Dermoneuromodulating (DNM) is a gentle and interactive method of treatment to help people resolve pain, regain function, and feel better.
DNM is a pain-free technique undertaken with a thorough understanding of the nervous system. An explanation of our amazing, predictive brain and neuroscience is offered to help put the technique in context and help you understand why you might have pain. In my practice, it is blended with other techniques, all of which are kind to the body.
For many pain conditions, manual therapy techniques can help support your nervous system and the body in which it inhabits, to adapt and move more easily. By treating people sensitively and with some expert knowledge, you should walk away reassured that you're not broken or damaged and you can feel confident to get on with whatever you want to do with your resilient body.
Many people can move without pain after our session, and frequently, with some low-key, effortless movement homework strategies to use, they may only attend one appointment. Other people may end up attending a few times, perhaps they have moved back into sedentary habits or other life circumstances might make it difficult to believe that they aren't broken.
The concept was developed by Diane Jacobs, a Canadian physiotherapist specialising in pain science and the treatment of painful conditions. I've attended two of her courses to get to know the method better. The concept of her approach to manual therapy for clients in pain: dermo (skin); neuro (nervous system); modulation (change); which equals dermoneuromodulation, or touching the skin to interact with the nervous system and effect change.
Good information to understand if you're still interested in learning more:
It is important to understand that pain and tight muscles are not evils to be banished, but are instead may be protective responses produced by the nervous system. Of these protective responses, the motor aspects are flinching and muscle tightness (“bracing”) and the sensory experience is pain or other discomfort. These may persist long after any injury or danger has passed. If we can make the nervous system and the nerves more comfortable, it may abandon these protective responses.
Anatomically, the nervous system includes central components (brain, nerve roots, and spinal cord) and peripheral components (deep and cutaneous nerves). During embryological development, the brain, nerves, and skin all arise from the same ectodermic tissue. It might be said that the skin is the exposed portion of the brain; if the brain is a computer, then the skin is a keyboard.
As nerves proceed from the spinal cord to the skin, they pass through many tissue layers. These layers move and shift, and may be negatively impacted by both internal and external stimuli. The nerves pass through small, contiguous gaps, or tunnels, through these tissue layers. The points where nerves pass from one layer into another are subject to shearing forces that may impinge nerves and cause localized ischemia (low blood supply and oxygen) and send nociception (danger signals) to the 'higher levels' of the nervous system, which may lead to pain, increased muscle tension, and other protective responses. When this occurs, it is referred to as nerve compression/entrapment syndrome, or tunnel syndrome. In this concept, myofascial pain, may more correctly be attributed to tunnel syndromes.
Moving nerves (neurodynamics) can help restore nerve health. Since tunnel syndromes often involve cutaneous nerves (found throughout the skin and subcutis), moving nerves attached to the skin might resolve some musculoskeletal pain, i.e., by moving skin into areas where the nerves are embedded. This is done without pressure sufficient to damage or deform the underlying muscle, fascia, or other soft tissues. DNM uses body positioning and/or skin stretching to resolve discomfort from tunnel syndromes, and DNM practitioners may also use some form of athletic taping to assist clients between treatment sessions.
Diane does have a knack for explaining her own technique and in this short interview she talks through an introduction to the technique.