Trigger point is a technique to alleviate muscle spasms and cramping. The massage therapist locates and releases `trigger points', which are often tender areas where muscles have acquired a re-occuring spasm that worsens painfully when aggravated. The major goal is to reduce these spasms by inducing new blood flow into the affected area. The spasms are partly maintained by nervous system feedback (pain-spasm-pain) cycle. Spasms also physically reduce blood flow to the trigger point area (ischemia), reducing oxygen supplied to the tissues and increasing the spasm. Pressure is applied to trigger points, for a short time (between about 7 to 10 seconds per point), which can be momentarily painful but is greatly relieving. It is common to hit the same trigger points several times during a session, but you won't be leaning into a sore spot for several minutes. Often ice or another cooling agent is used to reduce nervous system response, making the area easier and more comfortable to work.