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Myofascial Compression Techniques

 

Last weekend I was invited down to Austin, Texas to attend the Trigger Point Performance Master Trainer Course.

I felt honored to be chosen, as there were only a handful of people there, some from as far as the Dominican Republic.

The training is a prerequisite to teach the  Myofascial Compression Techniques (MCT) 8 hour course.

Trigger Point Performance

Trigger Point Performance was started by Cassidy Phillips in 2002. An avid athlete, Cassidy began experiencing chronic debilitating pain. He tried numerous therapies, including injections, massage, chiropractic, nutrient IV’s and medications. After being diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, he decided to take matters in his own hands. Cassidy developed MCT using specialized tools. These techniques enabled him to manage his pain and continue to work out. He now travels around the world sharing his techniques. Some of his clients are professional athletes in the NFL, NBA and MLB, as well as professional triathletes.

What are Myofascial Compression Techniques (MCT)?

MCT are Trigger Point Performance’s revolutionary form of self myofascial release that systematically restores tissue elasticity, enhances fluidity and optimizes function. Using MCT can lead to pain reduction, reduced risk of injury and performance enhancement.

Self-compression is applied to targeted muscles along with limb movement that replicates normal range of motion. The end result is:

  1. Increased circulation
  2. A reduction in adhesions
  3. Elimination of metabolic waste
  4. Deactivation of trigger points and  relaxation of shorted muscles

Biomechanics, the Foot and Ankle, Kinetic Chain and Injury

The foundation of the body begins at the foot and ankle. If there is dysfunction here, then there will be compensatory changes that result in altered length-tension relationships in muscles surrounding the joints above. This results in an obligatory joint response at the knees, hips, lower back, shoulder, neck and upper extremities.

The end result is that muscles either become shortened or lengthened.  Muscles that do not have optimum length become weak and cannot adequately produce force,  reduce force or stabilize joints. Over time, the altered motion and joint mechanics with result in a self-perpetuating injury cycle.

 

Trigger Point Performance Products (Patented)

 

Tp Massage Ball: The most versatile tool, which enables individuals to work on the neck, back, shoulders, arms, hips, lower leg  and feet.

The footballer and Baller Block:  Designed specifically for the lower leg

The Quadballler: Used to focus in the quadriceps, gluteus muscles and IT band

The TP2 Ball: A sleeve that allows two Tp Massage Balls to be used to address the thoracic spine.

The Cold Roller: Used for compression with Cryo (cold) therapy.

The X-Factor Ball: Larger and firmer massage ball

The Grid: An eco-friendly Foam Roller

The 4 Foundations

  1. Breathing
  2. Muscular Elasticity
  3. Hydration
  4. Muscular Maintenance

Breathing

Breathing dysfunction has been noted as being a key factor in people who deal with stress on a regular basis (that would be most of us). It usually results in upper chest breathing rather than diaphragmatic breathing. This activates the pectoralis, sternocleidomastoid, trapezius, scalene, levator and psoas muscles.  These accessory muscles can become overactive, causing muscle imbalances, pain and more stress as a result of the sympathetic nervous system being overstimulated. If we are in a perpetual sympathetic state, our sleep, digestion, sexual function and general state of health is affected.

By simply focusing on “belly breathing” we can increase oxygen throughout our bodies and shift to a more parasympathetic state. A study by Bradley and Gilford (2002) found that chronic low back suffers benefited as much from proper breathing as they did from physical therapy in the first 6 weeks.

Proper breathing along with myocompression techniques is an effective way to bring oxygen to tight muscles enabling them to release more efficiently.

Muscle Elasticity               

Healthy muscles need to be able to store potential energy in order to load and unload during movement.  After trauma or repetitive stress, adhesions and scar tissue forms in tissues, decreasing the normal elasticity. In many cases, “rope like” knots form. These knots affect the length and tension in the affected muscles, resulting in dysfunctional movements. This leads to the inability of muscles to produce and reduce force and stabilize the area. In addition it reduces the muscle’s  capacity for endurance.

Knots cannot be stretched out, but the elasticity of muscles and fascia can be restored through myocompression techniques.

Hydration

Water makes up to 50-75% of body weight. To stay hydrated, it is recommended that we get 1 oz. per 2 lbs body weight (more if exercising or in the heat).

Water is essential for regulating temperature, lubricating the lungs and skin, controlling blood pressure and transporting nutrients, oxygen and waste.

Electrolytes are also essential. These include: sodium, potassium, magnesium and chloride. Electrolytes play a vital role in muscle function and optimum health.

Because dehydration can adversely affect muscles, it is essential to be well hydrated before and after performing MCT.

Muscular Maintenance

Muscular maintenance should be part of your daily regime, just like brushing your teeth.

Muscular adhesions  develop from macro or micro trauma occurring in ever day life. This causes  decreased range of motion, altered nervous system function and impaired joint mechanics. The end result is an unbalanced body and pain.

If you are an athlete, it will impair performance.

Muscular maintenance with myocompression techniques should be performed at a minimum of every other day in order to reduce adhesions and allow muscles and fascia to adequately elongate.

Pre.Gen and Re.Gen

MCT can be used prior to exercise (Pre.Gen) to release, lengthen and strengthen muscles. This prepares muscles to tolerate the demands of exercise. The technique is performed quickly and is movement specific.

MCT used after exercise or on rest days (Re.Gen) is done therapeutically to augment recovery by restoring balance and range of motion. It should be performed slowly.

The Ultimate 6

The ultimate 6 are the 6 key muscles that influence biomechanics the most. By manipulating these 6 key muscles, your body can achieve structural integrity, thereby creating a foundation for optimal performance and injury prevention.

These include: Solues, quadriceps, piriformis, psoas, thoracic spine and pes.

There are additional muscles that can be manipulated for athletes or a particular condition.

 

 Programming and position

MCT are not simply applying pressure or rolling. There are specific positions, programming and manipulations unique to each muscle. Some of these include: moving a joint, pivoting, cross-friction, pulls, rotation and traction.

 

Stay tune for upcoming classes or send us an e-mail if you are interested.

You can also check out the Trigger Point Performance website.

About the Author

Dr. Geoff LecovinNaturopathic Physician/Chiropractor/Acupuncturist/Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist/Corrective Exercise Specialist/Performance Enhancement Specialist/Certified Sports Nutritionist/View all posts by Dr. Geoff Lecovin

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