What is Trigger Point Massage Therapy & How Does It Work

There are many types of therapies that aim to heal muscle pains in the body. Out of all these therapies one of the most effective is the trigger point therapy.

The reason this therapy is so effective is because it starts by determining the root cause of the pain in the body. Once the root cause is determined; the therapy aims at healing the dysfunctional area causing the pain. This is what has led this therapy to be considered one of the best in healing injuries as well.

The Various Trigger Points of the Body

When parts of the body get injured due to intense exercise or every day wear and tear, it leads to the formation of special areas which are referred to as trigger points. There are many areas of the body where you can locate these trigger points. The areas where the trigger points most form are known as the myofascial structures.

The myofascial structures of the body include muscles, tendons, joints and ligaments. Even scar tissue is considered a myofascial structure. Even though any of these areas may be used when giving the client a trigger point massage, the most common area is the muscles.

There are many ailments that a trigger point may be responsible for. Pain and the resultant tingling feeling could be due to the trigger points. Moreover, the hot and cold feeling that the body experiences may also be due to the trigger points. However, these are not the only ailments that the trigger points contribute towards. In some cases, the trigger points may even contribute to issues in other areas of the body.

These ailments include dizziness, blurred vision and even nausea. The therapist mostly locates the trigger points on the body by rubbing his hand on the common areas. The trigger points can often be felt as knots in the skin. These knots are fenced by muscle tissue. After locating the trigger points, the therapist applies pressure on them.

Moreover, the surrounding muscle is also stretched to enhance blood flow and oxygen intake. This could help heal the pain. Whenever a trigger point is pressed, there may be a tingly sensation felt. Typically there are multiple areas of the body where the trigger points are located. However, in most cases, these points are located on the axial muscles.

These are the muscles that are primarily responsible for moving your body from side to side and are located quite near to the muscles which keep your body upright. The pain is usually caused due to improper posture. However, the stress the body incurs on a daily basis could be a reason as well.

How Trigger Point Massage Works

There are various types of trigger points within the body. However, the most important of all the trigger points are the ones that cause pain to specific parts of the body. When such trigger points are triggered, they could cause pain in that particular area.

There are certain trigger points, called satellite points, which cause pain in another part of the body. For example, a point in the shoulder might be the cause of pain in the forearm. Identifying such points can be extremely difficult. This is why you need to be well trained before you can take up this particular form of massage.

It takes a skilled trigger point therapist to determine which trigger point is the root cause of the pain the client is suffering from. If the proper point is not identified, the therapist will not be able to bring about any change. Triggering the wrong point may not cause a positive effect.

There are also the active trigger points and the latent ones you need to know about. The trigger points that are active are very persistent in causing pain. However, the trigger points that are latent only cause discomfort when they are stimulated.

The best way to apply this very effective approach to your clients is to use a tool to assist you with identifying the correct trigger points.

We have developed an iPhone app that helps therapists identify the correct trigger points imply by indicating where the client is feeling a certain pain. Once you indicate the pain area on the body, the app takes you directly to the trigger point where you can read more about it and visually see what you need to do in order to relieve the pain.

You can access our app here.

The Benefits of Getting a Trigger Point Massage

In most cases your patients will have a good understanding of where they are experiencing the pain, likely having gone through other treatments before. You, the therapist, may then use the information provided by the client to locate the actual trigger point which is the cause of the discomfort. Again, you can use our iPhone app to do this.

On the other hand there are individuals who are not aware of where the actual pain is. Such individuals have to be examined by the massage therapist thoroughly to identify the pain areas.

Only when the trigger points are located can the therapist work towards correcting the problem. There are many types of ailments that the trigger point massage can be used to treat. Let’s go over a few:

  • Stress resulting from everyday activities
  • Injuries and aches due to everyday wear and tear or muscle overuse
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Injuries caused by severe accidents, and other muscle disorders
  • Pain and discomfort caused by arthritis

The trigger point massage is extremely essential when it comes to curing chronic aches. Moreover, it is only beneficial if one gets this massage on a regular basis. Not only can this massage therapy help in curing ailments of the body, but may also help in preventing and managing them.

Unfortunately, the result obtained after one session may be temporary. The therapy has to be continued for a long time to experience lasting results.

Popularity of Trigger Point Massage

The trigger point massage therapy falls into the eastern massage category. This could be why it is not as popular as many other massage therapy types. However, more are more people are becoming aware of the immense benefits it offers as this type of massage is quickly gaining popularity.

The trigger point massage therapy requires special training before you can begin to practice it. If you want to include this therapy type in your practice, be sure to get proper training from a reputed massage school.

In addition, ensure you are equipped with the right tool to help you identify trigger points quickly and accurately. Have a look at our Trigger Points iPhone App that can help you in your practice.

Neal Lyons is a founding member and volunteer contributor at the MTSI Institute, an information based portal dedicated to guiding and assisting aspiring massage therapists establish a successful career in massage. Neal is a published author and has collaborated on several mobile applications that serve the massage profession. You can view his published work on Amazon, iTunes, Barnes & Noble, Sony and Kobo. You can connect with him on Facebook, Twitter and on Google+

Posted in Types of Massage Techniques
2 comments on “What is Trigger Point Massage Therapy & How Does It Work
  1. Danni Black says:

    I had no idea that there were different types of trigger points in the body and that they can cause pain! A friend of mine was talking about this type of massage so I thought that I would do some research on it. I’ll have to see if it something that would be useful for me and help with all of the pain that I am dealing with.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

A Must Have iPhone App for All Massage Therapists
Massage Trigger Points App on iTunes
Massage School Topics

Top 10 Massage Career Tips

Learn exactly what you need to do to expedite your career success as a Massage Therapist.

Get your first tip NOW by entering your email address below.

More tips will follow weekly!