WHAT IS MYOTHERAPY
So, what is myotherapy? I have heard the term used to describe deep-tissue massage and myo-fascial release. I have even seen the word used synonymously for "massage therapy." Specifically, myotheraopy is a form of soft tissue body work designed to relax muscles and connective tissue and relieve pain. It can be a particularly effective method of relieving chronic pain.
Often attributed to Bonnie Prudden, myotherapy focuses on trigger points on the body, or highly sensitive and sore spots found in muscles. By applying steady pressure on a trigger point for a period of time, a therapist can relieve muscle spasm, relax the muscle and connective tissues surrounding it, and significantly reduce a patient's pain.
Although I have never visited with a certified "myotherapist," I have had extensive body work done by massage practitioners who employ techniques very similar to myotherapy. The results have been life changing.
PAIN RELIEF WITH MYOTHERAPY: A PERSONAL EXPERIENCE
After more than 25 years of playing competitive soccer my body began to break down. All the years of practices, games, injuries, and ignoring my aches and pains had taken its toll. My body had stiffened up to the point where I could no longer get a good night's sleep. I began most days with a headache, and would hobble into the bathroom, take 800mg of ibuprofen, and hobble out to the kitchen to make my coffee and start the day. Eventually the pain, and concern for amount of pain killer I was taking, forced me to look for alternative therapies for pain relief.
Traditionally, I had always turned to a chiropractor for relief of chronic headaches and back pain. But my treatments were becoming increasingly less effective and I could not get rid of the headaches. Finally, upon the advice of my physical therapist I sought out a massage therapist who specialized in myofascial release, or myotherapy.
I had a lot of trigger points. But with some patience and a lot of hurts-so-good moments, my therapist was able to relieve the pain in my feet, knees, and lower back. And bring an end to my daily headaches. I began to get better rest, move without pain, and experience a level of energy that I had begun to think was gone for good. Moreover, I no longer had to start my day by taking pain killers.
MYOTHERAPY TO TREAT CHRONIC PAIN
To return to my original question, myotherapy is a form of massage that relieves chronic pain by concentrating on relieving chronic muscle spasms - manifested in trigger points - and restoring normal function to muscles and connective tissue. Myotherapy has proven to be an effective treatment of lower back pain, chronic headaches and migraines, joint pain, and the pain associated with fibromyalgia.