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MYOFASCIAL RELEASE THERAPY FOR ALL TYPES OF CHRONIC PAIN…

Myofascial Release Therapy is another therapy that works around acupressure points. It is s now becoming one of best-known massage type of treatment for chronic pain, tension and muscular problems.

Myofascial release therapy (MRT) was originally coined by an osteopath, although today you will find that many well-trained physiotherapists, massage therapists and chiropractors also practice this technique because of its effectiveness. MRT is a hands-on treatment whose purpose is to break down scar tissue, relax your muscles and fascia, and improve posture. Myofascial release therapy is usually slow in nature, and can be deep but does not always need to be as such. Many practitioners state that the technique should be painful to be effective, while others argue that proper use of the therapy does not need to be painful at all.

Research has proven that fascia, like a muscle, has the ability to contract and relax and plays a major role in mobility and stability of joints. Myofascial Release UK say the general understanding of ‘myofascial release’ has changed over the last decade since MFR UK has been providing workshops for healthcare professionals. In the past, MFR was a treatment approach in its own right and everything else was called massage. However, with popularity comes ambiguity and what MFR is and how it’s applied has become somewhat lost in translation over recent years. Normally the term ‘massage’ describes a fluid movement over the body using lubrication. As the popularity of MFR grows, massage treatments are being renamed ‘MFR’ to keep up with the current trends creating confusion for both practitioners seeking professional MFR training and for clients seeking resolve from their #pain and discomfort.

There is a condition known as Myofascial Pain Syndrome which is a chronic painful muscle disorder and is common if you have experienced a muscle injury. Over time these myofascial restrictions can lead to poor biomechanics, altered structural alignment, compromised blood supply and pain. Other causes of myofascial pain are injuries to an intervertebral disc, general fatigue, repetitive motions, and some medical conditions.

It is characterised by the myofascial trigger points and the symptoms include persistent or worsening pain, deep and aching muscle pain, tender knots located in the muscles and pain after exercise or sporting activity.

Myofascial Pain Syndrome (MPS) is the name given to pain caused by trigger points and fascia (connective tissue) adhesions in the body, usually in muscle tissue, and inflammation in the body’s soft tissues.

Myo = muscle
Fascia = the main connective tissue in the body
Release = to let go, ease pressure

Many people with fibromyalgia also have chronic myofascial pain or CMP (formally known as Myofascial Pain Syndrome, MPS) and don’t even know it. It is often missed because it is easy to confuse the pain and it’s origins with that of FM. As a result, it is missed in the diagnosis. Both are connected to the musculoskeletal system, which makes up almost 50% of our body weight, but should not be confused as being the same. Understanding FM and CMP and what makes them tick, will empower you to help yourself. You will be able to figure out some of the contributing factors to your pain, where it originates and what makes it feel better. It will help you understand treatments and find the one(s) that work for you.

It was recently discovered that MPS is not actually a syndrome at all, but a neuromuscular disease. This is important news! The difference? Diseases have known causes and a well-understood process for producing symptoms. Myofascial pain due to trigger points is now considered a true disease, rather than a syndrome. Fibromyalgia is a syndrome like rheumatoid arthritis and lupus and has tender points (not to be confused with trigger points). Even with these differences, it is believed by many researchers that one can influence the other.

In America, sufferers are doing ‘self-myofascial release (foam rolling)’ using a lacrosse ball and foam to roll out trigger points. They say, ‘it can help reduce muscle soreness, increase mobility, and prevent problems created by tightness and poor tissue quality like plantar fascists, sciatica, and more.”

It is a scientific fact that all muscles and their fibrous coating and connective tissue that joins muscles to bones, the fascia, are a source of pain if the functionality is changed by an accident or normal wear and tear/degeneration. Muscles may develop Myofascial ‘tender spots’ or ‘Trigger Points’. These Trigger Points are not only painful where they are found, but may also send pain away from that spot, to what is called Referred pain.

Sources : Ezine, Ezine Myofascial Release UK




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ACUPUNCTURE #AD TREATMENTS YOU CAN DO IN THE COMFORT OF YOUR HOME REVIEW…

This month I have covered quite a bit on Hand Reflexology, Auricular Therapy, Acupuncture and Acupressure. All the treatments are based on tapping into particular points on our body to help with pain relief and for other medical conditions. There are also a number of products to help you treat yourself with these therapies which you can do in the comfort of your own home.

There are different types of Acu-pens that you can buy and use on your hands (Hand Reflexology) and other parts of your body.

The Migaven Acupuncture Pen is an Electronic Acupuncture Meridian Therapy Machine Energy Pen with 5 Massage Heads 9 Levels. It has no side-effects compared to using painkillers or other medications to treat chronic pain. It is effective to arthritis, sciatica, sports injuries, joint and back pains, plantar fasciitis, tendonitis and tight muscles in other parts of body, and one you could easily use for Hand Reflexology.

You can use this product as often as you want and this electronic acupuncture massager will not only relieve pain, but also boost your mood by relaxing mind, and improve skin condition, even prevent premature aging. The pros of this product is the ease of use and it is compact and lightweight, just about 7.28 inches long, so can easily be put it in your pocket, handbag, I think the only cons with this product is that it is battery only and would have been great as a rechargeable pen. This #ad was on Amazon for £20.99

Please remember – Do not to use the Pen when you’re wearing a Pacemaker or when you’re suffering from other serious heart conditions. During pregnancy, I always recommend you consult your GP before using any therapy product.

Another Acupuncture Pen / Massage Pen is available from PodoBrace for £17.95 and they point out is excellent for –

  • Perfect when suffering from Migraine or other forms of headache
  • Perfect when suffering from a tennis elbow or golfer’s elbow
  • Perfect for complaints caused by Plantar Fascitiis
  • Perfect for the reduction of chronic pain complaints caused by, for example, Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis or Fibromyalgia.
  • Perfect for tired muscles
  • Perfect for stiff and/or tense muscles
  • Perfect to reduce stress and fatigue

The Acupuncture Pen / Massage Pen stimulates your acupuncture points through impulses. The pen works very effectively in combating (sports) injuries, reducing headaches and acute / chronic pain. 

By means of low voltage current, impulses are delivered to acupuncture points or muscles. The Acupuncture Pen / Massage Pen can be used as a portable ”Tens” unit. This pen activates rapid muscle contraction and can be used to relax muscles or to activate immobilized muscles and prevent atropia. The impulses also travel through the nervous system to the brain which causes the signals to trigger pain relief. The impulses also have a relaxing effect on tense muscles through the massage effect.

The Acupuncture Pen / Massage Pen can also be used to locate and stimulate acupuncture points. The impulses run through the body along the meridian or can be concentrated at an acupuncture point associated with a weak or damaged internal organ. The electrical impulses work in the same way as acupuncture needles. 

Like the Migaven it is a great product for you to try using for hand reflexology and easy for you to use on yourself. The pros and cons are similar to the Migaven and again it’s just a shame it’s not a rechargeable pen rather than a battery one. The Acupuncture Pen / Massage Pen is available in 1 size and comes with 2 attachments. A flat head and a normal head. It also comes with 2 jars of gel. The pen does not come with a battery (AA). It is a few pounds cheaper than the Migaven and both have a great feedback online. They are identical to look at but I cannot find if they are made by the same company.

Please remember – Do not to use the Pen when you’re wearing a Pacemaker or when you’re suffering from other serious heart conditions. During pregnancy, I always recommend you consult your GP before using any therapy product.

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ACUPUNCTURE, ANOTHER NATURAL APPROACH TO PAIN RELIEF…

I wrote this post about acupuncture in October 2020 but this week I have concentrated on talking about the different types of healing methods which all include points on your body. From hand reflexology to Auricular Therapy.

2.3 million acupuncture treatments are carried out each year, traditional acupuncture is one of the most popular complementary therapies practiced in the UK today. Yet statistics show that 1 in 5 of us would only consider acupuncture for sleep as a last resort. Almost a quarter of people admit they didn’t realise acupuncture could benefit them despite its widely recognised health benefits. It is also now available on the NHS.

The NYR Natural News wrote that ‘Treating children with chronic pain can be complex, due to kids’ vulnerability while they’re growing and the fear of causing long-term effects. To make matters worse, studies into the therapeutic options for treating children’s pain is limited’.

Angela Johnson, MSTOM, MPH, practitioner of Chinese medicine of Rush’s Cancer Integrative Medicine Program, led a recent study that found that acupuncture may be a safe and effective add-on integrative medicine treatment for chronic pain in children. Results of the study were published in Alternative and Complementary Therapies‘.

Back in 2009, after having numerous spinal surgeries and also being diagnosed with Fibromyalgia I was at a stage where no matter what gambit of drugs I was taking I was still in a lot of pain.

I was already having regular aromatherapy massage on my back which I found amazing, but the relief was short-lived, so I decided to go down the complementary therapy route and try something new.

Acupuncture was available at my NHS pain clinic, so I was able to go for regular sessions which were to mainly treat my neck and arm pains. I found these to be beneficial and could notice a difference by the end of each session but as my treatments were only one session every two weeks, I soon found that my pain was back before my next session.

Acupuncture works by stimulating your own body’s healing mechanisms to help with pain and recovery. The concept has been part of traditional Chinese medicine since 1000BC where it was written in scripts on the holistic concept on how it can help heal the body.

It can be helpful in treating health issues that are typically associated with ageing says Natural Health Magazine. “To help support your hormone balance, brain functioning, bone strength, hearing, eyesight and teeth as they age, it’s important to tonify the kidney energy, “ says David. “A powerful acupuncture point is ‘kidney 3,’ also known as ‘supreme stream’, which is at the source point of the kidney energy channel, located close to the inner ankle. This can be effective in helping ease aches and pains.

Without balance in our bodies, there are many health-related problems we can encounter and having an Acupuncture treatment can help to restore your body systems to the right balance. They are quite often referred to as Yin (which is negative) and Yang (which is positive).

The Acupuncture Association of Chartered Physiotherapist’s explains how Acupuncture works. The acupuncture needle will stimulate the flow of QI [pronounced ‘chee’], which circulates in channels or meridians within the body. The QI circulates within the deeper organs of the body but connects to the superficial skin. In the state of a normal healthy body, a balance exists between these systems. Both the superficial energy and the deeper energy can be influenced by the stimulation of specific acupuncture points. If injury, disease, emotional trauma or infection occurs, the natural flow of QI within the meridians and organs may well be affected and the result is an altered flow, either a slowing or stagnation of QI causing pain and inflammation, or a deficit of QI, which may cause weakness, exhaustion and longer debilitating disease. The stimulation of relevant acupuncture points may free stagnation, reduce excess or indeed, increase QI to the specific area or organ and thus help to restore normal QI flow and balance.

There are several techniques in applying Acupuncture by Acupressure or Electro-Acupuncture which enhances the repair mechanism and enables an improved recovery time.

The conventional Acupuncture involves the use of single-use, pre-sterilised, disposable needles of varying widths, lengths and materials that pierce the skin at the Acupuncture points. The Physiotherapist will determine the locations of the Acupuncture points, based upon the assessment of the cause of the imbalance. A number of needles may be used at each treatment and these are typically left in position for some 20-30 minutes before being removed.

Trigger point Acupuncture may also be used to facilitate relaxation in specific muscles following trauma such as whiplash injury; for longer-term unresolving muscle pain such as repetitive strain injury (RSI) or as a means to obtain increased muscle length in order to aid stretch and rehabilitation such as sports injuries. Here the needle is placed into the affected muscle until it is felt to relax under the needle and then removed. Trigger point needling is often much quicker and therefore does not require the 20-30-minute treatment time.

Acupressure uses the Physiotherapist’s hands over Acupuncture or trigger points in order to relieve muscle tightness or to stimulate QI flow and balance the body. It is a healing art that uses the fingers of the Physiotherapist on the key Acupuncture points. The amount of pressure used varies according to the condition and requires trained sensitive hands. It is often used with sensitive patients, patients with a needle phobia, children or frail patients.

I do personally believe that Acupuncture and Acupressure can help heal and therefore relieve some pain but what I do not seem to have been able to achieve with this treatment is momentum.

Should it be used weekly, fortnightly, less or more? Is it something you could use to treat yourself? With alternative therapies being preferred by many sufferers for pain relief it’s a case of working out the correct balance of treatments that you need. And, if not available from your NHS finding someone local to give you a session.

I always think another great part of this Complementary Therapy is that your acupuncturist listens to your problems and can adapt the needles accordingly. It is something I am going to go back and have soon. You can find deals and vouchers online.