To understand Myofascial Release we must first understand what fascia is. Fascia is the connective tissue that sheathes our entire body, each of our muscles, and creates our ligaments and tendons. It creates space for our organs and provides placement for our bones and joints. In the words of founder John F Barnes, "Fascia is a tough connective tissue which spreads throughout the body in a three-dimenstional web from head to foot without interruption. Trauma, posture or inflammation can create a binding down of fascia resulting in excessive pressure on nerves, muscles, blood vessels, osseous structures and/or organs. Since many of the standard test such as x-rays, myelograms, CAT scans, electromyography, etc. do not show the fascial restrictions, it is thought that an extremely high percentage of people suffering with pain and/or lack of motion may be having fascial problems, but most go undiagnosed." Myofascial Release is a gentle, non-injurious technique of consistent pressure applied to fascial restrictions to allow a release without activating the body's defense mechanisms or bracing. Fascia has a viscoelastic quality that resists sudden applied force. By properly addressing the fascial system we can re-align bones and joints, increase mobility, and release tension and stress on the body structures - increasing energy and vitality. Scar tissue, adhesions, and shortening and thickening of the fascia occur through mental and emotional stress or trauma, chronic stress patterns both emotional and physical, repetitive motions, and of course physical trauma.
How is it different?
Myofascial Release is often the missing link in treatment plans. Most forms of stretching and mobilization or adjustments do not affect the connective tissue which can exert up to 2000 pounds of pressure on pain sensitive structures in our bodies. Exercise and balancing the kinesthetic systems in the body are important in maintaining correct posture and function, but releasing the extremely strong connective tissue must be part of an effective program. Posture is not an act of building musculature to fight against the connective tissue all day. Posture should be assuming the most upright position in the most relaxed way possible without pain or strain through an aligned relationship to gravity.
An effective integrative approach
Including other modalities such as Neuromuscular Re-Education and Craniosacral work increases efficacy. Neuromuscular Re-Education begins with a deep understanding of kinesiology; the study of antagonistic and synergistic muscular relationships in the body. Through applied pressure, and a synergy of breath and movement on the part of the recipient, the proprioceptors of the muscles are re-aligned. Proprioceptors are that part of the muscle fibers that indicate how much to engage to accomplish a specific task or lift a specific weight. This helps muscles that have been disorganized through trauma or stress to re-learn how to move appropriately. It releases recurring spasms, allows muscles that have not worked properly due to nerve impingements or trauma to function well again. Lax muscles, due to pregnancy or surgery, can regain functionality improving the gains made by exercise. Combined with Myofascial Release, Neuromuscular work can dramatically increase results of chronic pain and injury treatment sessions.
Craniosacral work involves working with the connective tissue in the skull and around the dural tube to ease ailments such as chronic headaches, trouble focusing, eye, ear and sinus pain, and provides a sense of emotional and mental balance and well-being. The tissue around the head actually expands and contracts in a rhythmic pattern that moves craniosacral fluid between the sacrum and cranium, bathing the spinal cord and brain - nourishing and hydrating these vital tissues. Craniosacral treatment leaves you feeling balanced, aligned, and blissful.
Pelvic floor work is able to make groundbreaking shifts in long standing postural issues. A sheared pubic symphysis, tailbone misalignments, sacral deviations, uterine adhesions, bladder prolapse and intestinal issues can play a major part in our overall health and comfort. Addressing these issues can provide the stable base for the rest of the torso's alignment as well as treat chronic prostatits, pelvic pain, chronic SI joint issues, as well as sexual and fertility blockages. These can be sensitive topics to address, so please know that the massage therapy board has a strict confidentiality clause and through my studies of doula or birthing assistant, holistic midwifery, and the women's health seminars, there are no taboo subjects to address in my studio. Please allow yourself to feel comfortable broaching any topics of concern.
Coming this summer Pediatric care will be added to our menu! I am extremely excited to bring more wisdom and knowledge to approaching the sensitive concerns of our younger people. Torques in the connective tissue around the spine and cranium from uncomfortable womb positioning or birth traumas can impact the physical and mental development of our children. Myofascial Release is a gentle and effective way to unwind these tissues allowing for complete recovery and thriving many cases.
I am happy to assist you on your journey of healing outside of my profession as well by guiding you with referrals to allergy, naturopathic, or other practitioners who can help complete the picture of wellness for you and your family. For more extensive assistance consider setting up a coaching session. Navigating the health care 'industry' can be difficult. Also check out the blog on "Integrity in Health Care."