What is Bonnie Prudden Myotherapy&Reg;?

J. Hahn

Bonnie Prudden Myotherapy® is a holistic healing method that uses trigger point therapy to relieve pain and muscle spasms while improving circulation. It was developed by fitness activist Bonnie Prudden in the late 1970s after she used touch on a woman who had received myofascial trigger point injection therapy. That therapy was pioneered by myotherapist Dr. Janet Travell and her research partner, David G. Simons, in the 1940s.

Doctor taking notes
Doctor taking notes

Travell's therapy involves treating pain by using needles and lidocaine to ease muscle tension. Prudden found that the same results could be accomplished by pressing on the same trigger points that had received the injections. After researching the possibilities of this type of therapy, she wrote her first book on the subject, Pain Erasure: The Bonnie Prudden Way, which was published in 1980. That book was followed by Bonnie Prudden's Complete Guide to Pain-Free Living in 1984. Prudden claims that myotherapy can successfully eliminate up to 95 percent of all pain.

Bonnie Prudden Myotherapy® is performed on clients while they are lying on a table; clients remain clothed but remove their shoes. The therapist will check for trigger points, which are very irritable spots in the skeletal muscle. Trigger points present themselves as nodules in the muscle fibers and are quite tender and painful. Therapists who work with trigger points, such as those who practice Bonnie Prudden Myotherapy®, believe that the tense nodules can spread pain throghout the area around the nodule or even refer pain to other areas of the body. Releasing these points through deep touch, such as that used in Bonnie Prudden Myotherapy®, can bring relief. After the trigger point is released through touch, the practitioner prescribes a specific exercise designed to address the client's specific problem. Few Bonnie Prudden Myotherapy® clients need more than 10 sessions to achieve relief.

Bonnie Prudden Myotherapy®? is non-invasive and recommended by a number of integrative and holistic practitioners, including Dr. Andrew Weil of the University of Arizona Program of Integrative Medicine. In 1985, Prudden introduced a 1,300-hour training course in her pain relief technique. In order to be certified, the students must pass the training course and sit for board exams. They also must update their certification every two years and document their training. Bonnie Prudden Myotherapy® is not covered by most insurance plans, but Prudden's books do offer self-help solutions.

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