Trigger Points with Ray
In my massage treatments I often incorporate a particular technique called Neuromuscular Technique (NMT).
The fibres in muscles is what makes up their bulk. The nervous system is in charge of maintaining and controlling muscle tone. The only function of a muscle is to contract and to relax. However, some of those fibres may remain contracted even after a good stretch session. If the muscle fibres or their surrounding connective tissue fail to return to their fully resting tone, a painful ‘knot’ what can eventually form, called a Trigger Point by some massage educators.
What are they?
These are very small points found on a fibre within a muscle. They predominate in postural muscles and are also found where there is ‘overuse’ of a particular muscle group. There is no universal agreement in the bodywork world about their discreet existence or method of formation. However we all know what it feel like to have a painful knot! The area around the shoulder blades is fertile ground for chronic trigger points. In that area they give off a ‘nervy’ sensation that we often feel radiating down the arm or up the neck.
What causes them?
Repetitive daily activities such as working at a desk where slouching over a sub-optimal workstation for hours on end can bring them on. Also, they are common with people who train consistently and consistently hard with insufficient recovery time or self-care. Add daily stress to the equation – and you have the perfect storm.
Part of my treatment is to locate and ‘treat’ them, so they are no longer causing pain and restricting movement. I do this by applying pressure to the point where it feels either painful or just sore and uncomfortable. I make sure that the pressure it within your comfortable limits. My clients are initially startled by the sensation, but with encouragement to breathe and allow the release, they soon discover that the discomfort subsides quickly. This is because the nervous system recognises this change as non-threatening and allows a return to a pain-free state.
Trigger point work is an important aspect of my treatment. It can be profoundly effective and relieving for people with recurrent or persistent pain. It creates a window of opportunity in which the body can move more freely and efficiently. This treatment is not a magic fix… So you must follow this up with regular movement and lifestyle changes. This is why I always give post-treatment advice aimed at reducing the incidence and intensity of future flare ups.
2nd May 2022