Trigger Point Therapy - Myofascial Meridians
Clinically, trigger points tend to emerge in the warp and weft of the myofascia along certain predetermined lines of force, or meridians.
Whilst there's still a lot that we don't know for sure about meridians, most TP therapists seem to agree that trigger points tend to develop along “Myofascial Meridians”. There's also a fair amount of evidence out there to support this.
Clinically, trigger points (and super trigger points) tend to emerge in the warp and weft of the myofascia along certain predetermined lines of force, or meridians. The reasons for this have been suggested by Thomas Myers (2001) and are based on the earlier work of Ida Rolf.
The concept of “myofascial channels,” or chains, helps to explain the way the body dissipates and distributes forces from right to left, up to down, and deep to superficial. It is useful therefore to understand and visualize these myofascial meridian train lines.
Muscles do not operate in isolation, but might be regarded as the contractile elements within a myofascial continuum, which runs throughout the body. These meridian maps may help to explain how and why the development of primary, central trigger points in one area of the body may lead to secondary or satellite trigger points distally. Many have suggested that these meridian maps may also explain the “crossover” patterns.
The term meridian derives from acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). It describes bioenergetic lines or channels that are said to flow throughout the body.
Myokinetic Chains and Sublinks
The brain/body employs a range of neuromuscular strategies to coordinate muscular contraction and thus facilitate stability and spatial orientation. All of our body systems and structures work together in interdependent and connected ways. Myers (2001) presented several ideas for the myofascial component of these connections in his seminal work Anatomy Trains, labeling them “myofascial meridians.”
Sharkey (2008) developed this concept further. He presented these meridians as a series of “functional kinetic chains.” Sharkey suggested that the body dissipates kinetic forces (energy) through the “spiral/oblique chain, lateral chain, posterior sagittal chain, and anterior sagittal chain.” Several other secondary chains and/or connections also coexist, being both deep and superficial.
What this means for trigger point therapists?
We find this one of the most interesting areas of exploration and learning in our daily trigger point work. We suggest that therapists working with trigger points will always benefit by gaining an understanding of these myofascial meridians, and a familiarity with current theories and working concepts.
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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.