Trigger point therapy is one of the most widely used and fastest growing muscle therapies today. Janet Travell, M.D., the White House physician under former President John F. Kennedy, and her colleague Dr. David Simons initially coined the phrase "trigger point therapy" to describe their leading-edge and effective treatment protocols. Travell used these techniques to treat JFK's back pain and in the 1970's a system of their most accessible techniques was developed, which is widely used today by professional athletes, massage and physical therapists, and is often prescribed and recommended by medical doctors.
Trigger Point therapy is a type of massage therapy which examines and treats muscles and muscle attachments in layers. First it addresses the surface muscles and connective tissues and then the deeper ligaments and myofascial layers. It is closely aligned with the eastern technique of Acupressure massage. The treatment techniques of both are very similar; the guidelines for applying Acupressure are the same for most Trigger Point Release applications as well.
Trigger point therapy is a pain-relief technique designed to alleviate muscle spasms and cramping. The therapist locates and deactivates `trigger points', which are often tender areas where muscles have been damaged or acquired a re-occurring spasm or `kink' that worsens painfully when aggravated. Trigger points cause referred pain in specific areas called pain reference zones. These areas have been charted and are predictable, consistent, and usually the pain is experienced in areas located away from the trigger point and is called referred pain. The referred pain is often described as dull, aching, and deep, and it can be constant or occur off and on.