Myofacial Release (MFR)
Are you are struggling with headaches, pelvic or back pain, carpal tunnel, foot ailments, sports injuries, emotional trauma or other pain condition that is not responding to your current treatment? Myofascial Release is the answer.
Myo means muscle and Fascia means connective tissue. Fascia is your internal “Spider-man” webbing, and your body together, giving it shape and protection against trauma. Fascia covers every muscle fiber, encases all joints and supports your organs in their place. There is no beginning or end to fascia, which means restriction, trauma or injury on one part of the fascia system can affect the whole body.
How MFR Works
Myofascial Release uses gently sustained pressure to soften, lengthen and reorganize your entire system. The effects are typically permanent, which sets it apart from regular massage treatments. You should notice less pain, increased range of motion, improved whole-body mobility, and feel more connected and comfortable in your own skin.
Myofascial restrictions can cause pain and restriction of motion. So before you decide that you just have to “live with pain, restriction or limited mobility“, or have surgery, give Myofascial Release a try. It just might be the puzzle piece you are missing. Imagine what you could do with increased flexibility, improved posture, enhanced body awareness and more freedom of movement.
Myofascial Release FAQ’s
How does Myofascial stretching differ from traditional stretching?
Traditional stretching typically involves stretching a muscle over a joint and maintaining the stretch for a brief period of time (15-30 seconds). With traditional stretching only the muscle and elastic tissue are lengthened and the firmer, collagen component of our connective tissue remains unchanged. Results are therefore partial and temporary. Research has shown that despite people being diligent about regular stretching for years, they still feel stiff and are prone to injury.
Myofascial Stretching differs from conventional stretching in 3 primary ways
- Time Element: Myofascial stretches are held continuously for 2-5 minutes. As mentioned, holding stretches for a brief time only lengthens muscle and the elastic component of fascia. The stiff, collagen component requires at least 2 minutes to lengthen and cause lasting change.
- Active elongation: Myofascial stretching oftentimes uses active elongation. This is when you actively move your torso or limbs as if you’re trying to make it longer and truly feeling how your movement lengthens the tissue in a three-dimensional way. This allows the fascia to unwind and stretch like taffy to cause lasting effects.
- Mindful Stretching: Myofascial stretching involves being consciously present throughout the process. Stretching is much more effective when you direct your attention, “breathe into”, and notice the release within the tissue as it releases and elongates.
Stretching and strengthening
- During active elongation of the body, the muscle groups opposing the tight fascia undergo a prolonged isometric contraction. An isometric contraction means that the muscle is contracting but maintains the same length. This process allows the muscle return to an optimum length to increase strength while also helping maintain the elongated state of the fascia you’ve just released.
How Does Myofascial Release Differ From Massage Therapy?
Deep tissue massage, also called myofascial massage, uses soft-tissue manipulation to effectively reduce stress, tension, pain and fatigue, but only temporarily. Myofascial Release can also reduce tension and pain, but the results are generally permanent because the actual structure of the tissue is being changed.
Myofascial Release is a specialized form of manual therapy capable of preventing, reducing or eliminating more serious, chronic or widespread conditions. Regular massage uses firm stretching and short hold duration, while Myofascial Release focuses on mild, prolonged stretches that allow the fascia to relax so permanent changes to take effect. Fascia cannot be stretched with fast, hard typical massage stretches.
Symptoms often appear in areas far away from their cause, so the Myofascial Release therapist will evaluate your structural alignment and customize treatment to address your unique imbalances. Massage therapy feels good temporarily, but is generally unable to address structural imbalances in the way that MFR can.
How Does Myofascial Release Differ From Rolfing?
Rolfing and Myofascial Release both work on the fascia. Both are very effective and treatment is an individual choice. Rolfing uses a prescribed method for a specific number of treatments. In MFR therapy, the practitioner begins the healing journey based on the client’s specific symptoms and then follows an optimal individual therapeutic progression for maximum benefit. When done correctly, neither Myofascial Release nor Rolfing should be painful.
Can Myofascial Release Help My Pelvic Pain?
Tight facial tissue can be the cause of conditions such as endometriosis, abdominal pain following pelvic surgery, episiotomy scars, coccygeal disorders from trauma. Myofascial release can address painful menstrual and premenstrual symptoms, in addition to painful symptoms of pregnancy, childbirth, recurrent bladder pain and infection, frequency, urgency and/or incontinence, painful intercourse, sexual dysfunction, elimination problems, tailbone pain, painful episiotomy scars and more. These problems can often be substantially reduced or eliminated by gentle Myofascial release.