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Dermoneuromodulating: Treating the Patient as if Their Nervous System Really Mattered

Dermoneuromodulating: Treating the Patient as if Their Nervous System Really Mattered

Dermoneuromodulating: Treating the Patient as if Their Nervous System Really Mattered

This course includes
13:59:48 of Course Material (View)
Lifetime access after purchase
Certificate of completion

Please Note: This is the OLD version of Diane Jacobs DNM course. The NEW version of this course is ready! If you are interested in registering for Diane's DNM course, please do so by going to the new course page here.


Dermo → Skin
Neuro  → Nervous System
Modulation → Change

Dermoneuromodulating (DNM) is a method for handling the human body and, most of all, its nervous system, in order to facilitate change, particularly in terms of its pain and motor outputs. DNM will not replace everything therapists have already learned, but it may provide a new conceptual container for it. At the very least it provides the participant with a novel approach to handling that is patient‑ and nervous system‑friendly.

Light and interactive, DNM ignores musculoskeletal structure and instead targets pain directly, by focusing on the nervous system, continuous from skin cell to sense of self, directly. The only “structures” considered in any depth will be skin and the cutaneous nerve, long ignored in manual therapy ‑ participants will be exposed, perhaps for the first time, to the extensive branched system that innervates skin.

DNM will provide participants with an expanded frame through which they can set up the all-important treatment relationship, assess patients and their pain problems from the brain’s perspective, teach the patient about pain production without faulting them, recruit their cooperation for manual handling, and put them in charge of their own recovery. DNM is based on Melzack’s Neuromatrix framework of pain as output, the most clinically useful pain model in existence from an interactive manual therapy standpoint. Persisting pain is the reason most patients come to see a manual therapist.

DNM is a fully interactive treatment model: unlike a strictly operative model, in which, for example, biomechanical “faults” must be found, then “corrected”, DNM considers biomechanical expression as defense, not defect. We put “pain” first; i.e., we put the nervous system of the patient (not their anatomy), and their own subjective complaint, their own interoceptive reality, front and center in the treatment encounter; we add a bit of strategic novel stimuli, then we wait a few minutes, and allow the nervous system to self‑regulate. Subsequent improvement in motor output is assessed and regarded as a sign that the nervous system now works with less intrinsic stress.

Course Objectives:

  • Increased awareness of the role the nervous system plays in pain production, and in response to manual therapy
  • Better ways of accessing and communicating with the nervous system on every level
  • Appreciation for the cutaneous nervous system
  • A science-based method of manual therapy handling that takes into account what has been learned in neuroscience and pain science over the last couple decades
  • Better palpation skill, and motivation to have manual therapy hands that are warm, slow, light, kind, effective, responsive and intelligent.

Who The Course Is For:

Anyone with a license to touch people who treats patients with pain.

Please note: there were audio issues when recording this course. We have added written transcripts to the video lessons that had the most noticeable audio concerns. We are working on updating this course with Diane Jacobs.


The instructors
Diane Jacobs
Diane Jacobs graduated from U. Sask with a physiotherapy diploma in 1971, started using manual therapy in1983, and went solo in 1994. She has been interested in pain science and working cutaneous nerves into the manual therapy story since 1998; she calls this ‘dermoneuromodulating’. She helped to found the Canadian Physiotherapy Association Pain Science Division in 2009 and served on it until 2014. In 2016 she published a book, DermoNeuroModulating. Her time is spent treating, writing, teaching internationally, and presenting. 
Course Material included in this course
  • Understanding Pain
  • Pain and Nociception
  • The Neuromatrix Framework
  • Hallucinating Consciousness
  • Engel's Systems
  • What is Pain?
  • Quiz - Understanding Pain
  • Feedback
  • How is Manual Therapy Useful for Pain?
  • The Brain is Predictive
  • Visualizing the Nervous System
  • Non-Specific Effects
  • Sensory Nervous System Features
  • Feature Extraction
  • Quiz - How is Manual Therapy Useful for Pain?
  • Feedback
  • A Closer Look at the Nervous System
  • How Do You Feel?
  • Withdrawal Reflex
  • Modulation
  • Characteristics of Correction
  • Quiz - A Closer Look at the Nervous System
  • Feedback
  • Peripheral Nociceptive Mechanisms
  • Sensory Neurons
  • Inflammatory Response
  • Quiz - Peripheral Nociceptive Mechanisms
  • Feedback
  • Tunnel Syndromes
  • Interference Within a Nerve
  • Neurovascular Physiology and Dynamics
  • Neurovascular Bundle and Varied Movement
  • Balancing Habits
  • Quiz - Tunnel Syndromes
  • Feedback
  • Skin and Cutaneous Nerves
  • Skin as an Organ
  • Visualizing Nerves in Skin
  • Can We Move and Help These Nerves?
  • Quiz - Skin and Cutaneous Nerves
  • Feedback
  • Treatment Concepts
  • Characteristics of Correction
  • Balloon Technique
  • Treatment Positions
  • Twizzling
  • Summary
  • Quiz - Treatment Concepts
  • Feedback
  • Lab 1
  • The Spine
  • Head, Neck, and Upper Back
  • Part 1: Patient Assessment
  • Part 2: Treatment of Neck Pain
  • Part 3: Example of Further Treatments
  • Superficial Cervical Plexus
  • Contract Relax
  • Slow Side Glide
  • Posterior Trunk
  • Upper Back Treatment Demonstration
  • Discussions on Pediatrics and Needling
  • Lab 1 Q&A
  • Anterior Trunk
  • Lateral Trunk
  • Quiz - Lab 1
  • Feedback
  • Lab 2
  • Brachial Plexus
  • Axillary Nerve Demonstration
  • Anterior Shoulder
  • Anterior Shoulder Demonstration
  • Frozen Shoulder Demonstration
  • Posterior Shoulder
  • Posterior Shoulder Demonstration Part 1
  • Posterior Shoulder Demonstration Part 2
  • Hand and Arm
  • Arm Demonstration
  • Hand Demonstration
  • Hand on Wall
  • Quiz - Lab 2
  • Feedback
  • Lab 3
  • Lumbosacral Plexus
  • Low Back
  • Q&A Refresher
  • Dorsal Cutaneous Nerves Demonstration
  • Posterior Pelvic Pain Demonstration
  • Ulnar Nerve Anatomy
  • DNM Discussion
  • More Dorsal Cutaneous Techniques
  • Pain Below Ribcage Demonstration
  • Trochanter Pain Demonstration
  • Hands-On Feedback
  • Deep Nerves of the Hip
  • Anterior Hip
  • Anterior Hip Demonstration
  • Nerves of the Sacral Plexus
  • Back of Thight Pain Demonstration
  • Pelvic Floor
  • Pelvic Floor Demonstration
  • Nerves of the Thigh, Knee, and Foot
  • Thigh and Knee Demonstration
  • Ankle and Foot Demonstration
  • Additional Knee Demonstration
  • Discussion on Hypermobility
  • Conclusion
  • Quiz - Lab 3
  • Feedback
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