Why Didn’t You Call It Something Different?

Teaching a recent seminar, one of the students happened to mention that their school incorporated NMT treatments, and that this seminar, their first continuing education course, would be a nice refresher for him.

Needless to say, he was stunned at how different PNMT is from the NMT he was taught in school.

“Why didn’t you call it something different?” he asked.

It is a really great question, far deeper than he realized. There are at least two reasons I did not call it by a different name.

First, how many names do we need for the same thing? My training came out of the neuromuscular tradition. I stand on the shoulders of all who came before and would not be here without their hard work and pioneering efforts. While PNMT has evolved and changed drastically from my original NMT training, it is still neuromuscular therapy. By honoring the past, we help create the future. NMT should change and evolve as those of us who practice it learn and grow. If it isn’t changing, it’s dying. As the science and our clinical experience guides us, the work changes.

Second, research in the psychological field is pretty insightful. About thirty years ago, there were about sixty recognized treatment approaches. Today there are over four hundred. Here is the thing- clinical effectiveness is essentially unchanged! That means that there are now over four hundred ways to get about the same results as sixty approaches used to. That’s not exactly progress.

We have to continually strive, doggedly so, for that which gets results for our clients. We learn, we grow, we change. Our clinical struggles sharpen our skills. That stubborn dedication to constant improvement is what Leonardo da Vinci called “ostinato rigore”, which means stubborn rigor. It was his personal mantra.

I see that same dedication to improvement in the therapists in PNMT seminars. This was true for my group in Nashville, the same for Seth’s class in Chicago. Therapists attend our seminars because they are motivated internally by a sincere desire to learn and be better. Why? So that they can bring some much needed pain relief into the world. They learn so that they can serve. That’s a holy endeavor indeed.