What is Myofascial Release?
Myofascial Release is a safe, highly effective, whole-body approach to treating the fascial system. Myofascial Release uses skilled, manual techniques to apply sustained pressure into the fascia to reduce and eliminate fascial restrictions. Myofascial Release has been extremely successful in treating all levels of pain, restoring function and mobility, and improving overall cellular health.
The fascial system is considered one of the most influential systems of the body due to its anatomical and physiological role. To fully comprehend the Myofascial Release, it is important to understand the significance of fascia.
What is Fascia?
Fascia is a strong connective tissue that spreads throughout the body from the top of your head to the bottom of your feet, three dimensionally, without interruption. Fascia is similar to the threads in a fabric. It is an interwoven fibrous net that covers and encapsulates every structure in the body including bones, muscles, organs, nerves and blood vessels, all the way down to the cellular level. Fascia surrounds every single cell in the body! Because of fascia’s orientation and lay out, many times a patient may experience pain and symptoms in one area, while the restriction is in a completely different part of the body. For example, a patient experiencing headaches may have restrictions in the pelvis and lower back.
The Role and Function of Fascia
Fascia at the cellular level creates the environment and space each cell needs to perform its essential functions: cellular respiration, elimination, nutrition, protection, metabolism and lymphatic flow.
The fascial system binds the human body into an integral whole to allow proper function of structures and organs. It is fascia that keeps us upright against gravity to support our posture and movement three dimensionally. Fascia also acts as a shock absorber. Therefore, its elasticity and fluidity is crucial for protecting our body from injury and trauma.
In a normal healthy state, fascia is hydrated and pliable, with the ability to glide and stretch freely. Through injury, trauma, surgery, overuse and postural compensations, fascia loses its natural form and becomes twisted, hardened and tough – similar to leather or beef jerky. Prolonged stress, tension, and emotional upset can also contribute to fascial restrictions.
Myofascial restrictions are believed to exert crushing pressure on the muscular and skeletal systems as well on other pain sensitive structures, like nerves and blood vessels. This enormous pressure, more than 2,000 pounds per square inch, is equivalent to a horse standing on a penny! It’s no wonder we hurt! Restrictions can also create pressure on organs, and even whole-systems, which over time can lead to dysfunction and disease. Because fascial restrictions do not show up on any standardized tests, such as MRI’s, CAT Scans, EMG’s, X-Rays, or even blood work, many patients are suffering with unresolved pain, dysfunction, loss of motion, and unexplained symptoms.
Why is Myofascial Release so Effective?
Most traditional forms of treatment simply treat the patient’s symptoms while ignoring the underlying cause. This explains why so many patients only experience short-term results, or eventually reach a plateau in their healing. Many times if a patients condition continues unresolved for a significant period of time, they may slowly begin to experience “new symptoms” while their original condition grows more complex and becomes more difficult to manage.
The John Barnes Myofascial Release Approach (JFB-MFR) has proven to be highly effective because it treats the person as a whole, including the entire myofascial complex. Each patient is evaluated, assessed and treated as a unique individual and treatment is specific to their needs and goals. The JFB-MFR Approach creates long-term permanent changes that carry-over into a personal lifestyle while bringing awareness to the body-mind connection.
The goal of Myofascial Release is to eliminate pain, restore function and movement, and help patients find authentic healing so that they can achieve the highest quality of life possible. This is the future of healthcare.