The Implication of Neuromatrix Theory in Medical Massage

A discovery is said to be an accident meeting a prepared mind. Recently i had an amusing chance to see how true this parable is. A while ago I wrote an article that described the theory Body cells Carry Emotional Memory and explains its application in massage practice. My interest to this theory was mostly based on massive clinical observations. In short, this theory states that the negative memories associated with the emotional trauma are stored in the cells of somatic parts that were affected or injured concurrently with the emotional trauma. But since body cells don’t have any specialized “memory” mechanism I made an assumption that in a frame of this theory, places on somatic parts correspond to book marks while as memories themselves are stored somewhere in brain. That’s how it would have stayed if not for 부산출장. social media incident, that i described in details in my other article “Do pain receptors exist? ” Not to repeat myself, it had to do with the Neuromatrix theory developed by Professor Melzack.

It would be safe to say that i was familiar with Prof. Melzack’s works, including since my student years back 42 years ago. Back then I got into it to the degree massage therapist generally should be familiar with it. It doesn’t belong to the “must know, ” but rather falls into “nice to know” category.

This time, however, I was challenged and it made me to delve into Prof. Melzak’s theory on much deeper level. Leaving the detail of the actual challenge to another article, I must say that after being submerged into the work for a long time I experienced that great feeling of discovery. The Eureka feeling. Now those ephemeral bookmarks of somatic parts I mentioned earlier, acquired specific shape and form and that’s how…

Indirectly, Prof. Melzack defined neuromatrix mechanism as:


This allowed me to speculate that neuromatrix mechanism establishes the location and mechanics of those bookmarks, described in my article referenced above.

I should also point out that despite me not knowing exactly where those negative memories resided, I had a large practical application in my practice and basic practical understanding for the overall paradigm of negative painful memories, has successfully dealt with their release and considered this practice extremely important in the overall scheme of client health.

Therefore, this discovery didn’t change the great deal of how i practiced massage. It anything the difference was very subtle. It only enhanced the understanding of what I have already done all along.

Based on my clinical experiences I already knew that massage procedure can stimulate a release of negative emotional memories. Almost always, they are accompanied by pains, anxieties, clinical depression, etc. This also explains why if pain was generated by sources other than tissue injury, massage therapy, in some cases, can be effective.

As well I understood the necessity to trigger emotional releases for many years, and in most cases successfully stimulated these releases. As i explained in my article: Body cells Carry Emotional Memory we should search for body signals, guided by bookmarks of these memories.

To a degree, most of us develop stored negative memories or neuromatrix during our lifetime. Different reasons can trigger its development, and people who develop significant neuromatrix, suffer more from their negative emotional painful memories. At the time when neuromatrix is addressed, people react differently, proportionally to significance of these memories. Some will cry, some shake, some just release with no obvious visible expressions.

In every case though massage somehow stimulates some centers in brain that trigger these emotional releases. Practically, always these releases, demonstrative or not, followed by a client experiencing less body pains, less anxieties and an improvement in quality of sleep.

The role of massage therapy in neuromatrix pain generated cases.

Tissue injury pains, such as mechanical/myofascial pains etc, can start due to psychological and /or physical trauma. Psychological trauma is that poison that leads to tension accumulation in muscles, fascia and to trigger points developments. Little by little myofascial dysfunctions due to psychological trauma closes the vicious cycle of injury pains as well as emotional pain. If tension in fascia and muscles is not eliminated as well as sufficient and adequate trigger point therapy is not provided a client will continue to suffer from pain. Please read my article on the necessity to provide adequate treatment in order to sustain results.

Simplicity and extreme healing power of massage therapy

Today I am positive that stress fuels pre-existent neuromatrix, as well as causes so-called snowball reaction, i. e. an additional accumulation of memory pains. I believe that neuromatrix adopts other stress related psychological traumas, and body cells/bookmarks could be recorded developments in different locations. Thus any chronic pain or fresh trauma, have potential to become memory pain, additional to tissue injury pains.

In order to address neuromatrix effectively these bookmarks (emotional memories) shouldn’t be ignored, even though sometimes there might not generate painful spots, or contain trigger points, especially if we successfully addressed myofascial tensions and trigger points previously. Thus even when we successfully address abnormalities in soft tissues that i mentioned in my article, memories of psychological and physical traumas could initiates and fuel formation of neuromatrix. If these emotional memories won’t be cleaned, it’s only a question of time when myofascial pain returns.

In order to sustain results we have to release these emotional memories thus eliminating the neuromatrix associated with them. In the last 7 to 8 years it would have been very difficult to sustain results in cases of painful back and limb disorders, unless I have incorporated additional to orthopedic massage, medical stress management massage protocols, which mainly contain petrissage techniques.

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