Trigger Point Release / Acupressure
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.
The major goals are to reduce spasm and introduce new blood flow into the affected area, thereby flushing out any accumulated toxins from the muscle. Pressure is applied to trigger points, for a short time, usually between about 7 to 10 seconds per point. Manipulating a trigger point elicits referred pain that often feels like a dull ache or a slight feeling of nausea. Though this work can be momentarily painful or intense, it is greatly relieving.

The therapist may incorporate postural assessment, tension pattern evaluation, strength testing, and range of motion analysis to identify muscle strain, pain that increases guarding, and significant congestion or discomfort in other muscle groups. It is common to work on the same trigger points several times during a session, but each time the work will be brief and our therapists are trained not to go beyond your threshold of discomfort. Often ice, cooling agents, or soothing techniques are incorporated to reduce nervous system response, making the area easier and more comfortable to work. Then the muscles are gently stretched to complete the relaxation process. Trigger point release / Acupressure is highly effective for: treating chronic Myofascial Pain Syndrome, especially in the areas of the back, neck, shoulders, and hips; for restricted range of motion issues, such as frozen shoulder; and for anyone who suffers from headaches and migraines.

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