Trigger point Therapy is a common condition that produces muscle pain which can occur almost anywhere in the body. People may also refer to this kind of pain as ‘knots’ or ‘spasms’. In the medical field one might hear the term ‘myofascial pain’. This means that the pain may be present in the muscle tissue and/or in the connective tissue that surrounds the muscles.
Relief for trigger point pain can easily be achieved by releasing the ‘knots’ with acupuncture needles causing an unwinding or relaxation of the muscle fibers which sometimes presents as involuntary twitches in the muscle when it releases.
Trigger point pain can be chronic if left untreated. If left untreated for long enough, this pain can progress to a diminishing of the range of motion of a joint or limb. This stage is commonly referred to as “frozen”. Even at this stage, acupuncture is very effective in increasing the range of motion of a join or a limb.
Another way to relieve pain caused by trigger points is by using Dr. Richard Tan’s “Balance Method”. This method is based on the ancient numerological system called the Ba Gua. This method does not release the trigger point locally, but, rather uses complimentary meridians that are often distal or far away from the site of the pain. This method is a highly effective method for reducing pain and for increasing range of motion. It is recommended if the acupuncturist does not want to insert needles into the muscle tissue itself because it is too painful.
Trigger Point Therapy with Acupuncture is a quicker and, often more effective way to treat pain syndromes than manual therapy or massage therapy. The healing effects tend to last longer and the acupuncturist can often go into deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue.
I use both methods to treat trigger points – Direct needling into the site of the pain and Dr. Richard Tan’s “Balance” method. I do find that Dr. Tan’s method tends to be more effective in treating “frozen shoulders, hands, and other range of motion problems. Treatments range from once to three times per week in order to produce lasting results. I always teach my patients stretching exercises after the trigger points have been released in order to keep the muscles loose and flexible.