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What is Neuro-Structural Bodywork?

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  • Written By: Katriena Knights
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 24 September 2016
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Neuro-structural bodywork, sometimes referred to as NSB, is a form of deep tissue massage that works to realign and reposition various structures and tissues in the body to increase ease of movement, reduce pain and help the body function in a more efficient manner overall. It focuses on fascial release, which loosens tension in and properly aligns fascial tissue, including ligaments, tendons, connecting tissues between the muscles and the muscles themselves. By releasing these muscles and tissues, neuro-structural bodywork puts all of the parts of the body system into proper alignment, allowing the entire body to function efficiently and often reducing or even eliminating chronic pain.

Considered a somatic therapy, neuro-structural bodywork integrates not only physical elements of the human body but also emotional and spiritual elements. In some cases, neuro-structural bodywork is used in conjunction with psychotherapy to facilitate emotional release that occurs along with reintegration therapies used by the psychiatrist. Stress and other emotional issues can manifest as tightness in various areas of the body, such as the shoulders or lower back. Somatic therapies help treat the physical effects of stress or strong emotions by treating the physical elements to remove this chronic tension or misalignment and to help the patient become aware of how the tension manifests in order to prevent a recurrence.

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Another technique used in neuro-structural bodywork is neuromuscular reeducation, in which parts of the body that are unable to move normally are treated so that they can move more freely and naturally. Neuromuscular reeducation is commonly used with patients who suffer from cerebral palsy to help them gain control over their movement, but it also can help those who don't have major neurological problems. Neuro-structural bodywork can restore normal range of motion to those whose function is impaired by stress tension, tight muscles, body misalignment or other chronic problems.

In some cases, where stress or tension create muscle spasms that affect nearby nerves, such as in some forms of back pain, neuro-structural bodywork can reduce tension to the extent that patients might be able to avoid surgery for the condition. It also can help patients who are receiving other forms of treatment, such as chiropractic care or physical therapy, by helping the body adjust more easily. Neuro-structural bodywork also can help produce better, more efficient results from exercise because it places the body into proper alignment, thus increasing the body's efficiency overall. As a form of bodywork or massage therapy, neuro-structural bodywork should be practiced by licensed professionals for the best results.

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