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Sternocleidomastoid – Neuromuscular Massage Protocol

NMT protocols
For mindful review
By the Experienced Therapist.

This is the neuromuscular massage protocol for treating the sternocleidomastoid muscle.

Musculoskeletal Anatomy

About these Illustrations…

The sternocleidomastoid is structurally complex. This muscle crosses many joints. Also, it has unusual innervation through the spinal accessory nerve. Furthermore, it impacts regulatory functions because of its structural relationship with the vagus nerve. Read about sternocleidomastoid in this post on its anatomy.

The therapy notes offer much more than this treatment protocol. Beforehand, please review these notes. They offer so much more about associated protocols, treatment sequencing, etc.

NOTE: This protocol is for mindful review by an experienced therapist. It is intended for learning with the hands-on training of a professional instructor. One should only do this with the necessary expertise to understand contraindications. Proper techniques are essential for safe and effective treatment.


This routine is from The WorkBook of Classical Neuromuscular Therapy. Created at the ASHA School of Massage, it has trained thousands of therapists for more than 15 years.

These routines are intended for mindful review by bodywork professionals and are not appropriate as self-care for non-professionals. Self-injury could occur.

Click here for the growing list of protocols that are available online.

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Tony Preston has a practice in Atlanta, Georgia, where he sees clients. He has written materials and instructed classes since the mid-90s. This includes anatomy, trigger points, cranial, and neuromuscular.

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*This site is undergoing significant changes. We are reformatting and expanding the posts to make them easier to read. The result will also be more accessible and include more patterns with better self-care. Meanwhile, there may be formatting, content presentation, and readability inconsistencies. Until we get older posts updated, please excuse our mess.