Michael Coffee, Massage Therapist, NAT, Nationally Certified with NCBTMB
NAT has had a tremendous impact on my mother’s RSD .... and on my career!
My first patient was my mother,” explains Michael Coffee, an NAT masters certified massage therapist from Colorado. Michael’s mother developed Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome (RSD), when he was 7 years old. She was in such severe pain that he couldn’t even hug her, so he went out and bought a book on massage hoping to help his mother. He began practicing on friends. From there his career and lifelong passion was born.
“Although I wasn’t able to help my mother very much when I was younger, today as a certified therapist I am able to treat and help her,” says Coffee. “She still has the condition and she still has pain, but her pain is significantly reduced and her quality of life is much better. "NAT was a big part of that. NAT has had a tremendous impact on my mother’s health, and my career.”
Michael has used the same NAT techniques he would use on a patient in stage 1 of frozen shoulder on his mother’s arms and shoulders. She has found it to be incredibly effective in managing her pain, increasing range of movement and in helping her resume daily tasks way more easily.
Michael first learned about NAT after searching for new techniques online. After reviewing the NAT website, researching the method and consulting with a colleague who is NAT certified, he was impressed. He learned the method and immediately found it very beneficial to his clients. “NAT is one of the best ever discoveries I ever made!”
What is CRPS/RSD?
Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) - formerly known as Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) - is a chronic pain condition that usually occurs after a trauma or injury to one of your limbs.
The cause is believed to be due to the malfunction of or damage to the peripheral and central nervous system (CNS) or perhaps even the blood supplies to the nerves themselves. The CNS comprises the spinal cord and brain whereas the peripheral nervous system brings nerve signaling from the spinal cord and brain to the rest of the body.
There are 2 types: CRPS I and CRPS II. Both have similar symptoms and treatments but patients with confirmed nerve injuries are said to have CRPS II. Here we focus on CRPS1 - for the upper extremity.
Symptoms of CRPS include extreme and ongoing pain and mild or unusual changes in skin colour, temperature and sometimes swelling in the affected area and pins and needles.
Symptoms in your hands and arms can be extremely debilitating; that constant unyielding burning pain, the aching cramp in your fingers and knuckles, the stiffness in the morning, the cold/clammy feeling.
CPRS and Trigger Points
CRPS I can manifest for a number of reasons including occupational and/or historic trauma. Whatever the cause, your body wants to protect you. One of the observations physical therapists have made is that when you have CRPS (1) is that several key neck muscles become stiff and can’t extend to their full capacity.
This leads to a type of ‘muscular frustration’ and knots develop in these muscles, which are also known as trigger points. Trigger points in these muscles cause them to be shorter and tighter and add to the cycle of increased input to your peripheral and central nervous system.
In most cases CPRS 1 is associated with trigger points in the upper trapezius, scalenes, and sternocleidomastoid muscles. So, whilst CRPS can be a painfully debilitating condition, there's a good chance that a therapist trained in trigger point work will be able to do a lot to help relieve your pain and help you through your symptoms.
and the final words from Michael Coffee LMT ...
We often talk about adding tools to the old tool box to help treat our clients return to functionality with little to no pain. To help our clients get back to the things they love doing, with the people they love doing it with. The NAT team have helped me achieve this goal with their detailed information, and their outstanding customer support!
The information made available through NAT is undeniably the best bang for your buck. The NAT trigger point course isn't just any tool but THE tool to have, whether you need a refresher, or great reference diagrams to show your clients, the affordability and attention to detail has helped me reach new heights and a stronger referral relationship with my colleagues as I can no longer accept new clients!
This trigger point therapy blog is intended to be used for information purposes only and is not intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment or to substitute for a medical diagnosis and/or treatment rendered or prescribed by a physician or competent healthcare professional. This information is designed as educational material, but should not be taken as a recommendation for treatment of any particular person or patient. Always consult your physician if you think you need treatment or if you feel unwell.
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