Myofascial release is soft tissue therapy that helps those with limited mobility and muscular pain become more flexible as they gain relief. With a light or deep touch, the technique relaxes muscles that are contracted while helping to improve blood and lymphatic circulation.
What is Fascia?
Fascia is a layer of connective tissue that encases muscles, nerves, and blood vessels. Fascia helps to bind structures together or allow them to slide effortless over each other. When the fascia is constricted, consequences arise in the area that can cause diminished movement and pain.
When fascia is compromised due to injury, stress, overuse, infections, or inactivity, it can create muscle tension, overall body pain, and a diminished blood supply. Because myofascial release techniques work by applying force to the area, practitioners are able to get the adhesive tissue to become suppler through stretching and elongating it during manipulation.
Muscle and fascia are impossible to separate, which means that when either one is stretched, the action affects other areas of body. When the fascia is loosened and stretched, restrictions are often lifted as tension is released, allowing the entire body to experience relief.
This kind of healing protocol requires going through several layers of fascia to reach the deep tissues where the problem originates. Perhaps you are familiar with Rolfing, a technique created by Ida Rolf in the 1950’s to balance the body by stretching the skin. By releasing tension in this way, the muscles and skeleton can to go back to a “normal” place, thus improving posture and structure in general. As Ida would say, “put the tissue where it should be and then ask for movement.”
Indirect Myofascial Release
Rolfing has evolved over time with practitioners bringing their own style, technique, and experience to the table. Another facet is “indirect myofascial release,” which is gentler than deep tissue work. Here only a bit of pressure is applied to allow the given area to unwind naturally. Following the path of least resistance, the practitioner maintains a light pressure as the fascia stretches and movement is achieved. As the body releases tension, a softening of the tissue is felt, with the sustained pressure creating a healing heat.
Respecting the Process
There are many ways to arrive at a healthy body, and all of them require respect for the process. When a body has arrived at chronic pain, this is because problems have developed and multiplied over time. With patience and regular sessions, relief will come as the body entrains to the delight of finding its way back to proper alignment. Chiropractic manipulation, acupressure and acupuncture, shiatsu, myofascial release, and other similar protocols, when professionally applied, can all be exceptionally powerful when it comes to guiding the body back to a pain-free and easy state.
For more information on any one of these modalities, please contact us at (610) 896-1554.