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Frozen Shoulder Niel-Asher Technique (NAT)
The Niel-Asher Technique™ is a 'natural' method of treatment that utilizes
the body's own healing mechanisms. No drugs, no surgery.
The technique uses a specific and unique sequence of manipulations and pressure points to the shoulder joints and soft-tissues. In essence, these can be thought of as 'inputs' into the nervous system.
The technique has been in use since 1998 and has been adopted and approved by Doctors, Physio Therapists, Osteopaths, and Chiropractors in the UK, Europe, and the United States.
NAT works with the body, listening to the body's wisdom, not by forcing the arm into the restricted ranges but by applying gentle stimulation to muscles whilst they are resting.
Nothing in the body happens without a
good reason. The body is a beautifully
complex system and when it goes wrong
it is often because it is trying to protect
NAT embraces the body's own healing processes, as an alternative to forcing the shoulder into painful movements, or using artificial chemicals and drugs to reduce inflammation.
The technique 'fools' the body/brain into healing itself by addressing the two main components of the problem - pain and stiffness.
The unique combination of exercises and pressure techniques, stimulates a new pathway in the brain, rapidly relieving injury and spasm and increasing strength and power. This is now known as Cortex-Neuro-Somatic- Programming® (CNSP®).
The initial phases of the technique are designed to significantly reduce the pain, by treating the swelling around various shoulder tendons (especially the long head biceps tendon). Following this, the technique moves on to rapidly defrost and improve the range of shoulder motion by stimulating a unique sequence of reflexes hidden deep within the muscles.
This works on the parts of the brain that co-ordinate the shoulder muscles called the motor cortex. By using a unique choreographed sequence of reflexes one against another the brain is fooled into changing the fixed capsular pattern. We do not force the arm; instead you keep it still whilst your partner applies the pressure.
Simeon Niel-Asher likens this theory to
an a s p e c t of Ne u r o - l i n g u i s t i c
Programming (NLP). In NLP, the modality
of language as an input is manipulated in
This seems to change the way that the brain interprets, processes and responds to various stimuli.
In CNSP, somatic inputs (trigger points, pain responses, joint position and other somatic stimuli) can be blended in specific and coordinated sequences (or programs).
The brain interprets these somatic inputs at the level of the spinal cord (locally) and the sensory cortex (in the brain); it responds by changing the motor output (changing the reciprocal inhibition and facilitation patterns) resulting in a plethora of changes such as increased strength and power, reduced pain and disability and increased function.
Patients treated with the technique will generally see a fast and tangible improvement with each treatment session.
Traditional approaches to the frozen shoulder either address the inflammation (steroid tablets, steroid injections and hydrodilatation) or the stiffness (physical therapy, exercise therapy and surgical manipulation).
Physical therapies attempt to improve the range of motion by forcing the shoulder through the blockage; this in our opinion can make the condition considerably worse.
NAT works differently. We keep the arm still while we apply a sequence of pressure points to specific tissues. The treatment can still be painful, especially in the early freezing phase, but it is no worse than the pain of the frozen shoulder (you will know what we mean if you have had one of those nasty spasms).
The first few sessions of the technique initially address the
inflammation in the rotator interval, after this the emphasis is on
improving the range of motion. Depending how long you have
had the problem and which phase you are in, results can be seen
in as few as 4 sessions (range 4 -13).
The results can be dramatic and fast and the method is 'totally natural'. We believe it should be the first line of treatment before injections and or surgery.
A frozen shoulder seems to result from the way the brain
responds to inflammation around the long head of the biceps, in
the rotator interval (see anatomy). In some people, and we still
don't know why, the brain over-reacts to this inflammation by
switching off groups of muscles and changing their dynamics.
Traditionally, muscles are thought to operate around joints in triangles; one muscle group holds the joint still (fixators), one muscle tenses up and pulls the joint one way (agonist) whilst another opposite muscle (antagonist) relaxes.
In shoulder problems these smooth and seamless operations no longer operate properly and agonists, antagonists and fixators become confused. The brain responds to this by recruiting alternative muscles to do jobs they are not designed for (synergists).
The Niel-Asher Technique™ stimulates groups of receptors embedded in the muscles to fire their messages to the brain. This creates a new and specific neurological profile within the part of the brain called the somato-sensory cortex. By stimulating these reflexes in a specific sequence, it is possible to change the way the brain fires muscles (the motor output).
This situation occurs in most shoulder problems and Niel-Asher has invented specific treatment sequences for a range of conditions such as Rotator cuff problems, biceps tendonitis, bursitis, arthritis and tendinopathy.