FAQ About NeuroSoma Therapy
WHAT IS MUSCLE TONE ?
It is the residual contraction in a resting muscle which maintains joint integrity and posture in gravity. We are not consciously aware of this constant (static) contraction because the cerebellum controls muscle tone automatically, utilizing information sent to it via gamma nerve feedback from muscle spindle sensory receptors.
Muscles spindles are small structures scattered throughout skeletal muscle that measure the amount of stress or force endured by each muscle when at rest; they report this information directly to the cerebellum via their feedback nerves. Depending on the strength of the feedback signal, the brain either relaxes or contracts more fibers.
When these specialized nerve feedback loops are operating properly, the cerebellum perfectly adjusts the tone of your muscles to its pre-set requirements; but when they are not, overly-contracted muscle, or “muscle spasm” develops.
WHAT IS MUSCLE SPASM ?
We tend to think of spasm as cramps or tics, which are usually temporary. However, the spasm caused by malfunctioning feedback nerves is more serious, and is permanent unless treated. Technically called hypertonus, meaning “too much muscle tone”, it is very common and often contributes to other disorders not generally associated with muscle.
HOW DOES HYPERTONIC SPASM DEVELOP ?
The muscles constantly produce a metabolic waste known as lactic acid which can become toxic if it accumulates to an unexpected concentration. The bloodstream is designed to transport it out of skeletal muscle to the liver, where it is converted to and stored as glycogen, which becomes glucose when needed for energy.
However blood flow is locally constricted in muscles during contraction and stretch, and in those damaged by stress or injury. When local circulation is impaired more than momentarily, lactic acid begins to pool in the tissue and become trapped in the spindles. As it collects there, it sickens the feedback nerves and weakens their signal to the brain, which incorrectly interprets this weakened signal as too little muscle tone and so orders up more contraction.
Contracting an already tight muscle further decreases circulation and increases lactic acid output in the muscle. A vicious cycle is born as more acid is trapped and nerve signals become weaker; hypertonus continues to build and the area may remain in spasm for the rest of one‟s life. In short, whether due to injury, lack of use, or improper use of the muscle, hypertonic muscle spasm is caused by a decrease in circulation, a resultant accumulation of lactic acid, and a nerve feedback system run amok.
WHY DON’T I FEEL THIS HAPPENING ?
Many times the body will “wall off” an affected area with endorphin (Latin for “internal morphine”). Insidious, (quietly creeping) hypertonus is a permanent condition that continues to build, robbing the body of youth, strength, elasticity, and vigor. Awareness of the condition arises only when healthy muscles, nerves or organs are encroached upon, and remains only until endorphin is able to numb those areas – until something drastic occurs that can’t be numbed out. Then the surgeon is enlisted.
THE IMPORTANCE OF SKELETAL MUSCLE IS UNDERESTIMATED, even though it comprises 50% of your body mass and directly affects circulatory, skeletal, nervous, lymph, digestive, and endocrine (body chemistry) systems. Sick muscle can mean a sick body, but there are no muscle doctors within our current medical system.
HOW DOES NeuroSoma WORK ?
The therapist stimulates these feedback nerves with precise control and pressure. As the loop system returns to operation, the brain decreases contraction to the muscle, which gradually restores circulation and allows lactic acid to escape, and the body heals itself. The treatments are cumulative and once the core spasms have been eliminated, maintenance becomes the objective. The BioPulser® precision percussor is usually utilized during treatment.
WHAT DOES THE TREATMENT FEEL LIKE ?
Because endorphin is eliminated and sensation reinstated, you begin to experience the true condition of your muscles during treatment; what you feel depends completely on the condition of your muscles, i.e., the less spasm, the less discomfort.
Although the pressure used is light enough not to activate the stretch reflex response (an automatic, powerful contraction of muscle), you may be sore for 3 days as your brain continues to process the information. Bruising can occur after initial treatments due to increased circulation in weak-walled capillary beds; capillary walls soon heal and are stronger, as the surrounding tissue is no longer compacted.
NeuroSoma activates the body’s own healing power, including long-term changes in musculature, circulation, nerve function, and overall well-being. The speed of change depends on the extent and age of the disturbance, and the responsiveness and speed of your own nervous system, which is congenital and differs in everyone.
It is important to understand that although the first few treatments almost always produce soreness, this is part of the process, which your body eventually welcomes. As the outer muscles become healthier, each succeeding treatment will leave less soreness, and gradually, deeper muscle layers can be reached. It usually takes 3 treatments to establish a baseline, and is advisable to commit to a series of at least 8 treatments.
Remember: a hard, painful muscle doesn’t want to be pummeled, stretched, or “strengthened” through exercise. It wants to be able to relax.
TO AID IN YOUR THERAPY you are encouraged to walk at least twenty minutes a day, drink extra water, and get adequate rest and nutrition. We discourage prolonged sitting, standing, and overuse/abuse of muscle (either stretch or contraction), as this constricts circulation. And please ~ no icing, hot baths, or ibuprofen; nothing to reduce post-treatment inflammation, which is part of the body‟s natural healing process.
NeuroSoma is the work of Dr. Thomas Griner, author of WHAT‟S REALLY WRONG WITH YOU? A Revolutionary Look At How Muscles Affect Your Health, and inventor of the remarkable BioPulser precision percussor (www.biopulser.com) .Please visit www.neurosoma.com for more information on the science of muscle function and malfunction,