NMT has origins in Ayurvedic, osteopathic and chiropractic medicine. It’s been around since the 1930s, first in Europe, then in the United States.
In Europe, Stanley Lief, DO and Boris Chaitow, DO originally developed Ayurvedic manual therapy principles. Lief emphasized palpation to assess sensitivity soft tissue.
In America, in the 1940s and 50s, Dr. Janet Travell established herself as a specialist in treating muscle pain, publishing many journal papers. Travell became the first female personal physician to a President in the White House, treating Kennedy with Trigger Point injections to relax ‘cramps’ in his spinal muscles. In 1983, Travell and David Simons, MD published the first of two trigger point texts ‘Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction – The Trigger Point Manual Vol 1’. These revered texts have been translated into many foreign languages.
An American chiropractor named Raymond Nimmo (1904-86) came across Travell’s trigger point theories and noted that these noxious points coincided with his own clinical soft-tissue findings. Dr. Nimmo, who rejected the ‘bone out of place’ paradigm, may be considered the grandfather of NMT in America.
Paul St. John (a student of Nimmo) popularized Nimmo’s work throughout the 1970’s and onwards. He called the modality St. John Neuromuscular Therapy™. Judith DeLany, LMT, trained and taught for St. John, and went on to develop her own seminar program that she called NMT American Version™.
Throughout the century, the European and American versions maintained a similar theoretical base, but employed different manual techniques. In 1996, a groundbreaking relationship between Leon Chaitow, DO, ND (European, nephew of Boris Chaitow) and the Judith DeLany (American) resulted in the publication Modern Neuromuscular Techniques. Dr. Chaitow and DeLany later combined their talents and ideas again to write the seminal two volume texts called Clinical Application of Neuromuscular Techniques.
360 NMT® techniques integrate the best of the St. John, DeLany and Chaitow methods with the trigger point deactivation techniques of Jan Dommerholt, DPT and Robert Gerwin, MD. Leaders in the field of myofascial pain, Dommerholt and Gerwin founded Myopain Seminars which honors Dr. Janet Travell and is considered the seminal Myofascial Trigger Point Therapy training program in the United States.