Myofascial release is a whole-body “hands on” approach to the evaluation and treatment of the human structure. The therapist is trained to evaluate the fascial system through:
- Visual analysis of the human frame three-dimensionally
- Palpating the tissue texture and various fascial layers
- Observing the symmetry, rate, quality, and intensity of the fascial restrictions as it relates to the craniosacral system
How it Works
When the therapist has determined where the fascial restrictions are located, they will apply slow pressure in the direction of the restriction. At first the elastic component of the fascia will release. Then, at some point in time, the restriction (or collagenous barrier) will be engaged.The restriction cannot be forced (it is too strong) so the therapist waits with pressure. As the collagenous aspect releases, the therapist follows the motion of the tissue, barrier upon barrier until freedom is felt. This time factor is essential for lasting results, with the feeling being like of a rope unraveling, releasing one strand at a time.
Myofascial mobilization techniques are designed to be combined with appropriate modalities, massage, neuromuscular facilitation techniques, exercise and flexibility programs, and movement therapies.
The goal of myofascial release is to help return the individual’s physiological adaptive capacity by restoring three-dimensional balance and by returing the structure, as much as possible, to its vertical orientation with gravity.
So… What we are discussing is an approach that, when combined with valuable modalities, acts as a facilitator and intensifier of treatment for more effectiveness and quicker results for our patients.
The Importance of Fascia
The fascia is a tough connective tissue which spreads throughout the body in a three-dimensional web from head to foot without interruption. The fascia surrounds every bone, nerve, muscle, blood vessel and organ of the body all the way down to the cellular level. Therefor, malfunction of the fascial system caused by trauma, posture, whiplash, surgery or inflammation can create a binding down of the fascia- like squeezing water out of a sponge. This results in abnormal pressure on nerves, muscles, organs and bones which are influential in the skeletal framework of our posture. Each part of the body is connected to other parts through fascia.
The FASCIA are made up of three divisions:
- SUPERFICIAL FASCIA- lies directly below the dermis
- DEEP FASCIA- surrounds and infuses with muscle, bone, nerves, blood vessels and organs of the body to the cellular level
- DEEPEST FASCIA- lies within the dura of the craniosacral system
Other important factors concerning fascia are:
- It supports and stabilizes, enhancing the postural balance of the body.
- It is vitally involved in all aspects of motion and is a shock absorber.
- It aids in circulatory function, especially with lymphatic and venous fluids.
- Fascial change will often precede chronic tissue congestion.
- Such chronic passive congestion creates the formation of fibrous tissues.
- Fascia is a major area of inflammatory processes.
- Fluids and infectious processes travel along fascial planes.
- The central nervous system is surrounded by fascial tissue called the Dura Mater which attaches to the inside of the cranium, the foramen magnum, and at the second sacral segment.
- In the normal healthy state, the fascia is relaxed and wavy in configuration and can move without restriction.
*Used with the permission of John F. Barnes, P T, MFR Seminars