Trigger Points: Use the Power of Touch to Live Life Pain-free

by Amanda Oswald

published by: DK

hardback, 143 pages


This is a handbook showing exactly what the title promises: showing you how to locate and work on various trigger points in the body to alleviate associated symptoms.  Amanda Oswald (who is founder of the Pain Care Clinic in London) describes what trigger points are, how they occur, how to prepare to treat trigger points and then how to go ahead and treat them.  The book is filled with diagrams showing exactly where various trigger points are, which symptoms are likely to be associated with each one, and how to treat them.


For example:


"Back of Neck


Several muscles from the spine and the neck attach to the base of the skull at the back of the neck.  Trigger point in this areas can cause a stiff, painful neck, headaches, and burning pain in the scalp.  Also, trigger points in eye-movement muscles under the base of the skull may result in eye pain and disruption of vision."


This page includes diagrams of "possible pain patterns" and "muscle locator".


She then suggests how to treat this area, complete with an illustration:



Use two inflatable balls in a bag (see page 20) to give the gentle level of pressure needed for this sensitive area.



Lie flat on the floor or on a bed with a cushion under your head. 



Start by placing the balls just below the base of your skull.  Position one on either side of your upper spine for comfort.



Rest against the balls.  The weight of your neck and head will be sufficient to realease trigger points.  Stop when you feel a sense of release, or after 90 seconds.



To release lower trigger points, move the balls further down a little and repeat step 4."


(Nb.  page 20 contains information on using tools/balls to treat trigger points.  Not all the points she identifies require tools; for some she recommends using your hands.)


I ordered this book in because it looked interesting (which it is) and was pleasantly surprised at how practical and accessible it is.  A very useful addition to the bookshelf!



Oswald, A. "Trigger Points"