What is Myofascial Release?
Myofascial Release (MFR) is a whole body, hands-on approach to healthcare. It is a mild and gentle form of stretching that has a profound effect upon the body. A slow gentle pressure allows the body's tissue to reorganize without force, release physical restrictions and release the body's unconscious holding and bracing patterns.
Following all physical and emotional injury, and through poor posture, fascia scars and hardens in the affected site and along the tension lines imposed on it. Since the fascial system is continuous through the body, any injury will compromise the whole structure. Once injured, fascia twists and pulls, creating tension throughout the system. This tension can exert a pressure of up to 2,000 pounds per square inch crushing and impinging important structures like the dural tube, organs, as well as the systems of the body (circulatory, nerve and lymphatic systems, respiratory, reproductive).
The "fascial tension can also affect the alignment of the skeletal and muscular system all of which create on-going physical and emotional tension and pain. Over time these twists and pulls create a devastating effect on the body. It is not uncommon for patients to complain of a symptom in one area of the body that may have originated elsewhere. As the body tries to compensate for the restrictions, further imbalance and tension occurs. This is one of the main reasons we experience on-going physical and emotional discomfort when the whole body remains un-treated.
Many people don't recognize that their body is being compromised by fascial pulls, as these pulls happen so gradually. However, there is usually 'the last straw that breaks the camel's back' and the body is no longer able to support the structure without pain. It is therefore important for the Myofascial practitioner to treat not just the injury, but to treat the body as a whole and the whole fascial history.
Fascial restrictions do not show up on any X Ray, MRl or CAT scan and patients may complain of bizarre pain and discomfort that can remain undiagnosed and subsequently, and unfortunately, may remain untreated within traditional healthcare systems.
What is Myofascial Release used for?
Chronic neck and back pain
If you have recently experienced trauma from whiplash, a fall, the effects of surgery or chronic bad posture, or emotional stress this may be the treatment for you.
What should I expect from my myofascial release session?
Once problem areas are identified, the practitioner will use sustained pressure that warms up the fascia. This can take a few minutes in each area, so structural integration often takes several sessions. The slow movements and pressure of the therapist’s hands or arms begin to “melt” (soften) the fascia beneath. It is a slow process because every stroke in a different place has to start all over with the “melting” of the fascia in each area.
Myofascial release therapy is like peeling an onion. The therapist goes through one stroke with a broad hand or forearm to get to superficial areas just under the skin. When that area is heated up and softened it can be moved around. Then a smaller area of the hand or elbow, etc. is used as a more precise, smaller “tool” to go deeper into core fascial areas.
During the therapy the client might be asked to do some very slow stretching to help with the process. Each session is performed directly on skin without oils, creams or machinery in order to accurately detect fascial restrictions and apply the appropriate amount of sustained pressure to facilitate release of the fascia. The connective tissue is manipulated with the goal of balancing the body to cooperate easily with gravity from head to toe. Pain is eliminated and proper motion is restored.
What other Tournesol therapies work well with myofascial release?
Better health outcomes are achieved when all the physical, emotional and spiritual components of whole health are addressed in one place as part of an integrative team effort.
Myofascial Release works well in conjunction with other treatments. Which treatments you choose will depend on your goals with your Myofascial Release sessions. Many Myofascial Release clients at Tournesol combine their treatments with:
Who performs Myofascial Release at Tournesol and how much does it cost?
Heidi Gerber, MSLAc, LMT
$225 for a 60-minute session