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It is my hope to come up with a summer reading list to share with you in the next month or so, especially since more of you should be traveling this summer and you’ll need something on the light side to entertain you as you sit by the beach watching and listening to the waves, or as you recl…

If you're interested in submitting a Letter to the Editor, click here.

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This morning when I saw the headline “Biden Admin Faces Lack of Icebreakers, Increasing Russian and Chinese Threats in Arctic,” I knew that I had to volunteer my expertise and serve my country.  As someone who has led small groups for decades, I’ve had a lot of experience with icebreakers. I…

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After graduating from Lipscomb University and Harvard Law School in the early nineties, he worked for two prestigious law firms, one in New York and one in his home state of Kentucky. He also lectured at Cornell Law School.

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To say I am not on the cutting edge of popular culture would be the greatest of understatements.  

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As I file this column on Friday, I’m looking ahead to two social activities over the weekend. To say the least, that’s a departure from the norm of these past 13 months.

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I was delighted to learn that I had been voted Best Family Counseling in the Williamson’s Best readers’ poll. Thank you to those who took the time to go online and cast a vote. 

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SPONSORED BY ELEMENTS MASSAGE

The body is a matrix of intertwined muscles, joints and tendons. Trigger point therapy taps into the body’s internal web of muscles and tissues to unlock common chronic and injury-related pains caused by tension and stress. 

Everybody has trigger points, but whether they’re activated or not can depend on if an area has undergone trauma, stress, overuse or injury. When activated, trigger points can cause widespread pain, tension, irritation and even lack of motion. Applying a moderate to deep pressure to these areas can create a dull, aching feeling to different areas of the body, which is most commonly known as referral pain. This referral pain actually lets therapists know that they are on a trigger point so they can directly address the area and concern. 

When you receive trigger point therapy, you may feel tenderness when the therapist applies pressure. But overall, it should be a therapeutic experience where you feel relief after the pressure is applied and the trigger point goes away.

“Trigger point therapy helps eliminate pain, relieve tension and promote a better range of motion,” explains Merrissa Proctor, massage therapist at Elements Acton. “It’s a great tool for all ages and for many issues to unlock an area, but it’s also great to increase circulation and help muscles regain full function. Ultimately, it’s a rehabilitative therapy that provides quick, lasting results.” 

Repetitive Movements, Stress Build Knots throughout the Body 

Normal people living everyday lives can benefit from the relief provided through trigger point therapy. Performing simple activities like driving in your car for extended periods of time or overdoing it in your daily workout can cause strain and promote the buildup of stress and tension in your muscles.

Doing continuous movement over and over again can irritate tissue, which over time can lead to the development of trigger points. Ultimately, when tissues remain in a contracted state for long periods of time they can harden and create little nodules that therapists can palpitate and actually feel for during a trigger point massage. When these trigger points are addressed and the tension is released, clients can feel instant relief that feeds into long-lasting results.

“When I have a client lay on my table in so much pain and then when the trigger point session is over they get up feeling so much better, those are the best moments of the massage,” shares Ashley Hughes, massage therapist at Elements Chandler West. “When clients realize that they can actually turn their neck in directions they couldn’t before the session, that’s when you see the results of trigger point.”

Trigger Point Provides Quick Results for Releasing Tight Knots 

Trigger point therapy encompasses a lot more of the body than most people may realize. This results-driven technique is best for addressing an injury or chronic pain as well as providing pain management solutions for people with beginning to advanced conditions. 

Trigger point therapy can be very effective for treating many common muscular conditions and injuries. Proctor typically sees trigger point therapy working well for conditions such as: 

  • Sciatica pain that can affect the lower back, glutes, legs and feet
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Shin splints
  • Migraines
  • Computer shoulder
  • Chronic pain in joints such as stiff neck and back
  • Rotator cuff injuries and/or immobility

“Sometimes it’ll only take one trigger point therapy session to start seeing results. Sometimes it can take a little bit longer,” explains Proctor. “Instead of putting a Band-Aid on a problem, you’re actually going into the problem and fixing it with trigger point.”

Pain is Not the Purpose of Trigger Point Therapy

Many people have the misconception that clients who get trigger point massage have to endure high levels of pain and be sore for days following the massage in order for it to be beneficial. In reality, though, Proctor and Hughes both agree that the purpose of trigger point is not to provide more pain, but to rather reduce pain and heal injuries.

“It shouldn’t be an excruciating painful type of experience where you’re sore and bruised,” explains Hughes. “There can be a little bit of tenderness and discomfort in the spot that you’re digging into, but you shouldn’t be afraid to communicate your personal limits with your therapist. Everyone is different so don’t go into a session feeling like you have to hold your breath and bear down to tolerate the pain.” 

For the most effective and enjoyable trigger point massage therapy session, Proctor and Hughes both like to also mix in Swedish and deep tissue massage techniques so clients can enjoy the relaxation of the massage experience coupled with the rehabilitative benefits that trigger point can provide. Proctor advises that you shouldn’t do more than six to 10 trigger points in one session because more than that can be too much for the body to handle. 

If you’re looking for full body trigger point work, Proctor also suggests that you do the work over the course of multiple sessions for the best results. And, since the benefits of trigger point last longer than traditional practices, you don’t have to get trigger point every time you go in for a massage. After you’ve released the pain and tension caused by built-up knots in your system, you can use trigger point on an as-needed basis going forward. 

“I believe massage is a trade of intuition and there are just therapists who know intuitively where trigger points are without the client telling them where they’re sore,” shares Proctor. “The first step is to find a skilled therapist and slowly work into the modality gradually. You don’t want to just jump into trigger point because it’s a lot for your body to work all of its tissues and fluids at once. When approached properly, trigger point massage is a great way to see that massage can help you relieve pain and lead a better life.”

Elements of Health is sponsored by Elements Massage. The Franklin studio is located at 539 Cool Springs Boulevard, Suite 140 Franklin, Tennessee 37067. The Brentwood studio is located at 782 Old Hickory Boulevard, Suite 113 Brentwood, TN 37027. You can contact the Franklin studio at (615) 771-0003 or visit their website here. Visit the Brentwood website here or call (615) 730- 6806.

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By the time you read this, I am either hours (or less) away from being injected with my second COVID vaccine, or will have already received it. My appointment is for noon on Monday, April 12.

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Friday, March 26 in Middle Tennessee was a spectacular sunny day bookended by fierce and damaging storms on Thursday and Saturday.  After Thursday night’s storms passed through, as is often the case after such an incident, we woke on Friday morning to clear blue skies.  

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In the midst of March Madness, something sports fans (and even some non-sports fans who play the game each year for grins) really needed this year, our good spirits and lightness of heart were tempered with the news of another mass slaying.  

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If any positives came from the pandemic over the past year, a breather from last year’s NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, a/k/a March Madness, might be one of them.  

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It’s a seller’s market for homes here in Williamson County, and greater Nashville in general, with no signs of slowing down.  

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Many moons ago, when my wife and I married, I was one year out of law school.  

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Now that the holidays are past and the cliché greeting of "Are you ready for Christmas?" is packed up for another 10 months, we have moved to the "Is it cold enough for you?" greeting. In a diverse and opinionated nation where differences (race, religion, politics, and college football) ofte…

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Several years ago in a Facebook post my friend, Courtenay, said, "I'm in a relationship with myself. So far it's going pretty well."  

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Whether you're cheering on the Chiefs or the Buccaneers — or just tuning in for the commercials and the halftime show, odds are you're looking forward to the game day spread! Did you know that Super Bowl Sunday marks the second leading food fest of the year (coming in right behind Thanksgivi…

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In sending an email to my church small group last week— which now meets exclusively via computer screen or outside— I posed the question, “Who would have thought last March when we all started staying home more, we would still be in a state of semi-isolation some ten months later?” 

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"I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody, OK, and I wouldn't lose any voters, OK. It's, like, incredible." (Donald Trump at a campaign rally in Iowa on Jan. 23, 2016)