Functional Neuromuscular Therapy 101

aka, Our Master Plan For Getting You Out of Pain

FMNT in a nutshell

We love the fact that you clicked into this page — it shows us that you’re the kind of person who loves information and figuring things out and seeing if something is a good fit for you. Helping our clients take charge of their own healing and wellness is a HUGE focus for us, and those are the exact kinds of skills we want you to apply to your body and mind as we work together!

But let’s talk about FNMT for a minute so you can see how this all fits together. FNMT (which stands for Functional Neuromuscular Therapy) is a treatment modality that was created by Neuro Physique’s founder, Kavic Merrill. It combines neurolinguistic programming and specialized massage therapy to provide effective pain relief, improved mobility, and enhanced mental well-being. How does that look, exactly? Well, let’s start with the functional part of that equation first. 

Functional can have a few different meanings, but in the health and wellness sphere, it’s often used to talk about the idea of addressing the root cause of an issue, not just its surface symptoms. Here at Neuro Physique, we’re all about getting to the root cause of your pain and fixing it. We’re not about “managing” it or “keeping it at a tolerable level.” We’re looking at what’s actually causing it, and we’re going right to that. Functional also means that there is a response that can be generated to actually help the problem. In this case, we want our clients learning which actions to take to functionally respond to their own pain, and we also work as therapists to train their body tissues to functionally respond effectively on their own.

And how do we get there? That’s where the neuromuscular part comes in. We’ll deal with the ‘muscular’ part first since that’s what’s going to be more immediately familiar. Basically, we use specialized massage therapy techniques that are meant to train your tissues to relax, absorb, and distribute pressure and forces throughout your body more efficiently. 

This response has to be trained much like you would train if you were going to run a marathon. When you train to run, you teach your body by running over and over again to obtain desired breathing patterns and pace relaxation in order to get a PR (or personal record, for anyone outside the running world). So at Neuro Physique, your therapist will work the affected tissue over and over to train your body to respond more efficiently in the future when using that particular group of muscles/tissues. This helps resolve chronic and acute pain, as well as reduces your body’s risk of injury.

The ‘neuro’ part of the equation is what we actually talk about with you during a session, although it includes more than that since we’re basically trying to retrain your entire nervous system (of which your brain is an obviously important part). While we’re doing the deep tissue work on you, we’ll also be discussing ways you can reprogram your brain to think about pain more efficiently, which can help you to change negative thinking and activity patterns that are unconsciously perpetuating your pain without you even realizing it. By drawing your attention to it and teaching strategies for approaching challenging experiences and physical stimuli in a more positive way, we also help empower you to have the ability to more effectively reduce your own pain in the future.

Does It Hurt?

This is probably one of the most common fears that comes up when you’re about to try any new therapy on your body (which, if you’re here, we’re guessing is already in some pain — or a lot of pain — as it is). Perhaps the real questions you have are 1) what can I expect to happen in my session, and 2) is it somehow going to be worse than what I’m already going through?

To answer the first, you should come to your first session (and any subsequent sessions) in loose-fitting garments. For men, that’s gym shorts and a loose t-shirt, and for women, it’s loose gym shorts, a t-shirt, and a sports bra. Unlike some massage therapies, you remain clothed here. If you need us to work on your shoulders/back, we may need you to remove your shirt, but we provide a cozy blanket to drape over any parts of your exposed skin that we’re not actively working on. 

During the actual massage therapy portion, we apply careful pressure — often with our elbows or forearms — to the tissues that we’re trying to retrain to relax and work more effectively for you. This pressure can often be uncomfortable — especially at first — but if it’s ever going to actual pain, let your therapist know, and they will lighten the pressure. Your therapist will work with you wherever you’re at and wherever you’re willing to go, and he or she definitely doesn’t want the session to be a negative experience in the slightest. As you come back for later sessions and your therapist reworks those same sections over and over again, you will notice that it’s no longer really uncomfortable at all, and it just feels more like you’re going in for a tuneup. 

In the beginning, especially if you’re dealing with a lot of pain, we might recommend that you do several sessions closer together. Many clients experience pretty profound relief after only 2-3 sessions (and you’ll definitely experience plenty after the first!), but if your injury or pain has been a little more ongoing, it might take as many as 5-7 sessions for you to feel like we’ve really gotten to the bottom of it.

After we’ve gone to the root of your pain and eliminated it and had a few sessions after to help retrain those muscles and tissues again, you might feel like you only need to come in once a month or once every 3-6 months to maintain. 

If you ever have a question about our therapy or if you want to know if we’d be a good fit for your unique situation, we invite you to contact us at

Ready to try it?

If you’re ready to get out of pain and see for yourself why we have hundreds of very satisfied clients, we invite you to a book a session today and get your (active) life back.

Client Testimonial

“My brother-in-law had a lifelong knee problem where if he went on a hike, he’d be out of commission the whole next day. When he told me Neuro Physique fixed that and his neck/shoulder issues after just a few visits, I knew exactly who to call when I threw my back out at the airport. I got full pain relief to my lower back and flexibility again in my hips after just two visits. Those two visits did more than months of physical therapy had done previously.

I later referred my close buddy who was plagued by 20+ years of shoulder pain due to an old injury. He’d get daily anxiety before his physically intense job just thinking about the pain he was about to endure.

He was so skeptical I just paid for the visit myself just to get him there. After 1 visit, his shoulder pain was gone for good…lol (its nuts). He called me right after and said the strangest thing was he could now feel old-pain in his right ankle and left wrist from lesser injuries he hadn’t felt in years because of the overwhelming shoulder pain. He later went back and got those fixed too.

I’ve never seen anything like what they do; but it works. They relax all the little crisscross muscles, make the pain go away and make the range of motion come back. I’m in my late 40’s and my life is way more active, my body way more flexible because I go in for maintenance to keep it that way. If you were looking for a life-hack, you just found it.”

Tarlton B, Google Review