Tag Archives: stress point therapy

What is a Stress Point and How Do They Form?

A stress point is a muscle spasm, or knot. Where muscles attach to the bone, they are less elastic as they mix with tendonous fibers. Because they are less flexible stress, there is more stress during strenuous activity.

All movement is achieved by muscles shortening. Muscles pull; they never push. The greatest strain occurs when a muscle is fully extended. The tighter and shorter the muscle, the more strain will be placed at the attachment.

During cool down, muscles call for more blood, and therefore are more likely to spasm. These spasms will not respond to electro-magnetic currents, heat, ice. They need to be manually treated with direct pressure from fingers. That is the beauty of stress point therapy!

Combining Structural Integration Massage with Cold Laser is a Powerful Combination

There are more than 3,000 positive studies and 300 randomized double blinded clinical trials proving the benefits of cold laser therapy!

The benefits of laser therapy can’t be overstated. It not only hastens healing, it actually improves the way tissue repairs and renews itself.

In post-operative patients, laser treatments reduce the risk of complications.

Lasers can reverse muscle atrophy and improve tendon and ligament strength and resilience. Range of motion, function, flexibility and mobility are all enhanced. In addition, the probability of re-injury is significantly less. Pets get back on their feet and return to normal activities faster.Patients don’t need to be sedated. No drugs are involved; there are no IV lines and no invasive clipping of hair or cutting into the skin.Laser therapy treatments are cumulative, meaning each treatment builds on prior treatments and the animal’s condition improves continuously.
When combined with stress point and trigger point release through deep tissue massage, mobility and health can be restored. This combination of holistic therapies can be used on horses, humans, dogs, etc.

Why Rest is Not Always Best

Rest is important and necessary after an injury. After that it is counterproductive: it allows muscle spasms to become permanent. The longer a spasm is allowed to persist, the longer this occurs: fluid is drawn to the area that is in spasm, which is the body’s way of protecting and healing an injury. That fluid is sticky and after a period of time, the muscle fibers become “glued” together. The only way to un-stick the muscle fibers is with manual manipulation and then exercise. With cross fiber friction, a massage technique, the muscle fibers that are stuck together can be released. I always have animals walk after their bodywork to maintain the loose, easy motion that was achieved during the session. An increase in range of motion, and a decrease in pain should be seen immediately.

Injuries and their Prevention

Most tears and strain injuries are the result of tightness that has been accumulating over a period of time. Structural integration, also known as rolfing, or stress point therapy, is one of the best ways to prevent these injuries from occurring in the first place. Good horse owners regularly inspect the health of their horses’ tendons, but the tendons do not operate in isolation. Tight muscles that are an extension of those tendons are where the elasticity of the system exist. (tendons contain approximately 10% elasticity, and muscles the other 90%!). Once a muscle is tight, other muscles become tight as well, and the stress is passed along the body. Everything is connected!

So what should you do? Some will try applying heat. Heat does not penetrate further than an 1/8 of an inch through the skin, and then the blood that is circulating carries the heat away.

Muscles relaxers can relax muscle mass, but they travel through the central nervous system and are not accurate.

Applying ice is more effective. When ice is applied, the body rushes blood to the chilled area and the additional circulation is beneficial. But there are many places on the body where ice is not a good idea (such as the back of a horse).

So what is the answer? Direct pressure accurately applied to a spasm or knot is the most effective method of releasing a tight muscle. This is the basis of stress point therapy or structural integration.

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