What is Myofascial Release?
Myofascial is a connection between two latin terms My = Muscle and Fascia = Connective Tissue. The “o” in a connection between these to anatomical features. Technically Massage Therapists will also be working with Muscles and connective tissue, but the way that a MFR specialist goes about it can be quite different. Most Myofascial Release tecniques are focused on the fascia before and how it interacts with the muscles, instead of focusing on the muscles themselves. Seran wrap. Don’t go through tight tissue first.
What is Fascia?
Fascia is a specialized system of the body that has an appearance similar to a spider’s web, but it is also weaved together like knitted socks. Fascia is a seran-like covering that encases every muscle, bone, nerve, artery and vein, as well as all of our internal organs including the heart, lungs, brain and spinal cord. It is one continuous structure that exists from head to toe without interruption. The entire body is connected through this fascial system.
What is Fascial Restriction?
Fascia in its normal, healthy state is relaxed and wavy in configuration. It has the ability to stretch and move without restriction. When you experience physical trauma, emotional trauma, poor posture, scarring, inflammation, or even prolonged strain or tension, the fascia loses it pliability. Fascia can become tight, restricted, and a source of tension to the rest of the body around the restriction and in other areas of the body based on it being one continuous unit.
How does a Myofascial Release treatment work?
Myofascial treatment involves placing hands on fascial points and following the tissue to areas of restriction. Restriction is released through a number of different movements that help increase mobility, release stagnated tissue, and and break up scar tissue while relieving pain and relaxing tension that, at times, people didn’t even realize was there, until it was gone.
Myofascial Release an individual experience based on personal patterns of restriction and the areas that the restrictions are located. Fascia is involved with nerve receptors in proprioception, and certain concentrations of fascia respond to different kinds of stimuli. Different nerve receptors in fascial tissue respond to stimuli ranging from a stretch or light pressure, deep or slow pressure, to sustained movement with load pressure. This creates unique treatment experiences, that are tailored to each individual’s needs.
What is Myofascial Unwinding?
Myofascial unwinding may involve very subtly twisting, turning, and pulling areas to “follow” the fascial movements. This can be done while sitting, standing, or laying down. It has been found that being in the same position as you were at the time of injury can also help resolve the areas that were affected in that position. By gently staying with the fascial movement, restrictions will resolve becoming more balanced and mobile.
Who Benefits from Myofascial Release?
Myofascial Release (MFR) has many benefits, and it can help a wide variety of symptoms. People of all ages can benefit from MFR, and treatments have shown to help:
- Jaw pain/TMJ
- Muscular Tension
- Back/Neck Pain
- Pregnancy wellness
- Fetal Positioning
- Childhood Ailments
How can MFR help with Pregnancy and Postpartum related issues?
Pregnancy and Postpartum care is very important and at times very undervalued. The amazing process of pregnancy can become a daunting experience of too much information and too much varied advice. Further complicated with a potentially huge learning curve and many questions arising within the body’s new “normal.” Many times this new “normal” is an individualistic conception of experiencing back pain, swollen feet, hip pain, etc. Although these are common in pregnancy, they are often caused by the restrictive patterns within the mother’s body before, and now in reaction to, the changes that take place in pregnancy. These restrictive patterns affect our postures as our bodies compensate to the tension, and these changes in posture affect both the mother’s and baby’s bodies.
The uterus in particular is attached to the spine by ligaments that if restricted not only lead to pain for the mother, but these restrictions can also limit the range of motion the growing baby needs to be in the optimal position for birth. Breech, transverse, and posterior presentations can be greatly helped through Myofascial Release (MFR) techniques and pregnancy specific chiropractic care that is gentle on both mother and baby. Read more about Pregnancy and Postpartum Care…
How can MFR help Infants and Children?
Infants and Children can benefit greatly from this type of gentle, low force care, and children are especially responsive to MFR while they are still growing.
Some areas that children have benefited from treatments are:
- Nursing or latch issues
- Lack of sleep or restlessness
- Birth Trauma
- Sitting/Crawling/Walking trouble
- Plagiocephaly (Flat Head Syndrome)
- Digestive discomfort (diaphragm restrictions)
- Chronic earaches
- Car seat discomfort
- Continually rocking while sitting
- Hitting heads into walls/floors
Infants and small children have a hard time communicating their discomfort and/or they grow into thinking those restrictions were “normal.” Some restriction patterns can be mistakenly taken as childhood traits or quirks. Certain traits such as crawling differently, lying in odd positions, banging heads into things, and/or continually rocking their bodies can be seen as individualism or quirks where instead these actions are based on restrictions affecting their comfort and development.
Nursing/latch issues and prevention or post-care of lip tie corrections are also areas that can be helped with MFR. Furthermore, certain children that are not meeting their development goals or suffer from digestive distress can benefit greatly from this type of gentle care. Read more about Infant and Child care…