Mark Herzlich was putting together an impressive career at Boston College as a linebacker. He amassed an impressive 110 tackles during the 2008 season and was considered a top NFL prospect. Then on March 12, 2009, he received news that completely changed his life.
Herzlich was diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer in his left leg. Although doctors gave him a 70 percent chance of survival, they informed him that it was unlikely he would ever play football again. “They told me that not only would I never play football again, but I’d never run again,” Herzlich says.
Herzlich was able to overcome his cancer but refused to rest until he was back on the field. He teamed up with IMG Academy to regain his pre-cancer football form. Jeff Dillman, head of physical training at IMG Academy, referred Herzlich to Cassidy Phillips, owner and founder of Trigger Point Performance Therapy, for even more physical benefits.
Phillips suffers from fibromyalgia—a disorder that affects muscles and connective tissue—and understands how to overcome adversity to achieve health and performance goals. Now pain-free, he runs triathlons and marathons, crediting his success to his line of Trigger Point Performance Therapy products.
“Trigger Point is a byproduct of my own selfish needs,” he says. “Years ago, my body started to break down and I had a fear of not being able to move again. I created a line of products and methodology to address areas of the body that influence biomechanics the most.”
Trigger Point Performance Therapy consists of myofascial compression techniques to improve the function of muscle spindles. This helps promote natural and fluid movement patterns by improving the connection between the muscle and nervous system.
After consulting with Herzlich in a short session at IMG Academy, Phillips was able identify muscle and movement issues in the linebacker. He then suggested the best Trigger Point Performance Therapy methods to regain—and potentially improve on—Herzlich’s previous athletic capability.
“All the toxicity from dehydration and chemotherapy really petrified Mark’s muscles,” Phillips adds. “When we introduced our therapies, we redefined the way the body functioned and the results were phenomenal.”
After much hard work and use of Trigger Point Performance Therapy methods, Herzlich astonishingly returned to the field in 2010. Now the man who was never supposed to run again will be one of 24 prospects attending the NFL 2011 Draft. “If I keep working the way I’ve been working and improving the way I’ve been improving, the sky’s the limit,” he says.