HOW DOES MYOFASCIAL RELEASE WORK?
Balanced Bodies Port Melbourne
Back Pain, Remedial Massage, Massage Therapist
Myofascial release therapy is based on the idea that poor posture, physical injury, illness and emotional stress can throw the body out of alignment and cause it’s intricate web of fascia to become taut and constricted. Because fascia link every organ and tissue in the body with every other part, the skillful and dexterous use of the hands is said to free up, or “release,” disruptions in this fascial network. Pressure on the bones, muscles, joints, and nerves is relieved in the process, and balance is restored.
Like a “pull” in a sweater, the effects of tension and strain are thought to snowball over time. Abnormal pressures may tighten or bind the fascia to underlying tissues, causing “adhesions,” or dabs of scar tissue that cling to muscle fibers. Even though these adhesions do not show up on x-rays or other scans, they can stiffen joints or contribute to painful motions, such as rotator cuff injuries. If they occur near a nerve, they may cause numbness, pain, and tingling, as with sciatica or carpal tunnel syndrome.
The gentle and sustained stretching of myofascial release is believed to free these adhesions and soften and lengthen the fascia. By freeing up fascia that may be impeding blood vessels or nerves, myofascial release is also said to enhance the body’s innate restorative powers by improving circulation and nervous system transmission.
Some practitioners contend that the method also releases pen-up emotions that may be contributing to pain and stresses in the body. It can also be called “myofascial unwinding,” moving various body parts through a range of postural positions to unleash, or unwind, repressed “memories” that the tissues have unconsciously come to “store.” This leads to both physical and psychological healing.
Sessions typically last 30 minutes to an hour and may be given one to three times a week depending on your condition. A simple pulled muscle may respond completely after a session or two, whereas chronic myofascial pain may require three months of regular treatment, coupled with a home program of exercise and stretches.
Relief of lingering low back pain but had an added benefit: those who received hands-on therapy required far fewer costly painkillers, muscle relaxants, and anti-inflammatory drugs, which could have potentially dangerous side effects.
In addition to back pain, myofascial release is used to treat wide array of painful ailments affecting the muscles and connective tissues. These include fibromyagia, rheumatoid arthritis, muscle spasms, whiplash injuries, and carpal tunnel syndrome. People with diabetes, who are at increased risk for painful plantar fascitis and frozen shoulder, may also benefit. Elite runners, and olympic athletes have used the technique for stress injuries (it has also been used in racehorses and their riders), as have weekend warriors with tennis or golfer’s elbow, shin splints, or a bad sprain that is having trouble healing.
The therapy is used for many other conditions as well in people of all ages. Those with jaw pain, discomfort from the scars of surgery, headaches, and chronic fatigue syndrome may all benefit. In women, the technique is sometimes used for relief of pelvic pain, menstrual problems, incontinence, and even infertility. It is also offered to children with, among other conditions, birth trauma, head injuries, cerebral palsy, and scoliosis.
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