Energy Medicine

How to locate trigger points of the pain circuit

Lesson 2 Module 1

Trigger points, areas of hyperirritability within muscles and their surrounding fascia, can contribute to pain, muscle tension, and restricted range of motion. Locating and addressing these trigger points is a key step in myofascial tissue release, promoting pain relief and improved muscle function. If you're looking to release trigger points and experience the benefits of myofascial tissue release, follow these simple steps:

  1. Relaxation and Preparation: Find a quiet and comfortable space where you can focus on your body. Take a few deep breaths to relax and prepare yourself for the process. It's helpful to have good lighting and a mirror or a partner to assist you, especially for hard-to-reach areas.

  2. Familiarize Yourself with the Muscles: Gain a basic understanding of the muscles and their referral patterns. Many trigger points refer pain to specific areas, often distant from the actual trigger point location. Resources such as trigger point charts or anatomy illustrations can be useful references.

  3. Start with Broad Strokes: Using your hands, fingertips, or a massage tool like a tennis ball, apply gentle pressure to the general area where you suspect the trigger point might be located. Start with broad strokes and gradually narrow down your focus. Pay attention to any areas that feel tender, sensitive, or "knotted."

  4. Zero In on Specific Points: Once you've identified a potentially tender area, explore it more thoroughly by applying more focused pressure. Use your fingertips or thumbs to exert firm, steady pressure on the spot. Experiment with different angles and movements to find the precise location of the trigger point.

  5. Sensitivity and Referral Patterns: Trigger points can vary in size, sensitivity, and referral patterns. As you apply pressure, take note of any sensations you experience. Trigger points often elicit a localized "aching" or "burning" sensation. You may also notice pain or discomfort radiating to other areas. Understanding the referral patterns associated with trigger points can help you pinpoint their location more accurately.

  6. Pressure and Duration: Apply pressure to the trigger point using a level of intensity that is tolerable but still effective. Start with gentle pressure and gradually increase it as your body adjusts. Hold the pressure for about 30 seconds to a minute, allowing the tissues to respond and release tension. It's important to maintain a balance between applying enough pressure to create a therapeutic effect and avoiding excessive discomfort or pain.

  7. Gentle Movement and Stretching: After releasing the pressure, follow from the point of tension down or away from the heart. Use steady pressure with the thumb, knuckle, or a smooth stone. Think of a spreading motion. you are ironing out the collagen fibers as you do this. This can help further release tension and promote relaxation of the myofascial tissues. Explore different ranges of motion, stretches, or exercises that target the affected muscle group.

  8. Self-Care and Professional Support: While self-myofascial release can be effective, it's essential to listen to your body and not push beyond your limits. If you're unsure about the location or severity of your trigger points, or if your symptoms persist or worsen, request a consultation with a Qiworks staff member who is experienced in myofascial release or a qualified manual therapist for additional guidance and support.

Remember, this guide is intended for informational purposes only, and individual results may vary. It's important to approach myofascial release with care, patience, and a willingness to explore what works best for your body. With practice and consistency, you can develop a greater understanding of your own trigger points and effectively release tension, promoting pain relief and improved muscle function.

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