Advanced Therapeutics

Excellence in Pain Relief

Frequently Asked Questions About SJNMT

What is St. John Neuromuscular Therapy?

What  kinds of conditions can SJNMT help?

How does SJNMT work?

Is SJNMT painful?

How long will I need SJNMT?

How can SJNMT help athletic performance?


St. John Neuromuscular therapy (SJNMT) is a system of manual therapy that works on the muscles, tendons, and ligaments of the body to release painful contractions and restore normal health and function to the affected tissues.

During an initial visit, an SJNMT therapist normally:

Having gathered this information, an SJNMT therapist develops a treatment plan that will treat the root cause of your pain problem, rather than just its effects. The SJNMT protocol for rehabilitation is as follows:

  1. Eliminate spasm and hypercontraction in the tissues (manual therapy).
  2. Restore proper biomechanics (movement re-education).
  3. Restore flexibility (movement and stretching).
  4. Rebuild strength (resistance exercise).
  5. Rebuild endurance (aerobic conditioning).

Experience has shown that if steps in this protocol are skipped during rehabilitation, re-injury or setbacks usually occur. For example, if resistance exercise or weight training is started before the hypercontraction has been removed from the injured muscles, the muscles are likely to re-spasm and pain will recur along the original facilitated neurological pathways.

SJNMT is an effective therapy for relief of muscular pain without the side effects of drugs or the complications and expense of surgery; in fact, many patients have been able to discontinue medications or even avoid surgery as a result of receiving SJNMT.  It must be stressed, however, that any decision to discontinue medications or avoid surgery must be made only with the advice and consent of your supervising physician or other licensed health care provider.

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Neuromuscular Therapy (SJNMT) is a very effective treatment for a wide range of musculoskeletal conditions. Although of course there is no "magic bullet" that will resolve all pain conditions, SJNMT has a remarkable record of being able to help or resolve a wide range of conditions in many people. Some of the more common conditions that have been helped include:

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SJNMT achieves its results through five primary means: 1) Relieving ischemia (lack of blood flow) and spasm in muscle tissue; 2) Releasing trigger points (localized areas in muscles that refer pain elsewhere in the body); 3) Relieving nerve entrapment in soft tissues; 4) Relieving postural distortions that cause muscle pain; and 5) Correcting faulty movement patterns that create and perpetuate pain.

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No. While it is sometimes necessary to take a muscle into 'comfortable discomfort' - that "hurts so good" feeling - it is never appropriate to cause real pain. After all, since the goal is to bring about relaxation in the body, if the therapy causes you to tighten up, either physically or psychologically, it is counter-therapeutic. You will be asked constantly for feedback about the amount of pressure used and all work will be done to your level of comfort.

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That depends on many factors, including the nature and extent of the problem, how long the problem has existed, your body's general health and rate of healing, and how much you participate in the healing process. Simple problems of recent onset sometimes resolve in minutes, while complex conditions of long standing may take weeks or months; after all, a pain pattern of 20 years' duration can hardly be expected to vanish in a week or two. Nevertheless, Advanced Therapeutics does not support dependency relationships and frowns on unnecessary treatment. The goal is to help you get well as quickly as possible and to put you back in control of your own health, and experience has shown that the greater your commitment to participating in the therapy and getting well, the faster you'll heal.

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Clearly, muscle pain from athletic injury or overuse hinders your performance, yet a more common problem often goes unrecognised. Muscular imbalance, whether as a result of an old injury, skeletal asymmetry, chronic posture, or muscle overuse, forces other muscles to compensate, keeps you from performing at your best, and makes you more subject to injury. Even a "balanced" program of exercise won't help if it's only equally reinforcing the existing imbalances. Balanced exercise programs only work for posturally balanced bodies, which are extremely rare. SJNMT looks at muscular balance and postural distortions, then offers a custom-tailored program to help you bring your muscles back into balance for better health and peak athletic performance.

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