Fascial Release Therapy
What is MyoFascial Release Therapy?
Myofascial release therapy (MFR) is a holistic therapy that assesses the full body’s movement patterns and looks at addressing soft tissue movement pathologies from head to toe. The body is interconnected whereby movement restrictions in the foot can lead to distortions in head and neck movements and visa versa. It is a hands on treatment that assesses the body for locked fascia.
What is Fascia?
Fascia is simply a three dimensional network of connective tissue that is found around and within all soft tissues within the body. Quite simply if you take a piece of raw steak and pull the tissue apart you will see a web like structure, this is fascia. It gives the body form and function. Without fascia we would hang from our bones and movement would not be possible, alternatively is keeps our internal organs in place, protects them and allows proper functioning of these organs. Fascia provides stability and support while still allowing for gliding and flexibility of movement. Fascia is a continuous structure, this means that every cell in your body is connected to every other cell from head to toe.
How is MFR Different from other Soft Tissue Therapies?
MFR Therapy is a full body technique that is focused on restoring function back to the body through assessing and correcting movement imbalances. Symptoms can be misleading and often the symptoms you feel are just an expression site, also known as a compensatory pattern that are caused by excessive pressures onto tissues causing your perceived pain but the initial causative movment pathology can often be far from the symptom site.
What are fascial restrictions and how do they result in symptoms?
Every day activities can result in fascial restrictions, these include but not limited to: falls and accidents, surgical treatment sites, childbirth, prolonged poor postures, emotional stress and tension. The body requires symmetrical movement in order to help keep the soft tissues healthy and unfortunately our modern day lives do not allow for many of these types of movements on a daily basis. Most of the time these restrictions take months and more often years to develop. Symptoms often seem to appear from no known cause in patients minds but most of the time these layers of dysfunction have been building up within the body from past events, sometimes years ago. The body will try to adapt and adopt until a threshold is reached and only then will symptoms come about.
Fascia is stretchy and flexible in its healthy state, while restricted fascia is stiff and tight.
What to Expect during a MFR Treatment?
A thorough history will help point us in the directions of possible fascial restriction patterns. During the assessment we will be observing for obvious postural distortions. A specialised movement assessment will be measuring for two types of movement pathologies namely locked short and locked long soft tissue patterns. Locked short movement patterns are typically tight and restricted movement patterns when measured from one side of the body with the other side, while locked long soft tissues will be found using specific strength tests (camber test for ankle strength and bench test for full body core strength) and these soft tissues will often be the symptomatic tissues that are in need of strengthening.
Facial release can be quite tender/painful when the tissues are very badly bound and restricted in their movement. As I say to my patients “you earn your results with fascial release”. Once you have released the thicker more stuck outer layers of dysfunction then the process becomes easier and easier. We will keep channels of communication open and use a 1-10 rating scale on your own pain scale. We are aiming for the more stuck layers, hence the more tender and painful layers but we can lessen the intensity of the treatment but this will take longer to release those layers. Some of the more stuck layers will have a burning, tearing, pulling feeling while being released but this sensation will only last a few seconds up till a minute and then a release response will be felt followed by a rapid decrease in pain.
What can MFR treat?
- All Movement Restrictions
- Poor Posture
- Soft Tissue Pathologies
- Prevent Future Injuries
- Sports Injuries
- Scar Tissue from surgical sites and injuries
The overall aim is to restore symmetry to your structure and movement patterns and to allow the body to heal itself.