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I had a new client the other day for an 80 minute massage. I asked him if there is anything that he wanted me to know.  He told me that he suffers from a herniated disc that he has had for a few years. He has constant low back and right hip pain that at times radiates down the back of his leg to his knee. He told me that he has had two injections in his low back and has to stay on anit- inflamtory medication.  Anything to avoid surgery. The pain is always there. I asked him if he ever saw a chiropractor for his pain.  He said yes.  But the adjustments hurt his hip so bad that he could not continiue.  So here is a guy that thinks he is on the verge of surgery. I knew that there was a very strong probubllity that was not the case. The vast majority of pain people experience is nocioceptive pain( soft tissue- muscle, tendon, ligament, facia).  MDs and Chiropractors see pain as neuropathic pain( nerve pain).  With that asumption they give the wrong treatments and therapies.  Now there is no denying that at times injections and surgery is needed. Not denying that.   But most of the time - NOT.  70% to 85% of all pain comes directly from trigger points.  Anyway I showed my client a testimonial from a client that I was able to help out of a very painful condition that she had delt with for a couple of years. I showed him that testimonial because all pain has a psychological eliment too it. I wanted him to start thinking maybe he is not on the edge of surgery.  I palpated his entire back upper torso, both hips, and right leg. I found a very painful spot on his right L5 erectors.  Another very painful spot on his right greater trochantor.  A painful spot in the middle part of his lower right hamstrings.  And also a tender spot on the right spinous of L3.  I knew that if Iwas able to eliminate all those painful palaptory spots that I would most likely eliminate his pain problem.  Because a healthy body had no painful spots even with deep massage.  Ive been hunting and eliminateing trigger points for thirty years now.  He walked out of the massage room pain free. He was pain free for the first time in years. All those other professional people misdiagnosed him because they assume neuropathic pain over nocioceptive pain.  I assume the other way around.  I'm a Massage Therapist.  

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Reply by Gordon J. Wallis

Most of what I'm doing is derived directly from TCM. And trigger points were around a thousand years ago in China as they are today. And Acupuncturists today treat trigger points, and still call it Acupuncture.

I think many of the good therapist out there have read and studied other methods and modalities of work and have added bits and pieces into the way they practice.  And, I am not suggesting that there is anything wrong with providing a mixed style of bodywork. 

However, your current posts continue to read as though you are trying to legitimize the suggestion that trigger point work is the same thing as acupressure.  And now you are trying to do so by pulling in the idea that acupuncturists "treat trigger points".  I think this is a critical mistake. 

This kind of discussion is needed, because the take away for the therapist who is not knowledegable, could be, that acupuncture is nothing more than glorified trigger point work.  Any suggestion as to that being so is exactly why other health care professionals have a tendency to bwa-ha-ha at many massage therapists.

Acknowledging that acupuncture and acupressure are not even in the same galaxy as trigger point work, although there may be some methods contained within those health care practices which can be used to work with trigger points, is one step in that direction.

Of course, these are my opinions.  And, I feel I would be remiss in not doing my best to state this as clearly as possible.
Pueppi, you obviously have great passion for our profession and what you do. And you are correct to say that Acupressure and Trigger Point Therapy are two separate modalities. That is to say, as they are taught now.

"But there is much in the world we are not taught."

And it's true, like my thread indicates , I'm a Trigger Point Guy. But In no way shape or form am I finding and deactivating trigger points in the standard accepted way of any trigger point organization on the planet. There is no book on what I'm doing.

The number one reason people seek Acupuncture Treatments is for pain relief. And you know how I think. A huge percentage of that pain is from myofascial trigger points( 80% ).

I have to guess now. But I would say that 95% of what I'm doing is dirived from Acupuncture. And about 5% is deemed from Western Sources, Rolfing and Strain Counterstrain. And sense I'm not using needles. I called it Acupressure.

All that being said, I'm not concerned about a name. I'm still studying new ideas/therapies, and very busy transitioning into my new work environment. My fault I used the word Acupressure. To me that's what it is. But as to the brand , or any sense of copyright to the word Acupressure, it is not. My main thing is hunting trigger points.
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Yesterday ended up a big trigger point Day. All new clients. Only one of them was totally a non-trigger point session. All of them came in initially for relaxation massages. But after briefly talking to them, they opened up about their aches and pains. Most of them told me about how their various joints go out or their scoliosis that's causing their various aches and pains. It was all trigger points though. A couple of them the trigger points were severe enough for them to re-schedule follow ups. One client in particular use to be a figure scatter until she had to stop because of plantar fasciitis in one foot. Three years she has not stated. And that's her passion. I didnt ask her about other practitioners she may have seen for her plantar fasciitis. Anyway I checked her out. It was one trigger point in the arch of her foot. In the attachment it's the one nearest the ankle. It deactivated quickly. She will need a few follow ups before it stays gone... She was really happy. Those tissues should heal. Then she will be good to go.
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I wanna add something here. About the example of the plantar fasciitis client and other client experiences I've talked about in here. A few people have comented or implied that I'm egotistical and all about myself and bragging in here. I don't mean to come off that way. I'm writing in here to empower other massage therapists. After 30 years I do have a lot of confidence and a skill set to help a lot of people. But I think a lot of massage therapists can help those people, they just don't realize it. Take for example the plantar fasciitis client I just comented on. Any good or experienced therapist could, in time, get her out of that plantar fasciitis. I work with a lot of therapists, and here is what I've heard, almost on a daily bases when I see a client leaving the room after getting a massage from another therapist. The therapist says. "How does your hip feel now? " The client answers. "It feels way better. I can walk and it doesn't hurt. " Then the therapist says. "Oh I'm so glad. You have a wonderful day." And that's the end of it. The client probably goes home and feels great for an hour, day or a week or more, then the pain comes back. The client thinks that massage is only temporary, and that she has a more serious problem and that nothing can be done. Now if that was my client. I would point out the fact that a major portion, if not all, of her pain is myofascial. And the way she feels now is the way she can feel all the time. I would tell her she needs some follow up visits, and that there is a very good chance that she can feel way better in the near future. Perhaps something to think about?
A client came in for a relaxing massage. She told me that she got permission to get a massage, but I was not to touch her neck. I asked her what's wrong with her neck. She said "Well, it's a pinched nerve." I didn't ask her who told her that or who she is seeing or has seen for her pinched nerve. If I was documenting for insurance I would have, but in the spa, that information is not necessary. I asked her to describe her pinched nerve. She told me that it's a burning pain. As she was discribing her pain she touched from the middle of her Deltoid to the top of her shoulder (trap) up to the base of her skull( occipital area).
Long story short...I found a middle Deltoid TP, an Upper Trapezius TP, a Supraspinatus TP, and an Occipital TP at the base of her skull. All on the same side. They all deactivated and she left the spa without her pinched nerve. She was really happy. The diagram of the Deltoid TP is not the correct TP. In reality it was more medial. No diagram for the Occipital TP.
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Gordon Wallis wrote:

Now if that was my client, I would point out...  the way she feels now is the way she can feel all the time. I would tell her she needs some follow up visits, and that there is a very good chance that she can feel way better in the near future.


This is a great way to encourage follow-up visits without sounding pushy.  Thanks for adding it to your post.  :)

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