Check out what one of our Master Trainers in Hong Kong had to say about training with Cassidy Phillips and working with Trigger Point Performance products. Thanks Lisa!
By: Lisa Jones
You may have seen some new bits of kit around your gym/ studio recently that are striped and green and black – mini versions of rollers. Are wondering what they are?
Welcome to TP Therapy – or Trigger Point Performance Therapy.
What is TP Therapy?
It all started with Cassidy Phillips, whom I had the privilege to meet and be trained by a few weeks ago. He suffers from fibromyalgia – “Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition characterized by widespread pain in your muscles, ligaments and tendons, as well as fatigue and multiple tender points — places on your body where slight pressure causes pain.” As I’m sure you can imagine this is not an easy condition to live with, Phillips needed to find a solution for the continuous pain throughout his body. He was told that he may never be able to train again, and from being an active man who was into all extreme sports and a stunt man, this was unacceptable to him. So he spent years researching his condition and seeking help from all specialists to find a solution.
During his research he worked with traditional trigger point therapy, utilizing key areas of the body to release tension and create blood flow to the area. It worked for him, but he had to rely on someone else to get the release. He needed a way to be able to do it for himself and take responsibility for his condition. His solution was to try to find a material that mimicked the pressure and accuracy of a thumb. Most of the tools we currently use – tennis balls/golf balls/foam rollers etc have a different feel to them than human touch, so the body doesn’t respond as openly – it senses it as something ‘foreign’. They are also not the best of materials, for example a tennis ball will simply collapse and a golf ball can cause more trauma as it is so hard.
A material was needed with significant denseness that could change shape and manipulate the muscle and it took over two years of intense research and development before Phillips created Trigger Point.
The material he developed basically changes shape after five to seven seconds, and it thus aids in penetrating and therefore massaging the belly of the muscle safely and effectively when ample pressure is applied. The body also senses this and is more able to accept it and relax into the pressure – especially on sensitive areas – and believe me, some areas are very sensitive.
How does it work?
Phillips looked at the body and its biomechanics and came up with the Ultimate 6 areas – the ones that will give the greatest rate of return in the quickest time. Pressure is applied to the area, using whichever tool, and as a deep inhale is taken the trigger point of the targeted muscle is forced to relax as the oxygen reaches the muscle. Then as you move over the tool the blood starts to flow and the tightness/spasm is relieved and elasticity is returned to the muscle. All that is needed is 3-5 minutes each area so it is a very effective and time efficient method.
There are different ways to move on the tool depending on which of the Ultimate 6 you are working on. The aim of TP Therapy though is to empower the end user so with the full kit you receive an ‘instruction manual’ so you can follow it easily on your own.
When to do it?
It is recommended both before and after workouts and races and prior to stretching, as it realigns the joints by freeing the tightness and allows the body to find a more stable platform to work from.
Who can benefit from it?
Everyone! Trigger Point is user friendly and allows you to be responsible for your own wellness program wherever you are. From top class endurance athletes to weekend warriors to office workers – and at any age – everyone can benefit from massage to improve their every day life and their training and performance.
Why is it different?
OPS just completed the first master trainer 3-day course for TP Therapy and I was one of four who was lucky enough to attend. I have used the other toys before for self myofascial release, and went into the training with the expectation that it would be another tool to massage me with – no big deal.
I was proven wrong! Cassidy is so passionate about his method and the results it produces – it oozes out of him and is quite inspirational. He is dedicated to his method and to educating how to use it and why and also into further research – he is working with Power Plate and coming up with new tools to get into some of those harder to reach spots. The company is so much more than simply a set of tools to massage yourself with.
And there is definitely something to the denseness/shape and methodology he has created that gives a much greater sense of release and lightness once you have got through some tender spots! You feel more ‘on top of yourself’ and feel the desire to stand and sit better. My postural default is to sit in a round back slump – it’s comfy! However, since doing TP Therapy I find myself sitting more upright and walking taller. Combining this within your regular exercise routine, whatever it may be, is very powerful for postural change, body awareness and injury prevention.
Consistency and moderation are the keys to any program and this is no different. By owning your own tool box though, you have the power to change yourself. Those with existing injuries and instability please ensure you inform your trainer so they can also help you with follow up exercises that need to be done after you have used the products.
In Cassidy’s words:
“It’s not what the product is, it’s what the product DOES.”
Lisa Jones is a Master Trainer at Optimum Performance Studio. Optimum Performance Studio is a leading educational provider for Personal Trainers, Pilates Instructors and functional training workshops. The studio offers a diverse range of services including Power Plate, Pilates and Personalized Personal Training.