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Thursday, February 7, 2013

“Trigger Point Ninja ™” – He’s “Knot” Your Average Ninja

“Trigger Point Ninja ™” – He’s “Knot” Your Average Ninja

New Free Web Series for the “Stealth & Wellness” Community Serves Up Thrills, Chills, and One Heckuva TriggerPoint Smackdown

by Susan Epperly, B.A., L.M.T.I., C.M.T., Co-Owner & Creative Principal at Tiger Lily Studios & Creator of Trigger Point Ninja

Those of you who know me know that, in addition to being a Clinical Massage Therapist and Massage Therapy Instructor, I’m a vocal advocate of using fun, humor, and creativity to spread the word about the virtues of massage & bodywork.  Not only do I believe in laughter as real medicine, but I also consider humor to be a powerful, unparalleled learning & teaching tool.  As far as I’m concerned, the wackier, goofier, and sillier the presentation, the better the lesson is learned and the longer the information is remembered.  My comic, “A Touch of Humor,” which is a regular feature in ABMP’s “Massage & Bodywork” magazine, is one example of my creative exploits.  And another recent example of my insatiable need to engage in arsty-fartsy endeavors is the web series that my husband & creative partner, Shane, and I have created through our production company, Tiger Lily Studios.

The all new show, Trigger Point Ninja™, chronicles the eponymous character’s single handed (in fact, single digited!) war on the worldwide terrorist organization known as Myofascial Trigger Points.  A great learning and teaching tool for health & wellness practitioners and laypeople alike, each five minute episode incorporates educational components as well as quirky humor and tongue-in-cheek action & adventure.  Episode one, “Deadly Traps,” focuses on the trigger point terrorists that harbor out in the trapezius muscle, while future episodes will feature the trigger point terrorist cells that terrorize a variety of other muscles.   

Happily, since having released the pilot episode on January 1st, we’ve enjoyed phenomenally positive responses from our colleagues, clients, and even a variety of folks in the entertainment industry.  While some have wondered how on earth we managed to come up with this character and how we made the connection between Trigger Point Therapy, deadly ninjas, and worldwide terrorist organizations, if you’ve studied Trigger Point Therapy (the modality in which Shane and I specialize), you understand that it’s really not that far of a stretch. 

Trigger points can sometimes act as covert saboteurs (latent trigger points), or as spectacularly bullying “super villains” (active trigger points).  Despite being confined to their assigned “headquarters,” they are able to wreak havoc in a variety of remote locations.  They operate as members of terrorist cells, and have specific relationships with one another, including hierarchies comprised of “kingpins” (key trigger points) and “lackey henchmen” (satellite trigger points).  Their effects can spread from one territory to the next and “corrupt” neighboring regions  (creating complexes of postural dysfunction and compensatory patterns).  And as Trigger Point Therapists, we know that we must be stealthy and clever in order to outsmart and usurp these terrorists.  We know that we must first eliminate a key trigger point (the “kingpin”) if we stand any chance of defeating its satellite trigger point(s) (its “lackey henchmen”).  We also know that we must act stealthily and surreptitiously, so as to “slip in under the radar.”  (The nervous system’s radar, that is.)  We’ve all had experiences wherein we attempt to “attack” a trigger point too quickly, too aggressively, or too brazenly, only to find that our client’s nervous system “shuts us out” (by tensing up and guarding the musculature).  If we take a more furtive approach, however, we can patiently wait for the most opportune moment, and then gently, quietly, and stealthily slip in, zero in on the trigger point, and “assassinate” it, much like a shrewd and stealthy ninja silently and meticulously stalks and overcomes his prey.

If you haven’t seen Trigger Point Ninja ™ Episode 1, “Deadly Traps,” I hope you’ll check it out.  Whether you’re a seasoned Trigger Point Therapist, a practitioner who is just starting to explore this amazingly powerful modality, or even if you’re hopeful that Trigger Point Therapy can potentially help relieve your own pain, you’ll find plenty packed into each five minute episode to entertain, educate & engage.  Shane and I have five more episodes slated to be released throughout 2013, with Episode 2 coming out on March 1st

The best way to make sure you don’t miss an episode is to subscribe to the Tiger Lily Studios YouTube channel  You’ll also find a variety of fun previews there, as well as the animated video versions of my “A Touch of Humor” comics.  Becoming a fan on Facebook ( or following Trigger Point Ninja ™ on Twitter (@TrP_Ninja) are also great ways to keep up with this “stealth & wellness” hero, and joining “The Ninja Network” at will ensure that you receive official briefings about this Myofascial Master’s noble missions and clandestine exploits, as well as lots of fun freebies.

I’d like to extend a big “Thank You!” to Cindy Iwlew and Bodywork Buddy massage software for the opportunity to share this project with you, and Trigger Point Ninja ™ is proud to count the Bodywork Buddy folks as allies in The War on Trigger Points!

Tweetable: zero in on the trigger point, and “assassinate” it

Susan Epperly, B.A.. L.M.T.I., C.M.T., is a Clinical Massage Therapist in private practice in Downtown Austin Texas, specializing in Trigger Point Therapy.  She and her husband, Shane, in addition to operating their practice, also own Tiger Lily Studios, LLC (, through which they produce creative content for the health & wellness industry.  Tiger Lily Studios’ goal is to “Entertain, Educate & Engage” an audience of practitioners and laypeople alike.  Susan’s creative credits also include the Massage Therapy comic, “A Touch of Humor,” and creating “Trigger Point Ninja ™.”   

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