Tandem Point Tandem Point(SM) Therapy:
An integrated acupressure approach for myofascial pain

by Rena K. Margulis
Presented to Rehabilitation Medicine Grand Rounds
Institutes of Health
March 17, 2000

When would a clinician try Tandem Point therapy?

Tandem Point therapy can be used for most myofascial pain and range of motion problems, including

  • muscle overuse injury
    • one-time injury
    • sports injury
  • repetitive stress injury (mixed results)
  • accidents (usually, not always)
    • acute
    • chronic
  • chronic pain without abrupt onset (usually requires maintenance treatment, especially stretching, posture training, and yoga)
  • pain attributed to degenerative problems, such as degenerative disc, herniated disc, cervical spondylosis, osteoarthritis of the knees

Abrupt-onset injuries generally obtain better results with Tandem Point therapy than pain problems that began without an abrupt onset.

However, consider trying a muscle release approach on any non-inflamed muscle or joint pain problem. There is little to lose. Especially consider a muscle release approach before concluding that a patient's pain problem is due to disc degeneration, and therefore the pain can only be controlled and not eliminated. I will return to this topic later.

Relative to other techniques, Tandem Point therapy is especially well suited for problems involving

  • small, severely contracted muscles, especially in tender areas of the body
  • several muscles, especially agonists and antagonists in the same functional unit, such as in neck torsion syndrome
  • muscles that are difficult or dangerous to needle, such as psoas major or the anterior scalene
  • TMJ syndrome (patient can hold points in the medial pterygoid muscles)

When does Tandem Point therapy not release trigger points?

  • patient is sick, or weak, or suffers from fatigue (as a general rule, if a patient is so ill or fatigued that an hour working out at the gym would exhaust the patient, then Tandem Point therapy is not indicated)
  • patient has fibromyalgia [although with microcurrent support, Tandem Point therapy can sometimes be effective for local problems of fibromyalgia patients]
  • patient is dehydrated
  • patient is on a very restrictive diet or for whatever reason cannot get enough to eat
  • patient has anemia
  • patient has taken a long-distance airplane flight within 24 hours

Tandem point therapy is contraindicated for pregnant patients.

When is Tandem Point therapy not effective?

  • patient has pain from swelling, inflammation, bruises, broken bones, torn ligaments, torn tendons, and so forth (Tandem Point therapy is not indicated)
  • patient's pain is not related to muscle contracture
  • osteoarthritis of the shoulder

[Question: What about phantom pain? Answer: I don't know. I've never seen a case of it. I would certainly be willing to try this approach. It is generally worth a try.]



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