveal some clear differences. Let’s dive into the defining differences between these massage therapies.


When you compare neuromuscular massage vs deep tissue, one of the bigger differences derives from the education of your massage therapist. In order to practice neuromuscular massage, your massage therapist needs a specialized certification. Without this education, a massage therapist cannot practice neuromuscular massage therapy at all!

This special degree can require a few extra years of school. A fair number of massage therapists will deice to not pursue that additional certification. This means that neuromuscular massage therapy (NMT) can only be performed by a handful of massage therapists. At Wayfare Wellness, our talented massage therapist, Sarah, earned her degree in Neuromuscular Massage Therapy from the Colorado School of Healing Arts. Thanks to this specialization, Wayfare Wellness is fully licensed and able to provide NMT to our Denver-based clients!

Deep tissue massage, on the other hand, does not require a specialized massage therapy certification. Of course, your massage therapist still needs a formal education. This just means that deep tissue massage is more widely available that NMT.

Treatment Goals And Therapy Approaches

Deep tissue massage and NMT are also distinctly different in their approaches and overall functions. Of course, they serve the same ultimate goal of improving the well-being of the individual client. When we compare neuromuscular massage vs deep tissue, it’s clear that these methods achieve that end-goal in different ways.

Deep tissue massage is an intense form of massage therapy that treats musculoskeletal issues. The technique aims to treat muscle pains and aches through slow deep strokes and sustained pressure. Most sessions of deep tissue massage will start out with some lighter Swedish massage to warm up the muscles before increasing the intensity. Deep tissue massage has been proven to be an effective form of chronic pain relief. It’s worth noting that:

  • Deep tissue massage is usually sought out on an “as needed” basis.

  • In a single session, deep tissue massage can help treat a handful of problems across your whole body.

Neuromuscular massage therapy can basically be equated to a form of medical massage therapy. It’s a highly-specialized and extremely focused treatment method. NMT focuses on areas of muscle spasm to relieve chronic stiffness and pain. Some cases of muscle spasm might require the usage of a massage therapy tool called the T-bar. This innovative tool helps isolate trigger points and give your massage therapist the appropriate leverage to treat those tight and painful areas. As we compare neuromuscular massage vs deep tissue, we should mention that:

  • NMT is utilized to treat just one painful area of the body.

  • NMT is sought out when a specific condition needs immediate professional treatment.

  • It will take at least a few sessions to properly treat a given condition.

What These Therapies Treat

Which is the better option for me: neuromuscular massage vs deep tissue massage? Both of these treatment techniques are technically designed to alleviate muscular pains. However, one method might provide better results for certain aches, pains, and conditions.

Deep tissue massage is best for treating aches and pains that are rooted in your connective tissues. Deep tissue massage is best used as a treatment for:

  • Limited mobility issues

  • Injury recovery

  • Repetitive strains

  • Muscle tension

  • Fibromyalgia

  • Sciatica

  • Chronic pain

On the other hand, NMT is best used for those suffering from chronic pain that is caused by more serious dysfunctions. These could include:

  • Nerve damage

  • Nerve compression

  • Neural entrapment

  • Ischemia

  • Myofascial trigger points

  • Dysfunctional gait patterns

  • And more

Hopefully we’ve cleared up your questions with our comparison on neuromuscular massage vs deep tissue massage. Even with our explanation, we understand that these two techniques can still cause some mild confusion. If you have any further questions on which would be best for you, then please feel free to contact us today. Our experienced massage therapist is happy to answer any of your pressing questions.

Experience Better Pain Relief With Wayfare Wellness

Too many people suffer from chronic pain on a daily basis. It can interfere with every aspect of your life. Whether you’re in need of neuromuscular massage or deep tissue, one of these treatments can deliver the pain relief that you need. At Wayfare Wellness, we can help you achieve that pain relief through our effective massage therapy techniques.

Book your first appointment with Wayfare Wellness and start improving your health and well-being today!

Published in Massage
Wednesday, 12 June 2019 10:37

How To Resolve Chronic Pain With T-Bar Massage

While massage therapy can benefit people from all walks of life, those suffering from chronic pain usually require a more individualized and unique therapeutic approach. Sometimes your pain problems may be too chronic for swedish massage therapy or too centralized for deep tissue massage. If your pain is too severe for traditional forms of therapeutic massage, then you might benefit greatly from t-bar massage.

What is T-Bar Massage and How Can it Benefit Me?

It’s estimated that nearly 20 million Americans suffer from high-impact chronic pain issues on a daily basis. This can greatly limit your daily activities and operations. Highly targeted neuromuscular massage therapy (NMT) can effectively treat those chronic pain issues. Since neuromuscular therapy is so extremely focused, massage therapists will often call upon an NMT tool called a “t-bar.”

The t-bar is used to isolate trigger points and effectively treat those painful areas. Your massage therapist leverages the t-bar to hone in on your pain points and apply greater pressure to specific areas for greater pain relief. To put it more frankly: a t-bar massage allows your massage therapist to reach the root of your pain and treat it right at the source.

How Does T-Bar Massage Work?

The very simple t-bar tool has three central pieces: the handle, the shank, and the tip. This straightforward design helps the massage therapist easily apply concentrated pressure to trigger points. Trigger points are hypersensitive pea-sized knots that usually develop in injured muscles.

Once the trigger point is found, the massage therapist will apply alternating levels of concentrated pressure directly on the trigger point for anywhere between 10-30 seconds. Some patients may experience some discomfort when a massage therapist is using t-bar massage to release tension in the fascia. This is necessary to properly alleviate your points of chronic pain. We recommend working with a licensed NMT therapist that you can openly communicate with to reap the most benefit from t-bar massage.

Those who struggle with chronic pain know that it is a highly personal experience. That’s why t-bar massage is never “one-size-fits-all.” Instead, we utilize a wide variety of t-bars in our neuromuscular massage therapy techniques to give every individual client the maximum benefit possible.

Who Should Try T-Bar Massage?

It should be noted that only certified Neuromuscular Massage Therapists are licensed to practice NMT and use t-bars during massage. You should never receive NMT from a massage therapist who lacks the certification. Our licensed massage therapist, Sarah Monreal, is a dedicated and certified practitioner of NMT, so she understands the minute details of neuromuscular and t-bar massage.

T-bar massage is not for everyone, the same way that neuromuscular massage is not for everyone. Those that have chronic/recurring pain problems can benefit the most from t-bar massage. Additionally, NMT can be incredibly beneficial to those recovering from injuries, accidents, or surgeries. T-bar massage can also help address:

  • Arthritis

  • Circulatory problems

  • Myofascial trigger points

  • Neural entrapment

  • Nerve compression

  • Sciatica

  • And much more!

If you don’t suffer from any of these conditions, but still have recurring pain problems, you may benefit from our other approaches to massage therapy. Regardless of your therapeutic approach, Wayfare Wellness will develop a personalized treatment plan to address your pain.

Book Your First T-Bar Massage Therapy Session

T-bar massage is the ideal massage therapy solution for anyone who suffers from chronic pain issues. If you find yourself impeded by recurring pain and need relief, then book your first t-bar massage with Wayfare Wellness today!

Published in Massage
Monday, 04 March 2019 10:30

How We Do Neuromuscular Massage in Denver

Chronic pain is one of the most common reasons adults seek medical care. It’s estimated that roughly 20% of U.S. adults (50 million) have suffered or are suffering from chronic pain, which can greatly limit experiences throughout our lives. Those that suffer have sought out relief from this pain from a great variety of approaches (e.g., traditional medication, chiropractic services, stretching, etc.), but in a great number of cases the pain does not go away.

If you suffer from chronic pain, perhaps it’s time to try something new. Neuromuscular massage therapy is the tested and true treatment for chronic muscular pain. Neuromuscular massage therapy (NMT) is a highly targeted form of deep tissue massage that is highly effective at treating chronic soft tissue pain.

Neuromuscular Massage in Denver: How Do We Do It?

Our certified Neuromuscular Massage Therapist, Sarah Monreal, is a dedicated practitioner of NMT and is intensely passionate about helping others find relief from chronic pain. This passion comes from her own real world experiences as an athlete, who suffered from chronic pain issues in the past. When practicing Neuromuscular Massage Therapy, also referred to as trigger point myotherapy, Sarah uses a step-by-step approach to assess the body, focusing on areas of muscle spasm or pain commonly called trigger points, and relieving the chronic stiffness and pain of the trigger point through extremely focused pressure. Chronic pain in muscles is often the result of a lack of blood to the area; our neuromuscular massage in Denver uses pressure to reopen those muscles to allow blood back into the afflicted areas and relieve the pain naturally.

In our Denver office, we will approach NMT with a therapeutic tool called a “t-bar.” When engaging in such high-pressure massage therapy, sometimes the thumbs just do not cut it. The t-bar allows Sarah to work through a detailed massage, acquire the best leverage, and isolate the trigger points. The t-bar is a very versatile tool that we employ daily in our neuromuscular massage in Denver. Once a trigger point is identified, Sarah will utilize the t-bar to apply alternating levels of concentrated pressure directly on the trigger point for anywhere between 10-30 seconds.

Lastly, at Wayfare Wellness, we believe that communication is an essential part of any neuromuscular massage session. As neuromuscular massage can be an intense process, our licensed therapist communicates with you throughout every step of the treatment. We will do our best to never cross over your pain threshold or make you uncomfortable during your appointment. By communicating consistently with our therapist, we ensure that you get the most out of your neuromuscular massage without experiencing pain or major discomfort.

How To Book Your First Neuromuscular Massage in Denver

This form of therapy is the ideal solution for patients who suffer from chronic pain, as well as patients who participate in rigorous exercise or athletics. If you suffer from chronic pain, it may be time to give neuromuscular massage a chance.

Book your neuromuscular massage in Denver today!

Published in Massage
Thursday, 10 January 2019 15:38

What’s The Difference Between Types Of Massage?

There are a number of different types of massage therapy, each playing an essential role in someone’s healing. If you have never gotten a massage before or you are experiencing a type of pain or problem that is new, you may struggle to determine what kind of massage is best for you. In any case, your massage therapist can help you determine the best type of therapy to suit your needs, but we want to share with you some of the more distinct differences between types of massage so that you have the background knowledge you need.

Difference Between Types of Massage

What Are The Most Common Types Of Massage?

Before we get into the difference between types of massage, we want to go over what the most common types of massage therapy are so you know what to expect when you schedule your appointment. There are four key types of massage that you will find at most spas or offices. These include Swedish, Deep Tissue, Cranial-Sacral, and Neuromuscular Therapy. Those are, by no means, the only types of massage. You’ve likely heard of shiatsu, which is often performed in a chair and, if you are a mom, you’re probably familiar with prenatal massage. You’ll also find therapies that utilize essential oils, hot stones, and other tools of the trade. For the purposes of distinguishing the difference between types of massage that anyone can receive at most locations, we are only going to discuss these four, most common modalities.

Swedish Massage

Swedish massage is widely recognized because of the highly flexible implementation of pressure and speed. Most massage therapists recommend starting with a Swedish massage when you’ve not had one before. Not only does this modality allow your therapist to assess your treatment needs but a Swedish massage also allows you to get a feel for what you like or don’t like.

This technique is most commonly performed using a mix of fingers, knuckles, and palms to relieve superficial tension. Different strokes promote blood flow to the soft tissue of the body. Swedish massage is a great technique for those looking to relieve stress or anxiety, reduce joint or muscle pain, and prevent insomnia. This technique is best known for promoting relaxation.

Deep Tissue Massage

Next up in our discussion of the difference between types of massage is deep tissue. Deep tissue massage is commonly misunderstood. It is not an extra-deep, Swedish massage. Deep tissue is a specialized technique that builds upon itself to prepare superficial muscles for deeper strokes. These movements help to break up ischemic tissue, scar tissue, and adhesions in the connective tissue. The increasing pressure through strategic movements “strips” the deepest layers of tissue and it is this that characterizes a deep tissue massage as a different technique from other massage modalities.

Deep tissue massage is ideal for patients with chronic pain and muscle tension. Additionally, it can be a beneficial therapy for those suffering from limited mobility, injury, repetitive strain, fibromyalgia, and sciatica.

Craniosacral Massage

Craniosacral stands out when discussing the difference between types of massage. This is a very gentle technique that is focused on the central nervous system, rather than soft tissue throughout the body. The technique manipulates the cerebrospinal fluid to suspend rhythmic impulses and relax the CNS.

Craniosacral massage is especially beneficial for patients who have experienced trauma and may be suffering or recovering from PTSD, concussion, traumatic brain injury, migraines, spinal cord issues, and much more.

Neuromuscular Massage

Neuromuscular massage has unique characteristics, leading to the alternative name “trigger point therapy.” This modality considers the neuromuscular system and how it connects to the rest of the body. This is highly focused work that works to isolate and relieve problem areas in the body. One key factor that denotes the difference between this type of massage and others is the fact that it is not a traditional, relaxing massage. You may find the neuromuscular massage is slightly uncomfortable and leaves you feeling sore, albeit relieved.

Neuromuscular massage is ideal for patients who suffer from ischemia, myofascial trigger points, neural entrapment, and nerve compression. When there is not enough blood flow in the soft tissue, the muscle can spasm and cause pain. Neuromuscular massage works to combat that and increase blood flow.

Knowing The Difference Between Types Of Massage

When you know the difference between types of massage and what symptoms each can best treat, you can make the best decision for your body. All types of massage play a unique role in your physical health and can be used in conjunction to relieve pain and help you feel your best.

To schedule a Swedish, Deep Tissue, Craniosacral, or Neuromuscular massage, book an appointment online.

Published in Massage

If you suffer from chronic pain, chances are you've probably sought out a number of different remedies for relief. Whether it's chiropractic care, exercise, stretching, massage therapy, or a combination of these pain relief options, if you're not finding relief, it's time to try something new. Neuromuscular massage therapy is the tried and true treatment for muscular pain. Here's why you should try and what you can expect from neuromuscular massage in Denver.

How Is Neuromuscular Massage In Denver Different?

Neuromuscular massage therapy isn't necessarily a “different” type of treatment than other forms of massage therapy, but rather it is just a highly targeted form of deep tissue massage. It is highly effective in the treatment of chronic soft tissue pain.

Let's Talk About Muscular Pain

Soft tissue, or muscular pain, is often caused by ischemic muscle tissue. This is muscle tissue that is lacking proper blood flow. When a muscle is not getting enough blood, that means it is also not getting enough oxygen. A lack of oxygen causes the muscle to produce lactic acid, which is what causes that sore feeling you get after a strenuous workout. All of these factors mean that your muscle spindle can't relax, leading to the formation of trigger points, or concentrated areas of hypersensitivity.

While a single, concentrated area of pain doesn't sound like it would require intensive neuromuscular therapy, the problem with ischemic muscle tissue and trigger points is that the pain is rarely localized. Often this kind of muscle pain results in referral pain in areas of the body that are related to the initial location. For example, a client that comes in with shoulder pain may be experiencing that due to dysfunction in the hand or forearm and vice versa. Trigger points are often the cause of sciatica or carpel tunnel like pains.

The Process Of Neuromuscular Massage

Neuromuscular massage is commonly referred to as trigger point myotherapy, a name that more directly references the key that makes this treatment unique: the trigger point.

Neuromuscular therapy (NMT) starts with a thorough examination of the body through regional protocols. If you're noticing pain in a specific area, your massage therapist will perform a primary examination in that location, followed by the muscles that directly cross the related joints and attach to or originate from that spot.

If you're feeling pain in your lower back, for example, your therapist will start massaging the muscles of the lower back to get blood moving through the area and identify trigger points. He or she will then move out to related regions, like the glutes, hip flexors, lats, and obliques, to identify additional trigger points that may be the source of referral pain.

Once these trigger points are identified, a certified, neuromuscular massage therapist will utilize alternating levels of concentrated pressure directly on the trigger points for anywhere from 10 to 30 seconds. This process helps to release tension and relax the muscle, allowing proper blood flow and increased oxygen back into the muscle. This provides pain relief.

That Sounds Painful...

This is a common assumption from patients who are already experiencing chronic soft tissue pain. The idea of putting concentrated pressure directly on the spot that is causing pain can give one pause and soft tissue pain is one of the only scenarios where this technique is effective in providing pain relief. One wouldn't be inclined to put pressure directly on a surface level burn, but when it comes to your soft tissue that is precisely what is needed. However, while you can expect a normal level of discomfort initially during neuromuscular therapy, it should not be painful. Be sure to communicate with your therapist throughout your treatment so that you can get the most from your neuromuscular massage.

Neuromuscular Massage In Denver

Neuromuscular massage therapy is the ideal solution for patients who present with chronic pain, as well as patients who participate in rigorous exercise or athletics. Our massage therapist at Wayfare Wellness has many years of experience specializing in pain relief through a variety of modalities, including neuromuscular therapy.

If you suffer from chronic pain, it's time to try something different. Book your neuromuscular massage today.

Published in Pain Management