Trigger points are constricted points within the muscle tissue that cause pain to the tissue or other parts of the body. They are caused by injury, strain, or stress to the muscle tissue, and they can result in extreme pain, soreness, and tightness of the muscle tissue. Trigger point massage can help in releasing the constricted areas of the muscle tissue thus relieving the pain.
As a beginner, trigger point massage may seem difficult, even after researching on the various trigger points in the body and the areas of referred pain. How do you achieve positive results from the self massage? Here are some basic pointers that will help you get it right.
What should you rub with?
The fingertips, thumbs, elbows, and fists are the essential parts that can be used to rub the trigger point or areas of referred pain. However, you should be able to properly access the area using the part of your hand that you intend to use. For instance, the area around the neck will be best rubbed using the fingertips and thumbs. You can use the elbow with one hand to rub trigger points on the other hand. What you decide to use should feel comfortable with you. You can even use equipment such as a foam roller to access hard-to-reach areas.
How should you rub?
Trigger point massage aims at relaxing the constricted areas of muscle tissue; therefore, the technique you use to rub the area will determine the results. For the best relief, you can press directly on the trigger point for a few seconds, release, then press again until you feel the muscle relaxing. Also, you can apply kneading strokes in a circular or back and forth motion. If you can feel the direction of the muscle fibers, try to massage them as if you are stretching them.
How much pressure should you apply?
Too much pressure may cause discomfort or accelerate the pain while very little pressure may not be effective in relieving the pain. It may be difficult to quantify the amount of pressure that you should apply on the trigger points and areas of referred pain. However, you can ensure that the pressure you apply is neither too comfortable nor painful. It should be balanced. Make sure that you can feel the muscle tissue ease up as you rub and press on it.
These three pointers will help you in getting your trigger point massage right. However, don't beat yourself down if you don't find relief. Consult a trigger point massage therapist for professional therapy, and you can be assured of positive results.