The Muscle Liberator “Jack” is a variable-speed percussion tool for trigger point therapy. Its rapid percussive action is incredibly effective at releasing trigger points and softening taut fibers, in a fraction of the time that would be required with manual methods. This tool was designed by Coaching The Body Institute for use in our clinical sessions, and therapists and clients are raving about its effectiveness.
Literally, a few seconds of treatment with this tool can surpass results from 20 minutes of tedious manual compression of muscles. The high frequency percussive strokes cause mini-stretches in muscle fibers that distort and release faster than the neurological spindle response. Percussion with a manual rubber mallet was cited in Travell & Simons as a very effective way of releasing taut fibers. Percussion is a well known component of many bodywork styles, including Thai massage. However, as compared with manual percussion, this tool steps the technique up to a whole new level.
Trigger points are resistant to conventional approaches to muscle stretching. When fibers with trigger points are stretched, the muscle is likely to trigger its pain referral pattern, which then causes the CNS to engage the very muscle we’re trying to stretch. We need some form of neurological distraction to bypass the body’s misguided protective mechanisms that are keeping the muscle locked. The Muscle Liberator provides excellent distraction and quick micro stretches with its fast vibratory action, allowing the tissues to release quickly, without significant pain or discomfort.
Muscle spindles are the body’s sensors that monitor stretch. They become dysfunctional in fibers with trigger points. Over time, muscles become locked in a hard, taut state, and become functionally weak. This presents a major barrier to bodyworkers who are attempting to restore normal resting length to taut fibers.
A good example of this is the middle and lower trapezius fibers, which have a tendency to harden and remain in a semi-stretched, dysfunctional state. They cause pain when we try to move the scapula toward the spine, so the shoulders become locked in a rounded posture. Shoulder, head and neck pain, and even forearm and hand pain are the inevitable result.
Waking these fibers up again with bodywork requires extensive, vigorous cross-fibering compression that can be hard on both client and therapist. The Muscle Liberator accomplishes this task in a fraction of the time and effort. Muscle fibers are cycled through literally thousands of contract/release cycles per minute.