Did you know the history of massage therapy goes back over 5,000 years to the ancient Egyptians?
Even without our modern understanding of the body, healers of the past learned that we respond well to human touch. Different massage techniques have evolved over the years, but the basic idea remains the same.
There’s one modality that’s scientifically proven to reduce pain. It’s called trigger point massage. But what exactly is a trigger point, and what does trigger point massage therapy do?
Read on to learn how this type of massage can do wonders for your health!
What Is a Trigger Point Anyway?
You might refer to them as “muscle knots.” Maybe you’ve even asked your massage therapist what they are. But what are those little lumps, exactly?
Contrary to popular opinion, they’re not actual knots in the muscle fibers. The scientific name for one of those little knots is a myofascial trigger point.
In simple terms, it’s a tiny cramp inside your muscle tissue. You could think of it as a miniature charley horse that only affects one small area of the muscle. Common trigger points include those annoying knots between your shoulder blades that never seem to go away.
These muscular cramps may be small, but they create a lot of discomfort and pain. The reduction in blood flow irritates the muscle even more, which creates a vicious cycle of pain. In some cases, the pain can even radiate (or refer) to other parts of the body.
What Is Trigger Point Massage Therapy?
The goal of trigger point massage is to locate those active trigger points and encourage them to “calm down.” If your therapist can release the trigger point, your entire muscle will relax and function normally (and you’ll feel so much better).
Your massage therapist will start by palpating your muscles to identify the source of your pain (often a trigger point). They’ll then use direct pressure on the trigger point to encourage it to release. They may also include stretching, kneading, and other techniques to help the muscles relax.
This pressure may feel uncomfortable at first, especially if you’ve had the problem for a while. Communication with your therapist is key to ensuring a successful session.
Can I Massage My Own Trigger Points?
Yes! Even if you’re not an expert in trigger point therapy, there are some basic techniques you can try at home to ease tension between massage sessions.
Start by downloading a trigger point chart or trigger point map. This will help you identify the points that might be causing your pain, whether it’s tension headaches, tennis elbow, or low back pain.
Use the chart to find those trigger points on your body. You’ll know you’ve found the right one because it’s likely to be tender. It might even refer pain to other parts of your body.
Apply consistent pressure to each point, pressing as firmly as you can without making the muscle tense. Hold each spot for 3-5 minutes and repeat up to 5 times a day.
Where Can I Find Trigger Point Massage Near Me?
Self-care is so important, especially during this stressful year we’re living in. To reap the most benefits from trigger point massage, however, it’s best to see a professional.
If you live in the Vail Valley or Glenwood Springs (or you’ll be visiting us soon), our team of skilled therapists is ready to make you feel amazing.
Click here to learn more about our pricing and packages or give us a call at 970-748-1600 to schedule your next massage!