It was about twenty three years ago, and I was working as a doctor in New Zealand.
I had just started studying trigger points. Every evening I pored over old manuals and worked out how to find all the triggers in the body. But I had yet to practice my new skills on anyone but myself.
Then one day I saw a very fit healthy young lady who was a keen provincial level hockey player. The problem was, whenever she ran she had this nasty pain in her calf.
She had seen a surgeon who diagnosed a strange and rare condition called compartment syndrome. The key to this condition is that the muscles in your leg are in compartments, almost like sausage skins around your bone.
If you’re unlucky when you exercise, the pressure goes up in one compartment which stops blood supply from getting to the muscle.
So the more you exercise, the worse the pain gets as the muscle is starved of oxygen.
The treatment for this syndrome is to slit open the problem compartment with a long ‘s’ shaped cut which would have gone all the way down her
lower leg and created an ugly scar.
Naturally, she wanted to avoid surgery and came to me for a second opinion. So, when I examined her legs I found exquisitely tender trigger points in her lower leg muscles.
I treated them with acupressure, stretches and some acupuncture. To our amazement her pain went completely and she was able to continue playing hockey without the surgery.
This was my very first treatment, and both me and my first trigger point patient were blown away with how well it worked.
Over the years I’ve had many other success stories, some not as dramatic, some equally dramatic. But all of them as satisfying for me and the person getting relief from the pain.