I have been trying to release trigger points in a couple of key muscles recently. My trouble spots include the anterior deltoid, pectoralis minor and a back muscle (which I have not been able to identify.) These triggers points have been the sources of some discomfort and limited movement lately.
The discomfort is a signal for me to tune into my body using the kinesthetic sense, and encourage movement in the affected muscles in gentle ways. Here is what I do…
- Use whole body awareness as I move through my day, approaching tasks in an ergonomic way.
- Map the location and function of the muscles affected by the trigger points. Where are they located? How are they designed to move?
- Perform gentle massage on the whole muscle, then target the trigger point by massaging across the muscle fibers & over the trigger point. This can be uncomfortable, but I encourage the muscle to unwind by using enough pressure.
- Rest! Taking a few minutes out to lie on the floor and rest gives the whole body a break. The Constructive Rest Guide is a great tool for rest that is rejuvenating and healing.
- Knowing a muscle’s function allows me to utilize a small range of motion to gently move the muscle as it is intended. As I do this, I tune into the fine line between comfortable movement and uncomfortable movement. Over time the scope of comfortable movement increases, allowing the movements I use to increase as well.
- Passive movement of the muscle is another great tool. An example of this is holding one elbow with the other hand, and using the holding hand to rotate the upper arm. This allows the shoulder muscles to go along for the ride as the upper arm is being moved.
This week, the trigger points have or are beginning to release. Hooray! Integrating anatomically accurate movement into all that you do is one of the best ways to take care of yourself and avoid musculoskeletal injury. If aches and pains persist it is essential to see an experienced health care professional to rule out more serious conditions. Happy Moving!