Myofascial Trigger Point Therapy:
Trigger Point Therapy is an intense form of bodywork that consists of focused, concentrated pressure on one specific area of a muscle, called a trigger point. A trigger point is a “firm, palpable, highly irritable spot in a taut band of muscle fibers or fascia, characterized by exquisite tenderness.” The pressure applied may continue for up to thirty seconds at a time, applied in intervals, and is designed to alleviate tension that extends from a myofascial trigger point into an entire muscle. It may also refer or transfer sensation (pain, tingling, ticklishness) to other areas of the body, and may limit range of motion in the action of the muscle.
When a trigger point occurs in the body, blood flow to that area can be decreased. When the blood flow is diminished, oxygen necessary for the muscle to work properly is also diminished, effecting the exchange of nutrients and waste at the cellular level. When the muscle tissue is poorly nourished, the trigger point can get bigger and become more active, creating a cycle of pain and discomfort that only gets worse. The cycle of pain can sometimes continue for years without relief, even resulting in misdiagnosis on the part of medical professionals who are unaware of the source of the pain.
A therapist trained in Trigger Point Therapy can locate the trigger points associated with the client’s pain, and then alleviate the stress using intense, concentrated pressure on that area. This pressure helps restore blood flow to the area, which reactivates the body’s internal systems that relieve buildup of toxins in the muscle.
Sometimes several sessions are required to fully alleviate the symptoms, because it can take time to loosen the muscles sufficiently and locate the active trigger points. Additionally, working on active trigger points can also activate nearby inactive trigger points, causing further pain where there was none before. After fully releasing these trigger points, however, the symptoms of pain, reduced range of motion and referred sensation should be significantly diminished, if not eliminated. Other benefits of this type of therapy can include increased flexibility, wider range of motion, a more balanced posture and increased energy.