Relieving Your Own Trigger Points: Overcoming Pain with Yin Yoga Classes in White Rock and Surrey, BC

How to Overcome Pain

"Fast we can only do what we already know. That is how the brain works. To learn and master new skills and overcome limitations, the first thing to do is slow way down. Slow actually gets the brain’s attention and stimulates the formation of rich new neural patterns. Slow gets us out of the automatic mode in our movements, speech, thoughts and social interactions.” -Anat Baniel

What is happening when there is a pain in your body? Do you stop and listen to what your body is telling you? Do you know what your body and mind need to do all this?

Obviously, it takes practice and the all-knowing, and simple, time. We all have it, somewhere.

To overcome how the brain works we definitely need to slow down, right? My suggestion to you is to first learn how to sit. You're probably sitting right now, but that is simply not good enough. What I am really asking of you is to tune in and quieten the mind through something as simple as CONSCIOUS BREATHING. Take 2 to 3 long breaths.

Step One: Land!

Getting comfortable in your seat becomes easier with conscious breath. It really doesn't matter on how long you can sit, would it be for 1 to 60 minutes. This process is here to slow your thoughts down long enough to increase your awareness. Eventually, it will include no fidgeting. 

As you breathe in and out through your nose, slowly, for at least 4 - 6 seconds each way the body relaxes and calms the mind to a point of becoming more receptive. Yes, this can be termed meditation. Simple, yes?

Now that you're ready, allow your body and mind to share with you, in a non-judgmental way, (hence no thoughts).  If you're are patient you will find what is actually going on the inside, body and mind. There are a number of different ways to meditate (I hear there are over 200), and the goal is not to get hung up the fact that you are actually meditating. All you are doing is slowing your breath and perhaps experiencing some greater awareness. 

Now let's take a closer look at some key elements when learning how to listen to the body talk. 
Step Two: Posture
Why is our posture so significant? To me, this is an obvious answer, but not everyone may understand the importance of having a healthy posture, and more importantly, how to get it. 

When developing a better posture it often takes time. Dealing and healing the weaknesses and tightness in the tissues is only part of the journey. Repetition and persistence come with knowing how and what to do about it, hence, learning.
When it comes to the pain many different issues are caused by poor body mechanics. Remember what I said earlier about breathing? Take a look above at the way people stand. You can imagine the difficulty in breathing when the airway is not as open in most of the postures shown above. Practicing a couple ways of doing things properly won't take too much time, however, creating a new way to move, sit, sleep, drive, and possibly stand, will.

But so what, as long as you are learning and creating subtle changes everything can transform, in time. Ultimately, our body mechanics differ from one person to the next. An important thing to note is that trigger points usually come from chronic activity. A lot of times it is because our less-than-best posture creates these points, or better understood as pain and knotted tissue.

What Are Trigger Points (TrPs)?
The most simplified answer to this question is Trigger Points are knotted muscles. They are the little balls you feel in your muscle belly or tissue. Pick a sore spot and touch it with your fingertips, for example when you rub your neck and shoulders. These TrPs are contracted tissues that are not only accessible to touch, but they are also very measurable under a microscope. The most amazing point here is knowing that you can release knotted muscle yourself, and upon that release, there may be immediate pain relief! Check out how to find trigger points.

SCM Tissue: A) Relaxed B) Knotted C) Tension
Basically, the brain is not aware of the tensions that are being held within the tissue until there is pressure on the area. With trigger point massage and/ or self-care, feedback reaches the brain immediately to send a message to the muscle to relax. Sound simple?

Sure it is, but more truthfully, there are many studies and a couple of encyclopedias with a lot of complicated information. This is one reason why I am compelled to help people find their way in creating their healthy, pain-free body.

This is good news! With a little bit of knowledge and self-care practice, you will be well on your way to a better, pain-free body and life. Knowing that pain is simply a message, and YOU are LISTENING. Now, you will have the confidence in knowing what to do about it!

Simple things like purchasing your own Trigger Point Workbook from amazon, and/ or taking a few hours in a trigger point class can give you a kick start to know what to do about your own issues. 

Let's start by having your pain relief become Permanent Relief.
Some extra information is below:
Causes of Trigger Point Pain
Tender trigger points typically develop from lack of stretching or improper stretching but can also be caused by stress/trauma, repetitive motion or even poor posture.
Other common causes are:
  • sitting without firm back support (slumped posture)
  • prolonged sitting in a chair without armrests, or armrests that are too high, or too low (leaning to one side)
  • cradling a phone between ear and shoulder
  • large breasts
  • one leg shorter than the other
  • typing on a keyboard that is too high
  • prolonged improper sleeping position
  • playing the violin
  • kayaking
  • overly tight bra straps
  • carrying a purse (prolonged hiking up of the shoulder)
  • head-forward posture (poke-neck)
  • whiplash
  • walking with a cane that is too long
Reduced circulation in trigger points will eventually lead to muscle shortening and restricted movement which further accentuates the pain, thus completing a cycle of decreased mobility and further pain. This commonly becomes the underlying cause of chronic headache pain and has the person continue to suffer from these until the problem trigger points are treated directly. 
Rotator Cuff Muscles

Common Symptoms of Trigger Point Pain
Common symptoms of trigger point pain residing in the trapezius and shoulder/neck muscles are:

  • headaches on the temple (tension headaches)
  • pain behind the eye
  • dizziness or vertigo
  • severe and/or sharp neck pain
  • stiff neck (limited range of motion)
  • intolerance to weight on the shoulders (purse, backpack, etc.)
  • pain on the back of the shoulder pain or on the inside of the upper arm
  • a deep ache over the top of the shoulder
  • a burning pain close to the spine between upper shoulder blades
Common Conditions of Trigger Point Pain Often Misdiagnosed
Many conditions are mistreated and may be relieved immensely with just one treatment.
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome – neck muscle trigger point
  • Frozen shoulder – rotator cuff trigger points
  • Headaches – as mentioned above
  • Sciatica or low back pain – piriformis and/ or gluteus trigger points
  • Swollen hands
  • Leg pain
  • Toothache
  • Earache
  • TMJ (temporomandibular joint)
  • Sinus pain
  • Tennis elbow, elbow tendonitis
  • Ankle pain