Myofascial Release uses hands-on pressure and heat to stretch fascial tissue, thereby increasing fluidity and flexibility. This technique “unglues” fascial layers, reduces pain, improves individual muscle movement and function, and balances the body’s shape and alignment.
What is facsia?
Fascia is a three-dimensional, continuous system of connective tissue; this system is uninterrupted from head to toe. Everything in the body is embedded within this web tissue. Fascia covers the muscles, bones, tendons, spinal cord, and brain. It holds the internal organs in place, and makes the spaces for nerves and blood vessels to pass through. In its optimal state, fascia is a loose, moist tissue. When there is continual free movement and balance in the body, the fascia stays flexible and mobile, facilitating smooth motion between different parts of the body.
Current researchers are investigating how planes of fascia, also called myofascial meridians, connect and relate within the human structure. Research into one of these meridians, the spiral fascial line, has revealed how a right hip injury can produce a direct drag or pull on the left shoulder, thereby producing symptoms. Knowledge of myofascial meridians and human anatomy makes finding and releasing fascial restrictions more efficient.
What causes injury to the fascial system?
♦ Recent, past, or repeated trauma
♦ Habitual patterns of poor posture and movement
♦ Structural imbalance of the body
♦ Pain, resulting in reflexive spasm and movement avoidance (muscle tension or guarding)
♦ Environmental factors, such as job-related repetitive motion, poor workstation setup, and athletic injuries
♦ Emotional trauma
What happens when fascia is injured?
Injury causes fascia to bind down, become rigid, and lose its fluid nature. Layers of fascia begin to glue to one another, causing the knots you may experience in your back or neck. Fascial restrictions can create pressure on joints, nerves, and muscles, thereby restricting mobility, causing excessive muscle effort, poor posture, movement dysfunction, and pain.
How do you treat fascial restrictions?
Reconditioning the body after it has become rigid and lost fluidity requires not only releasing rigidity form the myofascial tissue, but also bringing awareness to and changing the patterns that cause tissue rigidity in the first place. Our approach at HANDS-ON Physical Therapy has three components — myofascial release, movement education, and integrative dialogue. All three components are important in achieving long-lasting change.