Discover the Wonders of “Trigger Point Therapy” – Book Corners – Book Review

Irene Alleger

Pain Erasure: The Bonnie Prudden Way

by Bonnie Prudden

M. Evans & Company, Inc., 216 East 49th Street, New York, New York 10017 USA

Lge Softcover, 1980, reprinted 2002, $14.95, 272 pp.

Bonnie Prudden first published her work on myotherapy in 1980 and went on to become a New York Times bestseller. She had put together some of the work of pioneers like Hans Kraus and Janet Travell along with her studies of anatomy of muscles and physiotherapy, to forge a new treatment — trigger point therapy — applying pressure to a particular place on a muscle, causing it to relax from spasm and thereby erase the pain.

Chronic pain is suffered by almost everyone over the age of 50 in the Western developed countries, testified to by the millions of prescriptions for pain pills. Chronic pain can come from accidents, even those that happened years before, and from sports and occupations and aging. From her own experience of needing both hips replaced, Bonnie Prudden studied and developed this simple, anyone can-do-it, therapy.

Like so many other natural, affordable therapies of the past, myotherapy (myo-muscle) was forgotten in the rush to technology and drugs. But the promise of drugs has not been without risk and now the side-effects and addictiveness of pain medication is causing many people to seek alternatives to them. The reissuing of Bonnie Prudden’s Pain Erasure is timely and fills a very real need.

So far, the only explanation for how this pressure on a trigger point erases pain, is that it cuts off the oxygen to that point, and it apparently loses its power to cause pain. This is not a scientific explanation, but as Ms. Prudden says, “…we really don’t have time to wait…too many people hurt right now.” She has consistently seen 80 to 95% relief from pain using Trigger Point Therapy.

Until you have tried it yourself, it is hard to accept that “holding pressure on a very tender spot for 7 seconds and releasing slowly” will actually make chronic pain disappear. Yet, it does work — and the next question — why then don’t we hear about this wonderful therapy? Well, for starters, the same reasons most CAM remedies are ignored: pharmaceutical medicine is far more profitable; and even for something as easily learned as trigger point therapy, Americans are lazy! We have been influenced to run to the doctor for every little ailment, and have forgotten that we can take care of most illness ourselves. But there is no excuse for not finding out about any therapy that is non-invasive and safe.

Pain Erasure is laid out almost like a workbook. Bonnie Prudden was a physical fitness guru since the 50’s — an expert in her field. Over the years she explored the physiology involved in finding out “why so many people hurt in so many odd places.” Myotherapy, or Trigger Point Therapy, was the end result. Just what a “trigger point” is, is debatable, but it is known to exist. Trigger points are found in muscles that have been damaged in some way… “trigger points are laid down in muscles all through life…. Any number of things — a fall, blow, knock, strain, or sprain, for example — can insult the muscles…. Opportunities present themselves constantly.”

After introductory information, the book begins with probable causes of trigger points, beginning with birth, and including accidents, sports, occupation, and disease. Stress has been shown to be an important “trigger” for trigger point pain. The next chapters explain in a step-by-step format exactly how to find the trigger point in a painful muscle, and how to apply finger pressure, and how to map your own trigger points for regular therapy.

There are separate chapters on using Trigger Point Therapy to relieve back pain, headaches and jaw pain, and arthritis pain. These chapters contain specific instructions for finding the trigger points for each kind of pain, with photographs of special stretching exercises to be done after the trigger points have been found and defused. These stretching exercises are an important part of the therapy, for once the pain is gone, the muscle needs to be gently stretched after being in a shortened, tense position (spasm).

There are chapters on Common Pains and Pain Related to Pregnancy and Birth, and wonderful illustrations of many exercises for many kinds of pain. Pain Erasure also contains in the appendices, Muscle and Skeletal Plates of the Human Body, and a Table of Pains and Other Symptoms, Giving Areas of the Body Harboring Related Trigger Points. These Plates and Tables are extremely helpful for the average person to be able to easily find these points on their own body.

For anyone suffering chronic pain, Trigger Point Therapy should be investigated. It’s cost-effective, non-invasive, and only requires that the sufferer be willing to help themselves.

COPYRIGHT 2003 The Townsend Letter Group

COPYRIGHT 2003 Gale Group

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