Trigger Point Massage Therapy: Getting Older AND Better!
Trigger Point Massage Therapy is a symptomatic treatment for pain problems. As such it does not rule out the possibility that internal organs or disease could be causing the muscle problems. Relieving the pain problem does not mean the underlying condition, if there is one, has gone away. Please keep your physician informed of all pain complaints so you have the safety net he or she provides you.
Trigger Point Massage Therapy is an individualized massage treatment directed by your health goals, to foster three things:
- Treat your pain and flexibility problems as a service and give you the experience that your problems are not inevitable
- Teach you that you can be in control of your pain in the long run by learning how your muscles work, and by using your body with awareness
- Although it takes work, it offers real hope of regaining autonomy and mastery of your life.
Your current state of health may feel like a reality you don't have the interest, time, or ability to improve. "It's not perfect, but good enough!", you might say. If this is true for you, you are most likely in less pain than some other people. If you feel no need to change, but are noticing nagging aches and pains, gathering information is a good place to be.
If you are in pain it is quite likely that your history of accumulated insults and injuries have limited your body's ability to work around problems and substitute muscles for the injured ones. Simple tasks may have become difficult or impossible. The good news is, you are the most likely to be willing to take on this work and benefit from it.
Pain Mapping creates a plan of action
for trigger point massage therapy, and aids discovery of symptoms in related muscles. It combines your health history and your pain problems on a visual worksheet, including your history of painful areas, injuries, daily activities, repeated movements, surgeries and other health conditions which can affect your musculoskeletal health.
Your primary pain or flexibility complaint now has a context; it has gone from local problem to being part of the larger holistic picture where one muscle or line of connective tissue affects others, and old injuries make new sense as more and more symptoms are gathered. These clues direct exploration of other muscles which might be preventing relief.
Taut bands in muscle, thickened tissue, trigger points
which form tender knots, and general lack of pliability are all symptomatic of muscle problems and do not require diagnosis, which is outside the scope of practice for massage therapists; however, improving these conditions is what massage therapy is well-suited to do.
Trigger point pain has been mapped
for most muscles of the body, and each pain pattern is known to be caused by specific muscles; using Myofascial Pain and Dysfuntion: The Trigger Point Manual
Vol. 1 & 2, as a reference, your pain is located within one or more of the regions of the body, and the list of muscles known to cause pain in those regions provides another tool for investigating for, and observing symptoms of muscle problems.
A combination of techniques are used to improve myofascial [muscle-connective tissue] problems. To inactivate trigger points, the tissue needs to be stretched and then used through its full range of motion, both short and long. Simply stretching on your own will get results, though without some basic experience, you likely won't stretch all of the involved muscles, and most likely won't be able to focus your stretches to target the most restricted parts of muscle.
Trigger Points can be very confusing to make sense of on your own because pain has three aspects: sensory, emotional and cognitive. On top of that, muscle and the nervous system actually inhibit you from using injured muscle.
Muscle energy technique (MET)
is without a doubt the most usable technique to self treat trigger points. Putting yourself in a relaxed position that allows the target muscle to move into stretch is essential. There are several variations of MET, explained in detail on that page. They all work with
the neuromuscular system rather than working on
the body with force.
Trigger Point Massage Therapy is like detective work, tracking down all of the related clues, gathering information, checking suspects and finding the culprit responsible for your pain. At its best, it gives you a clear experience that your pain does not have to be inevitable, and teaches you the skills and tools you will need to remain free, master of your health.
You Can Touch the Future
newsletter is published once a month and features simple ways you can affect the health and well being of loved ones and yourself using your own human touch.
It's common sense information that is supported by scientific studies that demonstrate the effectiveness of touch as a beneficial treatment.
It's grassroots healthcare that can improve the well being of loved ones, now and can even impact how children will cope with stress in the future