Myofascial release (MFR) is incredibly effective at eliminating pain, restoring lost movement and function, and generally increasing energy and vitality in our patient’s lives. Myofascial Release is unique in treating pain because it takes a whole body, total systems approach to the evaluation and treatment of each patient.
Healing Motion's Myofascial Release practice is based on the methods developed by physical therapist John Barnes, utilizing a whole-body, hands-on approach to the evaluation and treatment of the human structure. You can expect a broader, more long-lasting therapeutic effect from myofascial release compared with massage, chiropractic, and other manual therapies.
Myofascial Release is a gentle, manual therapy that stretches restricted connective tissue, corrects movement dysfunction, and alleviates pain at its root source. It involves three main techniques:
The Myofascial Release paradigm of care means we give you a whole body evaluation, which allows us to view you as the product of your cumulative experiences in life. This examination takes into account your activity level, typical posture, past surgeries, and recent as well as past traumatic events.
Complete healing involves more than structural improvements alone. To create positive, lasting changes in your body, a shift in awareness is necessary as well. Healing Motion’s relaxing studio setting coupled with the slow, deliberate nature of myofascial techniques create the right environment for these shifts to occur.
“Myo” refers to muscle, and “fascial” refers to the three-dimensional network of densely woven, incredibly tough connective tissue that surrounds and covers every organ, muscle, nerve, bone and vessel in the body. Imagine the fascia in your body like a spider's web or sweater. Instead of a system of separate coverings, it is a single structure that exists from head to toe. In this way, you can begin to see that each part of the entire body is inextricably connected to every other part by the fascia, like yarn in a sweater.
In a normal, healthy state, the fascial system maintains the body in equilibrium through a delicate balance of tension and elasticity. With the proper amount of tension, it helps support the efficient alignment of your bones while being elastic enough to permit full, unrestricted movement.
However, in response to physical trauma or inflammation, it begins losing its pliability. Slips and falls, whiplash, surgery, or just habitually poor posture create fascial restrictions that accumulate over time. Once these restrictions start exerting abnormal pressure on bones, joints, nerves, blood vessels and organs, they create pain both locally and in seemingly unrelated areas of your body. While your pain is all too real, the true cause is too often overlooked by conventional medical practitioners since fascial restrictions do not show up on ordinary diagnostic tests such as MRI's, CT scans and X-rays.
Myofascial unwinding is the spontaneous movement of your body via the mind. With unwinding you will achieve tremendous fascial releases three-dimensionally. The therapist eliminates gravity from the system, unloading the structure to allow your body's gravity-oriented, righting reflexes and protective responses to temporarily suspend their influence. Your body is then free to move into positions that allow repressed state- or position-dependent physiologic (flashback) phenomena to rise to consciousness. As your system spontaneously moves, it will eventually find a significant position in space that will bring up old memories, emotions, or sensations. These represent past trauma and allow your body-mind to learn, to shift, to heal.
Since the human body is composed largely of fluid enclosed by various membranous sacs (fascia), myofascial rebounding addresses the elastic and fluid components of the fascial system, enhancing the flow of energy throughout the body. This maximizes the effectiveness of Myofascial Release in reducing pain, increasing function, and improving awareness.
Generally, acute cases are typically resolved with a few treatments. The more chronic the problem, the longer it usually takes to bring lasting results. Some chronic conditions that have developed over a period of years can require two or three treatments per week to obtain optimal results. Once the chronic condition has significantly improved, less frequent treatments can help to maintain the patient's progress. Many patients find that once the pain has subsided, one treatment every few weeks can keep them in good condition.
Experience has shown that very infrequent treatments will often result in fascial tightness creeping back to the level that existed prior to the last treatment. To help ameliorate this process, we give you stretching and self-treatment exercises to do at home to maintain your progress.