What is fascia? Fascia is an interconnected, three-dimensional web of connective tissue that surrounds and penetrates all structures in the body, including muscles, nerves, blood vessels, glands. organs and bone. In fact, fascia penetrates right down to the cellular level. Fascia helps determine the position and function of structures of the body and helps to support and stabilize the overall postural balance of the body. Given that it is a web, it connects parts to parts and binds the body into an integrated whole.
What is Myofascial Release?
The word “myo” refers to muscle and “fascia” refers to this web of connective tissue. Myofascial Release is a method of applying gentle pressure and stretch to the body’s connective tissue in order to facilitate release of this tissue.
Fascia can become restricted with trauma, repetitive use, postural habits, disease, injury and emotional holding patterns. In effect, it can become “glued” to itself and adjacent structures, resulting in abnormal pressure on nerves, muscles, organs, blood vessels and bones. This “binding down” can create pain or malfunctioning throughout the body, sometimes with unusual or seemingly unrelated symptoms. Because fascia is a continuous web, restrictions in one area can exert tension and cause symptoms in other areas of the body distant to the original injury or source of pain.
Myofascial release effectively releases, lengthens, and restores normal elasticity to the fascia, restoring health and freedom of movement, and reducing pain and other symptoms.
What can I expect from Myofascial Release treatment?
Myofascial release uses no oil or lotion, and techniques involve gentle and sustained pressure and stretches which are applied in a variety of ways. Because restriction in one area of fascia can spread and influence other areas of the body, your therapist might treat areas distant to the initial source of pain. Toxins can be released from the tissues during these deep releases and some people will feel discomfort or temporary worsening of symptoms after the treatment as your body begins to change. This is a normal reaction and typically subsides within 1-2 days. Clients also generally report a feeling of deep relaxation with myofascial release techniques.