About Myofascial Release

baby swimming

Moving Fluid.

Fascia can tighten with physical and mental stress creating a soft tissue “straight jacket” in the words of John Barnes, PT.

To feel better, this straight jacket has to be released, layer by layer.

Conventional massage, modalities, and stretching are all beneficial for health, but fail to release fascia adequately.  In fact, patients with fascial restrictions will report being compliant with daily stretching, but never see a change in their flexibility.  Something isn’t letting go.

The myofascia hasn’t been released

Myofascia is made up of elastin, collagen, and a liquid substance called ground substance.  Conventional treatments only address the elastin component of the soft tissue system.  Tightened areas of fascia have lost their fluid nature.  In these areas, the ground substance becomes thickened and sticky, much like hardened tree sap.  To allow for rehydration of the ground substance, gentle but sustained  pressure must be held for a prolonged period of time, at times up to several minutes.  This allows the body to heat up, allows for increased vibrational energy at a cellular level, and allows fluids to once again begin moving.

The therapist can feel softening of these hardened areas as the tissue becomes rehydrated and begins to move under their hands.

Treatment is progressed as the fascia releases, layer by layer.   By addressing both the elastin and collagen components of the tissue, the therapist is able to make lasting changes in the structure of the soft tissue.  Range of motion is restored.  Flexibility improves.  Pain is alleviated.  The body is no longer fighting against itself to do simple tasks.  There is no longer a chronic sense of tension, and relaxation becomes much easier.