Myofascial Release (MFR) for Mobility & Pain Management

by Apost
Myofascial Release (MFR) for Mobility & Pain Management

Myofascial Release is a hands-on physical technique that our Doctors of Physical Therapy employs via gentle protracted tensile forces to safely release restricted fascia.  

Myofascial Release differs from massage therapy in a couple of ways.  Dissimilar to a massage, which uses lotions and oils to help float the hands over the skin, Myofascial Release needs the skin to be oil/lotion free.  This improves the contact a practitioner has with their hands to the client’s skin in order to prevent unnecessary gliding or sliding. This is important because Myofascial Release is not about rubbing the skin or massaging the muscles.  It’s about applying a sustained tension force to the fascial restriction. This is achieved by first sinking the hands down to the level of restriction and then applying an opposing tensile force between either hand (i.e. compression, stretch, twist).  This then leads to the next major difference between Myofascial Release and massage therapy, time. For Myofascial Release to work each method should be detained for a minimum of 90-120 seconds, with practices sometimes being help for upward of 20-30 minutes.

Why do Myofascial Release techniques take longer to release?

By adding time, Myofascial Release does not rush healing but instead supports the Piezoelectric Phenomenon. Unlike skin and muscle, fascia is a piezoelectric tissue, and when a piezoelectric tissue is exposed to extended durations of tightness it creates a current of bioenergy, or information.  In the case of restricted fascia that information then facilitates a reorganization that allows the fascia to move more freely, and in turn improves circulation, range of motion, and pain.

What is Fascia?

Fascia is a connective tissue found within the body.  The filler of our interior nooks and crannies very similar to the white uncertain substance that squashing around a slice of orange.  Fascia is the spider web that connects the crown of our head to the tips of our toes and everything in between. To understand what fascia is, it first helps to grasp the concept of its structure.

Visualize a spider web. Although subtle in arrival the spider web is deliberately multipurpose, extremely strong, and energetic not only because of its structural design but to the survival of the spider itself.  If a fly was to get trapped within a web, that fly not only affects the area of the web that binds it but changes tensile forces all over the entire design, therefore acting as a form of communiqué to the spider.  The same thing happens in our body, with fascia.

What is the fascia made of?

Fascia is made up of three main components, Collagen, Elastin, and Ground Substance.  Imagine Collagen as the silk step of the spider web, excluding in fascia these “treads” are muffled. Elastin is fibers that act just like an elastic thread or the elastic fabric found in our skinny jeans. It provides the comfort of undertaking during a stretch or firmness of the fascial fibers.  Finally, the Ground Substance is the environment in which the fascia resides. Ground substance (when unrestricted) is a liquid state that flows inside and out of the hollow collagen “threads” preventing their hollow design from collapsing, as well as oiling the threads to assist in its movement of slide, slide and pull.

Where is fascia located in the body?

Fascia is everywhere, and because it maintains the form of our insides some would even argue that our entire body is just different densities of the fascia. When looking at fascia from a less cellular viewpoint it can be described as sheets, bands, or mesh.  It surrounds every nerve, blood vessel, ligament, tendon, muscle, organ, and bone in one form or another, and in doing so allows for an internal network that not only provides structure to our body but absorbs shock, and works as a transmission system signaling stimuli throughout the body. read more

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