An excessive increase of muscle tone underlies and accompanies many maladies. Much pain is the result of nerve entrapment by muscles hardened from chronic over-contraction. We are designed with most of our nerves purposely placed under muscles, with the expectation that the layer of muscle will act as a cushion; but hardened, contracted muscle irritates nerves. “Trigger points” are actually irritated nerves under spastic muscle, and the number of nerve entrapment points is large and varied.
Pain is an attention-grabbing sensation. It is easy to become fixated on pain. However, pain is a messenger ~ your body alerting you to a problem ~ and pain is secondary to an unfelt primary problem. Unfortunately, all too often we attack the messenger instead of the primary problem, and if successful, that approach can backfire by allowing the real dysfunction to silently and insidiously continue to grow.
As the level of muscle tone/irritation increases, the body’s natural painkillers ~endorphins~ are triggered, so that your level of sensitivity is actually decreased, which allows the spreading irritation of the hardened muscles to covertly increase; in other words, even though the irritation is actually increasing, decreased symptomatic sensitivity allows you to believe you are remaining the same or even improving. In advanced levels of irritation, sensitivity often drops so low that symptoms will disappear altogether. The mistaken assumption is then that “whatever was wrong finally went away.”
Healing modalities that set pain relief as the primary goal usually fall into the “endorphin trap”. Endorphins, 200 times more powerful than morphine (the word ‘endorphin’ means ‘internal morphine’), cover up the symptoms, and thereby provide temporary relief from the secondary problem of pain. The purpose of NeuroSoma® Muscle Therapy is to reestablish communications between muscle and brain by increasing nerve feedback sensitivity so the system can correct itself. NeuroSoma® is designed to identify and rectify the the primary problem ~ the underlying dysfunction ~ which then eliminates pain.
Be aware that it is not possible to increase feedback sensitivity without also increasing sensitivity to irritation (sensitivity + irritation = discomfort). While this may be unpleasant, the awakening pain acts as an internal guide to help both client and therapist locate the areas where irritation is present. Often, areas where there were no symptoms at outset of treatment become places of greatest discomfort, and if pursued, will connect holistically to the original symptomatic areas. Many times the conscious discomfort in symptomatic areas is just the tip of the iceberg. If you have a boil, you want to bring it up to the surface to allow it to heal; the same is true for muscle pain. Drugs, external pressure, static stretching, shots etc. simply buries the problem, driving it deeper underground.
Remember: NeuroSoma® will inform your brain to allow your muscles to relax, which eventually decreases muscle irritability/spastic hypertonus. But muscle relaxation can begin only after your sensitivity to and conscious awareness of your primary problem has been increased; so even though the primary problem is actually improving, you may feel more discomfort in the beginning stages of treatment. As your muscles relax on ever-deeper layers, irritability will begin decreasing faster than sensitivity increases, and the treatment becomes a pleasant and even pleasurable experience. Until that time, your reward is a steady reduction of symptoms between treatments. Hang in long enough, and you will find NeuroSoma to be almost addictive, as well as the fountain of youth! It is, after all, hardened, contracted muscle that pulls us into old age.