Have you been living with back pain? Chronic headaches? Migraines?
You’re not alone. The CDC estimates that over 50 million Americans are living with some form of chronic pain.
You may have felt like you have no choice but to deal with that pain for the rest of your life.
Luckily: you don’t have to.
Trigger point massage has been shown to reduce pain in patients with myofascial pain dysfunction syndrome, but it can also be used to treat a number of other conditions.
What Is Trigger Point Massage?
Like acupuncture, trigger point massage, or myofascial massage, operates under a principle called reflexology.
Practitioners of reflexology believe certain parts of the body are interconnected. When pressure is applied to one area, it can help alleviate pain in another part of the body.
But unlike acupuncture, these pressure points are triggered by pressing in with the fingers rather than using needles. Simply by applying pressure to one part of your body, you can bring healing to other areas.
While you can see a professional for this kind of treatment, there are a number of myofascial pressure massage treatments you can perform on your own body, with great results!
Here are some great benefits.
Improved Range of Motion
In a 2013, a study was performed with two groups of eleven runners with restricted ankle movement.
One group only stretched before a run. The other stretched and received trigger point therapy. Then, they tested their range of motion again.
The study found that there was a “statistically significant” increase in the range of motion in the group that received trigger point massage.
More Effective Warmups
You should always stretch before working out, right? Of course not. Working out without warming up is a surefire way injure yourself—especially if your form isn’t perfect.
Except that studies have shown that passive stretching before lifting weights can actually reduce your performance.
However, combining active stretching with trigger point massage can help your body warm up more effectively, allowing you to get better workouts more quickly.
Less Pain After Workouts
It’s often said, “no pain, no gain.” But that doesn’t mean you have to let yourself feel miserable after each exercise session.
When you exert your muscles, lactic acid builds up, causing pain and fatigue. In some individuals, this build-up can keep them from operating normally after a workout.
But by massaging certain trigger points, you can speed up the body’s removal of lactic acid and other metabolic waste. This leaves you with less pain and a faster post-workout recovery time.
Increased Blood Flow
Imagine you’re squeezing a sponge out over a sink.
As you apply pressure, water floods out of the sponge. Now imagine putting it back in the water and letting go. As the sponge returns to full size, it fills up with fresh water.
The soft tissues of your body operate much like that sponge. When they are compressed—such as during a trigger point massage—blood is squeezed out of it. When the pressure is released, fresh blood rushes back in through those vessels.
Studies have shown that this process can even strengthen your arteries, leading to better overall circulation. And since better circulation leads to better overall health, this benefit of trigger point massage can’t be overstated!
Along with an increased range of motion, less pain, and improved circulation, it should come as little surprise that trigger point massage can also improve your flexibility.
When muscle tissue becomes interrupted—either by lactic acid build-up, disuse, or poor circulation—they aren’t able to contract or expand to their full range. This leads to stiffness and pain.
But when those tissues are triggered through myofascial massage, it allows them to stretch to their full length, increasing flexibility.
Calms the Nervous System
Few things are as relaxing as a good massage. All of that stimulation leaves your body feeling more rested and calm.
But sometimes, your nervous system doesn’t get the memo. Your body might feel relaxed, but your nerves are shot and your brain is wired.
It might come as a surprise that trigger point massage can also help treat anxiety. In fact, there are a number of pressure points you can use to decrease anxiety quickly and naturally.
Treats Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease
Parkinson’s Disease is a frightening degenerative condition that, as of yet, has no discovered cure. The brain loses the cells that make dopamine, one of the most important chemical messengers in the brain.
When dopamine levels drop, it causes abnormal brain function. This causes symptoms like difficulty speaking and writing, poor balance, rigid muscles, and muscle tremors.
While trigger point massage can’t treat the root cause of Parkinson’s, it can treat the symptoms, making it easier to manage.
In one study published by Movement Disorders in 2006, patients with Parkinson’s were split into two groups: one group received music therapy and the other received trigger point massage.
After four weeks, those who underwent trigger point therapy showed more improvement in motor function.
Ready To Try For Yourself?
Trigger point therapy is a great way to relieve pain. But as you can see, it can improve your life in a number of other ways as well!
If you’re ready to try trigger point therapy for a better, healthier life, we’d love to talk to you.
Contact us today to make an appointment, or visit our facility in Thousand Oaks! See you soon.