I’d like to introduce you to an innovative approach to healing called Pain Neutralization Technique, or PNT. I’ll explain what a PNT session is like, how it works, and give some short case studies to show what types of problems it can help with. I’ve found PNT to be transformative for many of my clients as well as for my own approach to bodywork, and I hope this will help you decide whether you or someone you love might benefit from trying it out.
PNT was developed by Stephen Kaufman, a Chiropractor and Acupuncturist with over 30 years of experience in soft tissue therapies. His aim was to create a manual technique that could eliminate painful trigger points without the intense, prolonged pressure and discomfort of common massage methods like Trigger Point Therapy.
In a typical session the therapist assesses which areas of the body are holding the most tension, and uses light pressure to locate painful areas in the muscles. Then the therapist gently presses a relevant reflex point to eliminate the painful spot. The pain is usually greatly reduced or eliminated in 20-30 seconds.
So how does it work? When we experience stress (such as fear, injury, overwork, or overwhelm) our tissues tighten in a defensive response. If the stress continues, our brains automate the defensive response with an unconscious nerve loop called a reflex. As stress builds up in the body, more and more defensive reflexes are created, and tension gradually turns to pain.
Most massage methods try to reduce pain by pressing on the muscles. While this can feel great, the tension usually comes back fairly quickly. PNT looks beyond the muscles to the underlying nerves and reflexes that keep the tension stuck in park. A metaphor I often use to explain how PNT is different from massage compares muscle tension to a poorly parked car. Let’s say someone has parked their car in front of your driveway and you need to get out. In Massage Therapy we would go out and start pushing on the car, while in PNT we simply knock on the window and ask the driver to move.
The ease and speed with which pain and tension are released in PNT allows me to accomplish much more in a session than was possible before. Six months ago a patient came to me with 2 years of debilitating migraines, at least two or three per week. After an hour of PNT she had her first pain-free week. With two more treatments that month, she reached a “low plateau,” and has had only 2 migraines in the last 5 months.
Another patient was 36 weeks pregnant and unable to get comfortable at night because of severe pelvic and lower back pain. She also suffered from intolerable pubic bone pain with walking and standing. When she stood up after her first session the relief on her face was a joy to see. I treated her weekly until she delivered, consistently bringing relief to her lower back and pelvis.
Finally, a patient came with a long history of painful menses. I treated her lower abdomen with PNT during one session, and the following month she had her first pain-free period in years.
For many patients who have “tried everything” the results of PNT can seem unreal. But many come to rely on the wisdom of this unique therapy: the body makes sense. Relief is a real possibility; and ease is closer than it seems.