JANET G. TRAVELL, M.D. (1901 – 1997)

Physician, teacher, researcher, scientist, pioneer, author, athlete, poet, wife, mother, grandmother, friend, listener, student of life – whose discoveries about trigger points and myofascial pain have relieved the suffering of thousands of people.

With Love From Your Family. We Miss You!

JANET G. TRAVELL, M.D. (1901 - 1997)

~ ~ JANET G. TRAVELL, M.D. ~ ~ (1901 – 1997)

Virginia & Janet c.1940 Janet G. Travell, M.D.'s Children

~ ~ ~ Virginia & Janet c.1940 ~ ~ ~ (Daughters)

JANET G. TRAVELL, M.D. Bachrach Photo


Favorite Sayings: “It’s better to wear out than to rust out,”  “Life is like a bicycle. You don’t fall off unless you stop pedaling” and ” Take care of your muscles and they will take care of you.”


Janet's Garden, Black-Eyed Susans

Janet’s Garden, Black-Eyed Susans


Virginia's Drawing, www.artbyvirginiastreet.com

~ Virginia’s Drawing ~ ~ www.artbyvirginiastreet.com ~ Please click on the picture to see the art site




For Janet Travell’s lifetime collection of papers please see our section, Collections.

For the handwritten letter by Robert Kennedy in which he writes that without Janet Travell his brother would not then have been President of the United States please see our section, Special Treasures.

The information presented on this web site is offered for informational purposes only. These pages have been written by Virginia P. Street of Northampton, MA, from documents left to her and her sister, Janet Powell Pinci, by their mother, Janet G. Travell, MD a.k.a. Janet Travell Powell, and are not intended to replace any medical advice offered by a viewer’s physician and/or healthcare professionals.

ALL RIGHTS ARE RESERVED. No part of any of the material presented on this web site, including photographs, may be reproduced or utilized in any form without the permission of Virginia P. Street (vpstreet@aol.com) or, in the event that she was unavailable, of her sister, Janet Powell Pinci (janet.pinci@gmail.com).

Diane Clancy’s Art

Website Design by Diane Clancy’s Art


Home — 36 Comments

  1. What an unexpected delight to receive your postcard. I have no idea how you got my name and I had no idea there was a memorial site for Dr. Travell. I was in my first term in school in 1983 when the first volume of Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction was published and the stack in our bookstore disappeared very quickly. That volume has had to be rebound once and will soon need it again. Last year I read her autobiography and was impressed; it is all the more useful as histories of physical medicine are rare. I will enjoy looking around your site.

  2. I have taken a lot of courses in TMJ therapy over the years and have been doing trigger point therapy as a tratment modality for a long time. I don’t know too many dentists or physicians who are familiar with Dr. Travell’s work and that is unfortunate. I am grateful to her for passing on her knowledge and wisdom and feel I am a better dentist for having studying her texts. I only wish that I would have had the opportunity to meet her. Thank you for sending me your post card.

  3. I am honored and privileged to have taken seminars given by Dr. Travell. One turning point in my professional career was in Knoxville Tennessee, at the annual conference of the American Academy of Pain Management, where I had an inspiring conversation with Dr. Travell. I have had a successful practice which is 90%comprised of Dr. Travell’s and Dr. Simon’s teachings. My dream is that I can convince our current health care model to employ their teachings in the day to day practices of all MD’s DC’s DO’s etc.,. I truly attribute my clinical skills and success to Dr. Travell.

  4. Thank you for your postcard. I use the Trigger point needle techniques, as developed by Janet Travell, in my work daily, and my work would not be as effective without this skill.
    Thank you Janet for your pioneering efforts, you continue to help and inspire.

  5. As a massage therapy student, I was drawn to Myofascial Pain & Dysfunction as a source for functional assessment and treatment of my patients’ pain. Your work has been one of the focal points of my life’s work treating patients with myofascial pain! Thanks for sending the card a developing this site. Janet’s work caries on……isn’t that just what she’d want?

  6. Thank you for informing me of this site by mail. I really appreciate her work. I have been a practitioner using Dr. Travell’s principles and still do for almost 30 years. I moved to Wilton CT back in 1985 and only by coincidence, years later, I discovered Dr. Travell lived quite close. Thank you .

  7. I studied with Dr. Travell in Los Angeles in 1984. As an acupuncturist, we were among the first she had come in contact with. It changed my professional life as a practitioner. My book, The Acupuncture Handbook of Sports Injuries and Pain, references her work throughout.

    We all still adore Dr. Janet Travell, to whom I am personally and professionally grateful to.

  8. Thank you so much for the post card letting me know about this site. The “Red Bible” holds a special place of honor in my treatment room, as I refer to it regularly in my practice. Whenever I run across a new symptom story, I always say to my patients “let’s ask Janet” and get the books out. She always knows.

  9. Thank you so much for sending me the lovely postcard introducing me to this beautiful website. Your mother’s work has improved the lives of so many and I find that trigger point injections are a frequent part of my treatment management plan for myofascial pain. I am grateful for your consideration and happy to be part of the legacy left behind by Dr. Travell.

  10. Dr. Travell’s work has been the cornerstone of my practice for over25 years. The painstaking detail and timeless information has benefited many patients when no other therapy has helped. Many physicians will keep her memory alive through her works. I have recently had the opportunity to added Dr. Travell’s signature to my collection of noteable women in history. Rest in peace.

  11. I’ve been treating many clients using Dr. Travell’s Myofascial Trigger Point Therapy in my practice for the last 20 years. I love her work and wished I had met her because she was my idol. I bought books, charts and videos to increase my knowledge and have helped many clients. Her devotion to her Trigger Point work and teachings have enlightened everyone and I wouldn’t want to do anything else but pass on her great works. I write about her work in many of my articles at http://www.examiner.com and other publications about the missing option to our health care system. I will continue to teach other therapist her work because it simply works!

  12. ” Take care of your muscles and they will take care of you.”

    Your mother’s work on trigger points has indeed help so many people. I have extended her work on muscles to include the peripheral nervous system— Intramuscular Stimulation (IMS). By stimulation, muscles are kept healthy; thereby influencing the welfare of the entire body.

  13. Since my introduction to Dr. Travell’s work in 1984 through Dr. Tinh Van Tran, M.D., it has taken me on a journey through my various practices to relieve the suffering of all that have both acute and chronic myofascial pain. I am thankful for the work that she spent her life researching and writing a text that has helped in an area of human suffering that very few truly understand. It is very gratifying to keep the work she wrote alive and look forward to passing it on.

  14. Dear Dr. Travell’s Family
    I am a DO practicing in the UK and have been teaching in Osteopathic Schools for many years.
    I am always extolling to my colleagues and students the values of her work. Her kindness and wonderful character shines through her every word.
    I am at present planning a visit to the Archive in Washington to see her original papers.
    Also I hope to get some ideas and pointers on display, accessibility and preservation of very valuable artefacts as I am a Trustee of the National Osteopathic Archive in London UK.
    Brian Joseph

    • Hello,
      When are you coming to Washington, DC? I’m not sure who is in charge now of the lifetime collection of Travell papers at the Gelman Library/The George Washington University, but I can find out so someone can meet you. Please send your email address. Virginia

  15. Virginia,
    How lovely of you to send the postcard letting us at The Brearley School know about this wonderful website your family has created to honor your mom. She was a remarkable woman and we’re proud that she was an alumna of the Class of 1918. We’ll include this news in the Summer Bulletin.
    Wilhelmina Martin Eaken ’64, Brearley Alumnae Director

  16. I was just starting to treat TMJ disorders, headaches and chronic pain when I was first shown Dr Travell’s text. I ordered it the next day and it changed my life and help me drastically improve the lives of hundreds of patients. I only had a couple two times where I spent a day learnig from Dr Travell and they will always be two of the best days of my life.

    When I teach her book is one I recommend that every doctor requires in their practices. I will forever be indebted to Dr Travell.

  17. I first became aquainted with Dr. Travell’s work after she passed away, and I regret not having met her before that. She is with me every day of my working life, a pioneer and a giant of medicine. She looked into the world of pain and out the darkness was able to see the light of treating the most common pain affliction- myofascial musculoskeletal pain. Her understanding of somatic pain, trigger points and the treatment thereof is monumental- and will stand with us for many years to come. I teach and teach, and always with tribute to Dr. Travell. May her memory be blessed.

  18. We would not enjoy the success we have today if not for Dr. Travell’s work. She remains at the foundation of our understanding and techniques for relieving pain and restoring posture. I still refer to her books regularly and provide a set to each of my therapists. I speak on behalf of the thousands of clients we have been able to help because of Janet Travell. What a beautiful legacy to be touching the lives of so many in perpetuity. Thank you for inviting me into the more personal side of her life. ~Rebecca Saindon

  19. What a brilliant woman and spirit. I have dedicated several of my books (including Pain Free 1-2-3 and From Fatigued to Fantastic! and research studies to her memory as her work laid the foundation for our understanding of metabolic causes and treatments for MPS and Fibromyalgia (and using her principles resulted in the protocol which resulted in our Fibromyalgia patients having a 90% improvement in Quality of Life ; p<.0001 vs placebo). I feel like a child on the shoulders of a giant–with deep appreciation for all she did and gave us

  20. Please help me find a doctor who can help me.
    I was perfectly healthy 3 years ago when I got
    the H1N1 virus. Thankfully, I was in Boston
    and was treated at the Beth Israel Hospital.
    I almost didn’t make it. I was unconcious for a month
    in ICU then 2 months in rehab and then 3 months
    in at home rehab. I completely recovered except
    for ICU Neuropathy in both my feet consisting of
    daily pain, burning etc in my ankles and the top
    of my feet. I’ve tried so many different pills,
    exercises, acupuncture etc etc. The only thing that
    gives me some relief is hydromorphone. I live in Miami
    but will go anywhere to find relief from this nagging
    pain. Thank you!

    • Al, see if you can figure out what part of your pain and dysfunction is from myofascial trigger points. You can visit my website on fibromyalgia and chronic myofascial pain and dysfunction at http://www.FMCMPD.org and check out the NAMTPT (National Association of Myofascial Trigger Point Therapists website symptom checker for referral patterns and trigger points, as well as therapist locations. Someone at the Touch Institute in Miami may know trigger points. Do check the care provider list on my website. Both websites are free.

  21. I am a family doctor. I have benefited from your mum’s work on myofascial pain from reading the book, Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction.
    Over the years, I feel , despite the many successful outcomes of treatment, there are voids in my skills. I wish to intern with an expert on your mum’s technique, someone who has learnt, hands-on, from your mum.
    Do know of some experts who I can perhaps write to?
    Many thanks for your time and attention.

  22. Nice to see a tribute to someone that was ahead of her time. In my eyes Janet was a very enlightened and giving soul. Have read both volumes of Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction and am re-reading them both so that the information sticks. This information had been a great help to thousands of my clients and others. By combining her Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction information with other modalities I have been able to have much success with fixing pain. Thank you Janet

  23. Doctor Travell, in my opinion, is The Matriarch of Modern Medicine, she should awarded the Master of Medicine as well as the Nobel Prize for Medicine.

    If one combines her experiences along that of the many other physicians in the study of long-term pain from the last century, it will total over a 1000 years. What a wealth of knowledge and experience! The last century in medicine saw an explosion of free thinking innovators working on the concepts of muscle and tissue pain and dysfunctions.

    I would wager, that if all of their concepts could be put into play, healthcare cost would plummet and the overall quality of life for all Americans would be much better.

    On my honor, I will soldier on to advocate for these therapies and I will actively correct and clarify all those people in the world who are actively disrespecting, negating or marginalizing these concepts and therapies.

    So thanks to all of my gurus:
    Gunn, Travell & Simons’, Rachlin, Baldry, Seems, Helms, Starlanyl, Hackett, Cyriax, Craig, Gokavi, Lennard, Burke, DiFabio and Pybus, B.J./D.D. Palmer, Wyburn-Mason and Chaitow.


  24. How is it possible that this many years ago this amazing doctor knew about issues that now so many people suffer with and no doctor today knows how to treat it. What a wonderful, smart woman she was. I only wish doctors today read about her and learned from her but instead they seem to know nothing about myofascial pain and trigger points. What is wrong with this picture? I think so many doctors don’t want to know about it. I wish I could of met this wonderful woman and wish there were more like her.

  25. I love Janet Travell and was blessed to hear her lecture, share some time with her, and to have had David Simons as a mentor for 15 years. I dedicated several of my books to them, and through those books and my website at http://www.FMCMPD.org, do my best to continue their work. I also have a Facebook group of over 3300 people who are learning about the importance of trigger points. For over 20 years I have dedicated my life to educating patients and care providers about fibromyalgia and chronic myofasical pain and dysfunction. Now we have research showing that trigger points can cause and maintain fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, and degenerative disc disease. I have spent glorious days at the Gelman Library Travell Exhibit and urge others to go. (Lyle Slovik was there then, and was a great help.) I believe that if more care providers knew the secrets of the Trigger Point Manuals, we would not have a health care crisis. This understanding must be taught in medical and dental schools, and children need to learn about trigger points and stretching in their schools too. We could prevent so much misery. I recently had the honor of receiving the Janet G. Travell Award from the National Association of Trigger Point Therapists. I hope more doctors recruit graduate trigger point therapists to help them help their patients.

  26. I am interested in purchasing some books, charts and tapes by the late Dr. Janet Travell. I am an Acupuncture Physician for over 16 years and used Vol. 1 of The Travell & Simmons Book on Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction. I would like to purchase Vol. 11 as well as the Travell Stretch Program Rehab. Guidelines for Practitioners and the Travell & Simon Trigger Point flip charts.

    • I trust you found the publishers of that stuff. I purchased thru a local med school book store catalog? Williams & Wilkins.

  27. I have both of Dr. Travell’s Red Books and most of Devin Starlanyl’s books as well. Dr Travell’s dedication to her research and teaching reaches around the world deserving recognition as a Nobel Prize winner.

    Her research and treatments along with Dr David Simon’s and Devin Starlanyl’s need to be taught in every medical and therapist school. How do we make it happen?

  28. Dr.Janet Travell was a kind, helpful mentor and advisor to me as a young student at GW Medical School in the early 60″s.I am forever grateful for her support and kindness. I continue to regret that I did not thank her enough personally. Her sober and solid commitment to always bring the best effort to patient care has been my personal and professional guide. I remember her with the utmost gratitude and thanks. CRJonas MD.

Leave a Reply to Dr. Tony Peters, D.C. Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *