Order by Phone +1 (800) 741 5716




Trigger Point Therapy CRPS RSD

Michael Coffee, Massage Therapist, NAT, Nationally Certified with NCBTMB - Michael seen here presenting his trigger point techniques at the 33rd Annual NAMTPT conference, Chicago, October 27, 2017


NAT has had a tremendous impact on my mother’s RSD .... and on my career!

My first patient was my mother,” explains Michael Coffee, an NAT masters certified massage therapist from Colorado.

Michael’s mother developed Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome (RSD), when he was 7 years old.

She was in such severe pain that he couldn’t even hug her, so he went out and bought a book on massage hoping to help his mother. He began practicing on friends. From there his career and lifelong passion was born.

“Although I wasn’t able to help my mother very much when I was younger, today as a certified therapist I am able to treat and help her,” says Coffee.

“She still has the condition and she still has pain, but her pain is significantly reduced and her quality of life is much better. "NAT was a big part of that. NAT has had a tremendous impact on my mother’s health, and my career.”

Michael has used the same NAT techniques he would use on a patient in stage 1 of frozen shoulder on his mother’s arms and shoulders.

She has found it to be incredibly effective in managing her pain, increasing range of movement and in helping her resume daily tasks way more easily.

Michael first learned about NAT after searching for new techniques online. After reviewing the NAT website, researching the method and consulting with a colleague who is NAT certified, he was impressed.

He learned the method and immediately found it very beneficial to his clients. “NAT is one of the best ever discoveries I ever made!” 

What is CRPS/RSD?

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) -  formerly known as Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) - is a chronic pain condition that usually occurs after a trauma or injury to one of your limbs.

The cause is believed to be due to the malfunction of or damage to the peripheral and central nervous system (CNS) or perhaps even the blood supplies to the nerves themselves.

The CNS comprises the spinal cord and brain whereas the peripheral nervous system brings nerve signaling from the spinal cord and brain to the rest of the body.

There are 2 main types: CRPS I and CRPS II. Both have similar symptoms and treatments but patients with confirmed nerve injuries are said to have CRPS II.

Here we focus on CRPS1 - for the upper extremity.

Symptoms of CRPS include extreme and ongoing pain and mild or unusual changes in skin color, temperature and sometimes swelling in the affected area and pins and needles.

Symptoms in your hands and arms can be extremely debilitating; that constant unyielding burning pain, the aching cramp in your fingers and knuckles, the stiffness in the morning, the cold/clammy feeling.

CPRS and Trigger Points

CRPS I can manifest for a number of reasons including occupational and/or historic trauma. Whatever the cause, your body wants to protect you.

One of the observations physical therapists have made is that when you have CRPS (1) is that several key neck muscles become stiff and can’t extend to their full capacity.

This leads to a type of ‘muscular frustration’ and knots develop in these muscles, which are also known as trigger points. Trigger points in these muscles cause them to be shorter and tighter and add to the cycle of increased input to your peripheral and central nervous system.

In most cases CPRS 1 is associated with trigger points in the upper trapezius, scalenes, and sternocleidomastoid muscles.

So, whilst CRPS can be a painfully debilitating condition, there's a good chance that a therapist trained in trigger point work will be able to do a lot to help relieve your pain and help you through your symptoms.


Michael Coffee NAT Trigger Point Practitioner

Michael Coffee LMT - NAT Trigger Point Practitioner


and the final words from Michael Coffee LMT ...

"We often talk about adding tools to the old tool box to help treat our clients return to functionality with little to no pain.

To help our clients get back to the things they love doing, with the people they love doing it with.

The NAT team have helped me achieve this goal with their detailed information, and their outstanding customer support!

The information made available through NAT is undeniably the best bang for your buck.

The NAT trigger point course isn't just any tool but THE tool to have, whether you need a refresher, or great reference diagrams to show your clients, the affordability and attention to detail has helped me reach new heights and a stronger referral relationship with my colleagues as I can no longer accept new clients!"



Find a Trigger Point Professional in your area

Excellence in Education Award 2017

Visit Online Store

Dry Needling for Trigger Points

NAT Professional Courses

Certify as a Trigger Point Therapist

Online Taping Course


About NAT Courses

As a manual therapist or exercise professional, there is only one way to expand your business - education!

Learning more skills increases the services that you offer and provides more opportunity for specialization.

Every NAT course is designed to build on what you already know, to empower you to treat more clients and grow your practice, with a minimal investment in time and money.

Help Desk


About Niel Asher Education

Niel Asher Education is a leading provider of distance learning and continued education courses.

Established in the United Kingdom in 1999, we provide course and distance learning material for therapists and other healthcare professionals in over 40 countries.

Our courses are accredited by over 90 professional associations and national accreditation institutions including the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) and National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB). Full details of all international course accreditations can be found on our website.  

Printed course materials and other products offered on our websites are despatched worldwide from our 3 locations in the UK (London), USA (Pennsylvania) and Australia (Melbourne).

More About Us



We are honored to have received the 2017 "Excellence in Education" Award from the National Association of Myofascial Trigger Point Therapists.

Since 1999 Niel Asher Education has won numerous awards for education and in particular for education and services provided in the field of trigger point therapy.

Read Full Article 


Award Winning Instructors

Niel Asher Healthcare course instructors have won a host of prestigious awards including 2 lifetime achievement honorees - Stuart Hinds, Lifetime Achievement Honoree, AAMT, 2015, and Dr. Jonathan Kuttner, MD, Lifetime Achievement Honoree, NAMTPT, 2014.

Meet the Instructors


NAT Certification

If you are a qualified/licensed manual therapist or exercise/fitness professional you can expand your credentials with NAT certification.

In addition to national accreditation for continued education, each course that we offer includes "NAT Learning Credits". By taking and completing courses you can accumulate NAT credits to qualify for NAT certification.

There are currently 3 levels of NAT certification. Certifying NAT is a valuable way to show your clients that you take continued education seriously, and to promote your skills and qualifications.

About NAT Certification



NAT courses are accredited for continuing education by over 30 professional associations in North America, United Kingdom, Australia, and European Union countries. These include The National Academy of Sports Medicine, Physical Therapy Board of California, AAFA, National Certification Board for Manual Therapists and Bodyworkers, Sports Therapy Institute, and Myotherapy Australia.

See Full List


Niel Asher Technique

Since 1999 the Niel Asher Technique for treating trigger points has been adopted by over 100,000 therapists worldwide, and has been applied to the treatment of a number of common musculoskeletal injuries.

The Niel Asher Technique for treating frozen shoulder was first introduced and published in 1997 and has been widely adopted by therapists and exercise professionals working within elite sports and athletics.

Read More


International Students

Most of our courses are available as either "Printed" or 'Download" editions. When you purchase a download edition, you receive immediate lifetime access to all course material. Course texts can be downloaded and printed if required. 

When you purchase a "Printed" edition, you will also receive free access to the download edition.

We ship Worldwide from locations in the USA, UK, and Australia. Most items are despatched within 24 hours and shipping is FREE for all orders over US$50.
















This trigger point therapy blog is intended to be used for information purposes only and is not intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment or to substitute for a medical diagnosis and/or treatment rendered or prescribed by a physician or competent healthcare professional. This information is designed as educational material, but should not be taken as a recommendation for treatment of any particular person or patient. Always consult your physician if you think you need treatment or if you feel unwell. 





feel good learning
NAT global campus

Learn More for Less

Unlimited access to all courses for just $19.95/mo