National Qualification in Neuromuscular Therapy

Wake up excited for work every day!

Be the go-to expert in your community for resolving chronic and acute soft tissue and muscular pain.

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About our Neuromuscular Therapy Qualification Course

  • Dublin | Cork | Galway | Waterford
  • Blended Learning
  • Evenings | Weekends
  • 15 Months

This course is unique in Ireland as it has full accreditation from the SMA, The Association for Soft Tissue Therapists, at UK Level 5.

The SMA have verified the NTC National Qualification in Neuromuscular Therapy, developed and delivered by the National Training Centre (NTC) in order for this course to be recognised by CNHC as meeting the requirements of the Core Curriculum for Sports Massage Therapy.

The verification process involved cross-refencing the learning outcomes of the NTC Neuromuscular Therapy course, (both Knowledge & Understanding and Performance Criteria) to the National Occupation Standards CNH27 developed by Skills for Health. Quality assurance analysis was carried out to ensure the assessment process was fair and standardised and that teaching staff are appropriately qualified.

NTC meet all the requirements of the verification process and graduates of this course will be accepted onto the Massage Therapy Register approved by the Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care.

Neuromuscular Therapy (NMT) is a type of physical therapy that is designed to treat specific muscle and soft tissue issues. The therapy has several potential benefits, including pain relief, improved range of motion, reduced stress, improved posture, faster injury recovery, and enhanced athletic performance.

NMT can help to reduce pain caused by muscle strain, spasms, or tension, as well as chronic pain associated with conditions such as fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome. The therapy can also improve flexibility and range of motion, while releasing muscle knots and improving circulation, which in turn reduces stress and tension.

By addressing underlying muscular issues, NMT can help to correct postural imbalances, speed up the healing process, and reduce the risk of injury. Athletes can benefit from NMT by addressing specific muscle imbalances and improving performance.

It is important to note that NMT should only be performed by a qualified therapist with experience in this specialised form of therapy. Overall, neuromuscular therapy is a valuable tool for improving muscular health and overall well-being.

What our gradutes say!

Some unsolicited testimonials from our graduates from over the years.
" I had the privilege of treating Sir Chris Hoy of the GB cycling team "

In April 2012 I completed the Certificate level Neuromuscular Therapy course. Since I completed the course I have had massive success and progression. I had several private clients that I attained from advertising in the gym that I was working in, and also worked on a referral basis with physiotherapist David Gardiner owner of Physiotherapyworks in Naas Co.Kildare.

In August 2012 I moved to Perth, Australia where I have enjoyed even more success. I spent 8 months working at Subiaco Sports Massage and while working in this clinic I had the privilege of treating several Olympic athletes including Sir Chris Hoy of the GB cycling team and also Western Force rugby team of the super 15s competition.

I really enjoyed my time at the NTC – we really had a great group and we all keep in touch.

Colin Cassidy
Neuromuscular Therapy Graduate
" You will not be disappointed "

I have been in the Sports Massage and the treatment of occupational and sporting injuries profession for 26 years and have attended many courses to gain the necessary qualifications to give my very best to those in my care. I had read a book written by John Sharkey which was well written, extremely informative and an excellent reference source. I subsequently had the pleasure of meeting John and went on to register for a Neuromuscular Therapy programme.

It is an excellent course with lectures of the highest standard delivering essential information and first-rate techniques. Applying them in clinical practice I have seen very positive outcomes in patients of all ages. I highly recommend NTC for all therapists at any stage in their career. You will not be disappointed.

Steve Kirby
Neuromuscular Therapy Graduate
" I will definitely recommend this course to a friend or a family member "

Thank you to John Sharkey and all the NTC tutors. The Advanced European Neuromuscular Therapy course has been an eye-opener for me because of my background in Personal Training and Sports Massage. I have learnt unique ways of treating pain and have been applying these techniques to my existing clients.

In particular, a long-term client of mine with knee chronic pain, after few hours of treatment her knee pain has reduced by 80 percent.

Once again thank you to all NTC tutors this would not have been possible without you. It is a shame the course has come to an end but I also can’t wait to treat people with chronic pain and do a diploma in Neuromuscular Therapy. I will definitely recommend this course to a friend or a family member.

Ismail Sina
Neuromuscular Therapy Graduate
" The education you have given me is truly going to develop me as a practitioner "

Thanks once again for an inspiring and enlightening weekend (although my wife’s upper trapezius muscles may disagree!). Learnt loads and I am very excited about the future of my practice.

Although already incredibly busy I find treating people with pain much more interesting and fulfilling than a runner with a tweaked calf. The education you have given me is truly going to develop me as a practitioner in such a dramatic way.

Thanks, John. Sad the course is coming to an end but will thoroughly recommend to others and will look to do the Masters in the future.

Rob Date
Neuromuscular Therapy Graduate
" My experience at NTC was an enjoyable and positive one "

My experience at NTC was an enjoyable and positive one. This is where I realised my interest in Anatomy, Physiology and caring for people and is the main reason I’ve decided to go back to studying Nursing.

I met some fantastic people during my time at NTC and what I learned has played a huge part in me getting a place on Nursing studies.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the staff and tutors for guiding me to where I am now.

Eamonn Maher
Neuromuscular Therapy Graduate
" Qualification that is recognised and accepted with high regard within the industry "

Can I pass on my sincerest gratitude to all the staff at NTC ? Once again you all have delivered another professional and enjoyable course that ensures a qualification that is recognised and accepted with high regard within the industry.

Alan Devine
Neuromuscular Therapy Graduate
" You are a great team with wonderful tutors "

The good news is that I passed my Neuromuscular Therapy exams. I would like to pass on my sincere thanks to all the team in NTC for helping me in step one of a plan. You are a great team with wonderful tutors.

Liam Cotter
Neuromuscular Therapy Graduate
" If it wasn't for Larry I would have let my nerves get the best of me "

I have just sat my NMT exams and if it wasn’t for Larry, one of my tutors who helped me out, I would have let my nerves get the best of me. I also wish to thank the rest of the tutors and staff for all their help over the past 18 months.

Nicole Dunne
Neuromuscular Therapy Graduate


This course is eligible for discount through the LHF Skillnet for members of REPs Ireland and Ireland Active.

Schedule and Locations

Sorry! Fully Booked
Cork
Mardyke Arena, University College Cork
Weekend Course
February 10, 2024
HURRY! ONLY 2 PLACES REMAINING
Dublin
Digital Office Centre, Swords, Co. Dublin
Weekend Course
April 20, 2024
Good Availability
Waterford
Waterford Marine Search and Rescue
Weekend Course
September 21, 2024
Good Availability
Galway
Maldron Hotel, Headford Road, Galway
Weekend Course
September 28, 2024
Good Availability
Dublin
Digital Office Centre, Swords, Co. Dublin
Weekend Course
October 19, 2024
Good Availability
Dublin
National Training Centre, Dublin 7
Evening Course
October 3, 2024

Full details for the National Qualification in Neuromuscular Therapy Course

Get all the information about our Neuromuscular Therapy Course. (Remember there's even more info in the FAQ section below).

Overview

NTC, the founder of European Neuromuscular Therapy, has been delivering NMT training globally and in Ireland since the 1990s.

This course is unique in Ireland as it has full accreditation from the SMA, The Association for Soft Tissue Therapists.

The course is recognized by the CNHC (Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council) in the UK. The CNHC is an independent UK register of complementary healthcare practitioners that was established by the UK government to protect the public. All CNHC registrants are professionally trained, fully insured, and have agreed to be bound by the highest standards of conduct.

On successful completion of the course, you will gain the expertise and skills to treat acute and myofascial chronic pain and injury, providing safe, effective, and appropriate care for soft tissue dysfunction and muscular pain.

NMT graduates have the choice to either work independently and set up a private practice to treat the general public, or work in a multidisciplinary clinic where patients can benefit from the services of various healthcare professionals, including chiropractors, osteopaths, neuromuscular therapists, physical therapists, medical exercise specialists, and dieticians, all in one convenient location. Some graduates have also established athletic sports massage services for both individual and team-level amateur and elite athletes, leveraging our Level 5 SMA accredited Sports Massage qualification, which is integrated into the Neuromuscular Therapy programme. In addition, there are other job opportunities available, such as traveling overseas to gain international experience, or using this internationally recognised qualification as a means of securing immediate employment opportunities in case of emigration plans.

If you are a graduate of the Neuromuscular Therapy programme, or have other relevant bodywork qualifications, and you are practicing in the Republic of Ireland, you can have your treatments covered by Laya Healthcare, and a number of other health insurance providers, as long as you are a member of a recognised association such as the Association of Neuromuscular and Massage Therapists (anmt.ie).

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Content

This unique educational program offers certification in two related fields of bodywork therapy, providing graduates with interdisciplinary skills for treating pain and injury. Neuromuscular Therapy (NMT) is a comprehensive approach to soft tissue manipulation that seeks to balance the body’s central nervous system with the musculoskeletal/myofascial system.

NMT is based on neurological laws that explain the initiation and maintenance of pain by the central nervous system. Neuromuscular therapists aim to relieve pain and dysfunction by addressing the underlying cause, emphasising the role of the brain, spine, nerves, trigger points, and fascia in muscular pain. Advanced concepts are used to break the stress-tension-pain cycle, reduce muscle tonation, and release compressed nerves to promote circulation and restore neuromuscular integrity and balance.

The course is divided into two terms. The first term introduces students to anatomy and physiology, including fascia and biotensegrity, and provides a foundation in practical hands-on skills, including massage and sports massage techniques to develop palpation skills.

The second term focuses on advanced anatomy and techniques, with an emphasis on myofascial kinetic chains and links and developing an understanding of how the body’s systems are interconnected. Clinical assessment, special orthopedic and neurological testing, injury scenarios, and differential diagnosis are also covered.

For more detailed content, refer to the syllabus section.

For those who are only interested in relaxation/Swedish type massage we also offer the National Qualification in Holistic Massage.

Fees

The standard cost of this programme is €4,235.00. There are discounts of up to €435.00 when fees are fully paid before the course start date.

Fees can be paid by means of a deposit of €935.00 followed by twelve monthly installments of €275.00. If the deposit is paid at least one calendar month prior to the course start date, the monthly installments are reduced to €250.00 per month, a discount of €300.00.

A discount of €435.00 is available to individuals paying fees of €3,800.00 in full (either by means of a deposit plus a balance or a single payment) up to the course start date.

Eligibility

The Neuromuscular Therapy course welcomes applicants who are interested in qualifying to treat soft tissue and muscular pain and injury. Candidates must possess a passion for working with people, as participation in practical aspects of the course, such as giving and receiving massage, sports massage, and Neuromuscular Therapy treatments, is mandatory.

Candidates should:

  • be 18 years of age or older
  • have a strong interest in the human body, anatomy and massage therapy
  • have an adequate level of written and spoken English
  • be physically able to perform the techniques delivered as part of the course
  • have access to the internet, an email address, and suitable device to access online content and support

As a primary educational programme, the course is suitable for individuals with or without prior qualifications. The course content is delivered in a manner that accommodates adult learners of varying abilities.

Syllabus

This Neuromuscular Therapy course includes three separate qualifications:

The National Qualification in Massage Therapy and Event Massage (after successful assessment at the end of the first term)
The National Qualification in Orthopaedic Sports Massage (after final assessment)
The National Qualification in Neuromuscular Therapy (after final assessment)

The National Qualification in Neuromuscular Therapy course covers all relevant areas including:

  • Applied Anatomy, Physiology and Myology
  • Biotensegrity-Anatomy for the 21st Century
  • Nutritional influences on Trigger Point Formation
  • Clinical practice and patient management
  • Clinical Assessment skills
  • Fascia – what is it and what it does.
  • Laws of European Neuromuscular Therapy
  • Orthopaedic Sports Massage Techniques
  • Event massage
  • Postural Assessment and Range of Motion testing
  • Etiology, formation and treatment of Myofascial Trigger Points
  • Injury Scenarios including differential diagnosis
  • Establishing a clinic and self promotion
  • Professional, ethical and legal requirements of operating a practice
  • Full Body Kinetic Chain assessment and special tests
  • Plan, apply and evaluate a sports massage treatment and soft tissue methods
  • Plan, apply and evaluate a Neuromuscular Therapy treatment

Support

The study material is provided in two formats to support learning: a comprehensive printed course manual and an online Learning Portal featuring documents and numerous demonstration videos. A sample video can be viewed here.

Meet The Team

Only fully qualified tutors deliver the National Qualification in Neuromuscular Therapy which is directed by internationally renowned pain and injury expert, John Sharkey, MSc.

Frequently Asked Questions

The National Training Centre have been delivering respected educational programmes since 1985 and during that time we have had many questions asked by potential students before registration. Here you can find the answers to the questions we receive most often.

No. The National Qualification in Neuromuscular Therapy course is open to all individuals.

On successful completion you will be able to offer treatment to relieve and eliminate chronic and acute pain, injury and dysfunction in muscle and soft tissue.

Typically Neuromuscular Therapists will treat the type of everyday pain and injury many people experience at some stage of their lives such as back ache, restricted range of movement, chronic pain and muscular discomfort.

Many graduates also work in a professional capacity with a variety of sporting teams.

Yes. This course is unique in Ireland as it has full accreditation from the SMA, The Association for Soft Tissue Therapists, at UK Level 5.

The SMA have verified the NTC National Qualification in Neuromuscular Therapy, developed and delivered by the National Training Centre (NTC) in order for this course to be recognised by CNHC as meeting the requirements of the Core Curriculum for Sports Massage Therapy.

The verification process involved cross-refencing the learning outcomes of the NTC Neuromuscular Therapy course, (both Knowledge & Understanding and Performance Criteria) to the National Occupation Standards CNH27 developed by Skills for Health. Quality assurance analysis was carried out to ensure the assessment process was fair and standardised and that teaching staff are appropriately qualified.

NTC meet all the requirements of the verification process and graduates of this course will be accepted onto the Massage Therapy Register approved by the Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care.

Yes. Neuromuscular Therapists are free to offer their services in many countries worldwide. If you have a specific country in mind you should ensure that you check with the relevant authority in that country before embarking an any programme of education.

In some US states therapists are required to sit and pass a state licencing examination before being allowed to practice.

There are many different massage therapy courses available in the Irish market, however many of these would relate to the relaxation element of massage as opposed to massage therapy.

For example the type of massage course which a beautician may take would generally relate to the relaxation experience of their clients and would not usually relate to therapeutic intervention in relation to pain, injury and disfunction.

Other people may take a massage course that does deal with injury somewhat.

It is therefore advisable that you ensure that any programme you enrol on will give you the desired results.

A good place to start is to ask the question of yourself “What do I want to do after I qualify ?”. Once you have answered this question you can ensure that any course you wish to consider will actually lead to your desired outcome.

No. You will be a fully qualified Neuromuscular Therapist and you will be free to offer physical therapy for the treatment of chronic and acute soft tissue and muscular pain injury and dysfunction.

The term Physical Therapist is a protected title by the Health Professions Council in the U.K. and CORU in Ireland and can only be used by qualified Physiotherapists.

Physiotherapy is a broad based health care profession that has a special focus on acute musculoskeletal care of the physically active and also deals with a number of diverse medical fields, including oncology, obstetrics, gynaecology, paediatrics, rheumatology, respiratory and neurological illnesses and burn injury.

Neuromuscular Therapy offers a special focus on chronic pain and injury including musculoskeletal injuries related to physical activity but, unlike Physiotherapy, Neuromuscular Therapy has a focus on the pathophysiology, aetiology and treatment of Myofascial Trigger Points. Such specialisation allows students of Neuromuscular Therapy to examine these areas in much greater detail than a student of physiotherapy.

Practitioners of every stripe will have their own specific focus and a specific model for the treatment of pain and injuries, acute or chronic.

Osteopaths will have a focus on osteopathic principals and will offer, similar to a chiropractor, treatments such as high velocity thrusts.

The Neuromuscular Therapist will utilise a sound knowledge of human anatomy (our director of studies is himself a clinical anatomist) as a solid foundation for understanding pain with a special focus on chronic long standing injuries.

The recommended fee for each treatment session is €60.00. The number of sessions you decide to complete each week will be determined by your own commitment and the results you achieve.

One of the best things about qualifying as a therapist is that you can decide how many hours a day you want to work and therefore regulate your own earning potential.

Neuromuscular Therapists generally operate in private practice either as sole traders, as part of a multi-disciplinary clinical team, or with a variety of sporting teams.

There are many opportunities for qualified therapists as individuals increasingly look outside of traditional medical disciplines for solutions to their health problems and, as Neuromuscular Therapy is a complementary discipline and 100% science based, its appeal is broad.

It should be noted that as with all professional qualifications at all levels, individual success will be result driven and will be in proportion to the time, effort and dedication you are prepared to offer the profession. Many National Training Centre graduates have started their careers on a part-time basis and have seen this aspect of their professional life overtake their full time career to become their primary or only occupation and source of income.

Qualified Neuromuscular Therapists often work within multi-disciplinary injury clinics where therapists such as chiropractors, osteopaths, physiotherapists, neuromuscular therapists etc. offer a variety of pain and injury solutions. This multi-disciplinary model normally consists of a great deal of cross referral whereby therapists refer patients to each other, depending on the therapists individual area of expertise, and, having determined which treatment model is likely to offer the best solution, decide collectively on the best approach.

Individual therapists can establish a G.P. referral scheme in conjunction with a local medical practitioner whereby the doctor may refer patients with appropriate symptoms to the therapist and using the contra-indication skills gained through the qualification process, the therapist can refer their patients to the doctor when Neuromuscular Therapy is not appropriate.

Graduates who hold an existing medical qualification, in nursing for example, may find that they can combine their new skills with their existing skill set within the hospital environment.

The National Qualification in Neuromuscular Therapy course is available as either a weekend or evening study option. Due to holidays, bank holidays etc. the length of time between starting and finishing dates varies from course to course.

The course duration is approximately 15 months. You can view a full schedule of the course dates for each location by clicking on the view schedule button in the booking section.

The course is available in Dublin, Cork, Galway, and Waterford.

As the structuring of tutorial schedules contains differences between evening and weekend courses it is not possible to interchange.

It may be possible to change between venues, subject to availability.

Any requests for changes in venue or schedule must be made in writing to the Educational Committee of the National Training Centre ([email protected]) and their decision is final.

Students are assessed formatively throughout the course and are summatively assessed at the end of each term and required to complete written and practical examinations.

Students must complete 100 hours of practical hands-on treatments, including 5 case studies, over the duration of the programme and submit a learner workbook which forms part of their self directed learning.

Students will have to participate in self directed learning outside of class. This will involve study and practice. NTC recommend that students allocate approximately 6 hours per week for this. The course requires commitment, time and effort in order to be a successful, knowledgeable and competent Neuromuscular Therapist.

Students must also complete 100 hours of practical hands-on treatments, including 5 case studies, over the duration of the programme.

80% – to 90% of students participating on the course will successfully complete all of their final examinations on the first attempt. Of the remainder most will need to repeat one exam with a small number having to repeat more than one exam.

Every individual’s ability to succeed will be in direct proportion to the number of tutorials attended and the commitment and time and effort they are prepared to commit to their studies.

Students of all ages participate on the course. The minimum age for registration is 18 years old.

Yes – students can opt to pay a deposit and 12 monthly installments, details of which can be found above under the ‘Fees’ section.

The facility to pay by installment is not a ‘Pay As You Go’ facility. The installment facility is intended to allow students to spread the payment of course fees over a specified time period. At the time of enrollment the student accepts that all of the course fees must be paid whether they complete the course or not.

Students of the National Training Centre regularly receive part funding through the Department of Social Protection’s Technical Employment Support Grant (TESG) scheme.

Individual students will need to contact their Local Employment Services (LES) facilitator to establish their eligibility.

For those who hold a recognised fitness instructor qualification which is recognised by REPs Ireland are eligible for up to 25% funding through the Leisure Health Fitness Skillnet. For more information contact Leisure Health Fitness Skillnet.

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For assistance please contact the NTC office of administration on 01 882 7777.

The National Training Centre’s code of ethics requires that all NTC graduates who are actively working with the public, hold a professional indemnity insurance policy which covers them against legal action taken by a client as a result of an injury which was received by following the graduate’s professional advice. Graduates who are working on private premises may also need to hold public liability insurance if such cover is not held by the owners of the premises.

The National Training Centre have a customised insurance scheme with discounted rates available exclusively to those who have qualified with NTC. The policy is one of the broadest available including many important features that other policies may not offer.

The policy has been arranged through Balens Ltd and the insurer for the scheme is the Zurich and DAS Legal Expenses.

Balens are a very well established, fourth generation family-run business dedicated to looking after health professionals. They are built on solid roots going back to 1950 and are pioneers in the development of top quality cover for all types of health professionals with special rates and industry leading cover that has been developing and improving over 22 years in this speciality.

The scheme will cover thousands of other therapies/activities you may require cover for and many at no extra premium subject to suitable qualification held.

Some of the features covered in the policy consist of Medical Malpractice, Professional Indemnity, Public Liability, Product Liability, Loss of Reputation, Breach of Intellectual Property, Client Confidentiality Protection, Loss of Documents cover, First Aid cover as well as Good Samaritan Acts.

The indemnity limit is €4,000,000 per claim for the Republic of Ireland.

Unlike some other policies on the market, an unlimited number of claims may be made for any year and unlimited legal defence costs are also included.

Also included, at no extra charge, is retroactive cover to pick up any previous insured work.

Temporary cover abroad (excluding USA/Canada which is available on request) is available with no time restrictions and at no additional premium as long as you are a UK/Ireland resident.

If you cease to practice Balens include unlimited run off cover which means the policy will always be in place if a claim was made after you stop the policy running and this is also free of charge.

For further information or proposal form, please contact Balens directly on 00441684 580771 or e-mail- [email protected]

Students of all ages participate on the course with the average tending to be from late twenties to fifties. The minimum age for registration is 18 years old.

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