DermoNeuroModulation (DNM)

What is DermoNeuroModulation?

Dermo = skin
Neuro = nervous system
Modulation = change

DermoNeuroModulation, or DNM, is a manual therapy technique developed by Canadian physiotherapist Diane Jacobs during her 40+ year career.

DNM can help calm a hyperactive nervous system, one that is too alert for potential threat and creates pain sensation without physical damage or dysfunction, or residual (chronic) pain after damage has healed or recovery completed.

An overly alert nervous system can result from many types of trauma, whether it is physical injury, surgery, repetitive stress, an emotional or psychological ordeal and so forth.

How does DNM work?

DNM is a very comfortable technique by design, so it doesn’t trigger more pain in the client. Typically I use DNM in combination with other calming massage techniques (such as Swedish massage and/or Myofascial Release), but in some cases an entire session may be designed solely around DNM.

1. Explaining Pain

In a massage session using DNM, the first thing I do is briefly explain how pain works in the body and brain, according to modern pain science’s BioPsychoSocial model and how the nervous system actually works. (For example, we don’t have pain sensors in the skin as I was taught growing up, we have potential threat sensors. See my blog post Pain is in Your Brain.) This information can give the client a new perspective on how they experience their pain and how that experience can be modified.

2. Hands-on Treatment

Then I move on to hands-on therapy.  The client is put in the most comfortable position for an area of pain. Skin that is affected by the same branch of nerves is very gently stretched or gathered to elicit a calming response from the nervous system. The stretch or gather is held for anywhere from a minute to five minutes, even longer if needed. This reinforces the calming effect, provides relaxation or softening of the painful area and decreases or eliminates pain sensation.

Client comfort is paramount. As the inventor Diane Jacobs states, “Techniques are slow, light, kind, intelligent, responsive and effective.”

Getting help for pain

If you or someone you know has persistent (chronic) pain after recovering from trauma (or even without known cause), DNM may help lessen or remove the discomfort. Please get in touch with any questions or make an appointment here.

DNM may benefit:

  • chronic pain
  • pain without diagnosable cause (i.e. you’ve had lots of tests that have found nothing physically wrong with you

Rates explained here.

Check out my blog post: How to Save Money on Your Massage.

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