Massage and Myofascial Release
Massage therapy can be wonderfully stimulating and relaxing, no matter an individual’s health and physical condition. However, for those individuals who are suffering the physical effects caused by trauma, inflammation or surgical procedures, massage therapy alone may be insufficient to bring about full or lasting relief. This is where Myofascial Release comes in.
The Benefits of Myofascial Release
Many physical and massage therapists are also trained in Myofascial Release techniques. This gentle and effective therapy works to address the physical restrictions that are caused by trauma, inflammation or surgical procedures when other therapies are unable to do so. Whereas traditional massage uses creams, lotions, and motion to work out discomforts in the body, Myofascial Release involves no creams or lotions, and direct pressure on a specific area that is held for anywhere from a few minutes to a longer span of time–sometimes up to twenty-five minutes. The therapist uses his hands to locate restrictions of movement in the body so that pressure can be applied appropriately. The idea is to stimulate the body’s innate ability to heal itself by addressing the fascial system of the body.
The fascia of the body is a thick fibrous tissue that covers and penetrates all of the muscles, nerves, blood vessels and organs of the body. This fascia connects structures in the body from the top of the head to the tip of the toes. Restrictions in the fascia, as caused by trauma, inflammation, and surgery, can produce pressure that leads to pain and restricted movement. Unfortunately, fascial restrictions are not visible through X-rays, CAT scans or other traditional tests, which means many individuals suffer from physical discomforts that their doctor cannot determine a cause for. Their solution is often to prescribe pain relievers and muscle relaxants that fail to get to the root of the problem. Myofascial Release, however, works to address the fascia itself, reducing the restrictions that cause discomfort and loss of movement. Additionally, this therapy can break down fat, reduce the look of cellulite, improve muscle performance, blood flow, and lymph drainage and speed up muscle recovery.
Individuals who benefit from Myofascial Release often determine that they must participate in it more than once, and on a somewhat regular basis. This allows fascia to be released gently and systematically so that the individual experiences lasting relief as their body begins to heal itself.