What is Myofascial Release?

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Myofascial Release is a very specialized Fascial Release Technique focusing on treating scar tissue in the superficial and deep fascia of the body. Fascia is a very densely woven connective tissue covering and interpenetrating every muscle, bone, nerve, artery and vein as well as all of our internal organs including the heart, lungs, brain and spinal cord. The fascia is a specialized system of the body that has an appearance similar to a spider’s web or a sweater and is actually one structure that exists from head to foot without interruption.

Each part of the entire body is connected to every other part by the fascia, like the yarn in a sweater. In the normal healthy state, the fascia is relaxed and wavy in configuration. It has the ability to stretch and move without restriction. When we experience physical trauma, scarring, or inflammation, however, the fascia loses its pliability. It becomes tight, restricted and a source of tension to the rest of the body. Trauma, such as a fall, whiplash, surgery or just habitual poor posture over time and repetitive stress injuries have a cumulative effect on our body. The fascia can exert excessive pressure, producing pain or restriction of motion. They affect our flexibility and stability, and are a determining factor in our ability to withstand stress and strain.

Myofascial Release focuses on the fascial tissues that surround muscle, bone, nerves, arteries and veins. Restrictions of these tissues can be (caused by trauma, surgery and/or stress). Once fascial restrictions have been identified, the therapist will apply a gentle force and follow the fascial tension three dimensionally with their hands to the restrictive barrier. This three dimensional fascial barrier is held with a constant gentle force until a release is felt. During the release, the patient and therapist can feel heat, vibration, pulsation and can even reproduce the symptoms.

Once the release is complete, the heat, vibration, pulsation and pain will diminish and there will be a sense of lengthening and relaxation in the tissues. The therapist can then go through several layers of fascial restrictions until the tissues around that structure relax. After a successful treatment, patients will experience decreased pain, muscle spasm, fascial tension, joint stiffness and �swelling. There will be improved postural alignment, mobility, flexibility and range of motion.

Even though the patient may feel they are experiencing less of their initial pain and are moving better after a treatment, they may still feel aches in their body for several days afterwards as their body adjusts to the changes. This reaction quickly goes away with subsequent treatments and does not occur with every patient.

Since fascial restrictions occur due to trauma, we look at each person as a unique individual and each case is different. Depending on the individual, it may take one or several sessions to get the desired response, especially if their symptoms have persisted for months or years. This gentle, manual technique treats the whole person, emphasizing the muscles, bones, nerves, arteries and veins.

Myofascial Release is very effective for treating the following conditions:

  • Chronic Neck and Back Pain
  • Migraine Headaches
  • Whiplash
  • Orthopaedic Problems
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Temporomandibular Joint Pain
  • Emotional Difficulties
  • Stress and Tension-Related Problems
  • Central Nervous System Disorders
  • Traumatic Brain and Spinal Cord Injuries
  • Post-Surgical Dysfunction
  • Infantile Disorders
  • Colic

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