Alaskan Natural Care
& Trigger Points
Some insurance companies will pay for Neuromuscular Therapy (Myofascial Release/Manual Therapy), including NEA Alaska and Blue Cross. Insurance billings only for medical massage (no cash rate).
What Are Trigger Points?
Trigger points are not the same as acupuncture points. Trigger points may refer pain both in the local area and/or to other areas of the body, and the most common patterns have been well documented and diagramed. These are called referral patterns. Approximately half of the time, trigger points are not located in the same place where you feel symptoms. (For more information on the physiology of trigger points, go to Headache Book: What Are Trigger Points?.)
How Does Massage Treat Trigger Points?
I combine Swedish massage with locating and pressing on trigger points, based on matching known referral patterns with where you indicate you feel symptoms. I will also perform myofascial release -- a combination of pressure and medium or deep-tissue stroking on trigger points and muscles affected by pain. This combination is called neuromuscular massage. I may also teach you self-help techniques including how to apply pressure to trigger points, and stretches that will benefit the muscles containing trigger points.
Trigger Points can be treated with a variety of techniques. Trigger Point therapy is a protocol for determining the location of trigger points based on your pain referral patterns and other symptoms, and detecting and treating perpetuating factors, and does not refer to a specific technique.
Solving the Problem
Trigger Point diagnosis and treatment is methodical and analytical, kind of like detective work -- we use the information you have given us to decide which muscles to search for active trigger points, which are the ones that are causing symptoms even when they are not being pressed. "Latent" trigger points can also cause symptoms and referral, but only when pressed. I will also aid you in identifying and eliminating the factors that are causing your trigger points, which is the most important factor in gaining long-term relief.
Please see triggerpointrelief.com for more information about trigger points.
Neuromuscular Massage Can Help Treat:
Chronic pain, headaches, menstrual cramps, intestinal problems, and other symptoms - may be symptoms of neuromuscular dysfunction.
Injuries - may be effectively treated, even in the acute stages. The sooner the muscle is treated, the less chance there is of developing a chronic condition.
Tendinitis - is inflammation of a tendon, which attaches the muscle to bone. A tight muscle is often the cause of tendinitis.
Bursitis - is inflammation of the bursa in the joint capsule. Sometimes due to trauma or overuse, the muscles crossing the joint become tight, jamming the joint together and causing inflammation and pain.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome - pain, numbness, and tingling in the wrist is often caused by referred pain, as a result of tight neck or chest muscles compressing nerves.
Sciatica - is often due to tight muscles in the gluteal, low-back, or thigh areas compressing the sciatic nerve, causing referred symptoms down the legs.
TMJ - grinding and clenching teeth can cause a variety of symptoms, including tooth, head, neck, and face pain, and can wear out the disc in the jaw joint. Self-work is easy to learn.
Sometimes complex chronic muscular pain and tenderness will be diagnosed as fibromyalgia, myofascitis, muscular rheumatism, arthritis, or some variation of those names. This usually indicates a body-wide underlying factor such as a nutritional problem or an endocrine system imbalance. I will generally recommend Acupuncture, Naturopathy or Chiropractic in conjunction with Neuromuscular Massage treatments in order to address the underlying perpetuating factors.
For a list of symptoms that may be caused by trigger points, see: