Here’s a myofascial release fact sheet with some useful information to explain what fascia is, what can happen to it, some benefits and conditions that respond well to it. Happy reading!
What is fascia?
Fascia is everywhere in your body! It’s the name given to all the connective tissue which includes large sheets of fascia, tendons, cartilage, ligaments, the envelopes that encase your organs and the thin layers around muscle fibres and joints. All of these form a dynamic 3D matrix in your body which is a single, uninterrupted sheet running from the top of your head to the soles of your feet. The four main functions of fascia are:
• Shaping and structuring your body by wrapping, cushioning and supporting
• Facilitating movement by lubricating surfaces, allowing transfer of power, maintaining tension and stretch
• Communicating by receiving and transmitting information and stimuli
• Supplying fluid and nutrients to tissues
You can see that having healthy fascia is essential for you to have healthy bodies that function well for everyday life.
What can happen to fascia?
Fascia changes in response to physical and emotional trauma, injuries and surgeries, inflammation and poor posture. It can shorten, solidify or thicken, we call these restrictions or disfunction. Due to the matrix like structure of the fascia, over time, restrictions spread like a pull in a stocking. Once this process is in motion, you lose flexibility and your movement and posture becomes inhibited, leading to more fascial restrictions.
It’s important to note that fascial restrictions don’t show up on traditional health care tests which is why often we go from medical professional to medical professional seeking answers yet don’t find the help we need.
Myofascial release therapy (MFR) is a form of bodywork, a therapeutic approach, that has evolved with increased understanding of fascia. A slow and gentle pressure allows the body’s tissue to reorganise without force, release physical restrictions and the body’s unconscious holding and bracing patterns.
This means lines of restriction in the 3D fascial matrix are eliminated which reduces pain and discomfort. MFR is an excellent way to manage pain in a natural and non-intrusive way.
As an MFR therapist I see the body as a whole, aiming for total body balance and function. I look for the cause of the disfunction in the 3D matrix rather than treating the obvious symptoms you’re experiencing. Often this means I am treating away from the site of discomfort.
Benefits of myofascial release
MFR is a lovely treatment to receive and is often very relaxing for the body and mind. There are a number of benefits to treatment:
• Elimination of general pain and discomfort
• Reduction in scar tissue
• Promotion of relaxation and wellbeing
• Improved joint range of motion and muscle function
• Increased proprioception
• Emotional release
• General increase in health
Conditions that respond well to myofascial release
MFR works as well for general rebalancing and postural issues as it does for specific conditions. Here are some of the conditions that respond well:
Chronic pelvic pain syndrome
Hip pain and pelvic imbalances
Lower back pain
Fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue
Sciatica and piriformis syndrome
Frozen shoulder, rotator cuff pain
General chronic pain
Neck and shoulder pain and tension
TMJ and jaw issues
Headache, tiredness, brain, fog, eye strain