Myofascial release is a hands-on technique used to treat somatic dysfunction and the resulting pain and restriction of motion. Through the application of sustained pressure into the connective tissue restrictions, the tissue is engaged with a constant force until release occurs. Myofascial release changes the myofascial structures by stretching, elongating, or mobilizing adhesive tissues. The practitioner moves slowly from the most superficial to the deeper layers of fascia.
Each myofascial release treatment session is performed directly on the skin without oils or creams. This enables the therapist to accurately detect fascial restrictions and apply the appropriate amount of sustained pressure to facilitate release of the fascia.
Fascia is a densely woven network of fibers that surrounds and interpenetrates every muscle, bone, nerve, artery and vein, as well as all of the internal organs including the heart, lungs, brain and spinal cord. It is one continuous structure that extends from head to toe without interruption. Fascia resembles something like a total body suit in that every single fiber is connected and so affects every other, both positively and negatively.
In its normal state, fascia is wavy and relaxed, able to stretch, flex, and move around freely. However when one experiences physical or emotional trauma, scarring, or inflammation, the fascia bunches up in response, becoming tight, restricted and a source of tension for the rest of the body.
Sometime, the fascial tension in one area can cause tension in a completely different area (such as low back pain causing neck pain)due to the interpenetration of the fascial system. A drug might take care of the back pain, but the neck pain will remain with seemingly no relief. Much like a pulled thread in a sweater, the surrounding fibers become tight and unresponsive, leading to pain and even dizziness. This is often what causes the misdiagnoses of pains.
Trauma, such as a fall, car accident, whiplash, surgery, or just habitual poor posture and repetitive stress injuries has cumulative effects on the body. The changes trauma causes in the fascial system influences comfort and function of the entire body. Fascial restrictions can exert excessive pressure causing all kinds of symptoms producing pain, headaches or restriction of motion.
Inflammatory responses, trauma, and/or surgical procedures can create myofascial restrictions that can produce tensile pressures of approximately 2,000 pounds per square inch. It is thought that an extremely high percentage of people suffering with pain and lack of motion may be having fascial problems, but most go undiagnosed. Fascial restrictions affect our flexibility and stability, and are a determining factor in our ability to withstand stress and perform daily activities.
Benefits of Myofascial Release
- Relieves back pain
- Addresses bladder problems (urgency, frequency, incontinence, overactive bladder, leakage)
- Adjusts bulging discs
- Soothes carpal tunnel syndrome
- Calms bursitis
- Heals cervical and lumbar injuries
- Relieves chronic pain
- Mitigates degenerative disc disease
- Remedies endometriosis
- Soothes fibromyalgia
- Releases frozen shoulder (adhesive capsulitis)
- Mitigates herniated Disc
- Relieves headaches and migraines
- Increases fertility
- Soothes interstitial cystitis
- Reduces menstrual problems
- Remedies myofascial pain syndrome
- Becalms neck pain
- Addresses osteoarthritis
- Mitigates pelvic pain
- Heals plantar fascitis
- Diminishes scars (hypertrophic, hypersensitive, painful, burn scars, mastectomy scars, etc.)
- Corrects scoliosis
- Relieves the pain of sciatica
- Heals shin splints
- Alleviates tennis elbow
- Remedies TMJ Syndrome
- Manages trigeminal neuralgia
- Counteracts whiplash