Fiats v Ferrari’s

Posted on June 3, 2012


Not a week goes by without some fleeting fad that everyone raves about.  And whilst sometimes they prove to be nothing more than just that … others stick and for good reason too. Trigger Point Performance Therapy (or TPPT), I reckon, might be one of these.

My yoga teacher, Bram did the course a couple of months ago and raved about it so when Chris Miller from The Energy Clinic told me he too had taken the course my ears perked up. Fast-forward a week and we met up again and hit the mats at Fitness First for a crash course.

Here’s the lowdown:

Trigger Point Performance Therapy is basically a technique that gets really deep into the tissue to:

  • release stresses and strains
  • improve mobility and range of motion
  • improve circulation and muscle elasticity
  • improve balance, power and gait
  • enhance sports performance

Created by a guy called Cassidy Phillips, he claims that whether you’re a weekend warrior or an elite athlete, integrating this therapy into your routine makes your training more effective, speeds up recovery and reduces the risk of injury.

The ‘toolbox’ consists of a block (similar to a yoga block) plus a small ball and two dumbbells.  The fabric on the ball and the dumbbells is like that of a pair of 80’s leg warmers … sort of like being kitted out in a tea cozy. See attached pic to clarify my dreadful explanation.

Exercises focus on six key areas of the body and, using the TPPT tools, every set of muscles in the body is worked.

Once each exercise has been done, there is a ‘reveal’ movement that basically acts to demonstrate how it has helped.  I like this … I’m a results-driven person so when I could actually see my hips loosening and my balance improving etc, I felt like I was taking strides rather than baby steps.

And speaking of steps, according to Cassidy, the first steps in understanding the aches and pains of the body derive from the foot. Our feet have the greatest influence on our overall biomechanics  so Trigger Point Performance Therapy addresses biomechanical efficiency within the body from the ground up. Similar to the structure of a well-built house, the foundation of the body begins at the foot and is built by establishing a sound and efficient base. The stronger the foundation, the more positive response the body will yield as a whole.

Problems arise, according to Cassidy, because people want to wear a Ferrari on their foot but have the suspension of a Fiat. 

Even after a short trial, I, without doubt, felt like I had a spring in my step and definitely felt lighter. I’m not sure whether I’m a total convert yet … for now, I’ll continue to use foam rollers but I’m delighted to have learnt about it and I think it definitely brings all it’s claimed benefits.

On the down side … well, I’ve not really thought of one yet except for the fact that when you’re working on the hips, it looks like you’re dry humping the exercise mats and that I fear, during rush hour at testosterone-tastic Fitness First on a weekday evening might be a tad embarrassing.

I asked Chris if it’s all just a gimmick. He said no and made a good analogy …. using other methods to iron out the kinks is akin to brushing your teeth with a t-shirt whilst using the trigger point method is like using a proper toothbrush … i.e. you really integrate deep into the tissue.

You may have heard Chris on Dubai Eye’s Eye on Health last week discussing the merits of Trigger Point Performance Therapy. He’s a personal trainer already but the icing on the cake is that he too is an ultra runner so he knows first hand the trials and tribs of us pavement pounders. If you’re based in Dubai and want to give it a try, he can be contacted on 050 476 2704 or via The Energy Clinic on facebook.

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