What is Myofascial Release?

     Myofascial Release is a gentle, safe, highly effective, whole-body approach to treating the fascial system. MFR uses skilled, manual techniques to apply gentle sustained pressure into the fascia to reduce and eliminate fascial restrictions. MFR also uses the element of “time” 5 minutes or longer at the tissue barrier, to allow the facial to release naturally and not by force as in other methods.  Myofascial Release has been extremely successful in treating all levels of pain, restoring function and mobility, and improving overall cellular health.

     MFR techniques involve the precise application of sustained pressure into the client’s body by the therapist. The sustained pressure, between 3 to 5 minutes, creates powerful phenomena: piezoelectricity, mechano -transduction, phase transition and ultimately resonance and release. The end result is the rehydration of the fascial matrix, the return of fluids through the ground substance and the release of crushing pressure off sensitive structures. The patient feels relief and can begin to return to full function.

What is Fascia?

     Fascia, or connective tissue, is made up of collagen, elastin and ground substance. It connects all the cells of the body together in a 3-dimensional spider web. Collagen and elastin act as shock absorbers and provide structure, along with providing the body its ability to stretch and recoil. Healthy ground substance is a gel-like substance that transports water, proteins and sugars to all the cells of the body. When fascia is damaged, the ground substance loses its fluidity and solidifies. Damaged ground substance places up to 2,000 pounds per square inch of pressure on delicate nerves, blood vessels, organs, muscles and bones. This crushing pressure causes pain and dysfunction.
 

Fascia is composed of an Elasto-collegenous complex which has 4 parts:


1. Elastin
The most elastic part of the complex. It makes up the core of the complex.


2. Collagen

These fibers are extremely tough and give support to the structure. They coil around the elastic fibers in a relaxed, wavy configuration.


3. Ground substance/Matrix
A gelatinous like component that transports metabolic material through the body and also acts like a cushion. 

 

4. Water ( Fun fact - 7.5 liters of fluid moves through the extracellular matrix each day).

What is Fascia's Role and Function?

     The fascial system binds the human body into an integral whole to allow proper function of structures and organs. It is fascia that keeps us upright in gravity to support our posture and movement threee dimensionally.  The fascial system generally supports, stabilizes, and cushions, acting as a shock absorber. Fascia creates space through which delicate nerves, blood vessels, and fluids most pass. This 3 dimensional web  runs throughout the entire body- literally connecting up from head to toe. Therefore, its elasticity and fluidity is crucial for protecting our body form injury and trauma. In a normal healthy state, fascia is hydrated and pliable, with the ability to glide and stretch freely. Through injury, trauma, surgery, overuse and poor posture, fascia loses its natural form and becomes ropy, hardened and tough – similar to leather or beef jerky.

Myofascial restrictions are believed to exert tremendous pressure on the muscular-skeletal system as well as organs and other pain sensitive structures like nerves and blood vessels, which over time can lead unexplained dysfunction and pain. We have learned that Myofascial restrictions do not show up on standardized test such as X-rays, MRI’s, CT scans, etc.. It is no wonder so many people are suffering with unresolved pain, dysfunction and loss of motion and either get misdiagnosed or given the wrong type of treatment/care.

How do you know if you have restrictions?

      Through trauma, repetitive motions or positions, and the inflammatory process, Fascial can become solidified and shorten. Fascial will thicken or reinforce in these areas of stress and in turn shorten the connective tissue creating a fascial restriction and becasue the fascial system runs throughout your entire body, these restrictions can cause pain anywhere in the body, and compromise every system. By system I mean vascular, neurological, muscular, circulatory, digestive, etc. So fascial restrictions can cause digestive problems, fertility problems, circulation problems, neurological problems, and muscular problems. These restrictions can become tighter over time, literally making you feel like you are in a straight jacket and sending symptoms throughout your body.

     It is actually very simple to figure out if you have restrictions. If you are feeling tight, compressed, or restricted, then you have fascial restrictions. That constant or intermittent back or neck pain, that too often headache, that hip that just never feels right, that "pulled muscle" that is always coming back...Too often we get to used to aches and pains, thinking they are just part of aging, or normal wear and tear. They are not, and you don't have to live in pain.

What is a Treatment Like?

*Each MFR treatment session is performed directly on skin without oil, please refrain from wearing any oils and lotion prior to treatment.

*A posture analysis is performed both in standing and lying down to find the beginning layers of the restrictions. Please wear a sports, regular bra or bathing suit for women and shorts, bathing suit bottom or underwear for men.   

*MFR provides long, slow deep releases.  The treatment involves either using direct pressure or stretching to engage the tight areas and giving them the appropriate time to release.The restricted tissue needs to be held for a minimum of 90-120 seconds before it STARTS to release. For a good release to occur, the restriction needs to be held at the barrier at least 3-5 minutes. If released before this time then it does not result in a lasting release and will only provide temporary relief.

*The technique is not forceful.The body is allowed to release, not forced to release. This does not mean that the releases will not be painful. Please communicate what you feel throughout the session. Many times during a release, pain and many other sensations will be felt, but you will always feel your body softening. Everything from a feeling of being stretched, to temperature changes, or a reproduction of pain, to a feeling as though the tissue is vibrating may be experienced. It is even common to have strong emotional responses as the tissue can be holding energy from past physical or emotional traumas. As the tissue releases these sensation subside leaving new mobility in previously adhered tissue.

*It is normal for there to be some soreness for a day or two after treatment. This is often due to the new alignment of the body and the corresponding changes in the tissues because of it. Areas previously tight are looser and likely weak, so fatigue appears. Correction of bone alignments can create stretches on previously shortened tissue giving a sensation of pulling/stretch. Although soreness may occur, it will not be damaged and the difference is notable in the sensations felt.


What Problems can Myofascial Release Help?

This list includes, but is not limited to:

  • Chronic Pain 

  • Back Pain

  • Neck Pain

  • Pelvic Pain

  • Shoulder Pain / Dysfunction

  • TMJ

  • Whiplash and Disc Problems

  • Sports Injuries

  • Migraines

  • Fibromyalgia

  • Chronic Fatigue

  • Adhesions

  • Painful Scars

  • Decreased Mobility

  • Difficulty Sleeping

  • Bladder Issues 

  • Emotional Trauma

  • Lack of Energy

  • Decreased Wellness

  • Posture Difficulties

  • Myofascial Pain Syndrome

  • Headaches

  • Stiff or Frozen Joints 

  • Pre-Post Surgical Dysfunctions

  • Blood Pressure Issues 

  • Arthritis

  • Menstrual Pain 

  • Oral/Tooth Pain 

  • Carpal Tunnel

  • Sciatica

  • Nerve Pain

  • Scoliosis

  • Endometriosis

  • Plantar Fascitis/Shin Splints

  • Torticollis

  • Cranial Misalignment (misshapen head due to delivery)

  • Digestive issues including constipation and reflux (GERD)

  • Abdominal tearing (diastastis recti)

  • Pelvic torsion or imbalance

  • Breast, Cesarean or Surgical Scars

  • Infertility

  • Decreased Flexibility

  • Tinnitus

  • Tennis Elbow/Golfer’s Elbow

How many sessions will it take?

      This is different for each person, and depends totally on the severity of your symptoms. After the initial visit, we can have a better idea of how to progress.