What is Myofascial Release?
Myofascial Release is a safe, highly effective, whole-body approach of treating pain and dysfunction in the body. Myofascial Release (commonly known as MFR) uses various manual techniques to apply sustained pressure into the fascia to reduce and eliminate fascial restrictions, tightness and chronic posture and/or alignment issues. Myofascial Therapy has been extremely successful in treating all levels of pain, helping restore function, mobility and improving overall health. Through the use of various tools (rollers, balls, scrapers, etc.), we can take this therapy home and in turn come home to our health.
The fascial system is one of the most influential systems of the body due to its anatomical and physiological role, and is considered to be the only “whole-body” system affecting structures and organs all the way down to the cellular level.
What is Fascia?
Fascia is a strong connective tissue which spreads like a web throughout the body from head to foot, front to back, and side to side three dimensionally without interruption. Fascia is similar to the threads in a fabric. It is an interwoven fibrous net that covers and encapsulates every structure in the body including muscles, bones, organs, nerves and blood vessels. Fascia surrounds every single cell, and because of fascia’s orientation and lay out, many times one may experience pain in one area, while the restriction may be near or far from the site of where the pain is felt.
The Role & Function of Fascia
The fascial system binds the human body into an integral whole to allow proper function of structures and organs. It is fascia that keeps us upright in gravity to support our posture and movement three dimensionally. Fascia also acts as a shock absorber. Therefore, its elasticity and fluidity is crucial for protecting our body form injury and trauma.
In a normal healthy state, fascia is hydrated and pliable, with the ability to glide and stretch freely. Through injury, trauma, surgery, overuse and poor posture, fascia loses its natural form and becomes ropy, hardened and tough – similar to leather or beef jerky.
Myofascial restrictions are believed to exert tremendous pressure on the muscular-skeletal system as well as organs and other pain sensitive structures like nerves and blood vessels, which over time can lead unexplained dysfunction and pain. We have learned that Myofascial restrictions do not show up on standardized test such as X-rays, MRI’s, CT scans, etc.. It is no wonder so many people are suffering with unresolved pain, dysfunction and loss of motion and either get misdiagnosed or given the wrong type of treatment/care.
Self-Applied Myofascial Release & Yoga
Today, MFR is being incorporated into various movement therapies, such as yoga. In fact, Yin Yoga is in essence a form of MFR as it works to stress and release the fascial tissue through our postures. When we incorporate the tools of MFR with both Yin & Yang forms of yoga we can open the body more fully to increase the circulation of blood & chi (energy) to the tissues of the body which aids in the relief of discomforts that are associated with a multitude of physical disorders.