According to Bruce R. Hocking, D.Ac., Electro Therapy Point Stimulation Neuro Mechanical Acupuncture (ETPS NMA) is a hybrid modality used in the treatment of chronic soft tissue pain. In its most basic form, ETPS therapy applies brief, concentrated stimulation to points on the body that relate to different therapeutic systems in stages. Patient assessments are performed at the end of each stage to determine therapeutic effectiveness. Through a series of systematic and reproducible protocols, the diagnosis/assessment and treatment of root causes of soft tissue pain can be completed with a high degree of accuracy within minutes.
The theoretical underpinnings of ETPS therapy are based on acupuncture/acupressure, osteopathic stretching, trigger point, neuromuscular and neuropathic therapies.
As certified ETPS massage therapists, we began to experience the positive effects of this pain relief methodology first hand in 2000. We knew immediately, during our training sessions, that this would be a great pain relief service for our clients.
When massage therapists and other alternative medicine practitioners come together in one place at one time to continue their education (required for our bi-annual FL, GA and National certifications and licensure renewals), the camaraderie and learning experience is dynamic. We find ourselves wanting to learn everything everybody knows-so much working knowledge at one place and time!
During each day of training our instructor, Bruce, would ask who among our group of 15-20 had a chronic ailment or condition that we would like to have treated. Massage therapists’ bodies, as you can imagine, go through daily rigorous physical strain and if we do not take care of ourselves, we face the same repetitive motion problems as our clients/patients. (“Do as I say do, not as I do” is NOT a good philosophy.)
Being one who will jump at the chance for a free alternative healthcare approach to my own physical “isms,” I held up my hand. Years of participating in softball, volleyball and water skiing had taken a toll on my right shoulder (Dx: “frozen shoulder”) as well as wear and tear on my cervical and lumbar vertebrae, so I welcomed the opportunity for this new hybrid treatment. I was amazed at the effectiveness and my diminished pain after just two 30 minute sessions with our well educated and respected instructor.
Eleven years later, we therapists use this therapeutic technique on ourselves and on our clients. Just yesterday, I received ETPS therapy for “brewing” sciatic pain brought on by SITTING too much while vacationing. (What can I say? Ok, I read an ENTIRE book in one “sitting.”) Yes, I’m much better today-and yes, I have told my clients NOT to do what I do.
Mr. Hocking said it best, though, when he shared with us that this therapy has a high patient compliance due to its immediate effectiveness and high professional compliance as well as its ease of learning and fast clinical application.
The bottom line? This therapy is non-invasive, has no restrictions like acupuncture needling, and therefore, may be safely applied by therapists, doctors, and even the patients themselves in both clinical and home settings. ETPS NMA Therapy is an extremely versatile, effective and safe form of therapy.
Nancy Shores, LMT
~ “If you cannot be king, be a healer.”
(Ancient Sinhala quote from a manuscript dated 500 BC)