Myofascial Release is a method of treatment that focuses on the connective tissue covering that wraps around the muscles. (Think of Saran Wrap around your muscles) Fascia is extremely strong and when this tissue becomes tight and restricted, it can limit movement and cause pain. Since fascia is extremely strong it can also hold your body in improper positions, causing posture issues. These posture issues can cause a lot of joint and muscle pain, and can even lead to degeneration and chronic issues.
Fascia is a very important part of the body, and it has three layers starting with the superficial fascia directly under the skin, the second layer wraps around all your muscles, muscle fibers, tendons, and creates ligaments. The third layer is the subserous fascia, deep inside the body which wraps around and separates all our organs. Although we divide the fascia into layers, they are actually, all interconnected. This means an issue in any of the layers, can have a ripple effect, and start causing issues all over the body.
Restrictions and adherences can develop in any of the fascial layers. These restrictions can be caused by a wide variety of things:
Brute injury to an area will cause fascial restrictions to develop.
Being static in a certain position for a long time,( such as sitting at a computer all day, everyday, or bad posture)
Being dehydrated ( 70% of the water in your body is stored in your fascia. This water helps keep all the fibers in the fascia apart so they don’t stick together and create restrictions
These are just a few examples of common causes of fascial restrictions.
Myofascial release helps stretch out this tissue in order to increase mobility and decrease pain. Myofascial release also helps restore proper posture, alignment and can even help mobilize scar tissue from surgery or injury.
The technique is performed with very little lotion or cream in order to properly stretch and lengthen the Fascia. The techniques feel more like a stretching of the skin, as opposed to the gliding sensation you get with a massage. They are performed very slowly, in order to stretch out the fascial restrictions, and in most cases people find it very relaxing. Often, immediate results are felt after just one treatment.
Depending on the severity of the restrictions, and how wide spread the effects are, the massage therapist will have to develop a treatment plan. This treatment plan will consist of consecutive myofascial release treatments that will address various parts of the body. ( Remember fascia is all interconnected. For example, a foot issue can effect your hip or even your neck) Simple exercises are often given as homecare to help maintain the fascia, and fix posture in between treatments.
Our Registered Massage Therapist, Stephen Wahl can either provide full Myofascial Treatments or integrate the techniques into any massage treatment.