Comprehensive Soft-tissue Therapies

 Special Events

Dermoneuromodulation (DNM)

Dermoneuromodulation (DNM)


Date TBA

Eagan, Minnesota


Friday, ?: 6:00 to 9:00 pm

Saturday, ?: 8:30 am to 4:30 pm with one hour for lunch

Sunday, ?: 9:00 am to 4:30 pm with one hour for lunch

16.5 Contact Hours


Best Western Dakota Ridge

3450 Washington Drive, Eagan, MN 55122

Official Site: page (has more info about hotel and surrounding area)

Seminar will be held in Cascade Room

Participants may be eligible for a discounted room rate. (Limited availability.)

Price and Registration info will be announced.

Registrants receive a welcome letter including additional information about the venue, hotel options, and other details. For questions, e-mail - Thanks!

Course Description



Dermo -> skin

Neuro -> nervous system

Modulation -> change

Dermoneuromodulation (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 model of pain, 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.  By putting “pain” first; i.e., we put the nervous system of the patient (not their anatomy) 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.


      Introduction to the Neuromatrix model of pain, pain as biopsychosocial phenomenon

      Overview of CNS and PNS processing (relevant to any kind of manual therapy)

      Neuroanatomy and neurophysiology of the peripheral nerve

      Overview of the cutaneous system

      Examination of “tunnel syndrome”

      Lab: strategic positions of comfort and skin stretch that have clinically been found to  help a prepared nervous system to reduce pain output



Participants will come away with:

      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.


About Diane

 Diane Jacobs graduated 1971, age 20, with a diploma in PT from University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, and the ambition to become a manual therapist. In 1983 she encountered the world of osteopathic technique; she moved to Vancouver to be close to a small but good science-based manual therapy school near Seattle, the URSA Foundation, then attended for several workshops over the next few decades. She owned and operated a solo, cash-based private manual therapy practice from 1994 to 2009. She realized most traditional treatment models ignored neuroscience and modern pain science. In 2007 she conducted a small cadaver study of the cutaneous nervous system of the arm, and developed a new manual therapy approach from the ground up, from the inside out, to incorporate the nervous system, DermoNeuroModulation. In 2006 a pilot study of DNM commenced, at U of S.

In 2009 she left Vancouver to return to Saskatchewan; she lives and works in Weyburn, Sask. in a rehab center and in her own practice. In her spare time she maintains an active online life writing, studying, moderating at, and administrating a Facebook page for bringing pain and neuroscience to manual therapists. In 2008, a group of physiotherapists she helped to form into an interest group officially became the Pain Science Division of the Canadian Physiotherapy Association. As PSD executive communication liaison she maintains an online directory, a PSD twitter and Facebook account, a new website, and sends out newsletters. She also is invited to teach occasionally.

Click to hear: Interview with Diane Jacobs, PT and Jason Silvernail, PT on BlogTalkRadio

Diane's Links:

Web site --

Blog --

Team blog about neuroscience --

Facebook page -- Neuroscience and Pain Science for Manual Physical Therapists

Other Links: forums - The primary online source of information related to DNM

Dermoneuromodulation Facebook Group - Facebook login required

Dermoneuromodulation-based training - Youtube video case study

DNM Manual - 2007 edition 


Why Things Hurt, Tedx Talk by Lorimer Mosely

DNM for posterior leg/obturator nerve

DNM for shoulder/arm

More Images:

DNM applications for shoulder and hip pain.


A little neuro-fun: