One type of therapy I've studied, that I've mentioned rarely but use in practice daily, is Trigger Point Therapy. That is, the act of locating and eliminating trigger points in the body.
Why are trigger points relevant to most people and how do we get rid of them?
Read below to find out.
The term Trigger Point was coined by Janet Travell, a physician and researcher who co-wrote a famous book on the subject. She is well known for her work with Trigger Points but more famously recognized as the personal physician of President John F. Kennedy! (And the first female physician of a U.S. president, I might add!)
Her research on the treatment of musculoskeletal pain has informed the practice of massage therapy as well as many other health practices.
A myofascial trigger point is a tender, palpable spot located within a taut band of muscle tissue, that typically refers pain to another location in the body. This means that while we may feel pain very strongly in one spot, the cause of the pain may be located in another spot completely. Until the trigger point is released, the pain will continue. Trigger points also cause stiffness and weakness of the involved muscle.
FACT: Any skeletal muscle in the body can develop a trigger point.
FACT: There are two types of trigger points: active and latent.
FACT: Latent trigger points, which are less noticeable and cause stiffness and restricted range of motion rather than severe pain, are far more common that active trigger points.
FACT: A latent trigger point can turn into an active trigger point at any time.
FACT: When an active trigger point is present stretching the muscle increases rather than decreases pain.
Trigger points are caused by acute overload, overwork fatigue, direct trauma and by cold. They are indirectly caused by other trigger points, internal disease, arthritic joints and emotional stress.
Trigger points are treated by normalizing the involved soft tissue through various massage techniques and prevented by regular exercise and avoiding the causes listed above.
Bodywork is a very effective way to eliminate trigger points. However, perpetuating factors such as lack of exercise, overwork or repetitive stress must be considered for treatment to be complete.
I wish you a cheerful and healthy October!
about the wisdom of Chinese Medicine as applied to Shiatsu & Massage, healthy living, the benefits of Bodywork and simple healthy lifestyle practices.