WHAT IS FASCIA
Fascia is a structure within the body which lies beneath the skin and above the muscles. It is connective tissue – described as a “spider web-like” network system spanning head to toe. Fascia is a strong but pliable multifunctional tissue made up of collagen primarily. It’s three dimensional web-like structure gives shape to our body. Since the fascial tissue allows us to retain our shape, it also facilitates and/or limits our body’s function.
Healthy, relaxed fascia has the ability to stretch and move. However fascial restriction(s) can result from trauma, injury, postural demands, and/or lifestyle activities which can create WIDEPREAD symptoms. Sometimes odd or unidentifiable symptoms that are not related to the primary complaint(s) of a client may result due to the expansive nature of the myofascial tissue.
John F. Barnes, PT, LMT, NCTMB, the leading authority on MFR, teaches that myofascial restrictions can produce tensile pressures of approximately 2,000 pounds per square inch. Unfortunately, this stress/strain will not show up on many of the standard tests performed by traditional westernized health care practitioners (x-rays, myelograms, CAT scans, electromyography etc). Thus, a high percentage of individuals suffering from pain and/or lack of motion may be experiencing fascial restriction(s).
WHAT IS MYOFASCIAL RELEASE (MFR)
Fascial tissue is designed to resist strong forces. Techniques which are forceful may cause it to brace and adhere itself in an attempt to protect the body. Fascial tissue responds to time, specifically long durations, where it can return to its fluid pliable state. MFR is a hands-on technique which involves applying gentle sustained pressure into the myofascial restriction(s) to eliminate pain and restore motion.
WHO CAN BENEFIT FROM MFR
A typical client is someone whose pain/diagnosis may have failed to respond to conventional medications, surgery, and therapeutic treatments. The following are conditions which have been shown to improve with MFR:
- Chronic Pain
- Neck Pain
- Jaw Pain (TMJ)
- Back Pain
- Disc Problems
- Sports Injuries
- Painful Scars
- Women’s Health Issues
- Neurological Disorders
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
- Myofascial Pain Syndrome
*Medical clearance may be deemed appropriate, and therefore necessary to obtain prior to an initial MFR session.
WHAT TO EXPECT DURING A MFR SESSION
At the beginning of a session, myofascial restriction(s) are assessed. MFR requires direct contact with the skin. Creams and/or oils can interfere with the practitioner’s ability to soundly connect with the underlying tissue, therefore they are not used. The use of MFR allows a practitioner to look at each patient as a unique individual with specific and likely varying needs from session to session. Though pain may be presenting in the right shoulder, because of the complexities of the “spider-web” distribution of the fascial tissue, treatment focus may need to take place in the left thigh. The tissue dictates the course of treatment from one session to the next.
Lifestyle modifications, breathing, and stretching techniques that may support your healing path will be offered, so that you will be able to take responsibility for your well-being independently between each MFR session.