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Neck and back trigger points for massage therapy

Trigger Point Therapy: Know Where to Touch

A 2017 survey found that more than half of Canadians had attended at least one session with a massage therapist. This number has even increased in recent years as more people make use of massage services for pain relief and relaxation.

Trigger point therapy is an effective form of acupressure. Thankfully, it can help your clients release stress and pressure in certain areas that are causing pain.

Read on to learn more about what a trigger point massage is and the benefits it provides.

What Is Trigger Point Therapy?

Trigger points act like muscle knots, where a small area of knotting can build up, causing tension. You can find them on the:

  • Trapezius muscles on the sides of the neck
  • Hamstring area
  • Calf muscles
  • Quadratus lumborum muscles of the lower back

Trigger point therapy involves applying pressure to the area where the trigger point is using a deep tissue stone. Some therapists find percussion massage guns effective, like the Theragun Elite Percussion Therapy Massage Gun.

How Trigger Point Therapy Works

Although research isn't clear about what tissues are actually the cause for trigger points to be felt, theories state their increase in tension causes a blockage of blood flow to the area.

The muscle tissue fails to receive the required nutrition that it needs as a result.

Oxygen and nutrients allow pain areas to heal, and so when blood flow is affected, the supply of these will fail.

Pain begins to build up, and that's when trigger point therapy can become helpful.

The Science Behind Trigger Point Therapy

Through trigger point therapy, you can help the tissues become properly realigned. This will allow the circulation to flow better, easing tension and enabling more flexibility within the working muscles.

When you place pressure on the pain area, circulation can become allowed to be blocked momentarily around the tissue area.

The result is a better release of nitric oxide within the target area and an increase in blood flow that disrupts the pain cycle, easing pressure.

Benefits of Trigger Point Therapy

Trigger point therapy shares some of the same benefits of acupressure involved in other types of therapy.

Here are the beneficial outcomes that you should expect your client to see after performing trigger point therapy on them:

  • Better movement of the pain area
  • Improved mental well-being and relaxation
  • Pain relief
  • More efficient recovery
  • Better working circulation

While your client might experience some benefits after one session, they will likely require some more attention. Therefore, they should be encouraged to return for more therapy for the best chance of seeing long-lasting results.

Considerations for Trigger Point Therapy

One concern is that trigger point therapy can cause your client pain. However, this shouldn't be felt if you apply the right amount of pressure. 

You'll want to ensure that more damage isn't caused to the tissue, leading to increased pain and soreness.

Whatever you aren't able to accomplish in one session can be continued in the following one. That way, your client will still be able to notice improvements over time without more damage being done.

Improve Your Trigger Points Massage Skills

Understanding how to attend to points of tension effectively is the first step towards improving your skills when applying a trigger point massage.

To learn more about how to effectively use trigger point therapy to help your clients, check out our online course. Trigger Points Massage Therapy is a 30-day course that will enable you to realign deeper layers of tissue muscles while gaining accreditation in the process.

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