After your first treatment, limit your physical activity (if possible) for the rest of the day. Mild to moderate activity is best.
DO NOT ice the muscles that we are treating. Ice will cause the trigger points to re-form. If you experience swelling/inflammation after your treatment, call me to discuss using ice. Generally speaking, moist heat (gentle warmth) is what we want.
Muscle that is being treated must be kept warm. No running around in cold weather without a coat - and if we are treating your neck muscles... a scarf please. If you are one who sleeps au naturel... you will need to start wearing a night-shirt to bed to keep those upper body parts from getting chilled (blankets do come off from time to time) while you are asleep! It does make a difference when it comes to trigger points.
If possible have an Epsom salt (magnesium sulphate) bath. Ideally this should be as soon as possible after today's treatment. Add about 2 cups to the bathwater... it's very relaxing, and some of the magnesium is absorbed, helping to de-stress your knotted muscles. (Magnesium is known to aid in muscle relaxation) Epsom salts are inexpensive and can be purchased at any drug store and most supermarkets. No Epsom salts? A plain warm (not too hot) bath is still a good "post-treatment" muscle soother.
If you are active, (i.e. athletic) look for ways to alter/modify/reduce your routine until we get those trigger points removed; much shorter, milder workouts would be better for those trigger point involved muscles. Sometimes the exercise must be greatly reduced or stopped completely. And remember, muscles that have trigger points will NOT strengthen until the knots are removed and the muscle returns to normal!
Be careful with stretching. If done too aggressively, it will do more harm than good. If you stretch... please do it gently, (just till you feel the muscle start to stretch) holding for about 30 seconds. In the case of rotator cuff/frozen shoulder issues, I do not recommend any stretching to these related muscles while they have trigger points, as this will very likely exacerbate the issue.
If you are relatively inactive, look for ways to vary your routine. Avoid the Easy-Chair (very bad for the lower back and abdominal muscles) and go for a walk (on level ground) or maybe try a relaxing swim (in a WARM pool) You may also want to check with your local Parks and Recreation for beginner (seniors style) exercise programs they might have (consult with me first regarding any exercise programs). You may talk to a qualified fitness trainer or yoga instructor; he or she, may be able to customize a program to suit your needs (again, consult with me first). You must go easy though... or you'll make things worse for those muscles that have trigger points. And please tell your trainer (if you have one) you are having Trigger Point treatments. And be sure have them call us so we may explain what we're trying to achieve.
Note: Don't forget to consult your M.D. or primary health care provider, before starting an exercise program... especially if you have health conditions and are concerned about how much activity you should undertake.
Those of you that work at a computer... TAKE BREAKS... a few minutes up and away from the desk (every 20 minutes or so) does wonders for reducing stress to the upper back and those headache-causing muscles!! Also, you must support your elbows while at the computer. Either use armrests or a bolster placed on you lap to support the elbows.
After a treatment, please, drink water (filtered city tap-water is ideal) - lots of it (approximately 1 - 1.5 litres) for the balance of the day or until urine is clear... but not so much that you wet the bed. Trigger Point treatments, release "toxins" into your system and the water helps move it quickly through the kidneys. This also helps minimize the groggy after effects that may occur and reduces kidney stress.
You will likely feel some muscular "after effects". This may include muscle twitches, soreness/tenderness or even pain to seemingly unrelated areas. Some clients may experience nausea, headache or dizziness. Of course we try to avoid this happening! However, the whole muscle imbalance has been altered by the treatment and your body has to learn some new "balancing tricks". This is not unusual, and often only lasts a day or two.
You may bruise. We try to steer clear of this happening, but sometimes it may occur with this type of bodywork/technique, especially if there is excessive tension in the tissue we are treating.
You may feel bruised. Muscles (and their trigger points) that are quite bad, will not take too much treatment during one session and may need a few days rest before continuing with treatments.
Again, we are trying to "reset the muscles back to normal" (heal them) and they may be resistant to the treatments. The best chance for success will require us both doing our part, to the best of our ability.
And of course, let us know if you have any concerns regarding how you are feeling, post-treatment.