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Blood Flow

All approaches aim to increase blood flow to areas of tension and to release painful knots muscle known as “trigger points”. “Trigger points are tense areas of muscle that are almost constantly contracting,” says Kippen. “The contraction causes pain, which in turn causes contraction, so you have a vicious circle. This is what deep tissue massage aims to break. “The way to do this, as I found out under Ogedengbe’s elbow, is to apply pressure the point, stopping the blood flow, and then to release, which causes the brain to flood the affected area blood, encouraging the muscle to relax. At the same time, says Kippen, you can fool the tensed muscle relaxing by applying pressure to a complementary one nearby. “If you cause any muscle to contract, its opposite will expand. So you try to trick the body into relaxing the muscle that is in spasm.”